I'm Toon Ganondorf (TG), an Australian lawyer and founding editor of Robot Wars Wiki. When I arrived here on New Years Day 2009, there were less than ten articles and things had not moved in a full year. Now, coming up to the better part of a decade, we are thriving, just as I had once hoped.
Visit my blog if you are interested in my opinions on UK Robot Wars.
Current project page: User:Toon Ganondorf/Comprehensive List of Robot Wars Grudge Matches.
I hope you enjoy your time here.
- I'm a lawyer, but I started the Wiki in high school, so it's not that weird.
- I only watched half of Series 3 and all of Series 4 as a kid. Whilst it would've been great to see more, the fact that I got to have raw, unfiltered reactions to Chaos 2 v Firestorm, Hypno-Disc v Robogeddon/Stealth/101/Splinter and Pussycat v Razer is enough. I remember adoring Beast of Bodmin for its wink and hating Bulldog Breed for making Joe Watts upset.
- I recorded Robot Wars on VHS. For some reason, I thought taping every robot was more important than the quality of battles, so I always taped over the heat semi-finals with the next heat so that I had the Eliminators only. My very replayed tape contained the first two eliminators of Thermidor 2's, Wheely Big Cheese's, Splinter's and Stinger's heats, as well as Hypno-Disc's heat in its entirety.
- It was cancelled after that and only when I was looking for a Wiki to work on did I remember my obsession with Robot Wars. I first began watching "discoverysweden"'s videos and could soon recite JP's Series 5 recap by heart, including the editing errors which omit bits in Bigger Brother's section and S3's loser's melee. Now that we have the proper version, it sounds weird.
- I once used Robot Wars to win a Public Speaking competition. The Competition had two rounds - a prepared speech and an impromptu speech. I was given a topic - "pioneers of our time" - and got four minutes to write a three minute speech, that I then had to deliver. I was completely stumped. I had nothing. During the entirely too short walk from the planning room to the auditorium, I prepared for my impending humiliation. And then, as I prepared to step onto the stage, I remembered Robot Wars - the thing that consumed over 50% of my waking hours - and my favourite robot, Hypno-Disc. Suddenly three minutes was barely enough time to make my point. I carried on about Hypno-Disc so long that I ended up winning.
- A news site in Australia wrote a piece on the return of Robot Wars, and quoted a line from "robotwars.wikia.com" that I wrote. This essentially makes me a quoted source on Robot Wars on a website that we can then use as a source...and so the train of logic runs the city loop.
- Daniel Sloss came to Australia in April 2017 and I recognised his name. However, because I did not know any other (more famous) comedians, when asked how I knew who Daniel Sloss was, I could only say "it's a long story".
- The first roboteer I ever reached out to was Noel Poncelot from The Hassocks Hog, which is why that article is one of the most comprehensive for a two-time Round 1 dropout.
- The first qualifier I (and therefore the Wiki) ever discovered was 13 Black's defeat of Retribution and Boudicca, courtesy of the 13 Black website. They were the first non-qualifiers to receive articles on the Wiki.
- John Willoughby from The Steel Avenger sent me a very uncool but very cool Steel Avenger keychain after I wrote to him.
- When I made contact with Wheely Big Cheese's Roger Plant, the first thing he did was change our Facebook conversation colour yellow.
- The roboteers from my Top Robots list who I have corresponded with are Tony Somerfield from Bulldog Breed, Simon Harrison from King Buxton, Kane Aston from Behemoth, Laurie Calvert from Lightning, WJ Dijkstra of Gravity, Jeroen van der Loo of Tough As Nails, John Findlay of Ripper, both Alan Gribble and Stuart Barnwell of Pussycat, and Sam Griffiths of Concussion.
- I discovered the results of German Robot Wars thanks to the captains of Tyke and Arena Killer, who translated them into English for me before the footage was made available.
- I debunked the myth that Pussycat failed to qualify for Series 6.
- I am a regular on the Robot Wars History podcast hosted by User:Nweston8, first appearing in the Dartford Girls Grammar podcast. I have hosted a number of episodes including Hypno-Disc and starting with Wild Thing, The Steel Avenger and Thermidor 2, began doing the video editing side of things.
Top 10 Favourite Robots
|1||Hypno-Disc||A name synonymous with destruction. I can watch the fights with Robogeddon, Stealth and Splinter over and over again. I remember the nailbiting decision that was its bout with 101, and going into the Grand Final having no idea who would win. Heat P of Series 4 was the longest surviving bout on my old VHS tape, and so was the most watched episode of my life, including its obliterations of The Predator, V-Max and Raizer Blade. To return to Robot Wars aged 16 and learn that it managed to keep going into Series 5 and 6 was just delightful. The reason I think Hypno-Disc is the most iconic, though, is that unlike other famed robots like Razer, Chaos 2 and Firestorm, Hypno-Disc's reputation is so great that its obliterated opponents - Stealth, Robogeddon, Splinter - have become famous in their own right.||vs. Splinter, Series 4, Semi-Final 2, Round 1|
|2||Tough as Nails||I'm a Pit fan. If I was a celebrity, I'd be Brad Pit of Oblivion. I think the Pit is the best way to end a fight. Take the pit away (as did Series 4) and you get a lot more judges' decisions, a lot more breakdowns, and a lot more really uninteresting house robot fanfare. Give me a good robot with a good pushing or grabbing weapon and I'll be entertained. And that's exactly what Tough As Nails delivered. Aside from its UK performance, it kept going in the Third World Championship, taking out even Gravity with its magnificent style. Tough As Nails is one of the only robots whose Live Events performances I've spent hours on Youtube seeking, because I can never get enough of it.||vs. Disc-O-Inferno, B.O.D. and Robochicken, Series 7, Heat M, Round 1
Series 7 had way too many flippers, and Tough As Nails just breathed fresh air into the formula. It took out Disc-O-Inferno in one of the most effortless victories I've ever seen, instantly announcing itself as the crowning favourite for the heat.
|3||Chaos 2||The king of flippers. Chaos 2's defeat of Crocodilatron is my first Robot Wars memory. It won both series I watched as a kid, and was synonymous with Robot Wars in general. I would go up to my much smaller brothers and then throw them into the air yelling "CHAOS 2". Chaos 2 imbues Robot Wars "firsts" for me - aside from first OOTA and first champion, it was the first robot to flip the intimidating Shunt (back before that was one of the easiest things to do) and the first robot to beat Hypno-Disc (by landing on its flywheel of all things). Every one of Chaos 2's victories in Series 3-4 is tatooed onto my brain, even the fights with Trident and Medusa 2000. Dantomkia may have taken its OOTA title and Bigger Brother its crown, but Chaos 2 will always be the king of flippers to me.||vs. Destructosaur, Iron-Awe 2 and Mighty Mouse, Series 6, Heat C, Round 1
Every single Chaos 2 fight in Series 3-4 is iconic in my mind, and its battle with Wild Thing is one for the all-time list. But there's nothing more satisfying to me than proving that the old guard still has it. There's just something great about watching Behemoth, King Buxton, Pussycat and Panic Attack win fights, and that applies just as much for Chaos 2. A full year removed from its UK Championship win and with everyone calling on it to be upgraded, Chaos 2 sweeps the entire first round and KOs Iron-Awe 2 without any difficulty whatsoever. I'm so thankful for this fight, because without it I might have to accept a pattern of decline tracing back to its fight with The Steel Avenger
|4||King Buxton||Besides OOTAs and pittings, my favourite thing in Robot Wars is the grudge match, a concept that 101 and King Buxton made famous (with suppressed laughter the whole way). I root madly and blindly for King Buxton in every single battle and breathe easier as soon as it is safely through Round 1. Though it continue to lose over and over, there's just nothing that makes me more chuffed than seeing a Series 2 robot throw its hat in the ring and say "I'm still here, let's have some fun."||vs. Draven, Extreme Series 1, Wild Card Warriors
Just like I said above, there's nothing better than showing that the old guard still has it. Though the suggestion that King B Powerworks was picked as the sacrificial veteran has been debunked by the revelation that Draven was meant to fight Pussycat, there's nothing better than King B Powerworks using that famous Panic Attack manoeuvre to steer the robot into oblivion.
