In the world of website building there’s this little thing called “SEO” or “Search Engine Optimization”; surely you’ve heard of this. SEO is just an elaborate charade that someone who owns a website performs so that they can maximize their exposure and rake in that mad Google AdSense cash. For the record, TwilightFoundry.com has made exactly two cents over the course of this past month. When divided up evenly between the two people who work on this project both myself and Roastmaster get a penny. I don’t really care too much about SEO because this website is just a hobby and most everyone here has a “real job” to pay the bills. However, that didn’t stop me from setting up Google Analytics so I could at least see how people are finding this place.

Bad idea.

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Pictured above: BUSINESS. SYNERGY.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with Google Analytics. The tracking software gives me more information than I can be bothered to learn how to interpret so I really only pay attention to the search terms that people are using to find this website and that’s the central idea of this article; there are some people out there looking for some seriously fucked up things and for inexplicable reasons they are finding TwilightFoundry.com in their results. To spell that out a little more clearly, these are real search terms that people are entering into their browsers, seeing TwilightFoundry.com in the results, and then clicking on said result thinking they’ll get Sonic the Hedgehog porn or something.

I promise I have not made any of these up. Below are 12 examples of my favorite terms that have literally brought traffic to this website.

 

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I don’t understand this one. I mean, I know what horses are and I know what rimming is, and in this case “anus” is kind of redundant since that is sort of implied with the whole “rimming” bit. The person who searched for this wants to lick a horse’s ass. I’m fine with that, whatever floats your boat yeah yeah, but what confuses me is the inclusion of “e621”. It’s not that I don’t know what that is, it’s a furry porn aggregator, but rather why it was included in a Google search when the person doing it could have just as easily gone to the fucking website directly and keyed in exactly what he googled for and skipped the middleman here.

No, really. Here, in the name of going above and beyond to provide for our visitors here’s a link to exactly what this lazy furry couldn’t be bothered to properly search for so the next time they decide to roll the dice on  equestrian analingus they’ll have their legwork done already. Do not click these words because I assure you no good will come of it. (NSFW)

 

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Yes.

 

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This search term has got to be a memetic attack of some sort because once I saw it crop up in TwilightFoundry.com’s search term results I had to search for it myself to find out what the hell this person was looking for. To be honest I don’t know why I searched for it; I am not fond of Miranda Cosgrove, I’m indifferent toward ice cream, and I’m not exactly sure I’m all gung-ho about getting into a story where iCarly blows Jamie Kennedy.

That was a Max Keeble’s Big Move reference, by the way.

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Best movie. 10/10 would watch again.

Also, searching for this on Google does indeed bring up TwilightFoundry.com as a result. On Bing? Horse porn. That’s Sarah Jessica Parker, Bing, not Miranda Cosgrove. You’re not even close. For fuck’s sake can you do anything right?

Just because I don’t like Miranda Cosgrove doesn’t mean no one else does though. If memory serves me right I believe I can name at least one person who has an unhealthy affinity for terrible Nickelodeon actresses. I bet this was his doing.

 

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I don’t get why so many furry sex terms bring people to this website. If you’re someone who’s looking for furry porn then you already know what it is, what it’s called, and you have got to be aware by now that there are literally dozens if not hundreds of websites devoted to cataloging and sorting this shit out into fetishes that I’m convinced do not and cannot exist outside of the furry fandom. TwilightFoundry.com is not one of those websites. There are exactly zero images of uncensored furry porn here. We’ve provided exactly as many explicit images of furries having sex as we have reasons to vote Republican, or reasons to vote at all for that matter.

Why do you people keep coming here? Why? Do I really have to break and do the same fucking things I did for you that I did for the horse butthole guy earlier in the article?

Fine.

Here.

Here.

Here.

Here.

You’re welcome. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

 

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I’m aware that there is a “Horse Lovin” Ken doll, a “club” Ken doll where he’s literally wearing a cock ring on a necklace, a Barbie doll with a fetus inside of it, and a racist black Barbie doll that says “Oreo” on it but never have I heard of a “nude fucking” Barbie that comes with a sex robot. Considering I just rattled off four extremely questionable (and real) dolls at the beginning of this paragraph I would venture a guess that “Fucking Machines Barbie” is probably a real thing and I apologize that we have not yet covered it on this website. We’ll get right on that.

 

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This is a distressing search term not just because it brought someone to this website (GO AWAY) but because its wording implies something far more nefarious than babyfurs or adult babies or regression play or Pamperchu or whatever the fuck else this is called. I give up. I hate life. I know there are people out there who not only possess the autism required to like Sonic more than what’s socially acceptable but also have the necessary predisposition to enjoy scat porn — the unholy triumvirate. If you are this person I don’t want to know you.

 

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The great thing about this search term is that I can guess where the visitor ended up. This search inevitably brought them to the “7 Most Retarded Collectible Coins” article where this “$20 coin” — which, for the record, is actually a 100% authentic World Trade Center silver certificate with legal tender status in fucking Liberia — was blasted for being one of the stupidest and most offensive pieces of shit released into the collector’s market. Here is a person who was either duped into buying one of these things or accepted one in lieu of payment for something else because they thought it was worth twenty bucks and when they decided to do some research on it they were directly insulted by this website for having obtained one.

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For reference, it’s this abomination they searched for.

Then again, when the article uses the phrasing “Most Retarded” in its title I guess if you decided to click through you kind of had it coming?

 

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Roastmaster’s article about scary TV logos and autism is one of the most popular and most-read articles published by Twilight Foundry. For the past three months the “Autistic’s Guide To Scary TV Logos” article has received more search term traffic than any other article on the site and understandably it also has the most search terms attached to it. I’ve yet to figure out if the search terms are indicative of the CLG Wiki googling themselves or if our article is some sort of underground hit with them; surprisingly, there is no incoming traffic from the CLG Wiki website that I am aware of.

 

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Clearly, this search brought someone to the article I originally wrote on GatorAIDS about how much of a shitty and fake production Weaponizers on the Discovery Channel was. This in and of itself isn’t an inherently bad search term but it’s here because there’s something I’ve been hiding from you all this whole time. No, it’s not some proof that Weaponizers was in fact 100% legitimate, it’s the fact that one of the “contestants” of this “show” was apparently googling himself one day and found this article when it was hosted at GatorAIDS. He left me a “nice” comment detailing how little I apparently knew about television and insisted the show was real. I didn’t make a big deal about this at the time because when the comment was posted GatorAIDS had closed… but I never forgot. Apparently he didn’t either because someone is still trying to find out if this clearly fake show was faked. (Spoiler: Yes.)

I am working on a second article as we speak that takes a second look at Weaponizers and the contestant’s snide remarks to prove once and for all yes, this show was goddamned fake.

 

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I’m assuming this search term led the visitor to the review of that god awful “Sushi-Go-Round” game that Miniclip farted out for the Nintendo DS. I’m not going to lie, I think “Weird Sushi Goaround Fuck” is not only the best possible way to describe this game but also a much better title for it as well.

 

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Twilight Foundry neophyte Komodo88’s work has been making the rounds lately. As of this posting he has two articles with us, one about furry shirts and another about the movie Space Jam. The Space Jam article is seeing a fair amount of attention on Tumblr and the article itself has accrued a respectable amount of views in the past month considering this is a relatively new website. The list of search terms that brings people here is kind of like the notation of pi, it’s just a random assortment of crap that makes little to no sense at all except with slightly more of a pattern behind it; much like how pi has the Feynman point (a streak of six 9’s in a row) our search terms also have a streak of their own. Since they’re all Space Jam related I’m calling it the Jordan-Barkley convergence.

This streak of search terms starts off innocuously with “space jam monstars” and then immediately turns into “space jam movie juice”. I don’t know what that is and I don’t want to know what that is, however I worry that the people who are searching for this movie and finding TwilightFoundry.com have ulterior motives because the very next search term is “space jam aliens transform” followed immediately by “space jam aliens steal talent”. Maybe you’re giving these people (or likely, this person) a generous benefit of the doubt here and they’re just looking for what are arguably the most pivotal plot points in that movie. It’s a fucking Looney Tunes movie but fine, I’ll go with this hypothetically. Allow me to obliterate any doubt you might have because the fifth and final search term is “space jam inflation scene”.

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Photographic proof that God does not exist.

Komodo88, and I truly mean this with the utmost sincerity here, please go back to the furry fandom from whence you came and never return again.

 

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We’re a comedy website not miracle workers here.

 

– Dracophile

So far I’ve been on track talking about some of my favorite least-good BattleBots and obscure BattleBots toys that I wished I owned a complete set of. This is another such article in this truly groundbreaking Internet series. In 2002, during the heyday of the BattleBots event and television show, they managed to secure a McDonald’s Happy Meal deal. No, I can’t believe that either; BattleBots was able to reach the same esteemed ranks of Disney toys, Beanie Babies, and Hot Wheels. That might sound ridiculous — and maybe I am putting that pedestal up a little too high — but at the very least it’s definitely a sign you’re doing something right when an international fast food chain is giving away plastic versions of your licenses with cheap food. Unfortunately, this would end up being the highest point in BattleBots’ existence as the event pretty much died the following year.

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Yes I bought a whole set.

This article isn’t about the decline of BattleBots however, it’s about McDonald’s toys. There were eight robots in the BattleBots set, seven of them based upon real-life robots with the last one being a stupid hamburger with saw blades called “Mac Attack”. The more I re-read that sentence the more I want to drop “stupid” from it because objectively a hamburger with saw blades sounds awesome. Mac Attack sucked, though. The word stays. Plenty of people have reviewed these toys over the course of the past decade including this one guy who, despite his overtly ambivalent camera presence, couldn’t be bothered to learn the names of any of the robots but still considered the final product “good enough” for a professional-looking YouTube review. I want to throw my hat in the review ring too, but you’ve had to have realized by now that I don’t exactly do things by the book here. Instead I want to take a closer look at the toys and while I intend to talk about each of the eight robots I also want to look at what makes them work.

In short, I’m going to disassemble each of the bots and include pictures of their guts in this article. When’s the last time you saw that done? Exactly. Before we get to the robots though, let’s first take a look at the Happy Meal bag from the BattleBots promotion. Because Hoarders.

 

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NO I CAN’T THROW THIS AWAY IT’S SENTIMENTAL

 

There was a period of time where Happy Meals temporarily ended their memorable cardboard box containers and shifted over to paper bags made of recycled material. Unfortunately, BattleBots’ promotion happened during this time so not only are the bags difficult to track down they’re also incredibly flimsy, feature shitty printing, and don’t have much in the way of pop-out pieces or puzzles or anything else for that matter. I guess the point I am trying to make here is that in most aspects the Happy Meal box was kind of like a “second toy” because it had stuff to keep kids busy a little longer but these bags are shit and there aren’t any such games on it to review.

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Wait a minute.

No, I lied. There is one whole game on the bag and it’s a real stretch of the definition of “game”. It involves cutting out half of Ginsu, flattening the bag, and driving your robot into the Ginsu pop-up. There’s even a helpful diagram on the bottom of the bag if you’re too incomprehensibly stupid to figure this out and needed an “answer on bottom of bag” solution to basic instructions. I’m not going to shred this bag up so I can run over a poorly printed out Ginsu model, not because of “collector’s value” or anything like that but because I have an actual Ginsu toy from the promotion so I don’t need to run over the fake one printed on recycled toilet paper. Also, my prediction is that the pullback toy would just push the bag out of the way instead of drive over it anyways.

The reverse side of the bag doesn’t have a game on it, just two more robots with the dubious tagline “THE BIGGER THE BATTLE THE BETTER” which is a load of shit; BattleBots’ original slogan was “When sparks fly robots die” but I guess since this is a Happy Meal you can’t have the word “die” printed on it anywhere even when the toys are of robots that literally fight to the death. WHATEVER, HAMBURGERS. The sides of the bag, however, list out the eight robots in the promotionwithout their names — and the whole ordeal is somehow made more infuriating than the “run over Ginsu” game by means of the inclusion of a bunch of wacky faux arena introductions written for each of the bots… again, without naming them at all.

“Get a grip,” the bag says about Super Heavyweight champion Diesector, “this Bot grabs others in its jaws!” Bot. That’s what all of the toys are referred to, including the goddamned hamburger one. In fact, Mac Attack’s ad copy makes me want to kill someone: “Fast food! Spinning burger action knocks other Bots out!”

“Spinning burger action.” Nobody in the history of time itself has ever said those words in that order before and to prove my point here’s a screenshot of Google telling me to go fuck myself when I searched for it.

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You’re welcome.

Coming up as a close second for “worst ‘BattleBots Bio’ ever” is Ankle Biter’s which reads: “Watch out! Here comes the wedge!”

Said no one ever in BattleBots.

 

As mentioned earlier, for some inexplicable reason none of the robots are referred to by their actual names anywhere in the promotion. I’m assuming this is due to licensing issues or something pertaining to that because the BattleBots company was quite generous with royalties in regards to their competitors. All of the plastic toy bags read “Pullback Action Toy” in place of the robot’s name, though it’s pretty obvious who’s who. Despite the obvious correlations to actual competitors I can’t pass up on the official names assigned to the robots in the promotion; look at these beauties:

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(Click to enlarge.)

No, I am not shitting you here. Rather than have Ginsu named “Ginsu”, it was officially titled “Pullback Action Toy shaped like an X with four wheels on each side” and Mechadon somehow became “Windup Action Toy shaped similar to a crab”. What. There are an infinite number of things wrong with those descriptions. Firstly, Ginsu doesn’t have “four wheels on each side”; by my count it has four wheels on exactly two sides. Also, Mechadon looks nothing like a crab; I suppose now “crab” can join the ranks of things like “spider” on the “list of shit that people say looks like Mechadon but actually looks nothing like Mechadon at all whatsoever”. I can’t believe McDonald’s was willing to tiptoe around a potential lawsuit over toy likenesses from Little Tykes, whose ladybug sandbox was used to build Tentomushi, but apparently had some kind of licensing disagreement over naming the fucking toy “Tentomushi”.

