Official advertisement for a range of merchandise

Robot Wars Merchandise was released as the show gained popularity following its debut series in 1998. A variety of merchandise was released, including video/DVD releases, books, video games and toys based on the competitors and House Robots, among others, generating a high volume of sales and revenue throughout the original run of Robot Wars.

Merchandise was also offered to coincide with the rebooted series, the first items of these including the DVD/Blu-ray release of Series 8 along with the books Robot Wars: Build Your Own Robot and Robot Wars: The Official Handbook. A calendar was released in late 2017 as an item of merchandise, featuring images of the House Robots and eight competitors from Series 8-10. A range of toys and playsets created by HEXBUG were then released in June 2018, with a range of Construction Sets surfacing in 2019.

Toys[edit | edit source]

Pullbacks[edit | edit source]

Pullback robots

The House Robot Pullbacks

Official advertisement of the first wave of Robot Wars toys

Main article: Pullbacks

The Pullbacks were a series of toys modelled on the House Robots and some of the more famous competitors from the original series. As their names implied, most of these had a pullback motor which enabled them to move along the floor once they had been pulled backwards, though some featured friction motors or a ripcord system instead.

Most Pullbacks were packaged with small accessories such as barrels, ramps and girders, some of which were based on items featured in Trial events from the first four UK Series. All featured moving weapons (or arms in Refbot's case) which could be operated by buttons, levers, switches, wind-up motions or other methods. A few had removable panels (e.g. the rear panel of Chaos 2), or interchangeable weapons (such as Matilda's chainsaw/flywheel, or Sir Killalot, whose lance could be replaced by a hammer).

The models released were:

Pitstop Kits[edit | edit source]

Main article: Pitstop Kits

In addition to the main Pullback range, three larger Pitstop Kits were also released, allowing the user to construct the following robots using the parts and tools provided:

All featured a pullback motor, working weapons and a set of interchangeable parts which could be used to create an alternative robot design or 'mix and match' between the two.

Minibots[edit | edit source]

All 21 minibots

Size comparison of a pullback (left), and a Minibot (right)

Main article: Minibots

A series of smaller metal Pullback-style toys, most of which did not have moving parts unlike their larger counterparts.

Radio Controlled Toys[edit | edit source]

Main article: Remote Controlled Toys

Two lines of radio-controlled toys were also produced. Four of these were replicas of the House Robots Shunt, Matilda, Sir Killalot and Growler, with a further two 'Radio Controlled Battlers' (based on Sgt. Bash and competitor robot Tornado) also featuring a removable panel with an immobilising 'hotspot'. In size, these were larger than the Pullbacks and Pitstop Kits, but still considerably smaller than their real-life counterparts. All featured working weapons (at significantly reduced power and size) which could be operated manually or via remote control.

Playsets[edit | edit source]

A series of playsets, designed for use with Minibot and Pullback toys.

HEXBUG line[edit | edit source]

The HEXBUG merchandise introduced in 2018

The HEXBUG wave of Robot Wars merchandise released on June 18th 2018, initially being exclusive to Smyths toy stores before becoming available at other outlets. The product range at launch included:

Construction Sets[edit | edit source]

Main article: Robot Wars Construction Sets

The four Robot Wars Construction Sets

In August 2019, a new wave of Robot Wars toys were quietly released online, depicting Sir Killalot, Matilda, Shunt and Dead Metal as metal construction sets. Although the timing and branding of the packaging coincided with the reboot of Robot Wars, the toys themselves were based on the Series 3-4 versions of the House Robots. The product range includes:

US deal[edit | edit source]

It was reported in The Guardian that Mentorn had negotiated a £1 million deal in America to sell Robot Wars toys.[1] However, it is unknown if the deal would have involved selling toys based on robots that competed in Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors, or if merely meant re-selling toys from the UK version of the show.

Videos, DVDs and Blu-rays[edit | edit source]

UK releases[edit | edit source]

The first Robot Wars video that could be obtained was American Robot Wars 1996 in 1998, which could be purchased upon joining the Robot Wars Club. It featured battles taken from the 1996 edition of the original US Robot Wars events. In addition to the full release, a short preview video was sent to new members of the Robot Wars Club as part of their membership pack.

The first video to be released for retail was the VHS title The First Great War in March 1999, which featured a review of the Heats and the Grand Final from the First Wars, with the exception of Heat D. The video also featured behind-the-scenes segments, highlights of the 1995 UK Open Competition preceding the television series and a 'Constructor's Guide' featuring tips and advice on how to build a competitor robot.