|5||101||King Buxton can't be much above 101 because they just belong together. I'm a flat out 101 fan. I love everything about it. I'll be the first to tell you that its fight with Hypno-Disc was one of the closest judges' decisions of all time. I'll be the first to remind you that it did a darn good job against Dominator 2. I'll be the first to remind you it won the Tag Team, and that it didn't die against Fluffy which even Terrorhurtz can't say. I love 101 because of what it represents; accessibility to robot combat on a budget. Mike Franklin achieved with 101 what Dave Lawrie tried to replicate years later with Jellyfish - a robot that could be a contender, but only cost a pound and a penny.||vs. Dominator 2, Series 4, Heat E, Heat Final
Strangely, as much as I love 101 none of its victories really stand out as iconic. It is more the fact that it did win that I enjoy. Rather, 101's losses to Hypno-Disc and Dominator 2 are what I would argue are its best battles, and the latter takes the cake. I've never liked saying a robot's best battle was a loss, but watching a clearly under-armed 101 furiously take the fight to Dominator 2 and causing it concern on at least two occasions was just a joy to watch. Series 4 was full of Heat Finals where lesser armed robots just waited to die - Atomic, Raizer Blade, Knightmare - but 101 went the whole nine yards anyway.
|6||Apollo||Apollo is a magnificent creature. It somehow combines the best elements of Plunderbird, Chaos 2, Panic Attack, Spawn Again and Sir Chromalot without ever overstaying its welcome. Starting with its simple yet beautiful design, it is a bold statement that big is good and that big flippers still win Robot Wars. The awesome power of Spawn Again meets the battle flair of Chaos 2, it is still one of only a few robots to score an OOTA in the reboot. I don't think I've ever been as inspired as when Apollo surgically removed the wheel and link of PP3D, or when it tossed Storm 2 out of the arena to prove that a titanium brick is not the peak of robot combat. Apollo was the reassurance I so badly needed. The team are endlessly watchable, the house robot attacks are glee-inducing, and its doomed title defence in Series 9 somehow humanises it even more. Carbide, Tornado and Razer were so upper tier that watching their battles got boring. Apollo can lose to all different kinds of robot, and yet that makes it more watchable than less.||vs. Storm 2, Series 8, Heat 4, Heat Final
I'd been awed by Apollo's victories over Dead Metal, Matilda and PP3D - which I've already said was perhaps the best bit of driving in all Series 8. But throwing Storm 2 out of the arena just represents the fact that big fun flippers really can beat weaponless titanium bricks, and there's hope for weapons to resurge in Robot Wars once again.
|7||Ripper||Wow what a big, fun and colourful robot. Just like Anarchy, Ripper is way too good a robot to only have a KO on Daisy Cutter to show for its 1v1 record. I loved the way its armour boosted its size whilst giving it room to take damage. It had a heart-wrenchingly anti-climactic loss against Firestorm 5, and I'll always mourn the fact that the Robot Wars reboot wouldn't let us see it. I'll have to rest assured that Ripper continues to dominate out in the real world.||vs. Raging Knightmare, Ewe 2, Robochicken, Flippa and Kan-Opener, Series 7, Annihilator Round 1
The less said about Daisy Cutter and Flippa the better. Ripper's fights are pretty much all equally as enjoyable, but if I had to pick one it would be this one, where Ripper cleans up all five opponents inside sixty seconds.