My favorite description here is the one used for Biohazard sorry, HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “Pullback Action Toy shaped like metallic box”. Congratulations, McDonald’s, you just named all eight of them in one fell swoop. Ba da da da DAAAAA.

What’s really fantastic about all of these toys is that they each came with a little slip of paper demonstrating what all of the robots do and how to get them to do those things. (Hint: You pull the toy back and let go.) Yes, you read that correctly, the pullback toys came with instructions. Look, I don’t want to be a piece of shit here but the instructions are kind of in the toy’s name. If you can’t figure that out maybe it’s because you’ve eaten the toy. You know what kinds of toys need instructions? The K’Nex Big Ball Factory. That’s a fucking ordeal to put together; these toys are literally “push it in the direction it isn’t supposed to go and then take your hand off of it”.

For what it’s worth the instructions are actually very carefully drawn. For something that was thrown away immediately there was a lot of attention put into these diagrams, a complete collection of them is below. Rivets, blade teeth, wheel treads, and even exposed internals were all drawn with geometrical accuracy. It’s really something else.

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Biohazard flies, apparently.

 

And now, since the bag and preceding commentary have effectively spoiled the list of robots, here’s my insight on our eight contenders for this article’s Grand Rumble arranged loosely in order from least favorite to mostest favoritest:

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I hate this stupid fucking robot. There is nothing about Mac Attack that I like. I get that it’s supposed to be a joke robot and it’s not to be taken seriously because it is literally a hamburger with saw blades and I accept that, what I’m more upset about is McDonald’s sticking their dick into a franchise’s toy line when they have no business acting as such. Allow me to make an analogy here; if McDonald’s did a “Mac Attack” type thing with every toy line they’ve run then we’d have had a motorized Ronald McDonald shitting french fries into Grimace’s mouth as one of the links in that Disney toy train of classic movies or Mayor McFuckingCheese shooting you the finger from a Mario Kart go-kart. We don’t have either of those, so why BattleBots? I’m pretty sure more than seven people competed in BattleBots so it’s not like there was a shortage of robots to make a toy out of.

I’m not even going to review Mac Attack. Fuck Mac Attack. You know what, as of right now the McDonald’s BattleBots set only has seven toys in it.

Because I said so.

 

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Officially starting off this list at the bottom is Ankle Biter. Ankle Biter is not a robot I “dislike” by any means; I just don’t think it translated well into a Happy Meal toy. It’s a fairly simplistic robot so I can see why it was an attractive option for mass production, however all of the other toys in this line including Mac Attack have some sort of additional feature powered by their internal mechanics. Ankle Biter’s saw blade is instead unpowered and lazily spins while it acts as a third wheel. Overall the toy is a solid replica of the robot and stands to be the one that I’d say is closest to the real deal but its distinct lack of “oomph” when compared to the other toys just leaves something to be desired. At least it’s fast, though. Really fast, like the real Ankle Biter. Excuse me while I go get it wedged under a wall somewhere now.

 

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The “saw blades” on Ankle Biter and Mac Attack might look a little odd and that’s because they were rounded down and turned into gear-like abominations for the sake of safety. When you’re serving lowest common denominator food, you have to anticipate that the people eating it are essentially human trash that can’t tell their asses from a hole in the ground nor are they capable of understanding that coffee being hot is a universal standard and isn’t a key point in court cases. That was a 1994 joke in case you were wondering. I forget what I was getting at; oh, Overkill’s giant blade is now somehow a contoured rectangle because dumb people can burn themselves with it. No, wait, that wasn’t right either.

Overkill’s “action” is fairly anemic overall; it’s chopping blade only gets in about two or three whacks before the windup motor gives way and the robot just drives off the table. It’s a decent-looking replica, borrowing Ankle Biter’s overall chassis and tire layout, but its squared weapon just looks terrible.

 

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Out of all of the BattleBots toys, this one isn’t a pullback one. Those of you know who who Mechadon is will understand why since you can’t exactly pull back a walking robot and then let it go. Mechadon features a little windup piece and two oblong wheels underneath it to completely negate everything I just said about it being a walking robot. The robot’s legs twitch and move but it doesn’t actually walk, it rolls around on some not-quite-circular wheels to give it the illusion that it’s hobbling around like it does in real life. It’s kind of a cop-out and I guess that’s why I’m fairly nonplussed about the toy. It’s not hard to make a shuffling/walking toy; McDonald’s had done it years prior with Sebastian from The Little Mermaid.

Mechadon is also made from two different kids of plastic, the top kind significantly shinier and more sparkly than the bottom. This difference in plastic also causes the toy to age strangely, post-out-of-bag versions of this toy have a nasty yellowed underside not unlike the top shell of an NES that belonged to someone who clearly had no business owning an NES in the first place. Yuck.

 

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I rag on Tentomushi a lot because it’s a stupid design but at the same time I really have to give the Robot Action League credit for coming up with a robot that was never really duplicated by anyone else. Whether that speaks greatly or poorly about the design itself is something I’ll leave for you to consider but the fact of the matter is that Tentomushi is a robot whose appearance was quite memorable and seems like it would have lent itself really well to toys but this McDonald’s thing was Tentomushi’s only official merchandise. The reason for that is probably because Tentomushi’s capture dome was literally a kids’ sandbox manufactured by Little Tykes so there was probably some level of copyright over the stupid face those things had. Apparently the ramifications of putting said ladybug’s dopey face on a McDonald’s toy was too expensive so McTentomushi rides into action sporting a somehow even dumber one.

The ladybug shell itself is not motorized and is fastened to the chassis by a simple hinge at the back; this is the BattleBots toy that was most often broken by excessively rough handling. Tentomushi’s dome flaps up and down because there’s a little plastic tab under it that rests inside of a ridiculously large gearbox. When the parts inside turn and spin there’s a little plastic wing that brushes against the dome’s tab and pushes it up. It’s a novel workaround but at the same time it kind of makes the whole “capture dome” thing a bit moot since it takes up so much space.

 

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Diesector this far up the list simply because of the number of moving parts the robot has. The proportions are all wrong, but I am impressed with the amount of action this toy has. Diesector’s jaws and hammers are a mystery to me because as I sit here playing with the damn thing trying to figure out just which sets of wheels turn what the jaws seem to take turns working and not working. The hammers twitch and spasm when the toy drives around so I guess it’s the closest replica in terms of function in the whole set. When you pull the robot back and let it go everything clacks and kisses like a box of snakes and chattering joke teeth; everything about the robot is fucking scary.

Diesector is also the fastest toy in the set by a huge gap. It’s actually about as fast as Mac Attack but since we don’t talk about Mac Attack that means there isn’t a tie and Diesector wins.

 

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Biohazard is one of the most ubiquitous robots in the sport. With something like eleventy thousand wins under its belt I believe the robot ended up having the most televised fights and the most wins out of any other competitor in any weight class in BattleBots history. Yes, this robot was going to get merchandising, a lot of it.

Biohazard is also unique in that it is the only BattleBot to literally be anonymous in toy versions. For some reason after the first line of toys came out Biohazard’s name was redacted into “Heavyweight Champion” (in case you didn’t get that reference when it was made earlier in this article). Supposedly this was done due to alleged copyright infringement but I don’t know from who or what, the “biohazard” symbol as I understand is a common graphic and as far as I know it’s not owned or regulated by anyone; it’s just an impossible to draw symbol that you put on things that you shouldn’t ingest to play with, all McDonald’s toys falling into both of those categories.

The toy features a little flipping arm that fires off way too fast for the robot it’s modeled after, but the real doozy is the little plastic bit on the bottom that causes Biohazard to flail wildly after you set it off. The robot will drive forward and then pull a 90 degree (or a 1080 in all the times I tried it out) turn, drive some more, turn again, and repeat until it runs out of juice. It’s neat but considering these toys were meant to be battled it kind of renders the whole “battle” thing useless since it drives like someone playing Marble Madness during an earthquake.

 

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Ginsu is my favorite robot so if you have a problem with it being number one on this list then you can just fuck right off. Since the robot was more or less an exhibition robot built by the BattleBots organizers and didn’t officially compete after the show’s first season Ginsu missed out on a lot of merchandising. Much like I said in the MiniBots article I wrote, Ginsu’s appearance is more threatening than the actual robot itself; great on paper, horrible in action. Saw blade wheels look menacing but in the grand scheme of things they aren’t doing much damage. The robot’s wheels are the same (or similar) saws as the ones used in the arena hazards and while they were great for show I really don’t think anyone specifically lost because of damage done to them by the Killsaws.

The McDonald’s Ginsu is great if you can get over the weird cog treatment they gave to the saw wheels. What I’m most impressed about is that despite rounding off the saw blades they still got the coloration and style correct; Ginsu’s top front saws are red and the teeth on them are larger and further apart than the silver ones. There are some additional decorative saws and the extended axles missing but overall it’s a nice replica. One set of saws have some rubber banding around them for traction but what really wowed me was that the red saws are actually powered too. Like its real-life counterpart this toy can drive on any side. Sure, the traction sucks when Ginsu’s red blades are being used to drive it around but I could argue that just adds to its replica integrity because the real Ginsu had zero control or traction period because using saw blades for tires is a bad idea.

 

Since we are an embarrassingly long 3,800 words into this article I think it’s finally time that we take a look under the hoods of all of these robots and see just what makes them tick. For the purposes of this article I actually had to track down and purchase an entirely new set of toys (because there’s not a chance I’d be disassembling mine) and ironically it was cheaper for me to buy a complete set of “mint in package” toys for this project… with the intent to take them apart. Somewhere out there a McDonald’s toy enthusiast weeps and I’m laughing because his hobby is “McDonald’s toy enthusiast”.

Starting in the order that I initially ran through them, here’s the disassembly and postmortem of all eight robots:

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Disregarding the fact that I hate this robot and initially wanted to disassemble it with a hammer I instead opted to open traditionally because I’ll admit I was interested how the SPINNING BURGER ACTION advertised on the bag worked. The truth? Mac Attack actually has the most moving parts out of any of the BattleBots toys. The chassis comes apart in three pieces with each of the two saw blades acting as a spacer with the bottom and center pieces containing a set of gears that stretches up and around the inside of the bottom uh, patty. I knew going into this article that Mac Attack’s internals would probably be the most interesting out of the eight, perhaps rivaled maybe by Diesector, but I just didn’t want to admit that. The orange gear on the pullback motor turns the bottom of the green gear on the center piece which in turn rotates the bottom patty; on the other side of the center chassis piece is a brown gear that rotates a smaller white gear that finally spins the top patty in the direction opposite of the bottom. After writing this paragraph I now have autism so if you’ll excuse me I am going to go watch Sonic X, stop this article, and when we come back this feature will change gears into The Top 10 Most Yiffable Characters in Sonic X.

To discredit Mac Attack I’d just like to point out that out of the eight toys this was the only one with the screw holes so far up the robot’s ass that the $8 screwdriver I bought to take these things apart couldn’t fucking reach anything. It’s a miracle I didn’t just smash this damn thing in the first place.

 

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If Ankle Biter looks a bit worse for wear in this picture that’s because it doesn’t come apart very well and I unintentionally broke this toy while taking it apart. See, one of Ankle Biter’s wheels is covering up a screw hole so I assumed that you’d have to remove the wheel to get to the screw, because logic. Apparently that wasn’t the case because as I tried to pop the wheel off with a screwdriver there was a loud cracking sound and the robot’s wheel flew across my room leaving a jagged plastic stump on the axle it was once connected to. Oops. To make matters worse once I removed the hidden screw the two halves would not come apart at all. This too was pried apart with the sounds of plastic shattering and I noticed this was because the pegs and slots that the halves fit together with were so tightly interconnected that they sheared off at the slot.

Since I accidentally went all Moebius on Ankle Biter I couldn’t actually pull the motor out or completely disassemble the robot for a proper photo, however since the toy’s weapon was literally just an unpowered cog I guess there wasn’t much in the way of juicy internals to look at anyway.

 

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Oh, the same thing also happened to Overkill.

Overkill’s weapon sits on an unpowered hinge and has a little wing that brushes against one of two little knobs on a gear powered by the pullback motor. Other than that the internals are identical to Ankle Biter and taking the toy apart required me to break it. Whoops.

 

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mcdbbtoys_dmecha4

Of all the toys featured in this set this is probably the one I was most curious about opening up (again, Mac Attack doesn’t exist). I was a little bit pissy over the fact that Mechadon’s mighty stomping claws were underwritten by a motor with wheels on it, but the claws still moved and I wanted to know how they got that working. Upon popping the lid off of the SIMILAR TO A CRAB robot I saw that the legs were essentially two separate pieces of a tripod gait hinged at the center. Under that was the heart of Mechadon, a wind-up motor shooting the double bird. The wings on these extensions fit into slots on the bottoms of the claws and made them flex and articulate as the robot puttered about. The pieces that Mechadon’s legs were made from are probably my favorite molds in the entire set simply because of their intricacy and how they fit together in only one specific way. The claws themselves, when assembled, are actually neat enough on their own to make a desk decoration.

I’m not implying that I have them at my desk right now though.

