Transformers Prime Sergeant Kup Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Deluxe, Generation One, Prime, Robots in Disguise

Transformers Prime

General Information:
Release Date: October 2012
Price Point: $14.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Cannons x 2

Images:

*Images with asterisks and text below in italics are from The Official Transformers Web Site:
TRANSFORMERS PRIME Deluxe-Class action figures are the front line in the ancient conflict between AUTOBOT and DECEPTICON robots! These mighty robots from the planet CYBERTRON have come to Earth to continue their epic battle, with OPTIMUS PRIME and the heroic AUTOBOTS fighting to protect our world from the tyranny of MEGATRON and his DECEPTICONS. ROBOTS IN DISGUISE The battle between the AUTOBOTS and the DECEPTICONS begins here! Mighty robots from the planet CYBERTRON have come to Earth, and their battle for domination will decide the fate of our planet. Kids will love pretending to take part in this incredible struggle. Each toy converts from toy vehicle to robot and back. With awesome action features, amazing detail, and a variety of characters to choose from, there's something for everyone with TRANSFORMERS PRIME toys (each sold separately)! Collect your favorite characters, pick your side, and join the battle for Earth! Command AUTOBOT recruits with SERGEANT KUP!

SERGEANT KUP is one of the most experienced soldiers in the AUTOBOT army. There's a rumor among younger AUTOBOTS that he's laserproof. The aging soldier has a habit of walking calmly through even the thickest crossfire to deliver advice or encouragement to raw recruits cowering under cover. The robots that serve under him think he might have a screw loose somewhere, but they'd still gladly follow him anywhere. His commanding voice and centuries of experience are an inspiration to everyone who meets him. Converts from robot to vehicle! The AUTOBOT soldier SERGEANT KUP converts from awesome truck to a veteran of hundreds of battles and back. His cannons snap on to get him ready for any battle situation you can imagine. Battle him against your other TRANSFORMERS figures! Includes: Converting SERGEANT KUP action figure and 2 snap-on cannons. Features: • Snap-on cannons! • Includes DVD with full TRANSFORMERS PRIME episode, "Loose Cannons"! Ages 5 and up.

KupSergeant Kup is one of those characters that faded into obscurity for many years, but would later step up into the spotlight. This was due in part to his prominent role in the IDW Publishing comic books, where he was seen as a legendary Autobot who trained the likes of Prowl. Since then fans have seen a release of the character in the Generations line and now the character has been firmly placed into the "Transformers Prime" universe. The "Sergeant" part of his name is most likely put in to pay homage to his roots as a guy who trained Autobots but also to help trademark the name (as was done in the "Generations" line).

A note about this figure: it was first available as part of wave five in the 2012 "Transformers Prime" line. That is the version reviewed here which was on a regular card. Later, the figure would be repackaged with a DVD for wave six. As far as I know, the figure is the same, only the DVD and packaging changed.

Vehicle Mode:
Some folks have wondered from time to time just where the name "Kup" comes from. It is generally agreed upon that it is part of the word "pickup", calling out the type of truck he transforms into. True to form, Kup is a pickup truck once again in the "Prime" series of toys (there are no indications he'll ever appear on the show). As pickup trucks go, the "sizing down" of Transformers that has been going on for the past year or so becomes more evident. He's smaller than say, Deluxe Ironhide from the movie line (who also transformed into a pickup truck). This is simply unfortunate reality. At the time this toy was made and released, the price of everything from the raw materials to make the toy all the way to the gas needed to transport it have risen and this is reflected in the size and cost of the figure. My intention here is to focus more on what the figure is rather than what it isn't, but the size difference is worth mentioning.

In his pickup truck mode, Kup is more blocky than his "Generations" counterpart. The front end has angled wheel wells, a blocky front end with a squared off, beveled air intake on the hood. The cabin section is also very square in shape and the wheel wells over the rear wheels are also angled instead of being a smooth curve. Giving him a more utilitarian appearance is a cage sculpted over the front of the vehicle and a row of lights mounted on the top of the cabin. There are some nice line details on the hood and I like some of the smaller details such as a triangle of tiny circles on top of the air intake on the hood and some lines etched into the clear plastic that forms his windshield.

Kup is cast in an aqua green plastic, much like his G1 and "Generations" counterparts. His windows are clear blue plastic while the wheels and parts of the truck bed are black plastic. A metallic green color is used on the cage in the front of the vehicle and on the row of lights on the top. Bright green paint is found on the sides and on the air intake on his hood. Overall, these colors pretty much scream "Kup"! If he hadn't been named Kup, everyone would be claling out how he looks like a Kup homage.

