Figure Reviews

Transformers Studio Series 86 Kup figure review

Kup is one of my favorite blowhard characters with a story for every situation and a crotchety attitude that helps him stand out among the very diverse personalities among the Autobots. With the major shift in the line resulting from Transformers: The Movie, Kup was among the first futuristic Auotobots my brother and I grabbed for our collection.

So I was pretty excited to see Kup made the initial cut for the Studio Series 86 line in all of his Transformers: The Movie glory. Let’s see if this old timer still has some tread on his tires.

Packaging: The Studio Series has a simple black and red color scheme with a large portrait of Kup on the front along with a sticker indicating this is from Transformers: The Movie.

Along the sides is the larger portrait of Kup and a prominent 86 atop both areas. This is helpful for peg viewing when the figures aren’t at eye level.

transformers studio series 86 kup review -package bio section

The back offers a weak one sentence bio and shots of Kup in his robot and alt mode. I do like the random title of Sea Squid Showdown however.

Likeness:  Kup’s likeness isn’t as spot on for The Movie appearances as some of the other figures. His head, gauntlets and waist are slimmer. Maybe he’s been giving away too much free Energon?

transformers studio series 86 kup review - wide shot

The crown portion is smaller allowing for more of the top of his head to be visible. The headsculpt is fine as you can imagine Kup about to start griping although I feel like it could have had even more personality

On the back of the figure you’ll see the windshield prominently featured in his design in the package drawing and in the film. I’m not sure at what point Hasbro opted to make it see through instead of opaque, but it does change the visual to a noteworthy degree.

Alt Mode: For the issues with the robot mode, Kup’s vehicle mode matches up very well with his movie appearance. There’s a few unpainted panels, but otherwise it resembles Kup’s whatever future vehicle he’s supposed to be mode dead on.

Transformation: It was weird. I remember Kup being one of the easier Transformers I owned back in the day as his transformation made sense.

transformers studio series 86 kup review - vehicle mode rolling out with hot rod

The Studio Series figure is a lot more complex than I anticipated to the point I needed to watch a transformation video very slowly to get it done. I think I have him down now, but he’s not as instinctive as some of the others.

transformers studio series 86 kup review - back to back with hot rod


Scale:  The latter era G1 figures basically just need to be in scale with each other. In the film, Kup was a little taller than Hot Rod, but it’s flipped here. Not a huge deal although for accuracy sake since you can fudge the height difference.

transformers studio series 86 kup review - vehicle mode with jazz, trailbreaker and huffer


Paint: One of the things that sorta throws off Kup’s likeness is the dead eyes. They are cast in a light blue, but his brim leeches all of the light resulting in his eyes looking black if you don’t have a light right behind him. If you do, however, that gives the classic cartoon lit eye appearance.

Kup’s color scheme is also off from the movie, which is basically different shades of aqua blue. The figure has more of a two-tone sky blue vibe. That’s consistent with the original figure although I assumed the focus of the line was to use the movie appearance as the guide.

Those discrepancies aside, the paintjob is very nice. All of the linework is crisp and clean right down to the orange energy highlighted panels.

Articulation:  Kup has really useful articulation making him more fun than I was expecting. I opened Kup and Hot Rod up at the same time and got frustrated with Hot Rod’s shoulders.

transformers studio series 86 kup review - rolling out with hot rod


Kup didn’t have any kind of issues and was able to hit a number of poses. I wish the knees had a bit more range so I could do a full crouch and kneeling pose though.

transformers studio series 86 kup review - taking aim

Kup has:

  • neck
  • bicep
  • ball-jointed shoulders
  • elbows
  • wrists
  • wrist hinge
  • torso
  • waist
  • hips
  • thighs
  • knees
  • ankles

transformers studio series 86 kup review - kneeling and aiming

One of the cool features with Kup is you can actually simulate the Squid Showdown and pop off some of his limbs for Hot Rod to fix. That is a tremendously thoughtful inclusion and one I wasn’t expecting.

transformers studio series 86 kup review - getting fixed up by hot rod

Accessories:  Kup has his standard blaster. It’s accurate to the cartoon although it seems to be too light a shade of grey.

transformers studio series 86 kup review -ready for battle

Kup also gets his Energon dispenser, which is another very nice touch.

transformers studio series 86 kup review - offering up some energon

In keeping with the theme of this series, Kup’s package backdrop is actually a diorama featuring the Sea Squid. It’s not necessarily to scale, but the effort is appreciated as a bonus.

transformers studio series 86 kup review - battling sea squid

Worth it?  I got Kup for $20. That price point helps excuse some of my issues with the figure.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Moderately tricky transformation and eye light piping challenges aside, this is a fun

transformers studio series 86 kup review - raising blaster

Where to get it?  I got Kup from Target and they’ve done a decent job of stocking them. If you aren’t having any luck, you can always order him from Amazon or Entertainment Earth.