Cliffbee.com: Autobot Kup Damage Version Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Kup
Series: United
Allegiance: Cybertron (Autobot)
Alternate Mode: Pickup Truck

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Kup for this review.



TRUCK MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 13.5cm Width: 6cm

   An aqua truck in the spirit of the original Kup, he's a relatively minor repaint of Generations/United Kup. He's a richer aqua (almost a turquoise) than the regular versions of this toy, and unlike the regular United toy, lacks a metallic sheen. He has colourless transparent windows, black plastic tyres with silver hubcaps, transparent headlights & taillights and a silver grille at the front. There's a red stamped Autobot logo on his hood while the bumpers are painted grey. There's silver painted battle damage here and there - on the roof, doors, tray, hood and fenders. The inside of the tray is painted a ceramic green. The colours are pretty similar to the regular releases of this toy, really - the battle damage is the only change of significance. The colour scheme works as well as the retail toys, since it works well without looking all that distinct.

   This isn't really a futuristic truck - he's a stylised pick-up truck of indeterminate model. I've no idea if there's a distinct model that he's based on, but he seems both generic and realistic at the same time. There are some finer sculpted details such as grey side mirrors, an exhaust at the back, indicators on the front bumper and a fuelcap behind the left side door. The front end is curved and sleeker than most pick-up trucks, but in a rounded way (reminiscent of the retro feel of the Chrysler PT Cruiser).

   The play value here is minimal but better than you'd expect of a truck like this. The wheels roll - as you'd expect while the tailgate can lower (using transformation joints). There are two notches on his roof which allow his grey rifle to plug in, giving him a weapon which could be fired by someone standing in the tray (like a game hunter, if you will).

   A nice pick-up truck that takes the concept of Kup's vehicle mode and makes it realistic, while still retaining the feel of the character. The retro feel is subtle but gives an "elderly" hint which helps in this respect. It's a fairly straightforward vehicle mode but with clever understated play value. The repaint is fairly trivial, really - the battle damage paint adds to that elderly feel, but the overall feel is similar to the standard versions all the same.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove & set aside the gun, if attached. Pull the doors out to the sides, revealing his arms. Fold the tailgate down, swing out the base of the tray to form his feet (with the tailgate forming his heelspurs). Split the legs, swing the panels immediately behind the side windows back & fold down the back of the cabin to form his shins. Lift up the hood, rotate the core of the cabin back to reveal his chest & head, which also rotates the roof & hood onto his back as a backpack. Position his arms, rotate the panels on the outside of his forearms & place the gun in either hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 9cm

   An aqua robot with silver feet, Kup has grey on his hands, elbows and waist while his thighs are ceramic green. Kup has a silver face with transparent blue eyes and a weak lightpipe. Curiously there's also a colourless plastic visor of sorts above his false windshield - itself an off white colour. There are some cadmium yellow painted details on his knees and waist and a red Autobot logo stamped on his chest. The colours match the G1 toy well while also tributing the cartoon version of the character. This colour scheme straddles that line better than either the Generations or United toys, actually. The battle damage is barely visible now - on the outsides of the fenders (his chest and shins), so this repaint isn't as notable now, even if it does do the tribute slightly better than the regular versions.

   There are some wonderful visual aspects here. The front fenders form the outsides of his chest, complete with the headlights on his shoulders. The head and face are very much Kup - a fusion of the original toy & the head seen in the cartoon. The tribute here is very strong thanks to the head, the false windshield on his chest and of course the colours. The gun isn't one we've seen on the character before - neither the aqua gun of the original nor anything resembling his Targetmaster gun.

   The play value here really centres on his poseability, since doesn't do much else aside from posing & holding his gun. The poseability is excellent despite a relative lack of ball joints. His head is on a restricted ball joint while his shoulders swing and lift out to the sides. His elbows are hinged in two directions _and_ are supported by a rotator in his upper arm. His wrists rotate although his waist doesn't (which is the only significant limitation in his poseability). His hips are ball jointed with rotators below them - these supplement the hinged knees. The ankles are hinged in two directions & Kup has good solid heelspurs, allowing a wide range of stable poses.

   A nice robot mode with some interesting visual aspects, a strong tribute and excellent poseability. There are no gimmicks here, but he doesn't need them since the poseability works so well and the tribute is effective. The repaint isn't really that different here, even if it does tribute the cartoon slightly better than his retail versions. This is the best of the three in that respect (if only just), but the others both work well anyway.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. He was exclusively available in a three pack with Hot Rod & Scrapheap, only through e-Hobby, making variants unlikely.

OVERALL

   A well engineered toy with a strong & well focused tribute, a vehicle mode which is essentially a more realistic version of that we saw in G1 and good robot mode poseability. There are no gimmicks, but he doesn't need them. The robot mode the is slightly better of the two, but it's a good mould in both modes. This repaint is almost trivial, even though it's quite comprehensive. He's essentially the same colour so the only notable difference is the battle damage, which isn't really that major. So this repaint isn't compelling despite being an improvement of the retail versions. Nice as part of the e-Hobby set, but he's the least compelling as a limited repaint - 9.5/10.

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