A second Robot Wars Club-exclusive release, A History of the Third Wars, was first made available to new members in 2000. This was a 18 minute review of The Third Wars, showing clips from each of the sixteen heats, two Semi-Finals and Grand Final. Jonathan Pearce provided commentary throughout the video, however only the clips used from the Grand Final battles featured his original commentary.

The next home video release was The First World Championship, which featured the first of three World Championships filmed during the original show's run. The First World Championship was filmed following the Third Wars, and initially released on VHS in March 2000, with a DVD release following in 2005. The First World Championship had a considerably longer running time than a standard Series 3 episode, of around 70 minutes in length; the competition consisted of a straightforward knockout tournament between sixteen robots and spanning across fifteen battles, fighting for the coveted prize of Robot Wars World Champion. Eleven nations were represented in the special.

Later in 2000 the Special Edition Double Pack was released. This set included both the First World Championship and American Robot Wars 1996 videos, marking the first time that the latter was available outside of Robot Wars Club membership.

Following this, the Ultimate Warrior Collection was released in late July 2002, the first Robot Wars titles to be released on DVD as well as VHS. It consisted of a series of four individual releases, three of which were dedicated to some of the most successful competitors in the show's history at the time of The Fifth Wars. Competitors to receive their own Ultimate Warrior Collection releases were Chaos 2, Hypno-Disc and Razer. Each of the latter releases featured interviews with the roboteers who built and entered their respective robots, footage of almost every battle the teams fought in prior to the Sixth Wars, and a detailed look into how their robots were built and operated. The final Ultimate Warrior Collection edition, Sir Killalot and the House Robots, was dedicated to the House Robots, showcasing each of the original five House Robots' best and worst moments as well as numerous behind-the-scenes segments and interviews with House Roboteers, including designer Chris Reynolds. Sir Killalot and the House Robots also featured a preview of Mr. Psycho and Growler, House Robots which were introduced to Robot Wars after the videos were filmed. All four Ultimate Warrior Collection titles could be purchased separately, or as a four-volume boxset.

The last set of original releases came in 2004 when vouchers for two DVDs featuring one complete episode each of the Seventh Wars were included with different newspapers: Heat B was included with an issue of The Sun and Heat P was included with an issue of the Daily Express. Both these releases served to promote Fox Kids' acquisition of the rights to broadcast episodes of the Seventh Wars. Two further episodes would be released in 2005 with issues of Jetix Magazine. That same year also saw the release of the First World Championship on DVD.

To coincide with the return of the series, Robot Wars: The Brand New BBC Series was released in August 2016, a new DVD and Blu-ray release containing all six episodes of Series 8. A second DVD boxset, Robot Wars - The Complete Compendium 2017, was released on December 11th 2017, containing every episode of Series 9 and 10 (excluding the Robot Wars: World Series specials) as well as both episodes of Robot Wars: Battle of the Stars. Both home media releases were available for pre-order, with some copies arriving before the official release date.

In addition to their respective DVD/Blu-ray releases, Series 8-10 have also been made available on various internet video on demand services, including BBC iPlayer and Amazon Video. The Battle of the Stars and World Series specials were also available on iPlayer shortly after their initial and repeat broadcasts, though as of 2021 only Battle of the Stars is currently available on selected streaming services alongside the main series.

The list of UK Robot Wars video releases is as follows:

