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HEXBUG BattleBots Rivals Reviews

Back when Rotator featured two discs, so does the toy, and you can even take them off. They're connected to a single motor though so if one hits the wall, both will stall. The toy does run upside down, but like Tombstone gets all twitchy when doing so. Being able to take the discs off is still nice when someone you're with wants to drive it, but can't determine which way is forward. It also works if they don't want a damaging fight for their first match and you don't have the Build-Your-Own Bots.
An oddball release for sure because it's not even in the design that was seen on the show. Of course, the one on the show didn't do a whole lot anyway. This version hits relatively hard, though turning is a bit slow. I'm not sure how well the parts stay on yet, but they seem to do okay. Still, it's hard to compare it to something we haven't even seen fight on the show.
HyperShock was long overdue after being replaced by a 2nd Witch Doctor in 2018. It's quite fast, perhaps fastest of all the toys and things are pretty securely attached, though anyone facing it will probably have trouble getting all the pieces off.
It's only the 2nd hammerbot from the show, and this time the hammer automatically retracts. Unfortunately, the armor is just held with gravity, and will likely fall off if the robot even attempts to right itself. The wedge is held on more securely though. I'm not sure how potent the hammer is either though, but the arm is made out of pretty thin plastic that the 3rd release of Tombstone can apparently break off. Seems to drive pretty well though and can right itself in probably any orientation, unlike Beta.
Bite Force
The 3-time champ is perfectly represented here, only it cannot run inverted all that well. The nubs at the top of the weapon supports are not wheels at all. Granted, at least it's able to run upside down. The top armor doesn't seem to fit properly into the space. There's bits of plastic that seem to be getting in the way of it fitting flat, unless that's intended? It's also one of the few to have multiple parts to come of, not just the standard 3.
Being a finalist in the 2020 season is quite an accomplishment and well worth getting a toy, especially since they were originally due for one about a year or two ago. Much like the Bite Force toy, the front pieces are basically two pieces stuck together and I could imagine where they could become separated during an impact. Much like SawBlaze, Whiplash has a functional spinner and lifter, but it's less likely to be effective and you don't have any control over when the lifter returns to its normal position.
Most of us probably assumed this pair was going to need AAA batteries, but instead, HEXBUG opted for rechargeable lipo batteries, making them more useful and saving you money. The bots are also much faster with SawBlaze even having an LED light turning on to mimic the flame thrower on the real robot. The front pieces are pretty loosely attached and will likely come off easily, but the tip of the middle fork is much harder to remove. I like how the forks are somewhat adjustable, but I wouldn't say it gives you much of an advantage.
Minotaur (Version 1)
Our first drum spinner in the Rivals set and it's quite good as it can run upside down and even features the blue light found on the real robot. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have a lot of bite as the range for the weapon is barely larger than edges of the "goal posts" at the front of each side rail.
Naturally, Beta's success in 2016 would earn it a toy and it became the first hammer bot since Deadblow back in the day. The front armor is positioned such that it's difficult to remove up front, though the hammer itself has to be manually retracted, which can mean the difference between getting a perfect shot or not during a match. Still, it's capable of removing top armor from the likes of Tombstone, and speaking of which, it can also knock the rear panels down enough to high-center them. Beta's hammer can right the robot, but only if it is in the fired position, which is a slight deviation from real life.
Tombstone (Version 1)
Christmas time has given me the very first two HEXBUG BattleBots toys released and they're a big improvement over Tiger Electronics' Custom Series and Pro Series toys from 20 years ago. It would've been nice to have a way to properly KO the toys other than high-centering them in some way, but these are still quite fun, even though Tombstone is at quite the disadvantage due to weak magnets for the rear panels and none for the top panel, leaving all 3 to possibly fly off without being hit during a fight.
Tombstone (Version 3)
Out comes the Arena Max playset and with it an updated Tombstone based on its Bounty Hunters appearance to face Gruff. It may have the same shape as the original toy, but the weapon is a bit faster and the pieces stay on better, though some owners have had mishaps with the toy causing "real damage" like breaking Blacksmith's hammer off. Just testing the toy has allowed me to at least confirm the power of the robot, but I have yet to properly test it in battle.
Witch Doctor
Perhaps just a bit better designed compared to Tombstone as it doesn't have the same problem with the panels, which are instead either slid into place at the front or held with weak magnets on top. Though I haven't tested either toy in a real battle yet, Witch Doctor already has somewhat of an advantage with the front scoop, though isn't going to be able to throw its opponents several feet into the air. The lack of four wheel drive isn't that big a deal since it does make for easier control. Both toys don't have a way of being knocked out like the old toys though so you kinda have to make your own rules. If we get a flipper though as was planned with Bronco but has yet to pan out, then Witch Doctor can be knocked out. Still, I look forward to any others that come up as time passes.