 

bbmcdtoys_header_tentomushi2

mcdbbtoys_dtento2

For all the plastic that Tentomushi eats up its internals are incredibly simple. As mentioned earlier the ladybug dome is actually not powered by anything directly and is attached by a hinge at the back of the chassis. Under that is a pointy silver chassis with what looks like the top of a lawnmower covering up the smallest pullback motor of any of the toys. Removing the top exposes the motor and two tiny plastic gears; that’s all that runs Tentomushi. The ladybug lid flaps up and down because there’s a long plastic tab under it that connects with the little knob on the white gear. For some reason, and I can’t figure out why, the simplicity behind Tentomushi’s inner workings is something I find peaceful. Maybe it’s because all of these toys have weird mismatched and miscolored gears and I subconsciously think the translucent blue one is pretty. Who knows.

 

bbmcdtoys_header_diesector2

mcdbbtoys_ddie2

Okay, full disclosure first. Diesector is a goddamned mess. Once I took the top of the robot’s chassis off I could not keep this thing from falling apart immediately. I knew where the pieces went but they wouldn’t stay in place so the pictures here are probably going to look awful. You might be wondering “if the pieces don’t stay together maybe you’re assembling them wrong” and to that, first just let the record show that you’re an asshole, but also you don’t know exactly how many Diesector toys I’ve taken apart, do you? Shut up.

See that little gray fork off to the left side of the picture above? That thing is the brain of this robot. From what I could put together, everything that moves on this robot is powered by that single piece. Here’s a shot of Diesector’s internals still assembled but with the fork removed. Diesector’s front wheels are unpowered but feature the robot’s trademark yellow jaws; the side jaws hook into the two fang-like protrusions on the fork while the center jaw hooks into a little plastic loop between the prongs. It is insanely complicated and it only goes deeper from here. The fork jerks back and forth to open and close the jaws however as it does this yet another tab on the fork pushes against a wing on the brown piece that the hammers are connected to causing them to swing back and forth in time with the jaws. No, I do not know how McDonald’s was able to get this thing put on an assembly line; I am just as confused as you are.

 

bbmcdtoys_header_biohazard2

mcdbbtoys_dbio2

Biohazard was a lot of fun to take apart, the process of which led to me obtaining what is my favorite piece in the whole set: Biohazard’s arm. The arm articulates because of the brown extender seen in the picture above; the extender connects to a center point on the arm and also rests against a gear with tabs on it similar to Overkill’s blade and Tentomushi’s dome. When the gear spins, the wings push up against the extender which in turn raises Biohazard’s arm in quick flapping successions. You can get a better idea of what I mean by checking out this picture that shows the toy assembled but without its shell.

But that’s not all, remember Biohazard is the only robot that also does that weird little spin maneuver when you let it go. It achieves this by means of a small plastic tab that gently lifts one of the toy’s wheels up so it twists around. This is achieved ingeniously by the same gear that powers the arm serving a second purpose. The little plastic bump that pokes out from the bottom of the robot is actually just a tab mounted on an axle inside of the toy, however the same winged gear that raises the arm actually pushes down on this tab simultaneously. This in turn causes the small bump to push out from under Biohazard, lift it up, and spin it around since only one wheel makes contact with the ground. It makes for a toy that sucks to battle with but one with some internal features that are pretty cool.

Also, Biohazard’s arm is awesome.

 

bbmcdtoys_header_ginsu2

mcdbbtoys_dginsu2

Looking at Ginsu’s chassis I knew that taking it apart was going to be a strange process because there are only two halves but four total axles. I assumed that the unpowered saw blades would just be free-spinning axles with their wheels pressed on, and I was correct on that front, but there was still a bit of wonder regarding how both the banded silver saws and the red ones could spin at the same time. I had concocted in my head some crazy idea where there was a pulley inside that had a rubber band around it; as it turns out the actual solution was far more simpler: a driveshaft. The red saws have a little gear on their axle and connecting this axle to the one on the pullback motor is a long third axle with a forward facing gear on each end. This arrangement is perhaps better shown than explained, so there’s an image of it HERE.

 

Suffice to say, my curiosity is quelled. I now know how all of the BattleBots toys work and while I can’t say it’s helped me from an engineering standpoint on my ongoing quest to pursue the hobby of robot combat, it’s at least given me the privilege of sharing this useless information with you for the past 5,000 words. There are still some additional pictures from this project of mine that I could not find a place for in this article but I still feel they are neat enough to warrant their inclusion at the bottom. Sans Overkill and Ankle Biter, since they broke, here’s a shot of all of the robot shells and a separate image showing the variety between the motors that powered their internals (their placements are not respective). My favorite picture from this article, though, is this one which shows an assembly of all of the weapons from the robots in the line-up.

Also, just because I wanted to know if it were possible, I took some of the random parts from robots that I could fit together and made a brand new competitor. Behold, Ginmechasector:

mcdbbtoys_newrobot

I don’t know what I am doing anymore.

Finally, I’ve gone through the trouble of putting together this painfully long demonstration of each of the toys prior to me disassembling them. Apparently, as I’ve found out from showing this article draft to people before publication, the sound of wind up toys is relaxing to some. I find it to be my own personal hell, but if you’re into this kind of nonsense there is an “ASMR” cut of the toy demonstration HERE. In the meantime, here’s the main cut:

 

– Dracophile

(For extra pictures from this article and others check us out on Tumblr!)

I don’t possess the proficiency required in autism to be someone in their twenties who really, really, likes Lego. Sadly, I merely “enjoy” Lego in the sense that if I’m placed somewhere with nothing to do except dick around with plastic blocks I’ll probably do just that. One trait I do possess, however, is that I can’t seem to pass up on a stupid gimmick if it will give me something to write about and the subject of today’s article is just that: candy Lego.

candybloxreview_box

This is a perfect storm of awful.

Okay, so it’s not actual Lego-branded candy. This is one of the many Lego imitators out there like Mega Bloks and Best-Lock except the gimmick here isn’t Halo figurines or whatever; it’s that you can actually eat the blocks. I’m not a child psychologist but I’m about 90% sure associating candy with a non-candy item that kids routinely choke on is probably not the best course of action? I mean, the people who made Fun Dip didn’t make their components look like a fork and a plug socket for a reason. The marketing geniuses who thought Candy Blox was a good idea are also probably the same people who’d slap Spongebob Squarepants on a candy dispenser that looked like an idle stove top or make hard candies that look exactly like Tide detergent capsules. The point I’m trying to get at here is that at some point in our lives all of us have casually put a Lego in our mouths while building a spaceship or whatever and this isn’t exactly a behavior that should be encouraged.

Anyways, here’s what the damned things look like:

candybloxreview_candies

My throat is tightening up just looking at them!

According to the carton Candy Blox come in four different flavors: Cherry, Lime, Blueberry, and… Banana. I’m not going to lie, all things considered that is a respectable collection of flavors. All too often confectioneries will skimp out on the yellow candies and make it a shitty imitation lemon flavor so kudos to Concord Confections for going against the grain and providing an assortment of flavors that I look forward to accidentally sucking into my trachea.

The real selling point with these candies is that they are more or less some weird hybrid of “toy” and “candy” in that you’re supposed to play with them and then eat them afterward. This pairing of nouns generally doesn’t work and somewhere there’s a landfill full of motorized toy airplanes whose cockpits were once filled with M&M’s and gumballs to prove my point. Alarmingly, the Candy Blox carton is touted as a “Starter Kit” and the box features a handful of inappropriate “serving suggestions” which further muddies the notion of whether or not I’m really supposed to eat these fucking things. (No word yet if they make “Advanced Kits” that come with enough parts to build a car or a construction site or whatever.)

You might be wondering how well these blocks fit together and the answer to that ranges from “surprisingly well” to “about as good as you’d have expected them to had I not just mentioned they sometimes aren’t total wastes of time”. Sadly, however, unlike other fake building blocks these ones aren’t “compatible with leading brands”:

candybloxreview_compare2

Shit, I forgot which ones are candy.

Regardless, I pushed forward and built some of the suggestions on the carton. Here’s what the end results looked like.

 

candybloxreview_dog

“Wiener Dog”

This is a “Wiener Dog” according to the carton. I think that title is a bit generous because this could be anything. This only looks like a dog because I was primed to believe that by the box. If you showed this to me out of context the first thing I’d ask you is why you were showing me a motorcycle built out of second rate candy. “Built” in this sense is very loose, literally, as in “loosely assembled” because none of these pieces really want to play nicely with each other, especially the smaller ones. At any given time the dog’s tail and/or legs and either/also ears would shift and fall off and keeping it assembled for the purposes of taking a picture was beyond frustrating. I’m glad I got that out of my system now because wait until you see what the “Moose” looks like.

 

candybloxreview_moose

“Moose”

Yep, his fucking head wouldn’t stay on and his ass is falling apart. Good job, Concord.

 

candybloxreview_flower

“Flower”

Let me tell you something, buddy. If you didn’t believe in miracles before seeing this picture you damn well better believe in them now because the fundamental laws of physics forbid you from stacking anything atop a 2×1 Candy Blox, yet here I am with a grand total of five blocks sitting atop not one but two tiny candies. Of course, I’m essentially just blowing smoke up your ass because there was a green 2×2 block camera right that kept falling off and wouldn’t stay on for the same reason as the Moose’s head so I just said “fuck it” after fixing it and knocking the yellow part off more times than I could be bothered to keep track of. You can keep score on your own, though, by keeping an eye on the amount of Candy Blox dust that accumulates on my desk from these stupid models falling apart all the time.

 

candybloxreview_robot

“Robot”

Moving toward some semblance of a model that won’t disappear the second you look away from it here’s what the carton calls a “Robot”. Eagle-eyed readers might notice the robot shown on the package in the first picture of the article is green and blue, not green and red. There’s a very good and very valid reason for that: they didn’t give me enough blue blocks to do anything with. Furthermore, the only blue pieces they did give me with the exception of the big one shown earlier in the article were the tiny 2×1 pieces that don’t stay together. If they did, this would be a model of a robot holding up his hand, not saluting an invisible flag.

Or scratching his head wondering why Concord gave me so many tiny fucking blue pieces.

 

candybloxreview_tree

“Tree”

So here’s where I figured out the secret cheat code to Candy Blox is building something with only a little bit of definition that doesn’t depend on a bunch of tiny pieces to give it flair because let’s face it, that shit isn’t going to stay together long enough for you to maneuver your mouth down around it street vacuum style. I am told this is a “Tree” and I will believe that because it looks like one of the crappy Christmas trees that gets farted out of a Lego advent calendar every holiday season. Not even this thing was safe from the sheer ineptitude of the Candy Blox “artists” however because this model was the biggest culprit of what is possibly the most annoying thing about these stupid candies: the fact that the “suggested” models were drawn so ambiguously bad you had to literally guess at the pieces being used.

Since all of the candies are two studs wide this comes down to guessing whether or not the blocks shown are two to four studs long. If you think that you can be a smart ass and compare the models on the box and deduce it that way you’re fucking wrong because on the “instructions” for this tree the 3×2 block is drawn so poorly that it looks two different ways. I built that tree by guessing that because the top piece was clearly 2×1 the rest would have to be odd numbered as well. I shouldn’t have to bust out some goddamned math theory when I’m mindlessly rolling candies around in my filthy hands that I have to eat later for the sake of Internet comedy. By this point I don’t even know who my audience is anymore. As of that shitty Candy Blox flower I’ve alienated everyone so I guess no one is going to care that I got all of my terrible Candy Blox models together for an ensemble.

candybloxreview_allmodels

If you’ve made it this far YOU ARE A LIAR.

I wasn’t sure if I should have led this article with the quality of the blocks or the taste test of the flavors. These two-stage reviews are really hard. One thing I would like to point out is that these candies are kind of messy in that my fingertips developed a filmy texture in the course of putting this article together. Again, I’m not sure what to make of this product. If Concord Confections wanted to go with candies made of compressed powder they could’ve just done that and skipped the bizarre Lego thing completely; if I’m supposed to play with these things then I’d expect them not to get all over the place and require me to wash my hands and wipe down my desk afterward. No, I don’t know why I dumped the things out directly onto my desk either.

Getting back in line with the scope of this review I mentioned at the beginning of the article that Candy Blox came in four flavors: cherry, blueberry, lime, and banana. Here’s how much I enjoyed them explained in an elaborate and roundabout manner.

candybloxreview_closeup

I AM A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER.

Cherry: Cough syrup and SweetTarts. Off to a great start.

Blueberry: This is going to be the highest point of this article. I’ll admit while writing this article I mentally had “blueberry” and “blue raspberry” mixed up so I was anticipating some unnaturally tart garbage hocked up from the 1990’s blue candy craze. Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised instead. I would buy a bag of just blue Candy Blox (or candy that tastes like them because Legos hurt my mouth); consequently if you’ve been paying attention this is the flavor I received the least amount of in the carton I bought. I guess flavors that don’t taste like dollar store hard candy cost more to produce. Who would have figured?

Lime: Something is wrong with this flavor. I can’t put my finger on it but it tastes awful; it’s not lime, it’s something vaguely citric, but it tastes off. I left the preceding sentences here as a placeholder so I could get a second opinion from a work colleague and they described it better than I could, but grounded in my original hypothesis: “it tastes like an old vitamin C tablet”. Fuck this.

Banana: There is really only one kind of artificial banana flavor out there and that’s largely due in part to the organic compound isoamyl acetate. It occurs naturally in bananas and it’s commonly synthesized in labs for the purposes of cheap candy such as this. Every banana flavored candy uses this; it’s not on the Candy Blox box but the banana blocks taste exactly like banana Runts which taste exactly like Jell-o banana pudding. It’s all the same shit. It’s not bad, but it’s not the greatest thing on the planet either. Also, bees use this compound to tell other bees to sting you; do not eat Candy Blox near bees.

