TV review by Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
BattleBots Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 9+

Epic robot death matches show fun side of science, tech.

Parents say

age 9+

Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+

Based on 3 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Best show ever!

This is the best show ever.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 9+

Not as good as the original but nostalgia could be clouding my judgement

No one has reviewed this before however this will be two reviews. So wall of text incoming. About the show: Battlebots is a Robot Combat competition that first aired on Comedy Central back in 2000 after a successful Pay Per View in 1999. The show ran for 5 seasons with the original run which was from 2000-2002. This run had 4 weight classes Lightweight, Middlewight, Heavyweight, and Superheavyweight. After the series ended the sport reverted back to its live circut roots with events being held frequently. Fast forward to 2015 ABC revived the show and hype started getting drummed up again, as the show was still popular when it was originally cancelled. Due to technological advancements making the older bots outdated. only three machines from the original run returned Warhead, Nightmare, and Complete Control, all had updates, and even then went out in the first round, except for Warhead). A lot of destruction on both the new and old shows make both versions a must see. Review of the Original: Ages 7+ Violence, Consumerism, Language. This was the show I watched while growing up, and I fondly remember my favorite bots being Biohazard, driven by Carlo Bertochini, with its great lifting arm and Carlos driving skills. Most fights in the competition were not aired, in fact event reports showed that certain rounds were called the TV Rounds. Anyway the fights were often violent and had a lot of dubbed sound effects, but nothing got hurt except for the machines which in some cases got absolutely destroyed. The arena had hazards which had Hazards that were controlled by a guy called Pulverizer Pete, and one bot was called S.O.B. In the final season and some of the introductions by Mark Biero had minor language, but nothing bleep worthy. This one was the version better for family viewing. With the exception of Carmen Electra (who was cringeworthy) dressing like well Carmen in the final seasons. This version is a must watch. 2015 Version review: 4/5 Language, Violence, Poor Role Models, Consumerism. 14+ The ABC Revival is a new version of the show with some returning favorites such as Nightmare, Warhead, and Complete Comtrol however the show is not up to snuff with the original as the fight comentators are not as good as the ones on the original 2000-2002 run. The introductions by Faheed Tauriq are not as well delivered as Marks were, however the new pit girl Jessica Chobot is definately more competent and better dressed than Carmen was, she also seems to have a bit more knowledge about the machines than the pit reporters in the original run. This time around Battlebots tries to focus on the technical and mechanical aspects of the bots, where the original just inserted reality skits inbetween fights as filler. However this would not really work for many people over 15 as the technical stuff might jump over their heads. This version is more directed towards adults mostly those who watched the show as a kid, and people in the tight knit community based around the sport, as well as gearheads. The show also doesn't use dubbed sounds during the fights, however the reality aspect is still there. For example there is a lot of fabricated drama where Ray Billings who built the runner up "Tombstone" is portrayed as a villan. In reality he actually helped the other builders get their bots in shape and likely even loaned a few parts. Which is a practice common in the sport, another incident was where they played up a relatively small mistake where Donald Hudsons bot Lockjaw accidentaly scored a late hit on Overhaul and blew it out of proportions for ratings. Most bad role models were fabricated however there was an incident which was legitly bad. Entanglement devices are banned in this event, the driver of Complete Control Derek Young put one in a box anyway against spinner Ghost Raptor, the match was postponed while a decision was made weather or not to disqualify Complete Control. Machines are sponsered in both series and the show does have a Toy Line coming out so there is consumerism, however the old series had a larger toy line, there is some cursing in at least one match. However the censors got it but it is understandable since these machines tend to cost 10,000$ USD at the very least so destruction and damage, while it happens is costly. While the original run had 4 weight classes, this one only has one, which is 250 pounds, the fights are even better this time around but there are less episodes. The shows rumble concluded with Nightmare (who went out in round 1) winning over several newer bots, and There was great driving in Stinger's, and Bite Force's fights. Conclusion: This is a good series in both its current form and older one, however the original run was better and more suited for all ages. This is an expensive sport but there is a lot of cameraderie between teams. And even though Reality TV elements try to ruin it you can't really spoil the fights themselves as they are excellent, and have a ton of interesting designs. Just be sure to view the original series first.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism

TV Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • Robot Combat League Poster Image

    Robot Combat League

    Robot fighting competition highlights engineering fun.

    age 12+
  • Xploration Earth 2050 Poster Image

    Xploration Earth 2050

    Fascinating look at how technology may change the future.

    age 8+
  • Smash Lab Poster Image

    Smash Lab

    Crashing and bashing in the name of science.

    age 10+
  • SciGirls Poster Image


    Smart series ignites girls' interest in science and math.

    age 7+

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate