Ah Kup, a character that seems to be hard to just do right in Toy form while not being kind of boring. His original G1 toy is best described as “Weird Space Pick Up”. He got an alright update a few years ago in the Generations line where he turned into an old timey Earth Pick Up. Kup, despite being fairly popular has a few issues that come up when trying to make updates. First, his alt mode is lame and kind of boring, which isn’t particularly marketable. Second, his character is old and grouchy and thus isn’t the best character to appeal to kids. In the comics he’s been molded more into the classic veteran commando type but he also has trademark items like his Cygar, that help push this motif, which doesn’t really work in a toy line marketed to kids either.
The whole Titans Return line is really pushing in on the later G1 toys, and being really slavish to their original designs as much as possible. It’s not surprising Kup got an updated figure for this line. Aside from the chest area and actually having shoulders, he is a pretty good update to the original G1 design as well. The vehicle manages to fold up on itself in some pretty interesting ways to form a very nice looking and clean robot.
In fact the neat Transformation is one of the best parts of this toy. The front cockpit does some fun little things to form a cavity for the Headmaster to drive, but on top of that the side panels do some pretty impressive origami to form the lower legs. The end result is that the Robot doesn’t have a ton of gaps and holes in it that has become the trend in today’s cost saving design choices.
Kup maintains his dopey Space Pick Up design this round, though he takes some queues from Transformers Prime’s Kup with the truck bed. His guns can fill in the gap to create a nice little block of technology engine looking junk that he can carry around. They still look like guns, but it does help to keep his alt mode from looking funky.
Like all of the Titans Return line, Kup’s titan master can sit in the cockpit to drive the vehicle mode. Unfortunately the pegs that hold the titan master in place are kin of weak and getting the little figure attached while navigating the window piece and not splitting the truck panels apart is tricky. What I’m saying is, it’s a lot harder to get him into the driver’s seat than say, any of the space jets that have simple canopy cockpits.
The Transformation that I enjoy is probably the main downside of this figure. Getting everything to line up isn’t that hard, but it can be tricky and it could be tricky to manage for some folks (kids, apparently Kup just doesn’t work well for kids all around, see above). Getting the front of the truck to all line up and attach to the side panels is definitely tricky and given the small pegs holding things in place can be hard to keep in place. He’s a neat fun toy, but the Transformation from robot to vehicle is overly complex compared to other figures in the Titans Return line.