It’s time for another interlude! Yes, I wasn’t finished with listing my favourite competitor robots and my favourite battles, now i’m moving on to my favourite house robots. The guardians of the arena, and sometimes the villains of the showpiece, the house robots have a home in their CPZ, a corner of the arena where they can watch and observe the battle. And if a competitor strays too close, they’re not afraid to give them a *gentle* nudge back into the war zone. Even further, if a competitor is no longer functional, then the house robots can have some fun. All work, but at least some play.
There have been 8 main house robots over the years, though only 4 have survived through to the present day. One house robot only lasted for one series. But whilst they come and go, their legend will disappear.
It’s needless to say though, everyone has a favourite. Everyone has a least favourite. But this is my blog and hence, my opinions. So which house robots do I like the most, and which do I like the least? Time to find out.
8. Cassius Chrome (S7)
Is this even really a surprise? I’ve hardly shown much admiration for Cassius Chrome in my 7th wars recaps, so it makes sense that it would be my least favourite house robot. In my not so humble opinion, Cassius Chrome was nothing more than a gimmick, something for Channel 5 to make their mark on the series. But honestly, they already had 7 house robots, they didn’t need an 8th.
In terms of the actual robot, Cassius Chrome could pack quite a punch… *Cough*. Well, Cassius Chrome could pack a punch with the body of the robot when it got up to speed, but the actual boxing fists were rather useless. They fit the robot’s purpose, but they really weren’t weapons worthy of being attached to a house robot.
Honestly, I think Cassius Chrome would have worked a lot better as a competitor robot. Of course, it would’ve had to shed some weight for that to happen. But my point stands.
7. Growler (S6-7)
Faithful companion to Mr Psycho, Growler was the robot dog from hell, introduced as one of the new House Robot additions for the 6th wars. Growler was fairly basic in the grand scheme of things, literally a dog on four wheels. A fast, heavy dog at that, but still just a dog.
Growler’s weapon of choice was a set of clamping jaws, as if I wasn’t scared of dogs enough already. The jaws weren’t particularly powerful in terms of their crushing power, not like Sgt. Bash’s, put they were good for gripping a competitor and either tossing them around or moving them to another part of the arena, such as the flipper or the pit. If that was Growler’s purpose, then I don’t really see the point. Shunt or Dead Metal could easily do the same job already.
Growler also had speed on its side, being both fast an manouverable. Infact it is so fast, that the momentum of a collision with Dominator 2 in S6 split their baseplate in half. It is am inpressive way of attack, not unlike robots such as Storm 2 or Tornado. But if Growler’s purpose all along was to be a ramming machine, then that makes Cassius Chrome’s introduction in S7 even less neccessary.
6. Matilda (S1-Present)
Ah Matilda, the matriach of mayhem. Fulfilling the regular TV trope of one female amongst a group of males, Matilda has definitely defined her place amongst the masculine figures of Mr Psycho, Sir Killalot and Sgt. Bash. I’ve always thought of Dead Metal as male, but it could honestly go either way, so i’ll leave that one to the people who actually built him/her.
But onto Matilda herself. She resembles a mutant Rhino, and seems to move like one too. Despite her smaller stature against the other house robots, i’ve always found Matilda to seem a little bit cumbersome. Couple that with weak armour (In relative terms), it’s made Matilda a popular target for competitor robots, not least Razer who completely dismembered her.
The weapons have at least evolved with the times. Matilda was originally fitted with a chainsaw, but that became somewhat obsolete when robots stopped being made out of wood. Now, Matilda weilds a hefty flywheel capable of great destruction when it connects with a competitor. It is a weapon I greatly admire. On the front end of the robot, however, are a pair of flipping tusks, far less destructive and in my opinion, criminally underused. Sure, they’re not the most powerful flippers in existence, but they’re useful.
Fortunately, the reboot seems to have given the tusks a new lease of life. They’ve even been responsible for tossing robots out of the arena. Let’s hope it continues.
5. Sgt. Bash (S1-7)
The Sargeant Major of the warzone, Sgt. Bash combines some hardline futuristic military hardware with a menacing presence in the arena. Painted in the standard military greens and dirtied up from the scars of war, Bash has always looked ready to rumble.
One of the original additions to the crew of House Robots, Bash has had many a moment to remember, including run ins with Diotor and Granny’s Revenge that led to a fiery end. All of this comes down to Bash’s rotary mounted flamethrower, which makes quite the spectale when it shoots flame across the arena. The problem is, unless the robot is made of fur or draped in carpet, the flamethrower is unlikely to do anything. It is, in other words, a gimmick. But it’s an entertaining gimmick and that’s fine with me.
The other weapon is a nasty looking set of hydraulic crushers. But, much like Matilda’s tusks, they were criminally underused throughout the series. They could have done some real damage, but they were often overlooked in favour of the flamethrower. They still managed to look the part though, and that was half of the entertainment.
I did like Sgt. Bash as a robot, it looked awesome and had that menacing militaristic feel that a guardian of the arena should have. It just wasn’t quite as effective as the robot suggested. Would I like to see it back in the new series? Hell yes, but I know that’s probably not possible.