The Red Horn is a classic Zoid that has been in numerous releases since the beginning of the Zoids line. Red Horn is a Styracosaurus type which was a genus of herbivorous dinosaur known for it's large nasal horn and horns adorning it's neck and checks. Literally translated as "spiked lizard", the Styracosaurus, was a fearsome looking beast much like it's Zoidian counterpart. Originally created by the Zenebas Empire, Red Horn has also been used by the Guylos Empire, and was created as an answer to the Republic's Gojulas design.
Armed with a plethora of weapons, the Red Horn was well equipped to deal with a variety of land and aerial based foes. Aside from the nasal horn (formally known as the "Crasher Horn"), the unit sported a "Smash Up" tail, 80 mm Surface to Air double barrel cannon, an anti-Zoid 3 barrel linear cannon, a surface to surface missile pod, 20 mm Laser gun, AEZ 20 mm beam gun, and a Sulfuric Acid Powder Cannon. This array of weaponry allowed the Red Horn to deal with both close combat as well as long ranged battles in turn allowing Red Horn to be used as both a lead assault Zoid or stationary battlefield defensive Zoid, making Red Horn one of the most utilized Zoids Planet Zi had ever laid eyes on.
Red Horn is a heavy armor Zoid, so much so that smaller Zoids weapons are considered almost ineffective against the unit. Red Horn's frill of four cheek based horns house the complex Radar Antenna's that are designed to work in extreme environmental conditions. A composite sensor unit, and Infra-Red laser searcher rounded out Red Horn's base equipment. Able to fight on land and in the water (much like the amphibious nature of today's Rhinoceros), the Red Horn was considered highly agile for a Zoid of it's size and power.
Having the honor of being the first "large class" Zoid deployed by the Zenebas Empire, Red Horn's tried and true battle performance lead to several variations/ improvements effectively making Red Horn a highly "re-released" Zoid. It has also appeared in all other forms of Zoids media including the Anime, Comic Books, Video Games, and Trading Cards. First seen in Zoids: Chaotic Century, Red Horn was the first large Zoid encountered by the lead protagonist (Van) and was also depicted as one of the standard units of the Guylos Army. In Zoids: New Century Zero Red Horn was seen in a variety of battles, however was not piloted by a main character. Finally in Zoids: Fuzors, the Red Horn (with Dark Horn characteristics) appeared as a notable unit piloted by the character "Gregor the Impaler". In the UK comic, Red Horn was dubbed "Red Horn the Terrible" and was the leader of the Red Zoid Army.
Red Horn was first released as an OJR Zoid in 1983, and ran off of two "AA" batteries with a clip on battery cover. This was followed by his 1985 release in the OER line where the model remained the same, but the name was changed to "Red Horn the Terrible" as depicted in the comic book. In 1986 Red Horn would be released as part of the US Robostrux line under the name "Brutox" where the model saw a significant color change going from red to blue. Some believe this change was made around the release time of the Zoids Annual where Red Horn was said to originally be a blue Zoid residing on a Blue Moon, before he mutated into a red Zoid. Brutox is one of the harder to find Zoids often fetching high prices on auction and highly prized in any Zoids collection.
Aside from it's releases as Dark Horn, Red Horn would lay dormant until the release of the NJR line in 1999, where he was brought back with a few changes. With his name remaining the same for the NJR release, Red Horn was designated as EZ-004 and had a more maroon based red color and green canopy. The battery compartment was also altered to house only one "AA" battery instead of two, and the battery cover was now held in place with a screw rather than a clip. It was at this time when Red Horn was chromed by Leo Shop resulting in the elusive "Chrome Horns". These Chrome versions usually included a chrome CP-03, the Beam Gatling Cannon.
In 2002 Hasbro released it's version of Red Horn. This NAR release was identical to the NJR version save for slight coloration variations, and having different box art. Another release was seen in 2003, this time as part of the limited Yuji Kaida line. Red Horn was now green with an orange canopy. Dubbed "Green Horn", the infamous Empire unit was released as a Republic Zoid, reflecting the Republic's capture and modification of several Empire Red Horn unit's late in the war. This release is becoming highly elusive and consistently fetches higher prices at auction.
Around 2004 Red Horn was released as a Z-point exclusive. This version is the same as the NJR version and features clear or "crystal" plastic. Initially this unit was limited to 300 unit's making it a very obscure rarity until a second release was made in Singapore significantly reducing the rarity and price of this white box unit. During the summer of 2005 (March-July) the National Science Museum located in Tokyo, Japan presented the "Dinosaur Expo 2005". Tomy produced a set of four bone colored Zoids that were specially made for, and released at this event. The set included a Red Horn. Released under the designation "DLZ", this set is getting hard to come by, and make excellent display pieces. All of the kits lacked sticker sheets but did come with a small paper certificate, and were identical to their official releases with only color and no mold changes. Red Horn was last released as Crimson Horn and part of the Zoids ReBirth line in 2009.
Building a Red Horn is an unforgettable and classic experience, and one could literally make this unit the focus of a collection. Red Horn is a classic part of Zoidian history, and should be a part of any collection no matter the size. Whether you want to make a formidable hunt of tracking down each and every release, or you're casually interested in the Zoids line Red Horn is an excellent choice.
Below are the NJR and OJR releases, note the smoke colored cockpit on the OJR version.
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