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In 1992, a man called Marc Thorpe thought up the idea of Robot Wars after he tried to build a remote controlled vacuum cleaner, with bad results.
At the same time, Marc was working as a senior designer for LucasToys. Earlier in the year, he pitched a concept for fighting vehicles to a major toy company. The response was strangely indifferent. All that was said was "some day someone is going to figure out how to do this."
One day, Marc took the vaccum apart and thought it could be used as a dangerous toy. He thought that this was the answer to his problem at work. He could have events where people would build remote controlled vehicles to fight against each other. Marc decided to call this Robot Wars. Merchandising revenue from licensing would be the principle revenue stream. . .i.e. toys. Robot Wars would own the licensing rights to mechanical athletes that others would build to enter the competitions.
A month before the event, Marc forms a partnership with Sm:)e Communications (Now Profile Records) for financial support. The event had 17 robots and 1000 people in the audence. It was held in San Francisco, at the Fort Mason Center.
It was very successful, and so three more annual events where made, But unfortunatly Marc and Profile Records are disagreeing over partnership rights, and the forth event was almost canceled, but it takes place with 74 robots, and everybody hungry for more. (This event is in a Robot Wars video: Robot Wars special edition double pack, as well as the First World Championship.)
Afterwards, in 1998, Profile Records issues a court order preventing Marc Thorpe from holding any more Robot Wars events, but they team up with Profile teams up with Mentorn Broadcasting to produce, film and broadcast a Robot Wars TV event overseas in the U.K.