The Drop Zone was an arena hazard introduced in the UK and international series of Robot Wars filmed around 2002. Immobilised robots would be placed on a black square with a yellow cross and red border placed roughly in the centre of the arena, close to the Pit, where heavy objects including ovens, washing machines, ocean buoys and assortments of balls would be dropped on them.
The Drop Zone was first used in the second season of Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors, with the first robot to have an object dropped onto it being Unibite 2.0 in the Heat C Final. It was used in all UK and international series filmed thereafter; the first usage of the Drop Zone in the UK Series came in Series 6, where it dropped a washing machine on Robochicken in the first round of Heat B. A thunderclap sound effect was used in the Drop Zone's appearances in US Season 2, Nickelodeon Robot Wars and UK Series 7, which played whenever an object was dropped.
The last competitor to have an object dropped onto it was Hard in the first round of the Third World Championship, filmed and broadcast at the very end of Series 7. When Robot Wars returned in 2016, the Drop Zone did not feature as part of the new arena, and has effectively been retired as an arena hazard.
The objects used for the Drop Zone varied in between series; for Nickelodeon Robot Wars, less serious objects such as scrap metal and sports equipment were used in an effort to maintain the series' appeal to younger audiences. Meanwhile, at one point during the Grand Final of German Robot Wars, previously-defeated competitor Golem was used as an item after it withdrew prior to the Losers Melee for fifth place.
The Drop Zone square was seen during Extreme 1, Series 5, Extreme Warriors Season 1, and Dutch Robot Wars Series 1. Also The Drop Zone planned to be introduced during series 5. However, it served no purpose during those series and wouldn't be introduced until Extreme Warriors Season 2 in the US and Series 6 in the UK.
The Drop Zone was originally intended to have a button which competitors and House Robots could press to activate it, in a similar way to how the Pit and Disc of Doom were activated. However, this idea was not implemented.Citation?
|Heat B, Round 1||Robochicken||Washing machine||First instance of the hazard being used in the UK Series.|
|Heat F, Round 1||Demolition Man||Rubbish bin|
|Heat I, Heat Final||Panic Attack||Washing machine||The only former UK Champion to have an item dropped on it.|
|Heat K, Round 1||Granny's Revenge 2||Oven|
|Heat L, Round 1||Major Tom||Assortment of balls|
|Annihilator Round 4||Major Tom||Oven|
|Minor Meltdown, Round 1||Saw Point||Assortment of car parts|
|New Blood Heat A, Round 1||Niterider||Television||Niterider's spike speared the television as it landed, which was eventually destroyed by Matilda.|
|New Blood Heat A, Round 2||Maximus||Oven|
|New Blood Heat B, Round 1||RT81||Oven|
|New Blood Heat B, Round 2||Hell's Teeth||Assortment of balls|
|New Blood Heat C, Round 1||Mad Dog||Assortment of balls||The balls missed their target.|
|New Blood Heat C, Final||ICU||Assortment of balls|
|New Blood Heat D, Semi-Final||Fatal Traction||Assortment of car parts|
|Heat C, Round 1||Tomahawk||Ocean buoy|
|Heat D, Round 1||The Alien||Ocean buoy|
|Heat G, Round 1||Cygnus X-1||Television|
|Heat H, Round 2||Scraptosaur||Ocean buoy|
|Heat H, Round 2||Revolution 3||Television|
|Heat J, Round 1||Cobra & Pinser||Television|
|Heat K, Round 2||Hard||Oven|
|Heat M, Round 1||B.O.D.||Bowling balls|
|Heat M, Round 2||Mega Morg||Washing machine|
|Heat N, Round 2||R.O.C.S.||Washing machine|
|Heat O, Round 2||Hammerhead 2||Railway track|
|Heat O, Heat Final||Iron-Awe 2.1||Oven|
|Semi-Final 2, Round 1||Thermidor 2||Washing machine||Only instance of the Drop Zone being used in a Semi-Final.|
|Featherweight Championship, Round 1||Mammoth||Oven||Only non-heavyweight competitor to have an item dropped on it.|
|All-Stars, Round 1||None||Washing machine||The washing machine was dropped in an attempt to stop the competitors' attacks on the House Robots. However, it did not hit any of the competitors.|
|Third World Championship, Battle 1||Hard||Computer parts||Final time the Drop Zone was used.|
Dutch Series 2Edit
|Heat A, Round 1||Project Two: Hex'em||Oven|
|Heat B, Round 1||The Black Beast||Oven|
|Heat C Round 1||Slamtilt||Bowling balls|
|Heat C, Round 2||Flepser||Assortment of wheels|
|Heat D, Round 1||Tough as Nails||Two Barrels||Tough as Nails regained mobility, and pushed one of the barrels around the arena, eventually being pitted alongside it.|
|Heat E, Round 1||Vortex Inducer||Oven|
|Grand Final, Round 1||Lizzard||Two Barrels|
Extreme Warriors Series 2Edit
|Heat C, Heat Final||Unibite 2.0||Washing machine||First-ever use of the Drop Zone in any series.|
|Robot Rebellion, Round 1||Night Stalker||Washing machine|
|Robot Rebellion, Final||Snookums||Organ|
Nickelodeon Robot WarsEdit
|US Championship Bonus Battle||Phantasm||Sports equipment|
|Mayhem||Diskotek & Rigby||Assortment of balls|
|House Robot Rebellion||Humdrum||Scrap metal|
German Robot WarsEdit
|Heat A, Heat Final||Junkyard Queen||Spare parts|
|Heat A, Heat Final||Golem||Assortment of balls|
|Grand Final, Losers Melee||Junkyard Queen||Golem||Golem withdrew from the Losers Melee as it could not be repaired in time to fight; the Golem Crew allowed it to be used as an item. Golem largely missed its target.|
Appearances in MerchandiseEdit
Throughout its appearances in the show's original run, the Drop Zone was immortalised in various pieces of Robot Wars merchandise. An accessory for the Minibots Arena playset based on the hazard was released, consisting of a frustrum-shaped assembly and an assortment of miniature items - including cones, tyres, balls and a washing machine. The Drop Zone assembly could be clipped onto the outer edges of the Arena playset, and the available items attached to the top, allowing the items to be 'dropped' in a similar manner to the real-life hazard (though it dropped in the middle of the arena, rather than over the X as in the show). The Drop Zone accessory was available as a stand-alone set (complete with all of the aforementioned items) and as a bundle with the Arena playset (with the balls only).
- Robot Wars Arena/Extreme Destruction (GBA) (arena referred to in-game as the Studio)
- Robot Wars Arena/Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (PC/Xbox) (arena referred to in-game as the Robot Wars TV Studio)
In the Game Boy Advance version, it operates exclusively in 'Tournament' mode, and as in real-life drops objects onto defeated robots once they have been placed onto the square by a House Robot. The Drop Zone square also appears in the other fictional arenas available in the game, although the hazard itself remains inactive. In the PC and Xbox versions, items are dropped on mobile robots if they drive over and stay on the cross for a certain length of time. Additionally, multiple items can be dropped in one fight, including a washing machine, a safe, an anvil, a barrel which can explode if attacked, and a grand piano.
- Major Tom, Hard and Junkyard Queen were the only robots to be hit twice with a Drop Zone item.
- In Series 7, Zorro managed to escape the Drop Zone by driving away, having been dropped on the cross after being counted out.
- The Drop Zone was used in every episode of the Extreme Series 2 New Blood Championship except the Grand Final.
- The Drop Zone was used in every episode of Dutch Series 2.
- The barrels dropped in Dutch Series 2 were the same used in the Pinball Trial of Series 2.
- During Extreme 1 and Extreme Warriors Season 1, the Drop Zone square was next to the Pit, and closer to the Pit release. Also in Series 5, the square was seen vertical in some battles.