- "Inside this file you'll find everything you need to know about Robot Wars. There are seven sensational sections jam-packed with information about your favourite bots. There are even interviews with the Robot Wars team - and loads of amazing robot trivia to keep you and your friends amused for hours. As well as containing all the info on Robot Wars you'll ever need to know, you Fun file has lots of space for you to fill in details about yourself, to record numbers and addresses of your friends and to plan the year ahead! At the back of the file you'll find some great stickers too!"
- — The books introduction, on the first page
Robot Wars Fun Fax was a book published on the 25th October 2001, after the Fourth Wars, and only a day before the airing of Robot Wars Extreme: Series 1 on BBC Two. As with all the other Fun Fax books, the Robot Wars Fun Fax was a "loose leaf" book, with a hard cover with ring binders holding the pages. The book had most of the features common in all the Fun Fax book, except on a Robot Wars theme. The book featured a lot of information on the history of Robot Wars, mostly focusing on the (then) most recent series, The Fourth Wars.
As with all the Fun Fax books, the Robot Wars Fun Fax started with a section to write your personal information, and that of your friends.
This book also featured four pages to write small biographies of your favourite robots, including name, team captain, track record, seed, best and worst bit, and best battle, as well as a space to stick a picture of the robot.
Finally, there was a section called Design your own robot This was three pages filled with spaces to write and draw the basic shape, weapons, where the components came from, ideas for decoration and a large space to draw a final diagram.
Another common feature in Fun Fax books, the Robot Wars Fun Fax contained a diary. Each month had a page, and at the bottom of each page was a short piece on a robot from the Fourth Wars (Apart from Robopig, April's robot) The end of the diary also had a space to write a list of the "Top ten robots that didn't make it".
Just like the other Fun Fax books, a section of stickers and bookmarks was included. The first page had stickers of the Robot Wars logo, the second a selection of competitor robots, the third pictures of all the house robots, and two bookmarks were included.
History of the robot
This was divided into four sub-sections:
History of robots, that mentioned many notable robots, including:
- Autonomous water driven clocks invented by the Ancient Egyptians
- A mechanical cockerel from 1350, placed on a French Cathedral, that flapped its wings and crowed every day at noon
- The infamous eighteenth century robot that appeared to be playing chess until it was found to controlled by a small man sitting inside
- The first robots used on assembly lines in car factories
- Joseph Jacquard’s invention from 1801 that used cards with holes punched in them to give the robot instruction
- The origin of the word “robot”, a 1921 Czech play by Karel Capek, “Rossum’s Universal Robots”
- “Electro” and “Sparko”
- Sony’s robot dog Aibo, that sold 3000 within 20 minutes when it was first released in 1999
- The first robot to work in a construction line in a car factory
- The first robot to walk on Mars, Sojourner from 1997
- The robot camera used to excavate the Titanic wreck in 1986.
Robots of today described the most notable robots of the time, including
- Gastrobots, a robotic slug that eats other slugs.
- The Thai security system Roboguard, who uses infra-red sensors and a laser sighted gun.
- Care-O-Bots, built to help at home that can walk in a straight line, turn a corner and walk up a flight of stairs and navigate around furniture just as we can
- A robot, which was being worked on at the time, that can walk through minefields or collapsed buildings
- The Lego “Mindstorms” range, where children could build robots that can think for themselves
- Robotic Jellyfish from Japan
- Sony’s SDR-3X which plays football weaponry
Famous Robots mentioned robots from famous films, such as;
- Maria, from "Metropolis"
- Robbie the Robot from "Forbidden Planet"
- C3-PO and R2-D2 from “Star Wars”
What does the future hold? looked at the exciting robots being developed;
- Robomaus, the world's smallest robot (just a nanometre in size), hoped to be used in the human body to repair it from the inside
- Robots used in surgery, because they can perform more intricate tasks because they are steadier
- "Polymorphic" robots that can melt down and recycle themselves into a new shape
Hall of Fame
Profiles of various robots from the Fourth Wars, as well as Roadblock and Plunderstorm, which for some unknown reason was described here instead of the International Wreck Crew’s entry for the Fourth wars. Each profile mentioned an interesting fact about the robot, such as Atomic being made from old tractor parts, and that Dominator 2 had a Plasma Nitride coated titanium shell, which had been oven baked for extra strength, a description of the weaponry, and a description of how well the robot had done, or how well it might do in future wars. Most of the profiles also featured the web address of the team’s website.
