A long time ago I did two blogs ranking the Series 9 and the Series 10 competitors by looks, and thanks to TG's blog ranking names in heats, I thought it'd be a fun contest to do the same with the looks of robots.
Before we begin, keep in mind that how good or bad a robot looks is purely subjective and so there are bound to be some disagreements, but that's what the comments are for. I'll also be listing all-time great looking robots and all-time worst-looking up here. Best will be Bold Italics and worst in Bold only, with all timers in both categories being put in all-caps.
- Heat A: The first ever heat of Robot Wars and already there are 3 classic looks on display, the first appearance of the red spotty fur on Nemesis, some would say Killertron is a classic look if they prefer S1-4, but nobody can deny the iconic look of ROADBLOCK. Whichever producer told them to keep the road sign look should be given a medal since without their input this classic design would be lost. In terms of worst though the other half aren't great lookers. Tough choice but I'm going to give it to Grunt, the superbly elongated wedge never really appealed to me, not to mention all the random gubbins at the top of the robot.
- Heat B: It's funny, the robot called Uglybot is not the robot in this heat I'd consider the ugliest. Granted, it's not a very pleasing to look at machine, but in my opinion Scrapper is much uglier than Uglybot or Detonator. In terms of best, while Mortis is here it's not gotten its more iconic look yet, so the clear winner has to be RECYCLOPSE. In the same way Roadblock did, Recyclopse actually took its name and designed perfect aesthetics to go alongside it.
- Heat C: From two very great heats in terms of looks variety, this one is just bland. Worst is a clear winner for Robot the Bruce since it is literally just a box with no colour, hard to root for a robot that is that bland-looking. In terms of the best-looking however it was very close between Plunderbird 1 and my (almost certainly controversial) winner Wedgehog. While name did not match aesthetics even slightly (except the wedge shape I guess), the sleek black colour scheme combined with the yellow chevrons made for a very pleasant-looking design
- Heat D: This one was fairly easy to pick out, the ugliest design being Krayzee Tokyo. I know Cunning Plan is just two wedges and the Demolisher had that ugly lip, but Krayzee just looks worse than both of them. The best-looking was a clear winner in SAT'arn. Once again the sleek black design made the other colours used really pop.
- Heat E: In comparison, this heat was tough to pick since all the robots had at least some charm to them, there was no clear ugliest and prettiest at first. After a lot of thinking, I decided that Wharthog was the ugliest robot here with my win going to the similarly shaped Full Metal Anorak. This was really a demonstration as to why colours are important when designing a robot. FMA's sleek silver with the splash of red for the mouth works while in comparsion Wharthog's yellow to be used with the face design does lose me a little and the spikes that you knew wouldn't work just made it worse.
- Heat F: It should come as no surprise to anyone that my ugliest design here goes to ELVIS. While the bodyshell is okay, it would be much better if it was actually on the robot fully, as such this is the first all-time ugly robot on the blog. Best-looking was tougher, since when it was finished Prince of Darkness looked nice, Eubank the Mouse had some charm, but at the same time I found myself drawn to Skarab more than the others. The colours popped nicely with the red backdrop the series had and the black lower half of the robot made those colours more emphasised.
- Heat A: Alrighty, the first ever heat of the new series, with the only robot the series could hype up being the return of the Detonator team, y'know, the team that lost in the second round of a heat. Looks-wise however this was an interesting heat for me to look at since this heat really puts into perspective the term "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". As such, while the ugliest is the hopefully agreeable Piece de Resistance, the best-looking robot in this heat was in my opinion Victor. The red lawnmower blade might not have been a devastating weapon but that and the yellow wheelss really helped it to stand out. And before people ask why I didn't consider Caliban, it's because I went with how it appeared in the arena. Had we seen it compete in that fbs form then I would say it's the nicest-looking.
- Heat B: It should come as no surprise that Wheelosaurus takes the wooden spoon of ugliness here. When a robot looks like something that just came out of the scrapheap, it can either be nice or not, and this is not nice. As for the prettiest robot in the heat, it came down to 3 machines: Tantrum's interesting wheel design at the front looked good but it was ultimately a box; Mace looks nice enough but the asymmetrical flail was a slight nitpick (yes my reasoning was that petty); but ultimately I found the design of Leighviathan to be the nicest of all. Funny that that team upgraded to be the best aesthetically and name-wise, but looks-wise it wasn't enough to win all-star status.
