Megabots, the real-life mech-making company that builds mechanical monsters for live-action sporting events rivaling Pacific Rim, is auctioning one of them off on eBay. With the company running low on cash, co-founder Matt Oehrlein decided to give up battle-hardened bot Eagle Prime, "one of the world’s only fully-operational piloted battle mechs," according to the listing. The starting bid was offered at just $1, but in a matter of days it shot up to $91,200 (at the time this article was published).
When eBay brags that it’s the one place on the internet where you can find virtually anything, this is what they mean.
But what even inspired Oehrlein to build the Eagle Prime in the first place?
“We were probably mostly inspired by the MechWarrior series of video games, and the BattleTech universe those videos games are based on,” Gui Cavalcanti, the creative engineer who co-founded Megabots, told SYFY WIRE. “But it's not modeled after any particular character specifically.”
Oehrlein also told us that Eagle Prime took a year and a half to build, at a cost of around $2.5 million. And while you’re probably imagining that maintenance costs on a gargantuan machine like this are astronomical, it requires surprisingly little upkeep for the 15-ton, 2-story monster that it is.
“It's pretty simple stuff. Replacing a blown fuse every now and then and tightening down loose bolts here and there,” he said.
Not bad for machines that can wield ginormous drills, knives, and chainsaws to go into combat with other mechs. And they really do fight each other in worldwide competitions; Eagle Prime was specifically built as the U.S. entry into the USA vs Japan Giant Robot Duel.
Who knows, perhaps the new owner of Eagle Prime will be looking for a shot at being the ultimate mech champion — at least here on Earth.