World's First Giant Robot Tournament! (Canceled)
Teams from all over the globe want to fight us in a live tournament! Buy tickets and help start the sci-fi sports league of the future!
We're MegaBots, Inc. We just finished a 12-ton, 16-foot tall, 430-horsepower combat mech called Eagle Prime and fought Suidobashi Heavy Industry in the Giant Robot Duel - all with Kickstarter's help! Since challenging Suidobashi, dozens of robotics teams from all over the world have told us they want to fight us next. With your help, we can host the world's first Giant Robot Tournament and launch the craziest sport the world's ever seen!
We have more than 3 years and $6.5M worth of investment into developing these robots and this sport. We have one of the founders of the UFC on our staff, we've been working with the former video production staff of Mythbusters on our videos, and our engineering and fabrication team comes from high end robotics companies, defense contractors, and industry leaders. We have the best shot in the world at making this sport come to life within the next decade.
We need your help. We have the technology, the rockstar team, and the ambition to make this sport become a reality, but we need hardcore fans to help us fill an arena to watch the first live tournament, watch our videos, and advise us as we create the sci-fi-inspired sport fans want to see. By participating in this campaign, you're sending a message to potential investors and big media companies - you want this sport to exist so badly, you're willing to help build it from scratch.
If you want to see the mecha and giant robots of science fiction come to life, we need your pledge now. This campaign is the culmination of years of planning, and failure of this campaign will likely mean MegaBots closes its doors.
Several teams want to attend, but are waiting until we have final tournament details nailed down - but you all want to know who's going to be there in order to back the event. We have a chicken-and-egg problem on our hands. What we do know is that the Chinese teams GREATMETAL (creators of Monkey King) and Fighting My Bots (creators of Yamantaka) are rearing to go, and want to bring their bots to the tournament no matter when or where it is. At a minimum, we can bring both Iron Glory and Eagle Prime to the tournament and take on China.
We've heard from over 20 other teams in China, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Australia, and the USA who want to attend, but all of them are waiting on the final details of this tournament before they can commit to building their robots, finishing their robots, or shipping their robots overseas. If more teams want to attend than we can manage at one live event, we'll need to come up with a qualification system to determine the final fight card.
We need the funding and a guaranteed audience in order to commit to a specific arena, lock down a date, and set up the live event production team necessary to kick off this sport.
A long time ago, we came to Kickstarter and asked for help. We needed funding to upgrade our robot, but more importantly we needed devoted fans who would support us over the long haul, follow our story, and understand what it takes to create something completely new. With their help and patience, we made good on our promises - we built a 12-ton robot, took two giant robots to Japan, and had a Giant Robot Duel in an abandoned steel mill 5,200 miles from home.
We're in a similar situation again, on a larger scale. We have teams all over the world interested in building and fighting giant robots. We've created awesome robots ourselves, but both our robots and everyone else's need more R&D to become as fast as modern sci-fi audiences want. We need rules and regulations that don't exist yet, that will only take shape after trial and error. We need to figure out how to capture fighting action on camera live, in a way that works as well for fans at home as it does for fans in the seats.
Once, again, we need hardcore, committed fans who will step up, trust us, and support us as we work to make their dreams come to life. That's where you come in!
We're building gigantic, cutting-edge robots that have never been built before. Teams from all over the world will have to build their own custom robots to keep human pilots safe in fair fights between multi-ton machines, all while looking cool to audiences that have gotten used to watching decades of computer-generated science fiction... that has never had to work in real life.
Our mission is to bring this sport to life, and that means we're continuing to push the start of the art of robotics at this scale to make faster, cooler, and safer robots. That also means that we need to support teams all over the world who are building robots to compete in this sport, so we don't all reinvent the wheel over and over again.
If this campaign is successful, we'll be open-sourcing our MK2-class Iron Glory robot to give this sport a huge boost. At higher levels of funding, we'll be publicly researching how to make the robots faster, selling proven parts that work in combat to teams, providing teams financial assistance so they can build their robots and get to the tournament, and more!
As we continue to develop new technology at MegaBots HQ, we'll share our progress publicly - just like we did during MegaBots Season 1. Our audience, and other teams, will be able to follow along and help guide our R&D efforts to make this the global sport we've all been dreaming of.
If this crowdfunding campaign is successfully funded, we will:
- Host the World's First Giant Fighting Robot Tournament in the San Francisco Bay Area in Q4 2018, where 4 teams will compete for the international title. This event will be live, unscripted, and professionally livestreamed. We will confirm a final date with our fans 6 months in advance. There is a possibility this date will be pushed back if teams aren't ready, or if arenas aren't available, but we will communicate with our fans every step of the way. We are no longer under any NDAs like we were during the Giant Robot Duel, and are free to communicate about our plans openly.