 

Overall I’d say that Candy Blox are more fun to play with than they are to eat and if I just spent ~1,500 words bitching about how much of a pain in the ass they are to build with that doesn’t exactly look good for the “candy” part of “Candy Blox”. In short, they evoke a sensation not unlike that of sucking on an actual Lego. The candies don’t have sharp corners but they’re hard as a rock and they do have literal edges to them so I guess it’s like eating a Duplo block or something instead. I’ve been wanting to do this article for a while now and have had these candies in my desk for just as long — about a year — so I bought a fresh carton of these things to make sure mine hadn’t gone off. Nope, both the “fresh” Candy Blox and the ones that were sitting in my desk are both capable of cutting diamonds. I can’t tell if their hardness is an issue with preservatives or if they used a black hole to compress the powder they’re made from into the block molds but whatever the case is for all intents and purposes these are standalone building toys that showed zero signs of decomposition after almost a year of me leaving them in a dark drawer.

I considered stepping on a Candy Blox to see if they match up to Lego bricks but by that point I realized this stupid gimmick had gone on long enough and I was ready to end this article and then write myself off to a future of eating these candies for the next fourteen years because they take almost literally forever to eat.

Over the course of consolidating my hatred of these candies into a single paragraph I built a tower using all of the Candy Blox from one of the two cartons I had. This is how it turned out and this is also a fairly good barometer for just how many of these things come in a single package:

candybloxreview_tower

A monument to all of my Internet sins.

Now that we’re at the literal end of this article I guess the big question is “do I recommend these candies to you”. The answer is a resounding no. If you want fruit flavored candies go buy a bag of Runts. If you want building blocks go buy a Lego set. Don’t mix the two. If for whatever reason you can’t resist the urge to buy Candy Blox I have some good news for you; you can buy three pounds of the shit for only eight dollars on Amazon.

Because the last time I paid eight bucks for three pounds of something I was deeply satisfied with the quality of the product.

– Dracophile

Since I have the freedom to do whatever here I’d like to continue my track record of paying too much attention to BattleBots by writing an article about some unsung heroes of their merchandising and toy lines: MiniBots. The BattleBots “MiniBots” toys, according to our old friends at the BattleBots Wiki, were a series of miniature 1-inch replica figurines created by Interactive Toy and were based off of the Season 2.0 designs of the competitors featured in the set. There were 50 to collect (plus eight “chrome” editions of season finalists) and each pack came with three robots each. Essentially these were BattleBots blind bags before the stupid blind bag craze we’re currently in the middle of was even a thing. The series lasted only one “edition” unfortunately, and here is what they looked like:

bbminibots_package

The stretched out “?” really sells it.
(Source: BattleBots Wiki)

The MiniBots line seemed to show up and vanish relatively quickly as I distinctly remember buying several dozen packages of them at a Target when they were clearanced out to a dollar or so each. I feel that they’ve never been given proper attention since there were admittedly bigger and better toys out there by Hasbro and Jakks Pacific that actually did things and featured moving parts and all that so this line was overshadowed and forgotten. Hopefully I can do the MiniBots justice by showcasing some of my favorites from my own personal collection.

By no means is my collection complete. Even though I bought a stupidly high number of these things I don’t have a whole set. In fact, the combined resources of the BattleBots Wiki doesn’t even have a complete catalog of images either; out of the eight finalists from BattleBots’ second season they have a staggering zero pictures of their corresponding MiniBots figurines. Each of the finalists also had an aforementioned “chrome” edition and the Wiki is also missing those. To this day I’ve never seen what one looks like. The MiniBots line as a whole are also fairly rare collectibles as they do not show up on eBay very often so the task of trying to complete my collection is pretty much impossible by this point. Anyways, here’s what a pile of these little things looks like:

bbminibots_pile4

IT’S A GRAND RUMBLE HUEHUEHUEHUE

Of the 50 total robots in the collection I have 28 of them which I would say is pretty damned good considering that’s more than half of them and neither myself nor anyone I know owns any of the eight finalist robots which you could argue pretty much knocks the total down to 42. I’ll admit, it would be nice to at least see what they looked like but I’ll always keep an eye out for them when I troll open air and flea markets in the future.

I’d like to start this article on a higher note than my others where I pretty much just make fun of bad robots or one-sided fights so here’s a quick smattering of MiniBots figurines whose aesthetics I actually enjoy for once.

 

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bbminibots_ginsu

I’ve written a lot about Ginsu in the past and that’s largely because even though it’s an admittedly terrible design I like it and I’ll find any excuse to write about it. I think the concept of Ginsu, while blatantly obvious, is a fun gimmick and a robot with actual fucking saw blade tires encapsulates the sport in literal terms. Also I’ve spoken to Trey Roski (owner of BattleBots and builder of Ginsu) before and he’s a good sport about the fact that Ginsu and its lineage have never won a single battle not just in BattleBots but in the history of every single event and demonstration it’s been brought to. But I digress, look at this little figurine. For being only about one cubic inch the creators managed to include all eight of Ginsu’s wheels and they even got the coloring, shape, and axles correct. Ginsu’s figurine is easily my favorite one from the MiniBots series and from what I’ve collected it is the rarest one I own. (Owned, because I’ve somehow lost mine so the image above is from the BattleBots Wiki.)

 

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bbminibots_superchiabot

Objectively, I don’t like Super Chiabot. In the past I’ve written about its poor design and glaring shortcomings but truth be told in the back of my mind I was always curious about how someone would pull off a Super Chiabot toy since as far as I know it was the only BattleBots competitor covered in fake plants. The resulting figurine isn’t grand by any stretch of the term but it has a certain kind of endearing quality to it showing that more creativity was put into making an honest replica of the robot than there was thought put into designing the actual robot the figurine is based from in the first place. Super Chiabot’s MiniBot looks like a gummy mess of leaves with a saw blade sticking out of its front and honestly that’s pretty much correct. Bravo.

 

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bbminibots_nightmare

Fair warning, from here on out most of my “favorites” from this series are going to be robots whose intricate or unusual designs were replicated surprisingly well by the folks at Interactive Toy. Also, since this is the third or fourth time I’ve said that company’s name I feel compelled to point out the irony in a company with “Interactive” in its name selling toys that are literally chunks of painted rubber that don’t do anything, but whatever. Look at Nightmare instead and admire how cool it is. Nightmare’s disc is made from a sparkly metallic type of material and while I’ve never seen one of the mythical “chrome” MiniBots I’m willing to be whatever this silvery stuff is would probably be the same material that the chromebots were made from.

 

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bbminibots_frenzy

If I had an Overkill toy to go along with this one there would be a double entry here. Instead we have only Frenzy, known for being one of the oldest competitors in the sport and for belonging to the team whose website shows up when you see what TMZ.com looked like using the Wayback Machine. I mentioned Overkill because the two robots feature long exaggerated weapons that swung around, weapons whose rubber pieces almost always got bent or messed up in their packaging resulting in a squishy mess that looked more like the aftermath of a bad run-in with a spinbot than a proper robot replica. Credit is given for trying, however, and I’m personally impressed with the level of detail that went into Frenzy’s intricate yellow frame.

 

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bbminibots_dooall

DooAll is here for the same reason as Nightmare: the frame. While the proportions of the robot are pretty much wrong the overall design of DooAll was essentially spot-on even down to the chassis articulation. It would have been much cheaper and easier to just slap together a version of DooAll with its chassis laying flat and the fact that this wasn’t the case is why it’s a favorite of mine. DooAll is also one of only three MiniBots with tank tracks and since the other two, Atomic Wedgie and El Diablo, were Season 2.0 finalists you’ve surely put it together by now that no one has seen any of the others so DooAll gets to sit pretty as the only tracked robot in the set that anyone owns.

 

bbminibots_header_scrapdaddy

bbminibots_scrapdaddy

Yeah, I get sentimental about Scrap Daddy’s robots, so what? I am legitimately impressed that there is a licensed toy of a Scrap Daddy robot especially one based off of a robot that never won (HW 210). Scrap Daddy HW 210 was stupidly common in MiniBots blind bags and just to prove this point I’ve lined up all of the ones I own. (You can also add one more mentally because long ago I gave one to a friend.) In the way of painting and detailing there isn’t much to see here like there was with the other robots in this list, I’m more intrigued and impressed with the overall mold of the robot since HW 210 was such a weirdly shaped robot and sported what looked to be a fan blade for a weapon. The older Scrap Daddy robots were absolutely covered with little bits and pieces for fueling their gasoline engines and opening up parts of the chassis and much like with DooAll above the easier route would have been to nix all of this but the mold-makers didn’t and that’s what’s cool about this one. Every nuance of Scrap Daddy HW 210 is represented here (I even bumped it against the Frenzy toy to see if its saw blade would fall off).

 

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bbminibots_warmachine

The mold for this robot is actually pretty bad but it’s here because I can see what the creators were going for and I applaud them for their efforts. War Machine was not a particularly good robot, it was literally just a 10-wheeled box with a slanted piece of metal slapped on the front of it; I’ve written about War Machine in the past, favorably too if you can believe that, and my guess as to why it was never made into a proper toy is because it had 10 wheels and having that many moving parts would probably cost too much to make. Since the MiniBots line featured no moving parts this worked out nicely for War Machine however only so much because while I own duplicates of this robot all of their plows are on incorrectly and at different angles so the figurine ends up looking more like a lunar rover with a solar panel than a giant bulldozer.

 

And now since this is supposedly a snarky site here’s a list of MiniBots designs I really did not like for one reason or another along with a disproportionately long dissertation on why my opinions are more important and valid than yours are.

 

bbminibots_header_rammstein

bbminibots_rammstein

I think I can guess why that little stick thing is where it is on the robot. It’s probably there to differentiate between up and down since Rammstein looks the same either way up but in that case shouldn’t the more decorative front wedge be a better indicator of top and bottom? Instead the addition of the spike serves no other purpose than to intentionally screw up the invertible design of the robot and it just gets in the way. Also, what’s with the lack of “Team Loki” branding? I know Interactive Toy was capable of doing that since Turbo — another Team Loki robot — has it on its mold. Rammstein’s MiniBot just reeks of overall laziness and its little dongle that I had once originally chocked up to a bad rubber injection further ruins the figurine.

 

bbminibots_header_deadblow

bbminibots_deadblow

It’s taken me a long while to figure this out, but I think the reason why I don’t like Deadblow’s MiniBot representation is because of the clashing colors it was made from. First and foremost, Deadblow has never been dark gray so from the start the figurine is already questionable. This is made worse by the fact that the accents and details are done in pretty much the stark opposite color as the chassis resulting in the horrible mess seen here. The kicker is that this isn’t a bad mold at all and the little chassis accents are raised up much like the texture implied by the actual robot, it’s entirely the color that ruins it. Deadblow ended up having a shitload more (and better) merchandise made of it so I guess Grant Imahara can’t complain. He also hosts a TV show so I guess there’s that too.

 

bbminibots_header_berzerker2000

bbminibots_berserker2000

I was hoping I could go this whole article without insulting a robot directly, but Berzerker 2000 is just an ugly robot. It’s a mess, and even though it too suffers from the same weird miscoloration as Deadblow in this case that’s just one of a number of things wrong with this figurine. I’ll ignore the fact that Berzerker 2000 forfeited its only fight (and because of this is the only robot in BattleBots history to have lost every match by forfeit and still have a toy made out of it) and instead point out how gaudy the black tire part of the robot looks compared to the weird blue shit used on the bottom. They could have gotten away with using the same silver shown on the robot’s upper half but I’m guessing that would have clashed with the base? Does it really matter?

 

bbminibots_header_crushershish

bbminibots_crushershish1

Now that you’ve seen a whole bunch of neat custom molds, here’s something pretty goddamned offensive: two robots using nearly the same mold. Both The Crusher and Shish-ka-bot use an almost identical mold and if that’s not bad enough the mold just so happens to have a giant glaring flaw: the tops of the robots show only two wheels yet, when you flip them over, there’s clearly four. By far this is the laziest mold in the MiniBots line and I remember how let down and pissed off I felt when I started comparing my figurines and noticed that not only was this the same robot with a different paint job but that the mold itself was also completely incorrect. In defense of Interactive Toy both The Crusher and Shish-ka-bot were pretty much identical robots but why recycle a mold when by this point you’ve already gone through the trouble of making 48 different ones?

 

bbminibots_header_grays

bbminibots_grays

If laziness in creating molds was the thing that pissed me off in the last entry, laziness in paint is going to be the bane of my existence here. All of the figurines in the header image above featured no paint and were pretty much just hunks of gray rubber including Red Scorpion whose name literally declares what color it was. Look, I get that M.U.S.C.L.E. was a thing in the 80’s and a grand total of zero of their figurines were painted but this isn’t that franchise and Interactive Toy has already proven that they are more than capable of churning out some solid detail work on their figurines; it’s almost like toward the end of this they adopted a “fuck it we’re almost there just get some plain ones” mentality and called it a day. The worst offender by far is the treatment given to Mauler 51-50, a robot with a hellacious fire pit paintjob that was abbreviated to nothing more than a shitty gray road dot. You cannot release a Mauler figurine and not paint the fucking thing, not when you painted a shitty yellow ring on Blendo and considered that one done.

Also just as a sidenote you may have noticed that Shish-ka-bot has made the list twice because it’s also one of the handful of MiniBots that this umbrella entry applies to. I hate the Shish-ka-bot figurine.

 

Every pack of MiniBots also came with a small 1″ x 1″ sticker featuring the official BattleBots photo of the robots you received. The stickers themselves seem to be even more rare than the figurines and the only one I’ve been able to find online is a scan of Mauler’s sticker that demonstrates an incorrect photo of the robot (the one on the sticker was from Season 1.0, and was allegedly taken by Team Nightmare’s Jim Smentowski). Since the MiniBots stickers are so rare, below is a mosaic of every sticker I have in my collection for the purposes of showing off just how cool these figurine blind bags were:

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(Click to enlarge!)

