"Transformers Universe" Longhorn Toy Review

General Information:
Price Point/Size: Deluxe
Retailers: General (K-Mart, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Kay Bee)
Release Date: February 2005
Transformation Difficulty Level: 3
Purchased at: Target (Linden, NJ)
Accessories: Horns/Weapon

Transformers Universe taps into the latter days of the Beast Wars line with Longhorn, a redeco of the Transmetal 2 Ramulus figure. It's literally been years
since I reviewed that toy, so I will do a more thorough review of the toy this time around.

Beast Mode:
Longhorn is a Ram in beast mode. Unlike Frostbite, who is more of a nightmare of technology, Longhorn actually looks fairly streamlined and sleek albeit with the signature Transmetal 2 asymmetry design. Longhorn is aptly named, as his most noticable feature are his huge horns. They start wide at the base of the head and extend back in a curve to the mid-section of his body. They are quite threatening looking, not only because of their size, but also their design, looking part organic and part mechanical, with pointed ends (no worries parents, they're soft plastic).

The organic and mechanical details intertwine on this figure rather than separating out cleanly. You'll find examples of this everywhere on him including the right, front leg where tubes run right into fur patterns. On his right, rear leg, his hooves are overlapped by fur. Small details matter too such as circular tube patterns on joints on the rear legs as well as horizontal wires on the left, backside.

Blue and dark silver are the primary colors here. With a metallic copper color used for details along with black, this is an unexpected color combination that really works well and differentiates Longhorn from his source sculpt, Ramhorn. I found it interesting that the copper color was used for the some of the fur patterns.

Longhorn has twelve points of articulation in this form, most focused in the legs. The one point I really like is at the waist, allowing him to rear up and then land back down, a pattern the real life Ram can do as well.

The face panel of the beast mode head can flip open to reveal a Spark Crystal underneath. The crystal itself is a red and utilizes the Beast Machines era Dinobot symbol such as the one found on Triceradon. A tampograph of an Autobot symbol has been put over the symbol.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the horns/weapon piece from the head.
  2. Straighten out the rear legs and flip out the heel pieces.
  3. Fold the lower front beast legs down.
  4. Swing the front beast mode legs up.
  5. Fold out the robot arms from the center/underside of the beast mode.
  6. Swing the robot body down and lock it into place.
  7. Flip up the robot head.
  8. Swing back the beast mode head.
  9. Fold the horns on the weapon out to the sides. Place the weapon in his fist.

Robot Mode:
One of the interesting design features of the Transmetal 2 toys was the tendency to bring in beast mode design elements into the robot mode. In this case, one look at Longhorn's face clearly shows that the intent was to remind you that he transformed into a horned animal. His head sculpt has two horns rising up with the center coming down on points in the middle, evoking the long shape of his beast mode head. The rear beast mode legs make up his feet, giving him a Satyr-like appearance.

There are details galore on this sculpt. The robot head is full of small details cut into the helmet and face areas. His upper body is perhaps the most
symmetrical part, with a layering look that gives the impression of several plates of armor on top of each other. Some organic detail still can be found such as fur patterns on his arms. Mounted on either lower arm are mechanical claws.

The dark, silver color continues to make up a bulk of the toy, with copper appear ing on the robot head. The same metallic gold color found on his rear legs in beast mode appear on his upper body and head, adding in some intricate detail color.

Longhorn has fifteen points of articulation in this form, mostly concentrated in the arms and legs. Indeed, each arm has four points of articulation each making for some great posability.

Final Thoughts:
Longhorn is a fantastic redeco of Ramulus. In fact, I'd dare say I prefer this deco over the original. If you don't have Ramulus already, this guy is highly recommended!

Lightbox Gallery