|8||Roadblock||The third UK Champion to make my top ten, Roadblock is just a delightful machine. I've never seen any group battle I've enjoyed half as much as its purge of the Series 1 arena. It found the two biggest threats - the powerful rambot and the flipper - and bulldozed them into submission. The guys who went on to make Cassius, Chaos 2 and Pussycat fell or fled before this OG titan. Just like so many robots on my list, the simplicity of its design - a ramp made of road signs - makes it the most endearing robot of the First Wars.||vs. Recyclopse, Robot the Bruce, Cunning Plan, T.R.A.C.I.E. and Bodyhammer, Series 1, Grand Final
The ten-way fight in Series 10 has big shoes to fill, because all these years later I'm still in love with the Series 1 Grand Final. Roadblock KOs the two biggest threats and earns the crown in decisive fashion. Even if it did go to the judges, no one would ever dispute that Roadblock earned it.
|9||Aftershock||I fell madly in love with Aftershock from its first hit on Crank-E, and the love never went away. A robot that was deadly, innovative, bright, colourful and powerful, Aftershock nailed all the best bits of 259 without the glass cannon downside. A vertical flywheel that is so powerful it can actually self-right is downright incredible, and was a huge step up from the effective but rather vanilla Shockwave. Had Aftershock fought Carbide third instead of first, I have no doubt who would have placed second in Robot Wars Series 9.||vs. Crank-E, Sabretooth and TMHWK, Series 9, Heat 1, Round 1
Perhaps the best first impression of the entire reboot era, Aftershock's weapon were like cracks of a rifle in combat. It managed terrific victories over Rapid, Terrorhurtz, Sabretooth and Apollo later, but this was the first one.
|10||Bulldog Breed||Bulldog Breed had a strange history into my favourite robot list. For a while it was my least favourite (because they made Little Joe cry). Then they skyrocketed to number one after I watched the Extreme 2 Tag Team. Now Bulldog Breed has settled comfortably in my top 10. It kept getting beaten by the best, and kept coming back stronger until it was ready to sweep a heat in its own right. A brilliant tactician (read my analysis on Bulldog Breed's conservatism) and a darn tough machine, I'm just mad about dogs.||vs. Pussycat & Diotoir, Extreme Series 2, Tag Team Terror, Round 1
The moment Bulldog Breed graduated to A-list status, conquering the reigning champions with an OOTA and absolutely crushing a robot that had beaten both Stinger and Hypno-Disc, the giants that had beaten Bulldog Breed in the past.
Top 10 Favourite Fights
This is a list of the fights I watch over and over. If I want to watch a robot wars fight, I go to this very exclusive list. I watch these fights in sickness and in health, in joy and in sadness, for stimulation and for relaxation. They give me joy every single time I watch them, and they never get old. Some are to be expected, some are surprising, and all of them are special.
|#1||Dominator 2, 101||Robot Wars: The Fourth Wars/Heat E, Heat Final||Strangely, as much as I love 101 none of its victories really stand out as iconic. It is more the fact that it did win that I enjoy. Rather, 101's losses to Hypno-Disc and Dominator 2 are what I would argue are its best battles, and the latter takes the cake. I've never liked saying a robot's best battle was a loss, but watching a clearly under-armed 101 furiously take the fight to Dominator 2 and causing it concern on at least two occasions was just a joy to watch. Series 4 was full of Heat Finals where lesser armed robots just waited to die - Atomic, Raizer Blade, Knightmare - but 101 went the whole nine yards anyway. This fight was a real corker, and the best heat final of Series 4 by a country mile.|
|#2||Roadblock, Recyclopse, Robot the Bruce, Cunning Plan, Bodyhammer, T.R.A.C.I.E.||Robot Wars: The First Wars/Grand Final||I am still waiting. Still waiting for a Grand Final battle to be as exciting as that of the First Wars. Roadblock completely romped the arena, defeating both its biggest threats by decisive KOs. Cunning Plan's murder suicide on TRACIE is one of the most iconic attacks of Robot Wars to this day. Though Bodyhammer was disappointingly absent in the entire battle, it is a minor diminuendo on an action packed, never let up fight. We will see how the 10 robot rumble matches up in Series 10, but it has big shoes to fill.|
