Series: Convention Exclusives
Alternate Mode: Rescue Dodge Magnum Van
Thanks to fatbot for loaning me Kup for this review
Height: 5cm Length: 13cm Width: 6.5cm
An aqua Dodge Magnum (thanks for Fit For Natalie for the model name) with orange stripes, Kup is a repaint of Cybertron Red Alert, intended to represent the G1 toy of the same name.. His windows and the stroberack on his roof are transparent blue along with some seemingly random blue posts on his roof. The aqua itself is the only aspect of this colour scheme which really ties in to the original - but it's enough to make the tribute work. His tyres are black with silver hubcaps, the fenders and and bumpers are black. There are red Autobot logos stamped on either door, within red chevron logos. It's a good colour scheme, if one that's suited to an exclusive such as this.
There are a couple of things that break the realism up here (aside from the unusual colours). Some I can deal with such as the blue windows and port at the back for his black Planet Key and others that bug me like those posts that don't do anything. The centre of his stroberack is a grey dome that's fairly obviously the top of his head. This bugs me, but it doesn't ruin the toy like on some toys (Energon Ironhide springs to mind). It may not be terribly well integrated, but at least there's an attempt to justify it being there. There are quite a few moulded details here which help the overall look such as moulded wipers, bronze supply boxes on the back, doorhandles, taillights and mirrors on the sides. So while he's not quite realistic, he's detailed enough to still look plausible.
Kup rolls surprisingly well on his wheels, all of which will roll on a hard surface, rather than slide as on many Transformers. You can plug the key into the back and it'll happily sit there, pushing it in all the way will cause the side rear panels (loosely contiguous with the rear doors) to pop out to the sides, allowing two milky grey guns to spring forward like those on Backstreet. The gimmick isn't really anything new but it works quite well without really asking too much of the engineering. I'm happy with it - useful without hampering the toy.
This is a solid car mode with a useful, unobtrusive gimmick. The colours work well, and do a decent job of this tribute. I have no real complaints other than those odd blue posts. The head doesn't bug me that much, and while realism isn't a strong point in these colours, Kup's vehicle mode works well.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Unclip the front and fold down to form his shins, flipping out his feet from underneath. Swing down the rear underside, flip out the heelspurs and fold away the rear wheels. Clip together two shins and calves to form rather chunky boots. Unclip the back of his roof and fold down, which will unlock the door panels. Pull out his shoulders and extend the door-shoulderpads. Straighten his arms, fold down his groinplates and pull out Red Alert's head.
The transformation is a great aspect of the toy. That the boots form from both the front and back of the car is quite amazing, moreso when you realise the legs are poseable. The left hand is a laser that doubles as an attachment post. If you fold down the shinpads (the bonnet and windshield halves) you'll find a black hammer head and a grey claw, both of which can attach to the laser. The groin plates are also quite unusual and exhibit a nice attention to detail.
Height: 12.5cm Width: 9.5cm
An aqua robot with milky grey plastic on his thighs and arms, Kup has black hands and feet while his chest is silver with a red Autobot logo. There are various orange painted details on this mode. The shoulderpads on the outsides of his shoulders and the kneecaps are transparent blue. His head is aqua with a silver face and metallic blue painted eyes. This colour scheme is fairly loosely Kup - but it's close enough for the tribute to be obvious, especially since this figure has a resculpted head.
The head has been completely redone, and is based on the animated Kup seen in G1, rather than the flatter head of the original toy. As mentioned, this head really does make the tribute obvious - and it works well as a result. His left hand is a sort of laser rather than an actual hand. The doors on his shoulders and front of the car on his shins give us some visible car elements, and both work visually.
The play value here is pretty good - the spring loaded guns can deploy over his shoulders, and deploy awfully fast, thanks to very strong springs. The versatile left hand tool is nice and the storable attachments only make it cooler. Poseability is pretty good considering his unusual transformation, too. The head turns, the shoulders are ball jointed while the elbows, knees, hips, feet and heelspurs are hinged. There are actually outwards hinges just above his hips (hidden in his groin) that allow the legs to lift out to the sides, and while you wouldn't want to spread the legs too far this is quite useful for natural stances. Considering the compound boots, I'm very happy with the knee hinges, and can't complain about the hips. The hinged feet and heelspurs give Kup stability, as do the heavy boots themselves.
While the mould itself was never especially well suited to this character, the resculpted head & use of aqua really make this robot mode work as Kup. It's a good robot mode anyway, with no real kibble, innovative weapons and a Planet Key gimmick that still functions. Adding to the play value is poseability that's fantastic considering the transformation. The possibility of losing the add-on tools bugs me a little, but otherwise I can't complain about this robot mode.
As mentioned, he is a repaint & retool of Cybertron Red Alert. Kup also shares the mould (if not the head sculpt) with Cannonball.
The car mode is solid if unspectacular, with a well executed gimmick and good detail and realism. The robot mode is good with useful weaponry and nice play value. The real star here is the transformation, and it still works even now, years later. As an exclusive, this toy works well thanks to the interesting colours and retooled head, which is done well. He's not obviously better than either of the Cybertron toys sharing this mould, nor does he really work as a Classics Kup (unlike the BotCon Seekers, he's not trying to fill that niche), so this is one for those who enjoy BotCon toys - but in that context Kup is a good toy - 8/10