All posts by John Sorensen

About John Sorensen

Bat-Fan Extraordinaire. Able to leap over plot-holes in a single bound, Likes: punching crime in the face. Dislikes: villainous fiends!

BIGHORN PROFILE -The Passion and The Fury

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NAME: Bighorn

FACTION: Cybertrons / Maximals

QUOTE: “Shut it… This is called passion!”


Beast Wars II’s “Bighorn” – a rampaging comical character who gets angry to smash some Destrons, but is kind to his friends and passionate about Squidformer romance.

Bighorn takes a similar role as characters like Grimlock, Bulkhead or Rhinox. He’s a big bruiser who’s always eager for a fight, and his temper is constantly getting him into trouble, often his uncontrollable passionate rage making him the butt of his friends jokes.


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Bighorn is fierce and loyal. While he may look and act like a Bull – his body is that of a North American Bison (covered in hair, as opposed to the smooth Buffalo of Asia and Africa). Never the less, if you mess with this bull tempered Cybertron, you will certainly get the Horns! ??!

In contrast to the bigger budgeted original Beast Wars TV show, the smaller scale Beast Wars II (Beast Wars Second) uses traditional two dimensional animation, a cheerful bright color palette and some lovely backgrounds with lush forests and rivers. It’s a beautiful show, and like RID/Car Robots 2001 – shares various themes, comedy and style of that show with a lot of big laughs and big action. The stories in Beast Wars II are smaller in scale, but no less meaningful or personal, with plenty of character development. Bighorn is given a lot of screen time, and his various sub-stories are both charming and hilarious.

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Bighorns temper tantrums and passion know no bounds, his longing for a space pirate squid Transformer (part of this universes Seacon combiner team) being one of the most hilarious story tangents in the show. Bighorns temper makes him impulsive, wild and unpredictable – but often he is just as much a threat to himself as the Destrons who get in his way. Throwing himself into battle without any plan or common sense, Bighorn is a beast of passion.

Despite his best efforts, his attacks often fail or miss their target. Likewise he is unlucky in love, the object of his passion having no interest in him at all, making his story both comedic and tragic in that we feel a bit sad for him, even while laughing at his antics.

On the rare occasions Bighorn manages to focus on something for more than a few minutes at a time, he can be quite effective and dangerous in battle, but lacks any sort of planning or strategy – literally rushing headlong into just about any situation.

His fellow Maximals value his friendship and curious inquisitive nature. Bighorn doesn’t look at the big picture, but rises to meet each day with unbridled passion and fury, it’s his nature and unlikely to change.

At any moment, Bighorn’s passion and fury may overwhelm, it’s these times that get him into trouble, but he always has the best of intentions and is a good friend to his fellow Cybertrons / Maximals.

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Heroic Coca-Cola Transforming Robot courtesy of the Mighty Rob Kindleyside

In today’s world we don’t get enough corporate logos plastered all over our toys. Yes, back in the day the big eighties toy properties were not afraid of a few product tie ins, with Optimus Prime himself being featured in ads for Coca-Cola. Kind of ironic as now we associate him more with “Pepsi Prime”.

In addition to these Heroic Habit Forming Robot product tie ins, Coca-cola also made it’s own changing robot. The “Coca-cola Can Robot” and  a Cherry Coke variant. So lovely!

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How would one have squired such a mysterious and magical product placement as this? Why, by drinking Coca-Cola of course. But don’t throw those cans out just yet children of decades past. Spin them around, and you will be find quite a lucrative offer sure to enrich your life and impress your friends.

Send in four can pull rings (as proof of purchase) along with a few Dinero, and you two could be the proud owner of one stocky beefcake robot can.


Below is a picture of the Coca Cola robot’s box and you can see his transformation is very simple and effective. Not to mention stylish.

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But let’s get up close and personal with this chubby chubster with some great photos courtesy of Transformers fan and collector Rob Kindleyside. Check out those proportions, that unique style, that brilliant face – this simple little Robo turns out to be quite the looker.

Quicker than you can say onset diabetes, he changes back to his rather lovely cylindrical form. You will never find him…. unless you’re thirsty? Simple, yet effective. About now I know what you are thinking. You’re getting hungry right? Well, we have a solution.

Yes, Robo Rob has prepared some rather tantalizingly delicious vintage Burger-bots. Oh man, my mouth is watering even as I type………….