 

Also since I don’t know how to end this article I guess I’ll just toss up this image of Shish-ka-bot’s real-life counterpart being destroyed by the arena Pulverizers because even though it’s not the team’s fault their robot’s toy sucked I feel justified in proclaiming someone had to take the heat for this and justice was eventually served.

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Satisfying.

– Dracophile

titlegraphic_BB

I write about BattleBots and robot combat pretty often. I can’t help it, the motorsport is one of my favorite things on the planet and mark my words this will become a staple of this new site. Back when I wrote for RFSHQ I spearheaded a column called “BattleBots Update” that ran for two seasons and I even provided coverage for the RoboGames TV special that was on Science Channel a few years ago. One of these days I’ll write something about Robot Wars or Robotica but until then here’s some more nonsense about something from my past that I give way too much of a shit about. Keeping in line with my enjoyment of awful things I’ve always been more tickled by robots that sucked rather than ones that won championships. I get it, the robot that cost $10,000 to build is going to win because it has armor made of space polymers and shoots laser beams, whatever. I’m more impressed by the bots that some guy slapped together in his garage from a scrap lawnmower and was blown up after a single hit.

I set out to find the absolute worst robots in BattleBots history. A couple years ago I wrote a piece about the most one-sided fights of all time but even the losers of those matches were still “decent” robots. The Missing Link, Super Chiabot, Trimangle, and even The Wacky Compass all had to actually beat opponents to make it to the televised rounds of the event. I won’t try to deny the fact that they were all pretty stupid designs but on the other hand they weren’t the “worst” robots to enter the arena, not by a long shot. I wanted to dig up some robots that never won a single fight ever. These are bots that really sucked; the ones that entered the arena, some multiple times, and lost every single time.

Before this article fully begins I’d like to give mad props to Badnik96, AlexGRFan97, Madlooney6, and the rest of the staff of the BattleBots Wiki for their relentless work in amassing photos and data that has helped make this article possible. If you’re a fan of BattleBots their work is absolutely worth your time to check out (and contribute to).

The ten robots that follow all have win/loss records (in BattleBots) that begin with the number zero. They are:

 

worstBB_10promptcritical

worstBB_promptcriticalRecord: 0-1

Prompt Critical was a Super Heavyweight robot whose elusiveness piqued my interest back in the year 2000 when it was mentioned off hand and given about five seconds of screen time as Bil Dwyer stated that it had lost to Mechadon. A quick clip of Prompt Critical was shown with its bizarre weapon spinning and flailing about and that’s all I ever saw of the robot for 14 years. Mechadon, for those who aren’t familiar with the sport, was essentially a giant 470+ pound six-legged walking crab monster with no active weapon other than its stomping claws.  How someone loses to Mechadon has always intrigued me since the robot, while terrifying, might as well have been named “Automatic Points”. Prompt Critical managed to lose to Mechadon by a knock out. It has bothered me for far too long to see just how the hell this robot operated.

It was brought to my attention that Team Mutant Robots (more on them later) put their archive of fight videos on their website one of which being the Season 1.0 Super Heavyweight rumble featuring Prompt Critical. I was floored. After over a decade the mystery would finally be solved. I finally got to see a decent shot of Prompt Critical since the robot was absent for its official BattleBots photo and the only pictures I could find were from a bad angle. Behold, the glory that was Prompt Critical:

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It looks like a tank if you squint.

Was it worth the wait? Does the mystery of the robot live up to the version I cooked up in my head all those years ago? Hell fucking yes. That is a robot whose lid appears to be made out of a piece of plywood and the top to a portable barbecue bit that’s been spray painted black. It’s weapon, if you can even call it that, is what looks like an off-set hammer mounted on a spinning platter attached to yet another piece of plywood. I can’t identify what Prompt Critical’s drive components are but I’m willing to bet whatever it is touched a trash can at some point in time before ending up on that thing. Absolutely no part of that robot looks like it would last even if it were fighting a bunch of Lightweights and yet here is Prompt Critical toting what looks to be an upside down wheelbarrow in a rumble full of saw blades, spring-loaded hammers, spinning body shells, pneumatic spikes, hydraulic jaws, and ramming devices.

The BattleBots Wiki describes Prompt Critical’s loss to Mechadon as “self destruction” and honestly I’ll buy that. The robot’s weapon wasn’t centered or balanced properly and when Diesector shoved the robot into the arena wall during the rumble the top of its chassis came off and the robot was knocked out. The fact that the builders of Prompt Critical even managed to find 300+ pounds’ worth of crap to hide under their trash can lid of a robot is what surprises me the most here.

 

worstBB_9drillodillo

worstBB_DrillodilloRecord: 0-1

Much like Prompt Critical, Drill-O-Dillo was another Super Heavyweight whose appearance eluded me for far too long. It too failed to show up when the BattleBots photographers were taking the official pictures of all the robots competing in the show’s second season and the only photograph I could find from Team Nightmare’s website suspiciously showed the robot with its wheels precariously balanced atop what was quite obviously not a functional piece of machinery. Drill-O-Dillo’s weapon was clearly a spinning rock chisel thing. A drill, hence the name. Normally this would be funny but it wasn’t because the pun was bad and you’d have to be an idiot to bring a rock drill into an event where there are absolutely no rocks.

Drill-O-Dillo was drawn to fight Gray Matter, a robot you may recall from the rumble with Prompt Critical. Gray Matter was the robot with the monster truck wheels and giant spike that proceeded to run over everyone. Under most circumstances I would make fun of Gray Matter because you’d have to be stupid to enter the Super Heavyweight category with what amounted to a spike with wheels; you’re outclassed in every single instance, hell even Drill-O-Dillo here has better weaponry. Gray Matter’s spike was different however. In Season 1.0 Gray Matter took that spike, shoved it right up the ass of Minion (the reigning champion), and blew Minion’s cutting saw to pieces in one of the most spectacular highlights of the season. Remember, Drill-O-Dillo was missing its wheels in the only photo of it that I could find. Something did not add up.

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Oh look, there’s that wheel!

Gray Matter’s spike managed to go all the way through one of Drill-O-Dillo’s wheels. The spike entered the robot and as Gray Matter kicked it into reverse gear Drill-O-Dillo’s wheel and the entire fucking drive axle of the robot came out with it. With no axle to rest upon, the other wheel just kinda fell off and that’s why Drill-O-Dillo was only ever seen without its tires. I don’t know if that’s because Drill-O-Dillo was simply an exceptional piece of crap or if it has something to do with Gray Matter’s spike and dark forces. Whatever the reason, Drill-O-Dillo managed to lose its entire drive system in a single hit and featured a weapon that probably would’ve sucked against even Prompt Critical.

I’ve taken it upon myself to salvage the original clips of this fight from the long-defunct BattleBots.com website and I’ve assembled them into a short video that you can download to see this ass-kicking for yourself: CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO.

 

worstBB_8rootcanal

worstBB_rootcanalRecord: 0-2

A couple entries ago I mentioned that Team Mutant Robots had done me a solid by providing video proof that Prompt Critical was as much of a piece of crap as I imagined it to be. Their creations aren’t exempt from the title “Worst BattleBot Ever” however, even if Diesector eventually won two BattleBots championships. That header image up above doesn’t say “Diesector” anyways, does it? No, this is an entry about Root Canal, a Middleweight robot from Mutant Robots that showed up to two BattleBots events and lost both times.

Root Canal was a robot whose design is best explained in the context of when it was actually created. Root Canal featured what’s known as “omni-directional” wheels meaning that while pretty much all robots can drive forward, backward, and turn left and right Root Canal was able to drive whatever the hell direction it wanted to. Like sideways. The robot was meant to be super mobile and maneuverable so that it could bring its cutting disc in for some serious damage. That’s fine and dandy and all but the bigger issue here is that the robot didn’t actually work. Onmi-directional wheels were a gimmick that a lot of “advanced” builders tried out and in no case that I can think of did it work out. Team Whyachi (of Son of Whyachi fame) even tried out the whole “drive sideways” thing with Y-Pout and that robot didn’t make the list simply because one robot with a stupid drive system was enough.

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Root Canal killer. Built by a furry.

The problem with Root Canal is that it was too fragile. See that ridiculously simplistic wedge up there? That’s Cuad the Annihilator. It beat Root Canal in its debut fight by doing nothing more than slamming it into the wall which broke Root Canal and disabled it. Cuad was a robot with exactly two moving parts and I’ll let you guess as to what they were and the robot was so simplistically and/or poorly designed that there’s a gaudy hunk of metal sticking out into the wedge to keep the robot from doing a wheelie when it accelerated. Root Canal was more or less an expensive jewelry box and in its second fight against Whirlwind — a simple thwack bot — Root Canal was hit a grand total of one time and one of its precious omni wheels blew up and scattered little beads and pieces everywhere. Whirlwind then proceeded to dent in the side of Root Canal which further crippled its drivetrain.

Root Canal’s builder said he drew inspiration from the video game Quake when he designed Root Canal. Specifically, he could not play Quake without strafing side to side and wanted to capture this movement in a robot and apply it to a sport where that method of driving has clearly led his robot to an infinite number of victories. Look, just because you saw it in a video game doesn’t mean it’s going to work in real life that’s why there aren’t any BattleBots that can play a fucking ocarina.

Some of you might be quick to cry foul and claim that Root Canal actually took second place at a recent BattleBots event. Three things about that:

  1. That was Root Canal rebuilt as a Heavyweight.
  2. It was not a “classic” BattleBots event.
  3. The robot wasn’t using stupid-ass omni-wheels.

 

worstBB_7greendragon

worstBB_greendragonRecord: 0-2

It goes without saying that Green Dragon did not make it to the televised one-on-one rounds of BattleBots, that’s a given. It did make a brief appearance in the Season 2.0 Lightweight rumble and if memory serves me right it didn’t do much of anything. That was the main flaw of Green Dragon, really: not doing anything. Durability wasn’t a virtue the robot subscribed to either but we’ll get into that in just a bit. Green Dragon was a Lightweight competitor whose original design (the one pictured) boasted an incorrectly centered saw blade, two giant wheels, and a ridiculous dragon decal that makes even me cringe. Green Dragon’s second incarnation was simply a large trapezoid with the same saw blade embedded in one of the wedges. Both robots weren’t very good and both of them lost by KO but there’s a special kind of crappiness associated with the first dragon.

A lot of people make fun of the Scrap Daddy team and its robots without much rhyme or reason; they get a lot of flack because visually they were terrible and most them didn’t perform too well. I’ll give them that much. Spoiler alert, Scrap Daddy did not make this list because while the designs were pretty bad some of them actually won battles; Green Dragon was one of those battles. For all the rude remarks Scrap Daddy LW 55 received for being blown to bits by Ziggo in one of the greatest mismatches in BattleBots history here is a robot that Scrap Daddy was able to conquer. Here is a robot that’s worse than Scrap Daddy.

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KNOCK OUT VICTORY.

In Green Dragon’s only Season 2.0 battle it rammed into Scrap Daddy LW 55… and lost a whole tire. That’s right, the entire wheel just rolled off and hilariously enough made it all the way across the arena. If the video was still available on BattleBots.com I’d show it to you but unfortunately it’s not so instead just do your best to picture the robot above minus one wheel with said wheel idly coasting down the Battlebox by itself while Scrap Daddy LW 55 does that stupid waddle-driving thing it was known for. True, Green Dragon’s missing tire was not a direct result of anything Scrap Daddy LW 55 did and was more than likely a case of “what are set screws” but allow me to respond to that observation with a hypothetical question: How many tires did Scrap Daddy (any of them) lose because the builder forgot to put a fucking screw in one of them? That’s exactly what I thought.

 

worstBB_6psyche

worstBB_psycheRecord: 0-2

There is nothing noteworthy about this Middleweight robot and I mean that in absolute terms. If you took the gaudy red spray painted name off the front of this robot and left it as a black wedge its name would magically change to “This Is Why There Are Untelevised Qualifying Rounds In BattleBots”. Psyche is the only robot in this list that did not have an active weapon and the only reason why this robot made the list and the other eight million weaponless wedges that never won didn’t is because Psyche was given a very special television demo against Evil Cheese Wedge, a robot operated by Bil Dwyer… the host of the show. Notice how I said “operated” and not “built”. Bil Dwyer didn’t build his robot, he can’t even build a goddamned joke. Comedy Central bought a trashy robot on eBay because another robot, Slap ‘Em Silly, was bought on eBay and that was apparently something worth making fun of at the time. Comedy Central, ladies and gentlemen.

Also, why the hell am I talking about Evil Cheese Wedge? This entry is about Psyche. In its only televised match Psyche was inexplicably driven by Gary Coleman. No, I’m fucking serious. Look:

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This is literally Gary Coleman.

The phrase “Bil Dwyer you’re going down” became somewhat of an in-joke in the robot combat community after this fight aired. For some reason, and I don’t know why, Gary Coleman was sent to BattleBots by UGO Networks (some random Gen X-pandering web company) to hang out with Team Nightmare and namedrop UGO in post-fight interviews. No, I can’t explain that. I have no idea what UGO even produced and furthermore I have no idea why Gary Coleman was chosen to go dick around on BattleBots of all things. Maybe he was going to be late on rent that month and needed some quick cash?