- Make our MK2-class Iron Glory robot open source, so anyone in the world can build their own mech. It should be possible to build all of the components of a MK2-class robot in a garage, so long as you assemble it outside...
- Produce MegaBots Season 2, where we show you our own R&D AND the progress of teams around the world as they prepare their mechs for the tournament.
- Host a series of MegaBots LIVE! events at our headquarters, where you get to be up close and personal with the robots and watch us test new technology/rules/weapons/etc live.
Past our initial funding, our stretch goals cover everything from awesome new merch and robot figurines, to public R&D to help everyone make better robots, to doubling the number of teams at the tournament, to adding an East Coast tournament, all the way up to designing walking mechs. Join us!
What You Get!
We're committed to bringing you the science fiction-inspired sport you want to see. By backing this campaign above a $15 level, we'll add you to an exclusive mailing list that we'll consult when we make major decisions about the sport. We're not putting our entire company or vision up for a vote, but we think direct feedback and some decision-making from an engaged audience is crucial. Some of the elements of MegaBots Season 2 that our fans will get to vote on include:
- Input into the rules and regulations of our sport
- Input into the direction of MegaBots R&D
- Input into the aesthetics of the arena and show
- Input into which teams attend the tournament
- Input into which new teams get financial assistance
We're asking for your help starting a sport from scratch - we need your feedback and engagement as much as we need funding!
We have a ton of new merch for giant robot fans! We have iron-on patches, stickers, shirts, hoodies, a bunch of posters, and even a comic book. As we confirm teams for the tournament, we'll make sure you get access to their merch, too! For now, check out what you can your hands on during this campaign.
First of all, everyone who backs our campaign above the $5 level gets their name on our website in the Hall of Heroes. We'll be creating a new section of our site and immortalizing those who help create this sport from scratch, like we did for our Eagle Prime backers. Additionally, all backers above the $15 level get a digital wallpaper pack of our posters!
We now have patches and stickers for MegaBots itself, Iron Glory, and Eagle Prime! Vandalize your workspace, living space or your own stuff with stickers - OR, iron your favorite logo onto a work shirt or jacket! Add $5 to any pledge $10 or higher, per additional sticker or patch you want.
We made a comic book with DC Comics illustrator Jorge Corona! This is no made-up space opera about imaginary robot fights - this is the gritty, behind-the-scenes story of what it took to start MegaBots, design and build giant robots from scratch, and get to where we are now. MegaBots #1 focuses on the crazy, completely improbable adventure of moving our entire company to San Francisco...
...and dealing with everything from historically extreme weather, to lazy salespeople, to run-ins with the cops, to near death experiences as we built the 6-ton, 15-foot-tall Iron Glory in 3 months flat.
If you're a maker, mechanic, tinkerer of any stripe, or regular ol' giant robot fan, you need to pick this up. We've even included never-before-released images that inspired the comic and additional backstory as bonus content! Add $10 to any pledge $20 or higher, per additional comic issue you want.
If we hit our stretch goal, we'll make a whole series of comics to share the behind-the-scenes story of our past 3 years: challenging Suidobashi, raising venture capital investment for giant robots, navigating Hollywood, building our crazy team and Eagle Prime, and having the Giant Robot Duel. These comics let us tell our true story in ways that videos can't capture - you're getting a never-before-seen view of what this has actually been like.
We have a TON of new posters to share with you. We have the epic stadium and arena concept art you just saw in our video, our first MegaBots LIVE! poster, an epic picture of Matt on Iron Glory (originally taken for the Wall Street Journal), our comic book cover, and a series of real-life shop drawings of Eagle Prime's parts!
The Process poster series is the real deal - we took real engineering drawings the shop floor used to build Eagle Prime, and we turned them into posters. This is a tiny sample of the hundreds of drawings needed to actually build a mech. Add $15 to any pledge $30 or higher, per additional poster you want.
We're bringing back our MegaBots crew shirts, and we have womens shirts and kids shirts! Rep your favorite sports league with the same merch we wear on a day-to-day basis!
We have new, robot-specific jersey-style shirts for the first time ever! The number on the front is the class of robot (MK2, MK3, etc.), and the shield on the back is each robot's unique coat of arms.