Video VHS Release Date DVD Release Date Blu-ray disc Release Date Notes
American Robot Wars Final 1996 1998 N/A N/A Robot Wars Club exclusive with membership pack.
American Robot Wars 1996 1998 N/A N/A Robot Wars Club exclusive.
Robot Wars: The First Great War 29 March 1999 N/A N/A A review of Robot Wars: The First Wars, including behind-the-scenes segments, 'The Constructor's Guide' and highlights of the 1995 UK Open.
Robot Wars: A History of the Third Wars 2000 N/A N/A Robot Wars Club exclusive with membership pack.
Robot Wars: The First World Championship 13 March 2000 10 January 2005 N/A
Robot Wars: Special Edition Double Pack 9 October 2000 N/A N/A Boxset including The First World Championship and American Robot Wars 1996 videos, the first general release for the latter.
Robot Wars: Sir Killalot and the House Robots 29 July 2002 29 July 2002 N/A Part of the Ultimate Warrior Collection series.
Robot Wars: Hypno-Disc 29 July 2002 29 July 2002 N/A Part of the Ultimate Warrior Collection series.
Robot Wars: Chaos 2 29 July 2002 29 July 2002 N/A Part of the Ultimate Warrior Collection series.
Robot Wars: Razer 29 July 2002 29 July 2002 N/A Part of the Ultimate Warrior Collection series.
Robot Wars: Collectors Edition 29 July 2002 29 July 2002 N/A Boxset including all four Ultimate Warrior Collection releases.
The Stars Collection Volume 14 N/A 2003 N/A Reissue of the Ultimate Warrior Collection, containing all four releases in a single DVD case.
The Daily Express and Fox Kids Presents Robot Wars N/A 12 May 2004 N/A Could be obtained with vouchers from the Daily Express newspaper
Includes Heat P from the Seventh Wars.
The Sun and Fox Kids Present Robot Wars N/A 18 September 2004 N/A Could be obtained with vouchers from The Sun newspaper
Includes Heat B from the Seventh Wars.
Jetix Magazine Issue 6 N/A 27 January 2005 N/A Includes Heat D from the Seventh Wars
DVD Triple Collection N/A 4 July 2005 N/A Includes The First World Championship DVD along with two other shows.
Jetix Magazine Issue 18 N/A 29 December 2005 N/A Includes The Third World Championship.
Robot Wars: The Brand New BBC Series N/A 29 August 2016 29 August 2016 Includes all six episodes of Robot Wars: Series 8.
Robot Wars - The Complete Compendium 2017 N/A 11th December 2017 N/A Includes Robot Wars: Series 9, Robot Wars: Series 10 bar its specials, and Robot Wars: Battle of the Stars.

Scandinavian releases[edit | edit source]

In 2003 the company PAN Vision obtained the rights to issue Robot Wars videos on VHS and DVD in the Scandinavian region. The DVDs while they had the original English soundtracks also came with Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles. The most notable release is perhaps that of The First Great War, which was never released on DVD in the UK. It is uncertain whether the DVDs featured the extras of the original UK releases, though The First Great War video did leave out 'The Constructor's Guide' that was included in the original UK VHS release. Strangely, they were all billed as part of "The Ultimate Warrior Collection" even though not all of them were treated as such in the UK.

Video Release Date Notes
Robot Wars: The First Great Wars
Robot Wars: De Första Stora Slagen (Swedish)
Robot Wars: Ensimmäiset Fantastiset Kamppailut (Finnish)
22 October 2003 Not released on DVD in the UK. Omits the 'Constructor's Guide' feature.
Robot Wars: Sir Killalot and the House Robots
Robot Wars: Sir Killalot och Husrobotarna (Swedish)
Robot Wars: Sir Killalot ja Kotirobotit (Finnish)
Robot Wars: Sir Killalot Og Husrobotterne (Danish)
22 October 2003
Robot Wars: Chaos 2 22 October 2003
Robot Wars Box 12 November 2003 Boxset including first 3 videos.
Robot Wars: Hypno-Disc 20 October 2004
Robot Wars: Razer 20 October 2004
Robot Wars: The First World Championship
Robot Wars: Det Första Världsmästerskapet (Swedish)
Robot Wars: Ensimmäinen Maailmanmestaruus (Finnish)
20 October 2004

Video Games[edit | edit source]

Main article: Robot Wars video games

During the original series' run, a number of video games were also released for handheld and home consoles as well as PC. The first of these was the Game Boy Color title Robot Wars: Metal Mayhem, released in December 2000 and based on Series 3. The main combat modes in Metal Mayhem worked similarly to console beat-them-up games, with battles being played and won on a 'two out of three' system. A 'Trials' mode containing challenges such as The Gauntlet, Sumo and Skittles was also included along with a 'Robot Workshop' mode, allowing players to build their own robots using a small selection of pre-made components. The game presented a top-down perspective and very simplistic graphics likely due to the Game Boy Color's hardware limitations, with all available weapon types performing identically in terms of damage.

The first home console release was Robot Wars: Arenas of Destruction, initially launched in the UK in November 2001 for the PC and PlayStation 2. This game allowed players to earn credits to compete in international championships across eight different arenas, each with unique settings, hazards and CPZ placements. The player starts with a machine entitled "My First Bot", and can either modify or sell it to buy or build new robots for further progression. Various single- and two-player multiplayer modes are available, making Arenas of Destruction the first Robot Wars video game to feature the latter. This game provided the debut of Terrorhurtz, since it was released before the real robot's televised appearance in Series 5. Nine other real-life competitors in their Series 4 iterations were unlockable in the game, plus a fictional robot named Thor which was the winning entry of a fan competition run in the original Robot Wars Magazine. The latter had no relation to the competitor which later fought between Series 6 and 10.

Also released in November 2001 in the UK, Robot Wars: Advanced Destruction for the Game Boy Advance featured four playable arenas, a 'Robot Workshop', four battle-based game modes and multiplayer for up to four players at a time. One of the more notable features is the 'Robot Mayhem' mode, putting the player's robot against every other robot from the game including the House Robots, making for a 21-way melee. This is the largest number of robots in an arena at any time in any Robot Wars game, and significantly more than any televised battle ever had.

Two versions of the final game, Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction were released by separate developers in late 2002; one for Xbox/PC by Climax Group and the other for the Game Boy Advance by Wharthog Games. The Xbox/PC version retained much of the competitor robots, arenas and game mechanics from Arenas of Destruction, while also introducing Refbot along with new game modes, arenas and customisable robot components. The GBA version featured substantially different physics and gameplay, as well as an unlockable 'Arena Editor' and a different selection of pre-made arenas, modes and playable robots. In the latter version, Refbot is replaced with an immobilisation countdown. All three versions of Extreme Destruction are based around, and feature competitors from, UK Series 5, the first series of Robot Wars Extreme and Season 2 of Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors.

The full list of Robot Wars video games is as follows:

Video Game Platform(s) Developer Release Date Notes
Robot Wars: Metal Mayhem Game Boy Color Tiertex Design Studios 7th December 2000 (UK)
Robot Wars: Arenas of Destruction PC, PlayStation 2 Climax Group November 22nd 2001 (UK)
January 25th 2002 (Australia)
October 22nd 2002 (US)
2002 (Netherlands)
April 18th 2003(Japan)
Features commentary by Jonathan Pearce (UK version), Stefan Frank (US version) or Rob Kamphues (Dutch version).
Robot Wars: Advanced Destruction Game Boy Advance Crawfish Interactive November 30th 2001 (UK)
January 25th 2002 (Australia)
November 30th 2002 (US)
Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (GBA) Game Boy Advance Wharthog October 25th 2002 Features an unlockable 'Arena Editor'.
Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (PC/Xbox) PC, Xbox Climax Group November 22nd 2002 (UK)
April 10th 2003 (Australia)
Features commentary by Jonathan Pearce.

Books and Magazines[edit | edit source]

Several Robot Wars books were released during the show's original run, with two more based on the rebooted series being released in October 2017. This list of published books is as follows:

Book Author/Publisher Release Date Notes
Robot Wars Technical Manual Alan Baker/Boxtree February 19th 1999 A comprehensive guide to The Second Wars, including behind-the-scenes information, advice on how to build your own robots, and how to compete on the show.
Robot Wars: The Official Robot Guide Penguin Books February 1st 2001 Information on The Fourth Wars, including the series' format, competitors, and House Robots.
Robot Wars Fun Fax Dorling Kindersley October 25th 2001 A Robot Wars-themed Fun Fax, with information on The Fourth Wars, stickers and a double-sided fold-out poster.
Robot Wars Extreme: The Official Guide Penguin Books October 25th 2001 Contains information on the first series of Robot Wars Extreme.
Robot Wars: The Ultimate Guide Kay Barnham/Penguin Books October 31st 2002 Features an interview with Chris Reynolds, results for Series 1-5 and Extreme 1, and the draws for The Sixth Wars.
Robot Wars: The Official Handbook Laura Jackson/Scholastic October 5th 2017 Contains information on the rebooted series and sections on how to enter, design and build a robot. Available in print and e-book versions.
Robot Wars: Build Your Own Robot James and Grant Cooper/Haynes October 12th 2017 Features behind-the-scenes information on the rebooted series, as well as instructions for three robot build projects. A limited edition of the book includes signed blueprints for the 'Robot Wars Challenger' build project.[2]

In addition, two separate series of Robot Wars Magazine were published on a monthly basis. The first followed Series 4, with previews of Series 5 in later issues, as well as other features including comic strips, competitions, pull-out posters and souvenir gifts. This ran for twenty issues. The second, retitled Robot Wars: The Official Magazine, followed Series 6 and Extreme 2, and featured various behind-the-scenes write-ups and team interviews. However, this version was not as successful, being cancelled after only seven issues.