Psyche was inexplicably retconned to “Infectious Tattoo” in its demo fight where it was promptly knocked out near the Pulverizer. Either that or no one turned Psyche’s remote on before handing it to Gary Coleman. Rather than count out Psyche the officials let the fight continue because I guess having a D-list celebrity standing around holding a radio transmitter while laughing passed for “good television” in the early 00’s. Why they chose to give Gary Coleman this particular robot has bothered me for a very long time. Why did they give him Psyche? Why not literally any other Middleweight robot? Evil Cheese Wedge had enough ground clearance to park a truck under so I guess the goal here was to pick a shitty robot that made it look good by proxy? If that’s the case why Psyche and not some gimmicky robot that didn’t look like a doorstop?

 

worstBB_5racc

worstBB_RACCRecord: 0-2

RACC (Robot Action Combat Cluster) was a Lightweight multi-bot that competed in the Long Beach 1999 BattleBots event. Normally multi-bots are pretty ineffective but when you’re dealing with the Lightweight division the entrants are already fairly small and compact so there isn’t much lost in the way of power when you essentially split a bot in two. RACC was a pre-TV era robot built partially by Will Wright, the guy who created SimCity. The red thing on the right, when separate from RACC, was named “X11” and was a robot based upon a Middleweight champion from the original Robot Wars. If the gray blob on the left had a name it has long since been lost to time and the thing in the middle was known as “EEP” or “Emergency Escape Pod”. Yeah, whereas most multi-bots consisted of two machines RACC dared to make it three.

The reason for the EEP’s existence, other than to continue the Robot Action League’s apparent obsession with acronyms, was a safeguard against being counted out of a fight in the event that one of the two main parts of RACC became incapacitated; the EEP would be deployed so that only 33% of the robot would be considered “knocked out” rather than the necessary 50% for the robot to be counted out. There was a lot of ingenuity that went behind RACC which is why I can’t understand how it never managed to win a single fight.

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Sweet jump there, X11.

Well, that might have something to do with it. Apparently even with all the zeal of having two robots fight at the same time, one of them armed with a whirling death blade and the other featuring the ability to fart out a minibot, RACC was unable to impress the crowd that attended the Long Beach 1999 event and lost by two “audience” decisions. It was a different time back then. The robot in the photo above letting X11 get some sweet air is known as The Crusher and if that screenshot is anything to go by the rest of that fight probably unfolded with RACC being thrown around. Its other loss is a little more pragmatic, however: Spike of Doom. Just what was “Spike of Doom”?

Another damn multi-bot.

Spike of Doom consisted of a silver bulldozer ramp (Wedge of Doom) and a two-wheeled clamping machine with its internals exposed (Spike). Spike of Doom didn’t feature fancy paintjobs, an “EEP”, or even active weapons for that matter and yet it still beat RACC. Look, when your fight consists of what is essentially a miniature rumble with five robots and you’re unable to beat opponents who are using the same exact gimmick as you and you can’t entertain the crowd enough to win an audience decision I… honestly I don’t have a snarky comment to say to that because that’s just utter failure. I guess the only way you could do worse is to take a ladybug sandbox and put wheels on it an- oh wait.

 

worstBB_4rimtintin

worstBB_rimtintinRecord: 0-4

Rim Tin Tin was a Lightweight I wanted to like. Every time it showed up in the tournament I expected it to at least beat someone, if that’ll help clarify what I meant in that first sentence. Rim Tin Tin changed its appearance over the course of the four BattleBots events it was brought to but for the most part the “core” of the robot stayed the same each time: a robot built inside of a tire rim armed with a lifting device of some sort. Everything about Rim Tin Tin at least made for a “decent” robot. Rim Tin Tin had a name whose punny reference was just dated enough to be amusing, its weapon wasn’t the worst piece of crap brought into the tournament, and it was an admittedly original design that I would argue photographed nicely. What I’m trying to say is that there’s no chance in hell Rim Tin Tin would’ve stood up to Backlash or Ziggo for longer than twenty seconds but it would have at least been able to beat the other Lightweights in this article and yet it didn’t.

I don’t like dogs, and even moreso I don’t like dog actors, but Rim Tin Tin was neither a dog nor a dog actor, just named after one. It was a robot built inside of a car tire and adorned with stupid decals and a questionable paint job. In the robot’s maiden voyage against Rampage it almost won. Rampage abruptly stopped moving and began to smoke which would have been great for Rim Tin Tin had it not also spontaneously blown up and quit moving just moments prior. Rim Tin Tin is also special in that, not counting Psyche because its “fight” was a demo, it is the only robot in this list to have one of its many losses televised. In Season 3.0 a newly rebuilt Rim Tin Tin squared off against Hammerhead (a rambot) and managed to perform fairly well. “Fairly well” in this case means it didn’t just drop dead in the middle of the arena like last time. Then, without provocation, the piston hazard in the arena went all “you’re doing too well in this fight time to change that” and up-ended the tiny robot giving a victory to Hammerhead.

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Good boy, now play dead.

Between BattleBots’ third and fourth seasons Rim Tin Tin was completely rebuilt, armed with a larger lifting device, painted jet black… and then promptly lost two more times. The first loss came to Whirligig which was essentially a thwackbot and the only way to actually lose to a thwackbot is to self-immolate or do whatever Rim Tin Tin did to end up losing this match by a judges’ decision. Speaking of judges’ decisions, Rim Tin Tin lost its final match to Paladin in the fifth season with a 42-3 result. Rim Tin Tin managed to score three whole points. I’ve never seen the fight and a video of it doesn’t exist online but I’m willing to bet those three points were pity points awarded just for showing up and having the balls to enter the arena with a robot that clearly wasn’t cut out for the sport.

 

worstBB_3blendo

worstBB_blendoRecord: 0-4

Oh no it’s Blendo, Jamie “MythBuster” Hyneman’s Heavyweight robot that was so destructive in the 1995 and 1997 Robot Wars tournaments that the event officials forced it to forfeit because it was a safety hazard. “Why, Dracophile?” You might ask. “Why put Blendo in your list of the worst BattleBots of all time, and at number THREE to boot?” Yeah, Blendo might have received some special awards for being so destructive in Robot Wars that it posed a safety hazard to the audience and it also might’ve been one of the BattleBots that received official merchandising but that doesn’t exactly address the issue of Blendo itself being a giant spinning turd in the arena.

As amazing and as talented of an engineer as Jamie Hyneman is, Blendo sadly is obsoletion realized. Full body spinners have the potential to be absolutely devastating machines but like any other breed of robot they have to “evolve” with the sport or die. Blendo died. As early as the Long Beach 1999 BattleBots event Blendo was immediately trumped by Punjar, a robot that it had delivered a one-hit knock out to in Robot Wars just two years prior. Punjar topped Blendo a second time in an off-the-record grudge match at a later BattleBots event as well. Punjar evolved, Blendo didn’t.

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“Don’t mind me, just starting my robot.”

Blendo’s spinning dome required an electric power drill to start its gasoline engine. There’s nothing wrong with “dirty” engineering (gasoline engines, hydraulics, etc) in a sport that’s largely comprised of electric parts but there is a pretty glaring problem with designs that, when hit too hard, can spontaneously stop working and subsequently be impossible to get running again. Spoiler alert, that’s what happened to Blendo while fighting Gold Digger — a Heavyweight thwackbot. Middleweight is where I draw the line for robots that amount to a sledgehammer and two goddamned wheels so I have and will relentlessly make fun of thwackbots in the upper weight classes. I considered putting Gold Digger on this list because of how much I hate it but oh wait Gold Digger didn’t lose every fight it was in because Blendo fucking showed up and ruined goddamned everything.

How about the MythBusters all get together to test the myth that Blendo can actually win a fight? My money’s on “no” so at least we’ll get to see them blow the robot up at the end of the episode.

 

worstBB_2blackopssix

worstBB_awolRecord: 0-7 (total)

This might seem like a cheap entry in the list but honestly it wouldn’t truly be a “Dracophile list” if I didn’t find some way to shoehorn in a multi entry under some stupid reason. For Team Black Ops Six it just so happens I have said reason. With more combined losses than any single robot in this list (even the yet to be revealed #1 robot) Team Black Ops Six infiltrates the second place spot on this list bringing them and their robots closer to victory than they’ve ever been but still falling just short. Across all four of this team’s fantastic robots they have four losses by knock out, one loss by a judges’ decision that was nowhere near close, one loss by forfeit, and finally one loss by what Team Nightmare considers a “TKO”. There doesn’t appear to be an official BattleBots declaration of what actually constitutes a “technical knock out” but by looking up the televised fights that Team Nightmare has noted as such it appears to be a KO loss where the robot in question knocks itself out. So, yeah. Team Black Ops Six also has one of those losses under their belt. They have at least one loss of every single type there is in BattleBots, what an amazing team.

The question now is what exactly did their robots look like? Well, they had four of them: AWOL, MIA, Black Ops, and Prototype 4. Each robot was entered into one of the four weight classes in BattleBots but not all four robots competed at the same events at the same time, they were spread out so their shittiness could be truly savored. Real quick, here’s a breakdown of the bots in the event that clicking additional hyperlinks is too much work for you. AWOL was a Lightweight thwackbot (I think) that had a rotary saw blade on a stick. MIA was a Middleweight wedge and that’s it. Black Ops was a Heavyweight thwackbot and as such is now the object of the most derision in this article because I was unable to include Gold Digger as a Heavyweight thwackbot in this list. Finally, Prototype-4 was a Super Heavyweight robot that had what appeared to be a spinning drill of some sort but looked more like the handle-end of a corkscrew. Since this entry in the list is about the team itself, here they are posing with AWOL:

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The entire next paragraph is a snarky picture comment.

Look at these fucking jokers. There are literally an infinite number of Call of Duty MLG jokes I can make about these asshats. Since the idiot culture surrounding Call of Duty wasn’t a thing back when this photo was taken there’s a possibility that the builders are actual soldiers and if that’s the case then I would feel pretty badly about making fun of servicemen but I’m banking on the notion that their whole Army getup was just a charade and they sincerely thought and believed they were badasses carrying around airsoft guns in the pits. As mentioned, that’s AWOL they’re posing with. AWOL was a thwack bot and two of its three losses were by KO. It’s third loss was a judges’ decision against another thwackbot-esque machine, Locomotion. Holy shit. If you have a thwackbot and it loses to another thwackbot then Bil Dwyer is allowed to come to your house and personally kick you in the dick. It’s in the BattleBots rules, I swear.

Four of Team Black Ops Six’s seven losses were by knock out. All of their robots were invertible meaning that none of them could’ve possibly lost by being flipped over; I’m led to believe that they were simply outclassed in every single possible scenario. By the official count there was a grand total of exactly one fight where one of their robots was still moving when the match ended. The knock out losses are funny and all but I’m more intrigued by the “TKO” that Prototype 4 managed to finagle. The robot was a tire with a tiny spinning drill. I really want to know how it self destructed but I’m guessing this will be my new “Prompt Critical” and I won’t find out for another 14 years.

 

worstBB_1abbatoir

worstBB_abbatoirLB99Record: 0-4

I’m pleased to say that the robot seated at number one in this list has literally not driven more than the length of the Battlebox in the four “fights” it’s been in. Abbatoir was built by Team Wetware whose family of robots within BattleBots has an impressive twelve losses under their belt, half of them by forfeit. The only reason why Team Black Ops Six made it into this list as a team entry and not Team Wetware is because Wetware’s record is actually 1-12 and that single solitary win made them ineligible for this list. In fact the robot with that single victory, Mr. Bonestripper, almost took this very spot because it has a staggering six losses (four of them by forfeit) but unfortunately it actually managed to beat someone so Mr. Bonestripper gets to skate away from the firing range with exactly one BattleBots “WINNER” medallion. Abbatoir is a close second however and even though it only has one forfeit loss its story more than makes up for it.

So the thing is I don’t actually know what the fuck Abbatoir’s problem was. Compounding that, I don’t even know what Team Wetware’s problem was. Generally speaking you’re supposed to bring a working robot to BattleBots because a robot that is able to move is kind of integral to the the sport. There is a term used to describe robots that don’t move, it’s called “knocked out”. Speaking of, two of Abbatoir’s losses were by knock out. Against Ricon all that literally happened was Ricon rammed into Abbatoir before it even started moving and broke it. Abbatoir proceeded to drive into the middle of the arena and caught fire. That actually happened. Abbatoir’s arena introduction stated the robot was ranked number eight. Out of how many robots, four? How did Abbatoir get ranked in the first place? Was there an event official giving out ranks to everyone who said “what” and Abbatoir’s driver wasn’t paying attention?

Against Rammstein the robot lost by a quick KO however according to the report on Team Loki’s official website Abbatoir tapped out before Rammstein could line up the coup de grace blow. Does that mean one of those “knock out” losses was actually a forfeit?

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It’s French for “slaughterhouse”, by the way.

Abbatoir has lost twice by forfeit and once by a KO where the robot essentially barely left its starting square. Seriously, its weapon wasn’t even able to make more than one rotation before Ricon broke the goddamned thing. Abbatoir’s best loss had to have been in BattleBots’ second season where, against Kenny’s Revenge, Abbatoir lost in a 44-1 decision. Alright, I made fun of Rim Tin Tin up there for losing 42-3 but Jesus fucking Christ Team Wetware, ONE POINT?! How do you even get one point in a fight? No, really. How the fuck do you manage to only get one point in a BattleBots fight? Each of the judges have 15 points to give out and in this given scenario apparently Abbatoir was given one point for “strategy”. I realize the opportunity for this has come and gone but whoever gave Abbatoir that point needed to be fired on the spot. In its fight against Kenny’s Revenge the robot literally drove straight into its opponent’s weaponry, backed up over the arena saw blades, and then stopped working. At no point in this fight did Abbatoir’s weapon even begin to spin.

The most hilarious thing about this whole stupid ordeal is that after Abbatoir’s loss to Kenny’s Revenge it disappeared for two whole seasons only to return in Season 5.0… and forfeit.

