Indulge your Pacific Rim robot fantasies with this movement-controlled mech



This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2019, your source for the season’s best gifts and deals, hand-picked by the experts at CNET.

Ever since we first saw the TV show BattleBots, we’ve loved pitting robots against each other in mechanical combat. But for the most part, battle bot toys are commanded like R/C cars, with remote controls that don’t feel especially science fiction-y. That’s why we’re so thrilled by Ganker Ex, a mech-style robot that you control with a rig that you wear at your waist. Rather than pushing joysticks, you grasp articulated arms that look like your robot’s appendages. However you punch, thrust, twist, turn or pivot, the robot mimics, like you’re wearing a miniature version of a mech suit. It’s the kind of cool that doesn’t quickly wear off. Unfortunately, you pay a steep price for this kind of excitement — the Ganker Ex lists for $500. But right now, you can get a Ganker Ex for $400 when you use promo code GANKEREX at checkout. That’s $100 off — a tempting offer. 

We’re not new to combat robot toys, but this is the first one we’ve ever seen with this control scheme. It’s packed with servo motors — four in the wheels and another nine in the arms and torso for fast, fluid and accurate reproduction of the motions you make with the controller. When paired with another robot, you can do battle with swords, shields, and infrared armament, all tracked with an electronic scoring system. The robots respond in real-time to damage with lighting and vibration effects. A companion mobile app also shows detailed stats during gameplay, including accumulated damage and scores. Watch our unboxing video for tons of details about the Ganker Ex.

Unfortunately, getting a pair of Ganker Ex bots is a serious investment, even during this sale, so your best bet is to get one for you and your kids, and convince a neighbor to get one of their own. 

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