The Gemini Minibot was one of several minibots released as Robot Wars merchandise, as part of the second wave of minibot toys. The model was based on the Robot Wars Extreme and Series 5 version of the competitor Gemini.
Like all of the other Minibot toys (apart from Sir Killalot), Gemini features a pullback motor which drives two small wheels on the underside of the robot. Being identical to the pullback motors in all other minibots, this meant that Gemini could only move forwards by itself, and the rear end of the toy required manual use in play if its flipper were to be used. The two red wheels on the side of the toy that drive the real robot are simply for show on the minibot, and do not help the toy move.
The real machine Gemini was best-known for separating into two independent robots, but the minibot could not split into the two Gemini halves, instead leaving both of the clusterbots fully connected. This represents the way Gemini would enter the arena, as the Robot Wars rules mandated that clusterbots must be connected prior to separating. As such Gemini was often pictured as one machine, which the minibot reflects well.
This toy is the only competitor minibot to feature more than one moving weapon, joined only by Sir Killalot and Refbot when including House Robots. In this instance, the Gemini minibot features two identical flipping arms.
Released as part of the second wave of minibot toys, the Gemini minibot was released in a three-pack with Tornado and Firestorm, and a five-pack with Tornado, Firestorm, Shunt and Sgt. Bash. Like many of the second generation of minibots, Gemini was not made into a pullback toy.
The Gemini minibot quickly became one of the rarest minibot toys in the range, alongside Firestorm and Tornado, as these packs were to be sold exclusively by catalogue retailer Argos for the first six months of release, with Argos later dropping the packs from its catalogue. This meant that other retailers could not sell the Gemini minibot for at least six months after its release, and even to this day, the Gemini minibot is still among the rarest and most expensive in secondhand online sales.
- "It was available as part of a set of three including Gemini and Firestorm, and then as part of a set of 5 from Argos. It's a very hard item to find, and recently one sold on eBay for over £18... There was an agreement with Argos whereby they sold them exclusively for 6 months - and then dropped them from the catalogue. We understand this stops them being sold by any other shops."
- — Andrew Marchant in 2004 on the rarity of the Tornado minibot (and by extension, Gemini)
Differences to the real robot Edit
This minibot does not include the "Team Mace" decal that is present alongside the "Gemini" decal on the sides of each clusterbot. As mentioned, this toy does not separate like the real robot. The two flippers also lack the caster wheels that are present on the real machine.
Due to the way this toy was moulded, there are no skull decals on the back of each individual half of Gemini either. The small aerials on the top of each twin are also absent from this minibot, despite being included on others such as Firestorm.
- The Gemini minibot marked the only case where a clusterbot competitor was created as a merchandise item, including the Robot Wars video games.
- HEXBUG released a range of 'clusterbot' toys under its HEXBUG Robot Wars Clusterbots Stadium range, but these were not based on televised competitors.