Attacknids: Rise of the robots

Could this battling bot be THE toy of 2012? Maker Wow Stuff has "no doubt" it will be a sell-out before Christmas. ToyNews brings you the scoop on Attacknids...
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Here’s what we can tell you about Attacknids, the first product to be released in Wow Stuff’s new Combat Creatures brand. 

It will retail at £69.99 and the bots will initially be available in red and black. Standing at ten inches tall, Attacknids are able to manoeuvre in any direction and have a 360-degree rotating head on which rapid repeat weapons are mounted. 

The trend towards toys like Beyblade and Bakugan is proof that boys love battling and this is what’s at the heart of Attacknids. 

Kids take command of the robots with enthusiast-grade 2.4Ghz remote control systems, firing projectiles at opponents. Taking aim at the ‘Battle Brain’ located on the head, or the armour on each of the ‘Creature’s six legs, which ‘explodes’ and pops-off on impact – the first to three hits wins. 

On launch, the range will include three weapons – Dissector Discs, Destroyer Spheres (plastic balls) and the Snyper Dart (foam darts), with the Dissector Discs coming as standard. The other weapons and add-ons will be available to purchase in ‘Wave 1’ of the accessories.

Wave 2 will launch in Easter 2013 and will include “something very special indeed”, with Wave 3 due in autumn/winter next year. Kids will also be able to buy extended magazines which hold more ammo, plus a Battle Matt for battling with friends. 

Attacknids will be promoted with a UK-wide road show, where Wow Stuff will visit top toy stores conducting Robot Wars-style battle events for kids to take part in. The biggest versions of the Battle Arena will be 16 square-metres.

PR manager Alan Bryant explains: “We want this product to be something special, not just a toy but something that people can come to events to battle with and get immersed in the brand, this is why we built our spectacular battle area.”

Also, in development is an Attacknids virtual world, a battling app, books, comics and more as part of a hefty licensing programme. 

While Wow Stuff has had a string of blockbusters under its belt, Attacknids promises to be the company’s first comprehensive, multi-faceted toy brand. 

The company is in discussions to take the toy to territories around the world, with a reported ‘huge interest’ from the US.

MR ROBOTO

When the public first saw Attacknids, it was dubbed ‘The Greatest Toy in the Universe’. Inventor Jamie Mantzel revealed the finished, nameless toy on YouTube. The video raced to two million views in three days.

“I’ve never worked in the toy industry before,” Mantzel tells ToyNews. “In the past I’ve shown some of my robots to toy companies. A few years ago, I threw out a big pile of rejection letters.”

As a young boy Mantzel spent most of his time building things, or thinking about how to build things. When he got older, he built his own house – just the way he wanted it – in the mountains of Vermont, in the North East of the US. 

The Attacknid is the product of a lifetime of fascination with walking machines. Mantzel says: “One thing I keep coming back to is different walking machines. I have dozens of different walking machines with different numbers of legs and some with no legs at all. They’re made of anything from popsicle sticks and glue, to welded aluminium.”


Jamie Mantzel (Or JMEMantzel, as he's known on YouTube) introduces the Attacknid to the world.

Mantzel continues: “The technology in the Attacknid ­– based on what I call the Spider tank chassis – is both advanced and primitive. The geometry of how the walking parts work together is fairly advanced. On the other hand, the materials aren’t advanced at all.

“When I was a kid I was always disappointed in the robot toys I saw, and that trend hasn’t changed.

“In terms of robotic toys, I think this is the first really fun robot toy,” he concludes. 

Wow Stuff agrees, and when it saw an early prototype of Mantzel’s Attacknid on YouTube nearly five years ago, the firm “instantly” knew that Mantzel’s work was a Wow Stuff product. Mantzel was then flown to the UK to negotiate a deal.

“We have been working on Combat Creatures since autumn 2007,” Wow Stuff CEO Richard North reveals to ToyNews.

“So I guess what appears to be an overnight sensation has been five years in development.

“This is another Robosapien – the robot toy which sold 1.5 million units in less than six months. Except this time there is a fantastic battling gameplay,” North concludes.

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