|#3||Tough as Nails, Robochicken, B.O.D., Disc-O-Inferno||Robot Wars: The Seventh Wars/Heat M, Round 1||One of my top three fights of all time, I was lucky enough to discover this heat with little to no spoilers. I hadn't grown to dislike Disc-O-Inferno by that point, but was rather caught up with the ease with which Tough As Nails disposed it. Time went on as I became into Robot Wars, and my impression of Disco went down whilst TAN went up. This fight has been central to both of those journeys.|
|#4||Hypno-Disc, Splinter||Robot Wars: The Fourth Wars/Semi-Final 2, Round 1||I got to see this fight for the first time as a kid, and that makes up for the fact that I discovered all the other classics late.|
|#5||Heavy Metal, M.R. Speed Squared||Robot Wars: Series 9/Heat 3, Heat-to-Head||A fight that is great in isolation but even better when paired with the fight beforehand, where MRSS clips Heavy Metal and almost wrecks the whole robot. Knowing that letting up for even a second will possibly cost it the fight, Heavy Metal charges into MRSS from the get go, slamming it into every possible hazard before dumping it into the pit, for series 9's only pitting.|
|#6||Sir Chromalot, The Alien, G.B.H. 2, ICU||Robot Wars: The Sixth Wars/Heat D, Round 1||The Sixth Wars had some outstanding melees, and this is the first of four that will appear on this list. An outstanding debut by the one-time GBH 2, a competitive Sir Chromalot and my beloved Alien, whose new-age spinning hammer was capable of knocking robots onto their backs. The constant flurry of flipping and self-righting made the Series 3 fan in me go squee (as I watched Robot Wars when self-righting was first becoming a thing), as is the deadly tight nature of the fight. It was devastating that this was the only fight we got to see GBH 2 in, but I wouldn't trade this fight for two rather limp battles in another heat if that was the offer.|
|#7||Bigger Brother, Hypno-Disc||Robot Wars: The Fifth Wars/Grand Final, Eliminator||This one I discovered as a sixteen year old, but I mean, it's possibly the best fight of all time, so who cares?|
|#8||Apollo, Storm 2||Robot Wars: Series 8/Heat 4, Head-to-Head||Rewatching this fight for this list brought the huge smile to my face I had at the time. Apollo, a team of entertainers with a giant flipper, against the cool, committed strategists Storm 2. There is only one way I wanted this fight to go, and it did, but watching it now without the extreme distaste I had for Storm 2 at the time I now appreciate what a classic it was. Storm 2 completely commanded the dying seconds of the fight, but Apollo's big flip antics and double KO on house robots were enough to win me then, and the effectiveness of Storm 2 only makes a great fight even greater.|
|#9||Barber-Ous 2, Kat 3||Robot Wars: The Sixth Wars/Heat K, Round 2||A phenomenal second round. Kat 3 drew the "destined to be heat finalist against Hypno-Disc" card over Bulldog Breed, who had to fight the titan in Round 2, but Kat 3 somehow lost the fight in the first five seconds. Barber-Ous, a PLASTIC robot who had been immobilised from damage by the UK's most deadly spinner one round previous, was not only working but dominant in the fight, so much so that Kat 3 rolled over and begged for the end. Barber-Ous 2 went on to contribute little to the heat final, but earned my respect forever by being one of the most deserving heat finalists of all time.|
|#10||Sabretooth, Terrorhurtz||Robot Wars: Series 9/Heat 1, Head-to-Head||Most people like the fight with Aftershock more, but this one is what made me take Sabretooth seriously for the first time. Carried through round 1 by Aftershock and later brutalised by it (not to mentioned robbed of a win against the gimmicky Jellyfish), Sabretooth's undeniable moment of greatness its the way it chews into the rear of Terrorhurtz, a robot who was coming in off the graces of beating Carbide last series and only undone by frozen gas. There's chunks of the fight that are inconsistent and less entertaining, but this is one of the great Robot Wars attacks and I'll sit through the whole fight just to enjoy it.|