The rampant popularity of the cassette-playing Soundwave and Blaster carried on from the early Generation 1 into 1986. However, to that point, all the associated Mini-Cassettes had been Decepticons. Finally, the Autobots received their own Mini-Cassettes, such as Ramhorn, who lacks a humanoid mode, instead having a robotic Diceros bicornis (Hook-lipped rhinoceros) mode.
Ramhorn was designed exclusively for Transformers by Takashi Matsuda. Unlike the previous cassettes, he had no roots in Takara’s Microchange. His design takes clear cues from that of Ravage, however. His US Patent, titled Reconfigurable toy cassette (aka Transformers G1 Ramhorn) was filed on March 15, 1985 (U.S. Patent No. USD295059 S).
Ramhorn’s alternate mode is a maroon Olympus Type IV “Metal” MC60 Microcassette, in a real-life scale. The front of the cassette is detailed with stickers that fairly realistically depict the printing on a Microcassette, including the edges of the two tape reels as seen through a window, with a playback time gauge included below. Stickers were also used to represent the holes for the cassette player’s pins, but actual holes (complete with a molded-in “tooth” look) are present for the player’s drive spindles. The back of the cassette is only decorated with molded-in robot details. Ramhorn transforms by extending his well-articulated die-cast metal legs from the bottom of the cassette, rotating a tail down from the back, and rotating the head out from the side of the tape. In lion mode, he has gold-chromed eyes, as well as articulated hips, knees, and paws. He is armed with two large chrome guns with vertically prodtruding wings, that plug into the hole through his rear body.
Despite his small size and fine detail, large pins connecting his hips and shoulders, as well as riveted die-cast metal legs make Ramhorn remarkably sturdy. However, his stickered cassette face is divided into very small segments to accommodate the moving parts, leaving the tiny stickers prone to wear and peeling.
Ramhorn was available in two primary variants: either including silver vacuum-metalized weapons, or gold vacuum-metalized weapons.
Ramhorn was only available in Hasbro’s territories packed with Eject (whose weapon variant always matched that of Ramhorn). The Ramhorn & Rewind 2-pack was available again in 1987. In Japan, Ramhorn was available in 1986 and 1987 single-packed with silver weapons. He was reissued in Japan in Encore in 2009, as part of The Great Cassette Operation vol. 2 with Ratbat, Steeljaw, and Slugfest. This version included silver weapons, and had tampographed tape details instead of stickers. Ramhorn was reissued in the US with the San Diego Comic-Con Universe 2 Blaster. This version had tampographed details and silver weapons.
Redecos & Retools
Ramhorn’s mold was never re-used.