Kup includes two cannons, heavily based on his live action movie appearance. In this case however they are identical, with each one having a large barrel end and a smaller end. Each one has 5mm pegs that can atach to the sides of the vehicle to provide him with weaponry or you can attach them to the truck bed to give him "rockets" in vehicle mode. On a functional note, you'll see some more evidence of cost cutting in the wheels. Instead of being held in by metal posts, these wheels are all plastic and "snap" into their corresponding holes. When I first heard about this I thought I'd be more disappointed by this than I am. Really, it works and the wheels spin fine. If you have to cost cut, then this isn't a bad way to do it. I just wish the sides of the wheels were painted.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Lift the cabin section up and swing it forward.
  2. Pull the sides of the vehicle out to the sides.
  3. You should now be able to see the fists on Kup's doors. Swing them in to form the forearms.
  4. Rotate the shoulders around so the wheels are facing the back.
  5. Rotate the forearms around so Kup can move the arm at the elbow joint.
  6. Pull the panels that form the fog lights section of the vehicle mode out to the sides to form the shoulder armor.
  7. Push the panel in the center of the robot body up, revealing the robot head.
  8. Separate the middle of the hood section from the sides.
  9. Swing the middle section of the hood back.
  10. Swing the headlights section of the hood forward, snapping it into place.
  11. Separate each half of the truck bed.
  12. Rotate the lower legs around.
  13. Swing the bottom of the truck bed down, then swing the robot feet out.
  14. The cannons can connect to each arm on the sides or in the fists.

Robot Mode:
By now, it should become blazingly obvious that this figure was originally mean to be Ironhide. The design is largely a mash up of G1 and live action movie Ironhide design elements. This design was originally proposed for the "Transformers Prime" show but they wound up putting in Bulkhead instead. Some of the most obvious G1 Ironhide influences include the faux "windshield" panel on his chest and the design of the head with its central crest, curved helmet section and raised circles on the sides of the helmet. The live action movie influences come into play with the weapons being big cannons that mount onto his arms and the ddesign of the lower part of his torso which includes a distinct curved section with what looks like part of his vehicle mode grille in the middle. Overall, it's a fantastic sculpt, but it's clearly meant to be Ironhide. At this time, Ironhide has been released in Japan, but so far there is no word on a release outside of Japan.

This mode still has all the colors of the vehicle mode, but dark grey plastic comes into play big time here on the torso, upper arms, the hips and thighs. This is reminscent of G1 Kup who used grey in his color scheme as well. The mixture of colors looks great and the translucent blue "windshield" chest piece offers a nice contrast in tone to the rest of the plastic on the figure. There isn't a ton of deco on this figure as a lot of it wound up on the vehicle mode. His face is painted silver with yellow eyes (a callback to G1 Kup) and he has gren paint on the middle to bottom section of his torso. A small silver Autobot symbol is painted in the center of his torso and...that's it. While he looks good, he definitely could have used one or two more deco details on his legs, which are left unpainted and look rather plain. Also, the promotioinal art for the figure shows gold paint on the ends of the weapons, but here they are unpainted. The gold detail on the cannons even made their way into the package art! I wish they had included this detail as the weapons look pretty plain.

Sergeant Kup has thirteen points of articulation with two in each arm and four in each leg. This doesn't sound like a ton, but the arms, feet and hips are all ball joints, allowing for a good range of motion. As mentioned above, his cannons can attach to his fists or the sides of his forearms. Like many of the figures of Ironhide from the live action movie line, you can also take the two cannons and combine them into one "super cannon" which you can attach to one arm on the sides or have Kup hold using both handles.

Final Thoughts:
Kup represents an interesting quandry. Some people are holding the fact the he's not Ironhide against him, but like I say above, I'd rather focus on what the figure is and not what it is not, so I won't fault the figure for "not being" Ironhide. What I do regreat however are some of the cost cutting mesures, particularly the paint decos in robot mode, which the figure really needs (the vehicle mode looks great). That said, I really love the sculpt. He looks rough and tough in both modes, just like a legendary drill sergeant should, and I appreciate the homages involves in not only the robot, but also his weaponry. Recommended, but with reservations (and I do hope this sculpt gets the "Ironhide deco" outside Japan eventually).