But watch out, these weirdos have taken on another form. It’s a takeaway Robo-palooza,  always good to enjoy a meal with friends.

But wait, just when our lovable coca-robo was enjoying some friendly company, his deadly Nemesis has turned up. It’s…. PEPSI-PRIME!

Better call for back-up Coca-Robo! Looks like Cherry Coke Robo and his Bodyguard have turned up. Oh you’re in for it now Pepsi-Prime! Their long standing rivalry has been building up to this. Nothing can withstand the mighty power of Coca-Cola Bots combined! (*disclaimer: coca-cola robots do not combine, please do not attempt to combine nor drink these robots. Robots may spontaneously combust or attempt to enslave humanity, please do not resist).

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It’s a good thing Pepsi-Prime turned tail and ran while soiling himself with oil before their pal Cobot the Droid arrived. He’s so jacked up on sugar and caffeine you never knew what he’s going to do. And he has that evil Cylon eye, so you KNOW he means business


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Having once again saved the day from his evil corporate nemesis Pepsi-Prime, Coca Cola Can Robot (or Coke Robo to his friends) takes a limited articulation bow. Bless  you Coca-robo, we salute you and your brave product endorsement!

Disappearing back into his giant glass tower, Coke-Robo transforms and powers down for the night.


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*Up close and personal photos of Coca Cola Can Robot were bravely used with permission from collector and all around tops guy Rob Kindleyside

*Additional images (boxed image, Cherry coke and vending machine coke robo) were sourced from one of my favourite websites “The Old Robots”. A fantastic resource on many types of eighties toy robots. Please stop by and browse the amazing galleries with hundreds of images and the odd video of restored robots.

coke themed 80s robots the old robots website


THE MANY DEATHS OF ULTRA MAGNUS “I don’t have time for that death scene now!”

ULTRA MAGNUS DEATH#1 Transformers The Movie (1986)

Ultra Magnus saves our other heroes by collapsing a tunnel behind them, leaving him trapped alone with an approaching Galvatron, Cyclonus and the Sweeps. Magnus attempts to open the Autobot’s Matrix.

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Too bad for our hero, the Sweeps fire upon him in full force while Galvatron stands nearby gloating at his superior strength and power.

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Magnus tumbles to the ground like a sack of robo-potatoes past their expiry date. The energy of the sweeps blasts still building up within his body…

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The charge reaches critical mass, and Magnus explodes violently, with his body parts flying in every direction. That’s one way to make a “junker”” I guess.

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ULTRA MAGNUS DEATH#2 Transformers The Movie: The Marvel Comics Adaptation (1986)

There were many changes, edits and redactions to Transformers The Movie (1986)’s script. Some stuff made it into the final film, and other things were changed for budgetary reasons. Like the infamous Powered Convoy Diaclone colored Magnus for example that was in the early preview clip of the film sent out to retail/distributors.

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An earlier version of the film had Ultra Magnus drawn and quartered by Galvatron’s Sweeps. The final movie version has Magnus beaten to death by Galvatron, while in the US Marvel Transformers comic, Magnus’ demise is much more grisly, as their adaptation was based on the earlier version of the movie, before this scene was cut.

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ULTRA MAGNUS DEATH#3  Transformers Marvel Comics UK

The UK has it’s own Marvel Transformers comic title, that along with reprinting the US comic, also created their own stories. The UK received a reprinting of the above Marvel US Movie comic, but that is NOT the death I’m talking about here.

No, in Marvel UK – they did their own long running story that involved a time travelling insane Galvatron and several grudge matches between Galvatron and Magnus. After several back and forth battles, it appears Magnus has beaten Galvatron. Only to get lost in a monologue and then shot in the back. Whoops. Too much pontificating gets you dead fast Magnus.

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Galvatron drags an unconscious Magnus up to the top of a volcano intending to be rid of the Autobot war hero forever.

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Things get off to a hot start as in the following issue with a recap. Galvatron has another one of his insane schemes cooking up (harnessing the energy of a volcano and the earth itself) and decides the perfect seasoning for this recipe of chaotic madness is our pal the blue boy scout Ultra Magnus.

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Thrown into molten lava, Galvatron assumes Magnus is dead. It’s a rather brutal graphic scene for a Transformers comic and really sells how mad Galvatron is.

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Fast forwarding a little, turns out Magnus didn’t die. He’s back and better than ever.

