Transformers United UN-17 Kup
Although I do not fully agree with unlicensed products being made by third party manufactures (especially complete figures), I do find that sometimes they do bring out nice little add-ons that make production toys so much better – which in a lot of cases actually helps the sale of licensed toys, funnily enough.
First introduced in 1986, Kup or “Sergeant Kup” is among one of the oldest Transformers. I remember him fondly from the original G1 series and the Transformers Movie “The Transformers: The Movie”, being somewhat of a mentor to the then rebellious Hot Rod. Kup is an Autobot warrior, and transforms into a pickup truck in his alt mode.
Name: Autobot Kup
Manufacturer: Takara Tomy
Line: Transformers United
Material: ABS, Polyamide
Release: Feb 2011
Original Price: ¥2,300 (approx. $29AUD / $30USD)
Height: 147mm / 5.79inches
I personally quite like the packaging of the Transformers United toy line. The graphics at the front features Optimus facing off against Megatron and it looks awesome. On the back there’s a nice in-situ photo of Kup on the battlefield, profile information and gimmick images. Inside the box, Kup is held down by two cable ties, and his musket gun with just one.
Kup only comes with one accessory, and that is his musket gun. In the alt mode, you can clip the gun on the roof, or under the chassis which turns it into an exhaust. In robot mode, he can obviously hold it in both hands, as well as clipping it to his back.
Third Party Accessories:
One of the reasons I picked up this toy was because of this third party add-on. The original Kup head looks kind of anorexic, not sure what Takara Tomy was thinking when they approved this sculpt. Fortunately iGear has amended this and offers an upgrade kit featuring proper head designs. There are two included, one of which is holding a cigar – nice. To change the heads over, you need to unscrew it at the back, a small screw driver is also included with the upgrade kit. One thing I did notice was the paint job is not quite as tidy as it could have been.
Robot mode: I really like the robot mode design of Kup from the Transformers United toy line, that is everything apart from the head. The rest really captures the character and gives him a modern spin. You can see there are quite a few design cues carried over from the original G1 drawing predominately the chest and waist detail.
Alt mode: As good as the robot mode is the car mode is even better. Given a much more earthly interpretation, the pickup mode looks sporty yet instantly recognizable as Kup, the colour scheme obviously helps.
Articulation of the arms and shoulders are quite good, great range of movement and not much hindrance as the wheels above the shoulders can be moved out of the way. Head movement is pretty much left and right only, and there is no waist joint. The legs are also quite well articulated apart from the knee joints which do not bend back very far. Most of the joints seem to be tight so it holds poses quite well.
Before purchasing this guy, I saw a few Generations Kup at my local toy stores but could never convince myself to spend my hard earned cash on them as the paint app looked flat and incomplete. You see, the Generations version does not have this beautiful metallic green paint on the car body, nor does it have silver painted wheels which makes a huge difference to the overall toy. Both version however have a well printed Autobot logo on the hood as well as the chest.
As a part of the transforming process, the tailgate actually flips down which is quite clever – if it was done on purpose. The iGear upgrade kit is also quite well thought out as the container fits perfectly in the pickup tray when Kup is in alt mode. Would be even cooler if they gave it some sort of texture on the box, perhaps even corrugated like a cargo container?
From what I understand, the United line took over from the Henkei line which means technically these toys should be about the same size. However as I don’t have any Henkei toys I can only compare Kup to the movie Transformers, in this case the Leader Class Optimus Prime. This should give you an idea of the size of Kup.
For those of you who managed to buy this toy at RRP when it first came out, good on you. I had to pay a little extra on eBay to get this guy as I was a little bit late to the game, however I still think it was worth it (not to encourage flippers) but this really is a great toy. If you do pick this guy up it is also worth considering getting the iGear upgrade kit, the revised head sculpt really makes a world of difference to the character!
Thanks for reading, remember sharing is caring ^_^