Show off your robot pride by repping Iron Glory or Eagle Prime! Add $25 to any pledge $50 or higher, per additional shirt you want.
We have San Francisco-approved hoodies for the first time! Rep your giant robot addiction even when it's cold(-ish) outside. Add $50 to any pledge $99 or higher, per additional hoodie you want.
We've combined all this merch into SUPER, ULTRA, and FAMILY packs!
- SUPER merch packs give you one of every type of item (one poster out of 10, one T-shirt out of 3, etc.) at a 10% discount.
- ULTRA merch packs give you every single item we sell at a 15% discount.
- FAMILY merch packs get you a family of 4's worth of merch for a 15% discount!
Merch is cool, but it's just not enough for you. You want to be there, at the first live tournament in history, watching science fiction come to life before your very eyes. Engines are roaring, the air is full of diesel and gas fumes, hydraulic oil is spraying everywhere, and giant robots are fighting... and dying. It's the future. You've arrived.
Grab a basic tournament pack for your ticket to the sport of the future, plus some basic swag! We're going to make sure our Kickstarter backers get some of the best seats in the house for being early adopters and believing in us! Add $75 at any pledge $125 or higher, per additional ticket to the tournament you want.
Do you want to see HOW the magic is made? Get a season pass! You'll get access to all of our MegaBots LIVE! events where we test new rules, new tech, new weapons, and new play styles! Come watch SCIENCE happen in person, and give us feedback on what you liked, what you didn't like, and what we could do better. Add $120 at any pledge $310 or higher, per additional season pass you want.
Do you want the VIP treatment for Season 2? Do you want to hang out with MegaBots staff in our "skybox" at MegaBots LIVE! events, get front row seats to the tournament, meet & greet all the teams at the tournament, and more? Sign up for our VIP Season Pass! Add $500 per VIP ticket to the tournament, and $360 per MegaBots LIVE! VIP pass, to any level $975 or higher.
On top of ALL of the above, do you want to strap into Eagle Prime and destroy stuff? Great. Sign up for a gunner experience or a takeover experience. As a gunner, you'll be up front in Eagle Prime with your choice of weapon loadouts, working with a MegaBots driver to beat up on targets in our yard OR anything you'd like to bring with you - like, for instance, that old beater car you've been meaning to get rid of. In a takeover experience, you and a friend get complete control (driver AND gunner) of Eagle Prime, and you get to play with 12 tons of raw destructive power in our testing yard.
Eagle Prime experiences will all be held at MegaBots HQ in Hayward, CA, and will be scheduled on a per-backer basis over the next year. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to arrange for custom Eagle Prime appearances at corporate events, parties, bar mitzvahs, etc..
If getting front row seats to the tournament isn't close enough to the action for you. join our Pit Crew. Pit Crew backers get the ultimate behind-the-scenes access to MegaBots and the rest of our teams - they get to be on the ground floor during the tournament, embedded with the teams in the pits.
Last, but most certainly not least, sign up to sponsor the world's first Giant Robot Tournament! If you want to get your brand out in front of a devoted, young, DIY/Maker-friendly audience, sponsor our tournament and we'll put your brand on the playing field itself! All brands and advertisements are subject to final MegaBots approval, and must be family-friendly.
Risks and challenges
The main technical risk of this project is other teams not being able to successfully build or bring their robots to the tournament in working order. To that end, we're pledging to aid teams with both technical and logistical help and advice, based on the two robots we've successfully built so far and our ability to take them across the to foreign countries and back in working order. We're also taking a lot of care to set achievable goals and timelines for teams entering the tournament, that result in the greatest chance of the event going smoothly.
The major entertainment risk to the tournament is that audiences are disappointed by the fighting action of the robots. These robots will not move or fight like the Transformers or Jaegers people expect - they'll be slower and more awkward. This Kickstarter campaign represents both the first Formula 1 race, and the invention of the car, all at the same time. We're addressing this by continuing to do robot R&D, sharing that R&D with teams, and setting realistic expectations with our fans all along the way.
Finally, all technology development comes with the potential for setbacks and delays. We're aiming to have the tournament in Q4 2018, but we may need to push that date back if teams aren't going to be ready in time. We plan on announcing our plans as far in advance as possible and keeping our fans in the loop continuously. We have a lot more flexibility to disclose our plans now than we did with the Giant Robot Duel, as we're not bound by Non-Disclosure Agreements that prevent accurate communication and expectation-setting with our fans. The final location of the tournament, exact timing, and exact competitors will be subject to change, but we will inform our fans with as much notice as we can provide if any changes are made.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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