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It’s time to kick ass and chew gum, and you can bet Magnus is ALL outta gum, watch your back Galvatron!

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A knock-down drag out battle ensues as good as any decent wrestling match, these two titans knocking the living cyber-shit out of each other in a battle to the death.Transformers Magnus vs Galvatron 7

Showing no mercy, the tide swings back and forth and it looks like Galvatron is going to finish off Magnus for good this time.

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What Galvatron didn’t account for, is just how determined and single minded Ultra Magnus can be. Self-sacrifice trumps madness in this case, with Magnus fighting Galvatron to a standstill. The enraged Galvatron used his mechanical might  but failed to use his robo-brain, the entire fight was a stalling tactic as Ultra Magnus planned to explode the whole Volcano ring complex – with him and Galvatron still inside.

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Magnus orders Goldbug to leave just before the Volcano top and the ring complex explodes in one of the most somber endings to a Transformers comic I’ve ever read. Magnus makes the ultimate sacrifice, having realized that Galvatron is too powerful to beat and just keeps coming back, so instead he is trapped frozen in cooled magma beneath a volcano, forever locked in combat with his nemesis.

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ULTRA MAGNUS DEATH#4  Headmasters Episode #24 “The Death of Ultra Magnus”

Headmasters is a fun show with a long run of episodes with several varying plot lines. One sub-story involved a rivalry between Sixshot and Ultra Magnus. Sixshot is called a ninja in the show, but is portrayed more like a stoic Samurai with a code of honor. He sometimes questions Galvatron’s orders, and will go his own way if he doesn’t agree with the Cons, being somewhat of a free roaming gun for hire type.

Despite being a killing machine on legs, a one bot army of mass destruction who terrorizes earth, capable of wiping out entire populated areas single handedly –  and gives the Autobots a run for their money at every encounter, he’s basically not a bad guy, or true Decepticon – but more like a mercenary specialist.

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When it comes time to invade earth, the Cons arrive in force and Sixshot lays down the law, ordering them to execute all Autobots, but to leave Magnus for him alone. Confronting Magnus on the battlefield, Sixshot creates shadow clones of  himself. A foolish Magnus rushes him headlong and pays the price for over-confidence.

“I am Sixshot, your escort to hell!” You know he means business when that is how he announces himself. Who doesn’t love a six-changer mercenary space-ninja?

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While not the grisliest of deaths like the ones in other media, Headmasters has perhaps the most emotional death of Ultra Magnus. It’s not a five second clip like in  the 1986 film, but a whole episode of the show that builds up slowly to the inevitable, and leaves our other heroes distraught in subsequent episodes.

Sixshot moves through each of his secret ninja forms, then takes on a secret flying seventh form “Wing Wolf” proving to be the most powerful, and annihilates Magnus with one relentless laser  blast after another, after beating the living hell out of him.

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Beaten and broken, Sixshot even rolls over a helpless Magnus in his APC mode, the crushing tracks on top of Magnus a sickening display of how ruthless Sixshot is. Our hero Magnus dies buying time for the rest of the Autobot  cavalry to arrive in force.

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If you want to know why Sixshot is seen as such a bad ass, it’s the time that he beat Ultra Magnus without a shred of mercy, dignity or respect. One of the Autobots finest (and often considered unbeatable) warriors and battle field leaders, calling him out like an old Western gunslinger for a final showdown.

The mighty City Commander has been beaten within an inch of his life, Sixshot only moves on once superior reinforcements arrived, and by then it was too late. Magnus’ injuries were too severe, and he dies in the arms of his friend Fortress (the head of Fortress Maximus).
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A weeping Daniel mirrors the death scene of Optimus in the Transformers movie.

Fortress and Metroplex suggest that Magnus be laid to rest here on earth, rather than in space as his dedication to the earth and it’s people is un-matched by any other Autobot, except perhaps Prime himself.

The entire episode is a whirlwind of destruction featuring nearly ever major character, several combiners, Trypticon, Metroplex, Scorponok, Fortress Maximus and all the Headmasters. Even at the hectic pace, Magnus’ death manages to have a resonance and meaning beyond Transformer deaths in other similar media. It’s sudden and unexpected, with consequences that play out in subsequent episodes and you would have expected the hero to win. But it was not to be, leaving more than a few kids weeping for their fallen hero.

And this is the end of the Many Deaths of Ultra Magnus. May he rest in pieces.