- Heat C: Mortis was starting to take form in a very noticable way but was sadly not as pretty-looking as the upgraded Dreadnaut. In terms of the least pretty, one could make the argument for Oblivion or Griffon as they are just wedges or a box. But the biggest loser here was Rameses II, a robot that was the upgraded version of a previous pretty robot Skarab. What happened there team? They went from a robot with a nice colour scheme to one with an ugly one, a hammer too big for the machine, and treads that did not help the visuals even slightly
- Heat D: I know it might seem like an obvious pick, so I'm just gonna say that no, Razer is not the prettiest robot in this heat. While the design is iconic, it isn't iconic YET, there's still some things that need to be done to it to be iconic. So what is the prettiest bot of Heat D? Well it was very close, as Elvis REALLY changed itself to look relatively nice, but ultimately Milly-Ann Bug was the nicest robot in this heat. As for the ugliest robot, while Behemoth didn't look particularly nice in this heat, it at least had some comedy to it with a Friends reference, meanwhile Bodyhammer just looked like a stealth traffic cone at this point, the little asymmetrical saw sticking out like a sore thumb.
- Heat E: Killertron easily took the win for this heat since it was a great splash of colour in a predominantly grey and black heat. As for the ugliest robot it ironically went to the other colorful robot of ORAC (Note: not an all-timer, name is already in all-caps). The pram-like wheels as well as the overall shape and colour scheme just did not look nice at all on this bot.
- Heat F: This was another tough choice to call, since much like Heat D we had an iconic machine in Panic Attack that wasn't in its iconic guise yet. That being said, it was still a very nice box to look at, but the bi-wedge design of Disruptor was a very pleasant machine to look at, plus the black colour scheme worked for this bot. Meanwhile for the title of the ugliest bot this heat it was really a two-horse race, because while The Parthian Shot just broke down before it could do anything, it at least looked nicer than the two that fought it out: Whirling Dervish and ultimate loser, the discount RC car of Ron.
- Heat G: I know there's the already iconic ROADBLOCK, but I want to give the other robots a fighting chance, so if we discount the iconic robot, then I find myself instantly drawn to the zebra stripes of Limpet. It's a very pleasing design to look at, and the tracks fit to the striped aesthetics perfectly fine. Nemesis was another pleasant design as per usual, but more from the comedy status. Killerhurtz was another one to consider, but it was in the Razer syndrome of "not yet the iconic design". As for the least nice-looking, ROCS was just a splash of too many colours that ultimately looks not very pleasant.
- Heat H: No surprises here that Rampage is the ugliest robot here, and it's lucky for Loco that Rampage was in this heat, otherwise it would have won. Groundhog looked rather novel as a machine, comical even, thus I wouldn't regard it as unappealling. The prettiest robot of this heat was a toss-up. I love the look of Sting a lot, but it just cannot compete with the iconic CASSIUS that revolutionised the roboteering world and did so with a sleek design, an iconic logo and catchphrase put onto the robot.
- Heat I: If was a heat to remind me how bland designs were back in the day, this heat and Heat E were the ones to remind me, with only Cruella being colourful enough to mention. The only other robot with any colour on it was the prettiest looking robot in Robo Doc. It wasn't just the splash of yellow on the sides that won Robo Doc the award though, it was the tracks and the overall pleasing design that helped it out; King Buxton having the "not iconic yet" status. And as for the ugliest of the bland designs, then the one to stand out was sadly Rottweiler. A very clever name that is entirely lost with the uninspired design, the cherry on top to secure its award was the picture of a dog plastered on the front with the awful weapon setup.
- Heat J: A far more colorful heat after Heat I that was surprisingly easy to decide both awards for. In terms of ugliness, while G.B.H was weirdly thicc and bulbous, and Talos was just a wedge, at least those two had had colour, something that BROOT lacked. A weaponless box with thin wooden wheels with ugly little nubs on the top, simply the least attractive bot in the heat, and one of the ugliest bots ever, hence all-time status. As for the prettiest robot here, it was an easy win for Ivanhoe, with the knight helmet simply inspiring.
- Heat K: It might seem odd, but MEGA-HURTS gets all-timer status as pretty, since for me the computer look has always been iconic from both a comical and a pleasing aspect. The body was the the proper computer, the lifter was the keyboard and the monitor and mouse was added to complete the iconic look. Now that I've finished gushing over one of my favourite classic robots, time to put one of these robots under the spotlight as the least pleasing. While The Mule's dual colour scheme could be considered ugly, the robot's kicking legs and "Buck off!" message made it pleasing. Enzyme could be considered ugly, but I personally like it as a design. But one robot I think we can all agree is not so pleasing to look at it the bland wedge of Demon.
- Heat L: Here's how this heat goes out, not with a bang but a whimper. Very bots here stood out as particularly pleasing or ugly, they were all okay-looking. But to just say "meh, can't choose" would be awful of me to do, so if I have to be fully critical here, I would say that Angel of Death was the blandest design, with Flirty Skirty a close second for ugliest; while in the beautiful category Vercingetorix did the best job of being pleasing without being too flashy *coughTenderCaresscough*