So, after spending the past week and a half working on a film set, and slightly injuring my hand holding a boom pole, I am back with my last post before the chaos and carnage restarts again with the 10th wars this weekend. And so I am back with the second half to my favourite house robots, i.e. the house robots I actually liked. So, without any further delays (I’ve left you waiting long enough anyway), let’s get down to it!
- Shunt (S1-Present)
Yes Shunt, the bulldozer that has travelled back in time from a futuristic wasteland to marshal the arena. Shunt is probably one of the simplest house robots out there, with the sole aim to push, shove and, well, shunt. And I love the simplicity that the robot has, yet to brute strength of pushing a competitor to its peril or doom. And of course, we can’t forget the brutal axe, which has peppered holes through many a robot it its time. Some blows have even been fatal.
Like Matilda, Shunt has been a popular target for attack by the masses, with a great number of success, usually by flippers. The likes of Firestorm and Apollo have all taken turns with the power puncher, and left it stranded, which is most entertaining it itself. Add in the fact that Shunt can’t self right, and it has had to seek help from its fellow house robots on several occasions.
Is there any way Shunt could be improved? Well, a self righting mechanism wouldn’t go amiss, but other than that, not really. It is simple, and it gets the job done. It’s not the most glamorous or complicated robot, but it *quietly* gets on with its job, to devastating effect.
- Sir Killalot (S2-Present)
Sir Killalot isn’t first? What is this madness?
Yes, Sir Killalot is probably the most famous of the house robots, despite not actually having been introduced at the start of the series, but that doesn’t mean it has to be my favourite. I still think it’s a bloody good robot though.
Sir Killalot is a real brute of the show, eclipsing most of its compatriots in both size and weight. A knight of the realm, Sir Killalot come clad in blue, skeletal armour and a pair of weapons to help defend the arena’s honour. The most recognisable is the set of crushing claws, usually employed to grab hold of a robot so that they can be hoisted into the air and spun around. It’s somewhat rare to see the claws actually snap something in half, like they always demonstrate. Sticking with the knights theme, Sir Killalot also employs a lance for a weapon. It can be used to spike another robot, but its mainly used to hoist. Sir Killalot does a lot of hoisting. And, just to set it a bit further apart from everyone else, Sir Killalot runs on tank tracks.
One of Sir Killalot’s most well known claims is that the robot is indestructible. And this claim has been tested oh so many times- Even in its first wars, Sir Killalot managed to fall over. Since then it’s been attacked so many times, with effects ranging from having its face taken off, the tracks shredded to even being set on fire. It’s been a wild ride.
Despite all of this, I still think Sir Killalot could do more. It’s supposed to be the leader, and yet the lance is practically useless at anything other than getting stuck in walls and the jaws are little more than a glorified grabber. It might change my mind if it runs over one of the clusterbots in the new series.
- Dead Metal (S1-Present)
Space hedgehog! Dead Metal is by far and away the most futuristic looking House Robot of the set, with so many jagged angles and so much silver shine, it could be out of a retro Transformers comic. One part hedgehog, one part crab and looking like a robotic mutant that sculpted itself out of scrap metal in a junkyard, Dead Metal is both mean and efficient. A lethal combination.
How does Dead Metal created such surgically precise mayhem? Well, a well oiled combination of some grappling pincers and a deadly circular saw certainly help it along that path. Once the prey has been snared, the saw can get to work, cutting through armour to reach the vital internals. And if it creates a vibrant spark show along the way, well then we’re all the better for it.
Dead Metal is elegant, powerful and has a striking appearance. It can nip around the arena, and put on a show. It’s a damn nice machine.
The exact opposite of the robot in my number one spot.
- Mr Psycho (S6-7)
6ft2, eyes of blue, Mr Psycho’s after you…
One of the two new additions in the 6th wars, Mr Psycho was built almost as competition to Sir Killalot in the ultra-heavyweight division of house robots. Whereas Killalot was there as a knight of the realm, to protect the honour of the arena, Psycho is just there to beat the crap out of other robots and lay down the law, smackdown style. Psycho’s claw arm is built like an actual hand, so it’s perfect to grab opponents, whereas the other is equipped with a rather hefty hammer. A hammer that can cause some serious hurt. With the tough armour the latter wars showcased, the hammer didn’t always make big dents, but it could shake up internals.
Away from the purpose built weapons, Psycho’s flat front plate between the tank tracks meant that it could push robots around the arena like they were toys. That, or Psycho could just run them over.
Despite not being there for too long, Psycho began to take on Sir Killalot’s reputation as untouchable. Sir Killalot had already been battered and bruised, but Psycho was the big, shiny new target. Which made it all the more entertaining, and quite the spectacle, when Firestorm managed to topple them over. It was beautiful. Add in the fact that Psycho was at times comically inept at aiming its hammer, and we have an imposing brute of a robot with a lighter side.
Psycho had power, weight and brutality on its side, and was enough to scare even the hardest of robots. Maybe Killalot is more iconic, but compared to Psycho it isn’t as imposing. It’s just a shame we got to see so little of the robot in comparison to most of the others.