I know building a BattleBot takes a lot of time and money and effort and that’s why Abbatoir is actually one of my favorite robots in the sport. I’ve gone through the trouble of digging through all of my BattleBots archives (with the help of the curators of the BattleBots Wiki) to bring you this montage of Abbatoir’s finest moments presented in the classiest way possible:

You’re welcome.

– Dracophile

Open a new tab in your web browser of choice. Go on, do it. Punch “twilight foundry” into your search bar and check out the images that come up. Fair warning, if you use Bing you’re going to see a disgustingly large amount of My Little Pony pornography (Twilight Sparkle) and if you’re using Google you’ll see a lot of our logos and random pictures from various articles here that get a fair amount of traffic. I didn’t check with Yahoo because I forgot they existed. Also, before we continue I just want to point out how fucked up it is that in regards to Bing any instance of “twilight” in a search term brings up cartoon horse porn. It’s like Bing knows we’re far outside of the age of making fun of that terrible vampire movie and has moved right into what’s currently hot. Purple horse vagina. Anyway, no matter your search engine of choice in any case you’re going to see this thing show up somewhere in the first handful of results:

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Twilight Foundry Awesome Award, Great Job!

That is the most obtuse fucking thing in the world and hilariously enough it is and has been the most persistent result when searching for “twilight foundry” in any search engine for the past decade. The reason for this is because the graphic was hosted at the popular (and now defunct) Sonic HQ which if you rewind time thirteen years was one of many frequent hangout spots of the original Twilight Foundry lineup. Since Sonic HQ received tons of traffic, and because that picture’s metadata contained the phrase “twilight foundry” on their servers, this is what every single search engine saw when they crawled Sonic HQ’s website and that’s how they interpreted “twilight foundry”. A shitty “top anime sites” award. Anime, because when I think “Sonic the Hedgehog” I immediately default to goofy ass characters with giant eyes.

Wait, that may not have been a good example.

To be completely honest with you I was kinda hoping that stupid abomination would have gone away on its own because surely over the years it’s confused countless people who’ve searched for “twilight foundry” looking for a map of the bonus level of the same name in Blast Corps. Much to my dismay it never went away. A fun side note, that image comes before any pictures of Blast Corps in search results from Bing; this fucking thing will not die. As much as I personally hate that stupid award graphic I guess in a sense it’s Foundry canon and there’s a story behind it just like every other bogus artifact from our bygone years. Since I am the only remaining member of Twilight Foundry’s original cast I guess the responsibility to tell this story falls upon me, right?

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Pretty shitty finish time there, “Grand High Slaughtermaster”.

The Sonic HQ award is a relic from an older Internet back when things like webrings and spinning email GIF’s were en vogue. Awards were one of the fads of the era and everyone was giving them out both because they wanted traffic to their own sites and because niche communities were and still are huge circlejerks. Most awards weren’t 320 x 240 splashes because in the early 00’s that would have filled up a pretty generous amount of screen real estate. The reason why that picture is so large is because I’m about 90% certain it’s simply a resized screenshot from a Sega Genesis emulator of one of the various wacky level titlecards from a Sonic the Hegdehog game or something. That text was clearly plastered on with MS Paint and that background is far too ornate to have been made by the same person. The layered opacity of the blue stripes is beautifully contrasted by the haphazardly applied lettering of which I count at least four different fonts and by “beautifully contrasted” I actually mean “ruins the entire picture”.

The aforementioned person, by the way, was Twilight Foundry’s resident autistic otaku Lewis. I don’t know if Lewis is actually autistic mostly because that particular epithet didn’t “exist” thirteen years ago but since I’m writing this article in 2014 about some nonsensical crap that happened in 2001 I believe I am entitled to use some updated descriptors to jazz this borefest up so that it can be obsoleted by whatever hip lingo people are using in 2024. Lewis was really big into video games and anime and all sorts of other nonsense made of plastic that was collectible. Twilight Foundry shared a communal forums account on places like Sonic HQ and I guarantee almost all of them were posts by Lewis. I know this because he was always idle in every single MSN chatroom that the four of us frequented. Any time I popped into the Toonami chatroom he was there and he was always talking about something. I honestly have no idea what he is up to these days but I’d be willing to venture a guess that he’s some wildly popular anime blogger while I’m sitting here in the dust with a bunch of old shit I can’t get anyone to read.

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The Mobius Forum is apparently STILL a thing. Here’s our decade+ old Sonic HQ account.

Anyways, Lewis had this idea to start this “contest” in our MSN chatroom where people who hung around with us could vote for their favorite websites in a bunch of random categories on our website. I honestly do not remember how he organized this because I’m fairly certain if he would’ve tried to code a script he’d have broken the entire Twilight Zone site and I’d have remembered fixing that. Regardless, apparently the “Best Sonic Site” category was nested inside of the broader “anime” subject even though the Sonic franchise is based largely in video games and comic books. Sure, that’s anime I guess. Whatever. I’m more impressed that he was able to name two more Sonic websites at the time because thinking back to those days there really was Sonic HQ and nowhere else for Sonic news and fandom. I have no idea why Sonic HQ — a site that boasted millions of visitors — ended up in third place. My best guess is that Lewis took input/nominations from the chatrooms and the people contained in said chatrooms ended up voting for their own websites. As screwed up as that is it’s still more “fair and balanced” than Fox News.

The stupid thing is that Sonic HQ straight up slammed that gaudy image on their website like it was some magical badge of humbleness because everything else on their awards page was “first place this” and “first place that” and smack in the middle of this ass pat parade was “3RD PLACE GREAT JOB”.

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Sonic HQ even had its own award that you had to steal from someone else’s site to get it without the watermark.

The Twilight Foundry award is so appealingly bad it’s actually hilarious. What’s even better is that apparently every other recipient of our prestigious award has gone belly up because I sifted through image search results until they dissolved into Internet oblivion and I could not find a single one anywhere not even on some ironic snark blog that uses The Wayback Machine to crawl old versions of formerly popular websites looking for trash to scavenge and regurgitate on Tumblr. I can’t tell you the names of the Sonic fansites that were allegedly “better” than Sonic HQ; I can’t even tell you what the other award categories were or if they used a different wacky background for that matter. All I have to go by is a fuzzy memory that Google simply wouldn’t let go of. As much as the Sonic HQ award bothers me with its affront to any and all typesetting conventions (even by 2001 standards) in a sense I suppose I’m glad it’s still floating around out there online. It’s the only relic from the original Twilight Zone website that is still a part of the Internet’s collective consciousness and its placement in search results has served as a bizarre “remember meeeeee” cry from the Foundry for longer than I can care to try and comprehend.

It’s a piece of our history that I have to learn to like and accept for what it is because if the past 14 years have been any indication that damned thing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

– Dracophile & Lewis

Well, well, well. The brand new Twilight Foundry website… and I get to be the one christening it on its maiden voyage. I don’t know whether to be honored or just hang my jaw agape in awe that it took Twilight Foundry something like TEN YEARS to get the bright idea that maybe they should have a site again. I kid. Wait, no I don’t. Did you miss me? My name is Roastmaster and I’m all about Internet culture and all that other assorted yappy technological bullshit; I was one of the lead columnists at GatorAIDS — the comedy blog, not the failed furry-themed gaming website. My first contribution to a Twilight Foundry project was a piece for GatorAIDS in 2009 called “Remembering Billy Mays“.

Cynicism aside I am glad to be back. For my debut article here I am going to be discussing something near and dear to my heart: domain names. Actually, I couldn’t give a shit about domain names one way or the other but I figured that was an appropriate segue into the article. After the “More” jump are 144 of the most retarded “new top level domains” being shit out into the Internet by IANA or ICANN or whichever other “we didn’t get the memo that the ‘i’ needs to be lowercase” organization responsible for this garbage. I didn’t pick a literal gross of gTLD’s as a funny “eww they’re gross” stab, it just so happens there are at least one hundred and forty-four of these things that are absolute trash. Anyways here’s the stupid article about insignificant Internet bullshit:

 

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I really don’t know how to introduce the subject of domain names to you. You know what they are. You went to Twilight Foundry “dot com” in your browser. I really just don’t know how to explain it to you any further without following it up with an honest question about your favorite crayon flavor. Surely you’re familiar with domains like .com (commerce), .org (organizations), .net (networking/communication), .edu (education), and .gov (government). That pretty much covers all the bases here. Different countries have their own domains to suit local needs and businesses but for the most part we’re all on the same page regarding what a “dot com” is and what it’s for, correct? Good. Because IANA — the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (which, as I’ve learned, is not a made up organization and actually has that stupid name) — is about to fuck that all up on behalf of ICANN, as in “yes, ICANN fuck that up for you”.

Over a decade ago the adware moguls at NewDotNet — winners responsible for exposing minors to pornographic pop-up ads and causing a teacher to lose her license because of her malware-infected computer — had the bright idea to “sell” premium TLD’s to people dumb enough to install their browser-based adware. These TLD’s were fake and only worked in an infected browser because “mysite.shop” was really “mysite.shop.new.net”. Exponentially nested subdomains, what a great deal. According to Wikipedia, NewDotNet offered the following “premium” domains for the super bargain of approximately $30/year: .agent, .arts, .auction, .chat, .church, .club, .family, .free, .game, .golf, .inc, .law, .llc, .llp, .love, .ltd, .med, .mp3, .school, .scifi, .shop, .soc, .sport, .tech, and .video — a huge, unwieldy, and stupid selection. All of these (except for .mp3) are now represented in IANA’s new proposal list of premium TLD’s.

Someone somewhere had the bright idea to take inspiration from the rotting corpse of NewDotNet and started proposing new “top level domains” (gTLD’s); things like .photography and .menu. Those are stupid single-purpose domains, but whatever. No harm I guess. The issue here isn’t that these domains are stupid, it’s that whomever came up with this list of suggestions did not know when to stop and now there are literally almost one thousand of these terrible fucking ideas in the pipeline. The fact that all of these suggested domains are meaningless now becomes a serious issue especially considering some of these fucking things are redundant and/or identical to other domains. Someone suggests .mobi for websites optimized for phones and tablets? Great. Someone else comes in and suggests .mobile (yes, it’s there) because they write their R’s backward? Look, I’m so sorry about your apparent learning disability but that’s just retarded.

What follows is a comprehensive dismantling of these terrible ideas. This isn’t all of the new TLD’s, but here’s the stupidest suggestions.

 

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The porn industry exploded on the Internet. No, there was not a jizz reference in the previous sentence but if you wish there to be one then fine, I totally made a cumshot joke in the previous sentence. It is widely known that the adult entertainment industry (for you gentlemen out there, all one of you) was the first industry to start raking in money online when they found out people would also pay money to see digital tits.

Let’s be frank about pornography before I start cracking jokes about it; it’s a very controversial subject matter online and back in the nineties there were comprehensive “kid friendly Internet” safety programs created specifically to prevent children from seeing adult images. For fuck’s sake, the websites for both Playboy and Yahooligans ended with the same TLD. The solution to this was to introduce a TLD specifically for porn, .xxx; you’d think that this would be a great idea because filtering software could literally just go “does this website end with .xxx” and block things. Unfortunately, idiot politicians and people capable of fitting an entire Bible into their ass threw a shit fit when .xxx was introduced in 2000. It didn’t get approved for use until 2011.

Sure, fine, whatever. That’s great, but what about these hot new gTLD’s? Namecheap has these “adult” domains in their own hush-hush category, go on and check it out. Half of these new domains are synonyms for .xxx and the other half is just the same word with a one letter difference. What’s the fucking point? Is there really a difference between any of these domains other than attempting to provide an air of classiness around them? Are they for shit like “upscalewomengarglingpiss.adult” to denote something pinky-out while the existing porn TLD is meant for trashy things like “fuckmygapingheadwound.xxx”? Why even bother with the .sex TLD for that matter? Isn’t that kind of implied because it’s a porn site? Are people too stupid to assume that “buttholeswithcrazydiameters.com” isn’t somehow pornographic?

Also, there’s a .wang. It’s not officially listed as an adult domain, it’s an Asian region one, but I can see “suk-on-mai.wang” coming from a mile away. I mean centimeters away.

 

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From an objective standpoint I can get behind a gTLD dedicated to photo galleries or other kinds of image-heavy presentations. What I can’t get behind, however, are six gTLD’s that are all essentially the same goddamned thing. The .photography gTLD is for artists who are serious about their work, I get that, but I’m absolutely positive these people are already grossly outnumbered by dozens if not hundreds of “downsouthtexaspregnancy.photography” and “allwedoarepicturesofbabiesandthatsitexceptmaybebadseniorportraits.photography” websites that are going to immediately devalue the domain. There is no prestige associated with a premium domain full of cannon fodder for You Are Not a Photographer. All of these domains are doomed to suffer the same fate which is being used by a soccer mom whose only job according to her Facebook profile is “FULL TIME MOM at MOM” spending her husband’s money on an expensive camera she knows nothing about so she can post fourteen dozen pictures of her feet on a beach and her autistic kid building a lopsided sandcastle. She does weddings and birthday parties cheap cheap cheap so you know you’re paying for quality and it’s in her “company” guarantee that she will weigh at least 300 pounds and show up to your event wearing a filled-out Tweety Bird sweater with a witty comment on it.

Beyond that, again I reiterate: why the fuck are there six photography domains? Why is one of them a plural version of one of the others? Why is there a domain for “pictures” but also “pics”? Doesn’t that sound a bit like “pix” instead? Why didn’t they go with that for brevity? Who needs this many fucking domains, especially just for photography? Was “mycompanyphotography.com” just too much of a pain in the ass to type out? Are there so many fauxtographers taking up every single possible photography .com that IANA declared a state of emergency to quarantine them all to gimmick domains? I think I’m onto what the larger plan is here; IANA is looking to lure all these idiots who think spelling out “BABY” in blocks on a pregnant woman’s stomach is a completely original idea to these fringe and forgettable complex domains so people won’t pay them any attention.

