Over in the US, BattleBots officially returned to TV last summer after a 10 year hiatus. The response from fans was so overwhelming that US network ABC not only renewed the series for a second season, but Hexbug has also turned the league's most popular robots into tiny remote control toys you can battle at home.
To perfectly recreate the battles you saw on TV, you need to start with the $US70 ($99) Hexbug BattleBots Arena to contain all of the carnage. The 20 by 51cm playset comes with four clear plastic-topped walls, two corners with manually operated hammers, graphics that recreate the appearance of the real-life arena, and two miniature remote control BattleBots with wireless controllers.
Included with the arena playset are even two RC BattleBots to get you started. Bronco, with its flipping arm that can be activated using the remote.
And the fan favourite, Tombstone, with its devastating spinning blade up front.
To further up the competition, Witch Doctor, with its vertically-mounted spinning flywheel, can also be added to the arena playset for $US30 ($42). But all three robots can be purchased separately as well, if you'd prefer to just battle it out on your living room coffee table. As for the other robots that made appearances on the show, hopefully Hexbugs will keep adding to this new line.
It's probably important to note that the tiny battery-powered BattleBots won't start smoking or catch fire after a particularly brutal smackdown, but they do feature panels and accessories that come flying off in the heat of battle. But after a fight, they're a lot easier to reassemble and repair than the real thing. And at no point do you need to wear safety glasses.