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"The replica of the Robot Wars Arena is especially designed so that the mini bots can battle it out in the surroundings that they are used to. The Arena comes flat packed so the fun starts straight away as you construct the Arena yourself. It's a fantastic replica and has a functional flipper and pit. If this is not enough on top of the back wall are three buttons to press. When the buttons are pressed the voice of our very own Jonathan Pierce [sic] can be heard echoing around the Arena. A must have for all Robomaniacs!"
— Official description from the Robot Wars Online Shop[1]

The Robot Wars Minibot Arena was a playset launched specifically for the Minibots toy range, produced during the original run of Robot Wars.

OverviewEdit

  • The standard Minibot Arena with its box
  • The Minibot Arena from above, with the pit and Floor Flipper activated
  • Assembly instructions for the Minibot Arena
  • Three buttons on top of the back panel, used to activate sound effects

The Robot Wars Minibot Arena was essentially a miniature replica of the original Robot Wars Arena, based on the Series 5-7 incarnation, and featured a variety of functioning and non-functioning hazards from its full-sized counterpart. The Minibot Arena included a functioning pit and Floor Flipper, each operated by nearby switches, as well as representations of the CPZs, Flame Pit and Drop Zone square. The playset also came with a back section modelled on the Series 5-7 arena façade (containing control booths and functioning entry doors which opened and closed vertically), as well as an entry ramp which could be attached behind each of the entry gates and allow Minibots to enter the arena itself. A set of assembly instructions was also provided.

In addition to the above features, the back section also had three buttons on the top, which when pressed would play certain sound effects relating to the show. The left-most button played cheers and applause from the audience, the centre button played a sound effect of robots battling each other, and the right-most button played arena announcements and commentary from Jonathan Pearce. The back section consisted of three smaller sections, which could be attached and detached in order to aid with storage.

Throughout the Minibot Arena's run, the Minibots packaged with the set differed between its individual variants. The original set was sold with the Chaos 2 Minibot, with the combined Arena and Drop Zone set containing Suicidal Tendencies, Dominator 2 and Wheely Big Cheese.

Drop ZoneEdit

  • The combined Minibot Arena and Drop Zone set
  • The Drop Zone as an individual set
"The Drop Zone is a framework of sturdy girders which are constructed over the Arena and features a trap door crate that sends metal balls and other objects crashing to the Arena floor at the press of a button. Drop Zone comes complete with an assortment of accessories, and a mini diecast of the competitor Robot Suicidal Tendencies, to create even more Robot Wars destruction."
— Official description from the Robot Wars Online Shop[2]

To coincide with the release of the second wave of minibots, a Drop Zone add-on was released, which could either be purchased separately or as part of a combined set with the Minibot Arena itself. This add-on consisted of an overhead frame which could be attached to the arena sides, and came with various accessories which could be dropped from the top of the frame in a similar manner to its real-life counterpart. Accessories included a washing machine, cones, balls and tyres, as well as a silver box which could be attached to the top frame and used to release the smaller objects. The individual Drop Zone set came with the Suicidal Tendencies Minibot, which was also included with the combined Arena and Drop Zone set along with the balls and silver box.

Differences from Real LifeEdit

  • The pit, opened, alongside its control switch
  • The Floor Flipper, raised, alongside its control switch

Various elements of the Minibot Arena featured significant changes from those of its televised counterpart:

  • Instead of a panel which lowered into a trench, the pit in this set operated like a trap-door. The panel was split into two halves, which when activated would swing downwards to reveal the trench below.
  • The Floor Flipper, while closely resembling its real-life counterpart in appearance and function, had its mechanism entirely concealed, when the hazard's Series 5-7 incarnation had an exposed mechanism.
  • The arena walls were made up of individual attachments which slide onto the edges of the arena, thus featuring a drastically different appearance to the walls seen in the televised arena.
  • Curved 'Robot Wars' text was added to the back panel, surrounding the central entry gate, which was absent from the Series 5-7 arena entirely.
  • The Drop Zone attachment consisted of a tall overhead frame, in order to allow the set to be connected to the Minibot Arena. In all series which used it, the Drop Zone suspended and dropped objects from the arena ceiling.
  • The Drop Zone square was also positioned next to the Floor Flipper, when in the televised arena it was always located opposite the pit. As a result, it does not line up with the position of the Drop Zone attachment, which drops objects from the centre of the arena.
  • On the box for the original Minibot Arena, the colour scheme on the Drop Zone square is inverted in the promotional image of the set. In the image, it consists of a black square with a red cross and a yellow outline, as opposed to the black square with yellow cross and red outline depicted on the actual set.
    • The same promotional image also appears to depict two entry ramps, when only one was actually supplied.
  • The Flame Pit was depicted as a simple black rectangle with a red outline.
  • The lit-up, white panels that were present within the real arena's CPZs are not replicated in the Minibot Arena.
  • The sound effects for this set included include 'Roboteers, Standby', '3-2-1 Activate' and 'Cease' announcements spoken by Jonathan Pearce. Although he would perform variations of these in video games, Pearce did not make any arena announcements in any of his appearances on the TV show.

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Robot Wars Online Shop (Archived)
  2. The Robot Wars Online Shop (Archived)
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