Great job, IANA. You’ve won me over. End of article. Or not, because there are still…

 

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By default, 100% of these domains are stupid and redundant, but this category is for a very special kind of redundancy: pluralized domains. I’m talking about .game and .games, two domains that already don’t need to exist and one of which that absolutely should not exist under any circumstances whatsoever. Furthermore, we have a special kind of double redundancy going on with a war between .home, .property, and the plural versions of both of these domains. It’s not an official part of this list because there’s no plural version but there’s also a .realestate further screwing up the already invisible legitimacy of these property-based domains. How many gTLD’s do you need to sell a fucking house? What about an apartment? Oh, you mean to say there already is a .apartment? Fan-fucking-tastic. Why offer specific domains when you have a premium domain for the umbrella, and vice versa? (Don’t answer that, it’s hypothetical because the answer is “both kinds of domains are for stupid people”.)

There are as many domains for properties as there are for out of focused pictures of naked babies drinking from a dirty sprinkler. Hilariously, and completely unrelated to that, there are not one but two domains for accountants, one of them plural. I guess that would be fine considering some accountants work independently and some work with a firm, but that kind of gets overridden by the fact that there are domains for .bank, .money, .cash, and .investments to completely muddy the need for any of those domains. Which one is the most important? None of them. Bankers already get enough kickbacks and perks, they don’t need their own domain extension. If they absolutely have to have one, I propose they be forced to use .wang because fuck them.

Finally, there’s a domain redundancy for Broadway. Yes, that Broadway. There’s .broadway and for no apparent reason there’s .bway. Never in my lifetime have I heard someone use the term “bway”. I don’t know if it’s an attempt to sound hip or what, but frankly I don’t think you can make Broadway “hip” to people. You either suck cock or you don’t. Those are facts.

 

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Fresh off the homophobic remark from that last section is a category that begins with “homo” because I’m thoughtful like that. Much to my dismay, I learned recently that a “homophone” is not a mobile phone with the Grindr app installed on it but rather a word that sounds like another word. The entire point of a domain name is to have an original sounding end to it so that people can remember it and instantly go to your site; it’s why we don’t have a .com and .comm. Knowing that, you can understand my frustration when I found an instance of homophonic domains in the form of .coupon and .qpon (say the last one aloud reading the first letter by itself). I guess frugal mothers who buy their furniture at Big Lots need resources where they can obsessively comb over coupons to save a quarter on canned tuna or whatever it is people in loveless marriages do with their time; enter the .coupon conundrum.

Visually, .coupon and .qpon are pretty different. That’s great, but now imagine you’ve just heard a radio ad for a website called “kidshaircutsforcheapcunts.coupon”. Are you sure that it was “.coupon” you heard? How can you be so sure? Did the person in the ad spend the extra few moments explaining “kidshaircutsforcheapcunts.coupon, that’s coupon without the Q, you cheap cunt”? Probably not. Now you have to go home and try bringing that website up and there’s a 50% chance you’re going to get it wrong. Literally a coin flip, but you wouldn’t dare risk losing a coin under the sofa by flipping it and missing the catch, you cheap cunt.

Sidenote, there’s also .football and .futbol which technically may not count since one is an international domain that’s also pronounced “fuit-bol” but that’s beside the point. To the uninitiated and culturally insensitive they’re going to sound like the same website.

Homophonic domains only serve to offer unintentional misinformation to people. In the analogy mentioned earlier, about cheap cunts who get their kids’ hair cut once a year and insist on using a coupon when doing so, there’s an opportunity for a rival distributor to purchase the available .qpon/.coupon domain. I realize I just implied that there’s some bizarre cutthroat market for stingy bitches at SuperCuts but I’d like you to expand your vision of that analogy further to any possible circumstance involving coupons or someone kicking an inflated ball. If you only hear the domain there is literally nothing stopping you from going to an incorrect website masquerading as the one you’re trying to reach, and you’d be none the wiser.

 

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Oh cool, a domain reserved specifically for schools and universities! Man, wouldn’t that be really stupid of IANA if we already had one of those? Especially if it was originally introduced in 1985 as one of the first generic top-level domains.

Good thing that doesn’t exist, though.

 

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There is exactly one possible website for this domain and it’s “thewarinthe.persiangulf”. That is it. Why this domain was even suggested in the first place is a fucking mystery.
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There’s a Bill O’Reilly joke in here somewhere that starts with “www.thewaron” and ends with “.christmas” but I’m not going to make it… or assemble it since I’ve already kind of made it. I’m not going to focus on that; instead I’m going to point out how bizarre it is that there’s a gTLD offered for one specific holiday officially lasting one day out of the year. There are eight times as many reasons why Hanukkah should get a domain (.kosher doesn’t count, it exists) but you don’t see the Jewish community getting some trendy domain extension to celebrate around. The fact that .christmas exists is one more piece of evidence to call bullshit when Christians get their circumcised dicks in a crucifix over “religious prosecution”. They’re getting their own top-level domain for an overblown holiday; if that’s not outright favoritism then apparently I’m dumber than they are.

What are people with a .christmas domain supposed to do for the other 11 months out of the year when people don’t give a shit about Christmas? Even if Christmas has stretched into November I can guarantee people aren’t going to give two fucks about remembering Jesus in the middle of June. And is Black Friday really so important that it demands its own domain extension when the United States is the only country in the world that rewards fat people with cheap consumer goods for trampling underpaid security guards? Who is going to rationally use a .blackfriday extension? Companies have been just fine getting by with a link to “upstandingamericancompany.com/black-friday” on their homepage for the past 20 years, are they now supposed to do the same thing but link to “dealsyouprobablywouldntcareaboutatanyothertimeofyear.blackfriday” instead?

 

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The American healthcare system is a fucking wreck. It is the worst-possible case of rampant disorganization, highway robbery, and sheer ineptitude realized. Since I’ve told you something you probably already knew, here’s something new coming up that will surely further the 100% respectable marketplace that is the world of healthcare: about a dozen highly-specific domains intended for a ton of one-off uses that people aren’t going to remember. The eponymous .healthcare is among these, as is .insurance, however the real cream of the crop are some great repeats of redundancy that we’ve already seen; things like .doctor and .doc, or .medical and .med. There are also specialized TLD’s for clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies which boggles my mind because I genuinely do not understand how hard it is to remember a .com that includes “clinic” or “hospital” as part of the name. Also people are too stupid to know how to spell “pharmacy” so good luck getting people who can’t even file their taxes on time to bother with that one.

 

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There are almost a dozen domains specifically for denoting a sale or promotional offer. Honestly, I could pull a cop-out and end this section right here but it goes beyond that. The shopping domains fall into the same category of over-diversification as the medical ones. If your website is meant to be a storefront… what’s so bad about adopting something simple like “.shop”? This is, of course, ignoring the fact that “.com” literally means “commerce” and implies a business institution. Don’t think about these hypothetical questions for too long, none of them have a rational fucking answer.

The shopping category of domain names is the holy grail of utter shit because it contains examples of nearly everything I’ve discussed up to this point. There are redundant domains (.gift/.gifts), homophones (.coupon/.qpon), and a date-specific domain (.blackfriday). The only thing we don’t have is a shopping-based healthcare domain like .organ for all your convenient transplanting needs or .plasticsurgery for information on obtaining triple-D tits.

There is a .diamonds. Why is there a .diamonds? Why does this domain exist? Do we as a species collectively sell so many pretty rocks that it justifies having its own goddamned domain name right up there with watches, toys, tickets, and fucking auto parts (yes, those all exist)? Scratch that, because there is also a .domains; literally, there is “dot domains”. Mark my words, I would bet my life savings that you’re not going to ever see a legitimate domain registrar like GoDaddy, Tucows, or Namecheap go anywhere fucking near “.domains”. Nobody is that stupid. No, wait, let me rephrase that: Nobody who has more business sense than a DeVry graduate is that stupid. The people who buy a .domains gTLD for their business are… ugh… Full Sail University… *groaning sound*…. dot domains… University of… *chokes on saliva*… Phoenix…

 

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I remember helping my grandmother try to understand the concept of using the Internet almost 20 years ago. She’s dead now, God rest her soul, but holy fucking shit was that like talking to a brick wall. I spent all day reminding her that she needed to put “.com” after everything she was looking for. She finally caught on and was eager to check out everything she could… then she wanted to check out The White House. Those of you who were in grade school during the initial boom of the Internet know how this story is going to unfold. Grandma Roastmaster enters “www.whitehouse.com” in her browser. I jump and dive in slow motion shouting “noooooooooo”. Too late. Tits everywhere. Grandma gets angry and upset at the tits plastered all over her screen.

I hadn’t even bothered to get into .org, .net, and especially not .gov. How the fuck was I supposed to know she was going to go straight from looking at shit on walmart.com to wondering who the 22nd President of the United States was? Many a 4th grader writing a report on a U.S. President inadvertently went to whitehouse.com instead of whitehouse.gov and was ushered into Internet porn manhood via grainy 24-bit dithered color 56K boobs. My grandmother accidentally got Melons Feelmore instead of Millard Fillmore and that was back when we had so few TLD’s you could count them on one hand.

I’m not saying that our grandparents are all in danger of seeing naked women on every website beginning with “facebook” and ending with something other than “.com” but what I am saying is the sheer magnitude of how complicated and convoluted these new domains are is not boding well for our senior citizens. Normally I’m just like “fuck them haha” but I think it’s pretty shitty to come in and purposefully obfuscate a form of communication and information resource when A) it’s fine the way it is and B) seniors already don’t fucking understand how to use it.

Specifically, I’m talking about the additions of the gTLD’s .site, .web, .website, .computer, .email/.mail, .online, and .search. Are you fucking serious? You have .website as a potential domain name to visit a fucking website? Do I need to explain how incomprehensibly stupid this is? Are they trying to make it easier for old people to stumble into malware-ridden websites with free dolphin screensavers? Not only that, there are two other incarnations of that domain: .site and .web. Jesus dick, there is absolutely no explanation for that other than one neckbearded virgin harboring resentment over the fact that he has to live with his grandmother since his parents kicked him and his My Little Pony collection out of the house.

 

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.meme is a proposed new domain. Honestly, I contemplated writing just that one sentence as a suicide note and calling it quits. This is not the best way for the Internet to become self-aware. Memes by their very nature are “flash in the pan” moments of popularity. For example, nobody gives a fuck about Rick Astley anymore (again) or the Rickrolling phenomenon and this was something that YouTube once dedicated its entire homepage to doing on April Fool’s Day, not to mention the time Astley came in and crashed the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with a performance of that song. PSY was the first person to get one billion views on a single YouTube video with “Gangnam Style”, but his followup single “Gentleman” barely has a quarter of the previous song’s total views. People just don’t give a shit past that first climax. Most memes don’t live long enough to warrant a one year domain registration. The only website that I could see benefiting from a .meme gTLD is 9GAG, but there’s already a .add so I don’t know what the fuck they’d need .meme for.

There is no plausible use for domains such as .lol, .omg, or .wtf except in regards to celebrity gossip or unironic Call of Duty noscope montages. Believe it or not, .celeb, .gossip, and .hollywood are not in the list of suggested gTLD’s. Those three domains, which would probably see more use than the bottom half of IANA’s list combined, are quietly absent from the proposal. But don’t worry, we’ve got .horse on the radar so one person can make a Sarah Jessica Parker joke or whoever the fuck looks like a horse because that punchline isn’t the least bit tired. Comedy.

 

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The inclusion of NewDotNet’s TLD’s wasn’t an intentional move on behalf of IANA; the domains just so happened to get roped into this mess because they’re generic enough to fall into IANA’s simple cookie cutter sections of proposals. The fact that the suggestions are still around is proof enough that the domains were a stupid idea a decade ago and they’re a stupid idea now that has just been repainted and repackaged as something a little less illegitimate. There’s a reason why we’ve gone 20 years without having “.video” and “.church” — the ideas are fucking stupid and are redundant at their very core. Most Internet users only need to be mindful of a half-dozen or so top-level domains, but here is a list of 1,000 potential additions and none of them warrant use beyond a few hundred/thousand possible outcomes. In the case of shit like .persiangulf I’m hard-pressed to come up with more than I can count on one hand.

A decade ago NewDotNet used some fancy adware to pull wool over their customers’ eyes and charged them thirty fucking dollars a year for a shitty “premium” domain name service that only a handful of equally gullible idiots could see. Isn’t that just what’s going on here? Charging someone $39.99 a year so they can have a “premium” domain like .guru? I was under the assumption that you earned a reputation, you didn’t purchase one. Spending forty bucks on a fancy domain name doesn’t immediately make you smarter than someone on a .com much like how spending a hundred dollars on a .xxx domain doesn’t make your porn the most jerkworthy. That’s not how the Internet works. For a series of top-level domains meant to help “organize” the Internet these people sure are asking a lot for them while the price of a regular .com quietly stands at $12.

NewDotNet’s service was nothing more than a sleight of hand trick that sold someone a glorified GeoCities-esque website package for an inflated rate. IANA’s/ICANN’s new list of gold-spraypainted turds is nothing better and in nearly every single instance costs as much as if not more than NewDotNet’s bullshit. It’s a way to separate stupid people from their money so everyone who knows better can mock them behind their back for being dumb enough to think a $70 “.ventures” domain somehow makes them seem legitimate.

– Roastmaster

 

If you’ve got godlike patience and an hour to kill, you can browse an entire list of the proposed domain names HERE.