Board Game[edit | edit source]

Main article: Robot Wars: The Game

A board game was released based around the fourth series.

Battle Cards[edit | edit source]

Main article: Robot Wars Battle Cards

Four packs of Top Trumps, known as Battle Cards were made based on individual competitor robots and the House Robots. In each pack, 32 cards were included, 30 were of competitors, the other two were of House Robots. The packs were labelled Pack 1, Pack 2 etc. The first three packs were based on different robots from Series 4, with the five main House Robots of the time plus Refbot being included. The fourth pack was based on robots from Series 6, along with the then-newly introduced House Robots Mr. Psycho and Growler. No robot that featured in any of the first three packs also featured in the fourth pack.

CD/Music Video[edit | edit source]

Main article: Robot Wars (Android Love)

A CD/cassette single and music video was released by Polydor Records on 18th December 2000, based loosely on the soundtrack composed for the original series.

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

Assorted merchandise

As well as the above merchandise, a number of other pieces of Robot Wars memorabilia and licensed products were also produced:

Clothes

  • Baseball cap
  • Growler T-shirt
  • House Robot T-shirt (2 varieties)
  • Matilda Pyjamas
  • Mr. Psycho T-shirt
  • Robot Wars Logo T-shirt
  • Sgt. Bash T-shirt
  • Shunt Sweatshirt
  • Sir Killalot T-shirts
  • Sir Killalot Pyjamas
  • House Robot jumper
  • Bath robe
  • Hoodie
  • Trousers
  • Socks
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Underpants

Eating/Drinking Supplies

  • Lunchbox and flask
  • Matilda beer Glass
  • Sgt. Bash Glass
  • Sgt. Bash mug
  • Sgt. Bash plate
  • Shunt beer Glass
  • Shunt mug
  • Sir Killalot beer glass
  • Sir Killalot bowl
  • Sir Killalot lunch box
  • Sir Killalot topper tumbler
  • Dead Metal mug
  • Dead Metal glass
  • Dead Metal lunch box
  • Shunt beer glass
  • Sir Killalot glass
  • Sir Killalot beer glass
  • Sir Killalot mug

School Supplies

  • A4 ring binder folder
  • Exercise book
  • Rucksacks
  • Large Pencil case
  • Small pencil case with rulers, rubbers, stencils, and protractors
  • Small pencil case
  • Tin pencil case

Sports Equipment

  • Crash helmet
  • Matilda skateboard
  • Sgt. Bash skateboard
  • Sir Killalot skateboard

Other

  • 2002 Calendar
  • 2018 Calendar
  • 500 piece jigsaw puzzles
  • Clock
  • Duvet and pillow cover
  • Gift wrap and tags
  • Growler keyring
  • Official Sticker Collection and Album
  • Replica trophies
  • 52 piece Roboteer Tool Kit
  • Shunt birthday card
  • Sir Killalot birthday card
  • Sergeant Bash birthday card
  • Sir Killalot sunglasses
  • Tattoos
  • Souvenir Programme
  • Brochure
  • Series 7 Programme
  • Wall lamp
  • Washing kit
  • Wastepaper basket
  • Watch
  • Posters
  • Sir Killalot Nokia 3310 phone case
  • Roboteer 3D Viewer
  • Curtains
  • Coasters
  • Father's Day card
  • Keyring
  • Postcard
  • Wallet
  • Pin badge
  • Signed photographs
  • HP Pasta Shapes
  • Kellogg's cereal promotion

Robot Wars Shop[edit | edit source]

A merchandise stall would also be present during live filming sessions for the original and rebooted series. These sold products relevant to the filming sessions, such as foam hands, souvenir programmes, and, at the filming of Series 7 only, a diecast 3D Growler keyring.

At Series 8, the stall sold black shirts and jumpers displaying the new Robot Wars logo, black foam hands, while yellow foam hands were given away to audience members, and on later days of filming, water bottles and miniature torches originally intended for use by the crew only. In Series 9, new shirt designs and notebooks were added to the selection. All of these items bar the water bottles were available to purchase on the then newly-opened online shop.

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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