The robots profiled were;
- Bulldog Breed
- Chaos 2
- Dominator 2
- Kronic the Wedgehog
- Panic Attack
- Road Block
- The Steel Avenger
- Steg 2
- Suicidal Tendencies
- The Morgue
- Wheely Big Cheese
- Wild Thing
Secrets of the House
A doubled sized fold out poster, which was a feature in many of the Fun Faxes, but not all of them.
The first side featured not very detailed cross sections of the (then) six House Robots, which pointed out their weapons, (Or in Refbot's case, his features) and their weak spot.
The other side featured the original concept drawings of the house robots. Some of these designs were developed into the house robots shown on television, others were rejected as too infeasible, and one, Shove was built, but not shown on television. The book gives humorous accounts of how some of the house robots were destroyed, "explaining" why they were not seen on television.
The original concept drawings were;
- “Evildoer” – The prototype for Matilda. It looked very similar to the Matilda we saw on screen, with an oval shaped body, and a chainsaw at the rear, but this version featured saws all over its body.
- “Shove” – The inspiration for Shunt, Shove had the same basic design as Shunt, except it featured no axe, had eight wheels, and was designed after a train, rather than a bulldozer.
- “Phobia” – A flying robot, with helicopter blades, and two chainsaws underneath. This robot was said to have crash landed on its first test flight.
- “The Sentinels” – A clusterbot, with two tall robots, both with large robotic arms with a hook on the end, joined by a steel net for trapping robots. The book claimed The Sentinels were destroyed when they had an argument and sliced through each other’s power lines.
- “Hammerhead” – Designed after a shark, this robot had sharp steel teeth at the front, saw blades wheels (similar to Saw Point) and an axe for a tail. Hammerhead was said to have destroyed itself when its tail got stuck in its own teeth and it ate itself.
- “A Taste of Kaos” – By far the biggest robot designed, this was a huge tracked robot, with two giant arms with saw blades on each one, and a hook at the front.
Behind the Scenes
The final section was 14 pages of trivia about Robot Wars, along with interviews with the stars. The section featured;
- Information about how the show started, from how Marc Thorpe came up with the idea, the competition in America, and its début in the UK
- Information about the House Robots
- Information about the Arena, including the various sites Robot Wars was filmed at.
- A brief explanation of the judge’s role
- The additional events and awards
- A prediction of the future, which discussed antweights, the weight changes for Series V and possible future developments of robots that could be used in Robot Wars.
- Lingo madness - a series of definitions of the phrases used in the show a lot, such as “Roboteers”, “Grudge matches” and “Excessive evasion”
- In the hot seat – A series of interview with Jonathan Pearce, Julia Reed, Craig Charles, and Philippa Forrester
- “Number crunching” – A final page of trivia about Robot Wars, all related to numbers, including 126 (The number of people in the crew that produce Robot Wars), and 80 (The number of litres of gas used to power the flame throwers and barbecue pit in each show)
The Fun Fax guide had a number of errors printed, mostly in regards to track records of competitor robots:
- In the Diary, Diotoir is mentioned as having reached the Heat Final stage of the main competition in Series 1, 2, and 3, when at the time of writing, Diotoir had only progressed this far in Series 3, its predecessor Nemesis having fallen at the Heat Semi Final stage in Series 1 and 2.
- The Hall of Fame entry for Roadblock states that it was the Series 2 runner-up, when it actually came third.
- Panic Attack's Hall of Fame entry states that it went ten battles without defeat, although when counting it's victories in Series 2 and 3, it actually won nine battles before its defeat at the hands of Firestorm.
- C-3PO is mis-spelt as CP-30 in the "Famous Robots" section.