Nickelodeon Robot Wars was a game show that aired for six episodes on the programming block SLAM!. Hosted by Dave Aizer, with Vivianne Collins as pit reporter and Stefan Frank as commentator, the show was a version of the British robot combat game show Robot Wars produced in collaboration with original production company Mentorn. The show ran for one season and was later re-run on Nickelodeon GAS.
The six-part series was filmed at Shepperton Studios in England in January 2002, at the same time as the second season of Robot Wars Extreme Warriors, another US version commissioned for The New TNN. Both shows featured American teams and a limited selection of competitors from the original UK version.
The show sees competitors build and enter remote-controlled machines (robots) to fight each other in the purpose-built Robot Wars Arena. Robots use a variety of different weapons and strategies to damage and defeat opponents by any means possible. All robots were driven by children associated with the participating teams.
Battles are generally won by damaging and immobilizing opponents or pushing them down the Pit of Oblivion. In the event that more than robot survives the full battle duration, a panel of Judges decides the winner based on a set of four criteria: "style", "control", "damage" and "aggression".
The arena includes multiple hazards which all competitors must avoid, including:
- Pit of Oblivion - a rectangular panel in the floor which can descend once a robot presses the 'pit trigger' at the bottom-right corner. Competitors which fall into this are instantly eliminated.
- Floor Flipper - a hinged rectangular panel which fires forward through pneumatics and throws defeated competitors across the arena.
- Disc of Doom - a circular floor panel with sharp teeth and a spiral pattern designed to spin and throw competitors off course. Activated by a similar button to the 'pit trigger'.
- Drop Zone - marked by a square panel with a yellow cross, heavy objects such as sports equipment are dropped onto any defeated competitors placed in this area.
- Angle Grinders - circular saws lined along the arena walls, intended to cut into any robot driving into them.
- Steam Vents - several CO2 jets firing upwards from the arena floor as well as a larger grill on the right-hand side. In other versions, the grill is used as the Flame Pit.
- Corner Patrol Zones (CPZs) - Marked areas at each corner where the House Robots are stationed.
A set of five House Robots would serve as additional hazards for competitors, with up to two being located in the Corner Patrol Zones during regular battles. They would attack any robot which strayed into their CPZs, as well as deal further damage and take defeated competitors to arena hazards once they had been counted out after thirty seconds.
- Shunt - influenced by bulldozers and railroad shunting engines, equipped with a snowplough and pneumatic lifting scoop at either end along with a powerful diamond-edged axe.
- Matilda - based on a mutant alien boar or dinosaur, equipped with pneumatic flipping tusks and a set of "interchangeable" rear-mounted spinning weapons. The latter included a 3,000rpm chainsaw (as originally used in the UK Series) or a vertical flywheel capable of severely damaging competitors.
- Dead Metal - an exoskeleton-style robot with a set of pneumatically-powered pincers and a 3,000rpm circular saw mounted on a hinged 'head' assembly.
- Sgt. Bash - designed to resemble a futuristic military tank, with green army paintwork and hydraulic crushing pincers. Also equipped with a turret-based flamethrower which was active in other versions of the original Robot Wars.
- Sir K - the largest, heaviest and deadliest "House Robot", equipped with hydraulic arms fitted with crushing claws and a rotating drill lance. Also known as Sir Killalot in all other versions of the show.
A non-combative House Robot, Refbot, would also be present to enforce fair play in the arena. Modelled on a sporting referee, his primary roles were to separate competitors using his ploughs and scoops if they became stuck together, prevent other House Robots from attacking active competitors outside of their CPZs, and to count out defeated competitors after they had become immobilized for more than thirty seconds.
A total of eight different events took place over the six-part series. Three of these (the US Championship, International Tag Team and Annihilator) were aired within a single show, with others being spread out over multiple episodes. Two one-off battles (the House Robot Rebellion and Battle of the Spinners) were also aired as individual events.
|US Championship||1||Four robots compete in a one-on-one knockout tournament for the title of US Champion.||Tyranabot
|International Tag Team||2||A tag team competition between two-robot teams from the USA and United Kingdom. One robot from each team fights at any one time, swapping partners by 'tagging' them at any point during the battle.||The Revolutionist & Spin Doctor (USA)
Zanzara & Run Away (USA)
Ming 3 & Rick (UK)
Bigger Brother & Kat 3 (UK)
|Ming 3 & Rick|
|Mayhem||3, 4, 5||A series of three-way melees where one robot from each battle would emerge victorious. The three Mayhem winners would return at the end of Episode 5 to compete in the "Ultimate Mayhem" final.||(Robots in bold won their original Mayhem)
Rosie The Riveter 2
|Vengeance||3, 4, 5||An 'open call' for teams to settle old scores or issue open challenges against their competitors via one-on-one battles.||Bunny Attack
|Battle of the Spinners||3||Similar to the 'Vengeance' battles, a one-off battle between two competitors to determine which one had the better spinning weapon.||Ninjitsu
|Challenge Belt||3, 4, 5||One robot is given the belt and defends it against challengers in one-on-one battles. Three successful defenses would allow the holder to win the belt to keep.||Tyranabot
Rosie The Riveter 2
|House Robot Rebellion||4||Two competitors take on the House Robots which have free reign of the arena.||Squirmin Vermin and Humdrum vs Dead Metal, Shunt and Sir K||Dead Metal, Shunt and Sir K|
|Annihilator||6||Up to five robots fight simultaneously over a series of rounds where one robot is eliminated at each stage. The process repeats until only one robot remains.||Bunny Attack
|Nickelodeon Games and Sports|
|Double Dare • Finders Keepers • Total Panic • Think Fast • Make the Grade • Wild & Crazy Kids • Get the Picture • What Would You Do? • Nick Arcade • GUTS • Legends of the Hidden Temple • Figure It Out • You're On! • Sponk! • Robot Wars • Scaredy Camp • My Family's Got GUTS • BrainSurge • Webheads • Paradise Run • Keep It Spotless • Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? • The Crystal Maze • Unfiltered • Unleashed • Tooned In|