- Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots
Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots is a two-player
game/ toydesigned by Marvin Glass and Associatesand released by Marx toys in 1966 . Marx later was acquired by Tyco Toys, which was acquired in 1997 by Mattel, Inc.It is currently marketed by Mattel.
Each player takes control of either the red
robot(the "Red Rocker") or the blue robot (the "Blue Bomber"), both of which are standing on a platform reminiscent of a boxing ring. By pushing buttons on a pair of joysticksat the base of the platform, players make their robot punch at their opponent's robot. If a robot's head gets hit with the sufficient force at a suitable angle, its head will pop up, signifying that the other player has won.
Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots has enjoyed far-ranging success in the United States, selling in the hundreds of thousands and becoming something of a minor pop-culture phenomenon. The game was also available in the
United Kingdomduring the 1970s, where it was sold under the name Raving Bonkers.
Marx Toys also released an updated version of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots called "Clash of the Cosmic Robots" in 1977. It featured robots of a more space-age design, likely inspired by the science fiction influences of the time.
For a period of time in the mid 1990s the blue robot was changed to a darker shade of blue and given a head more like that of
Robocop. The red robot was changed to a grey (Though the instructions referred to him as "silver") color but retained his classic head. Their respective names were changed to "Bolt Crusher Bob" and "Gear Grinder Greg". Aside from the cosmetic changes the game remained the same.
In 2000, a reissue of the classic version was developed by Mattel, at approximately half the size of the original model. In addition, an action figure line, a
PlayStationgame, electronic handhelds, a head-to-head plug and play and bobble head dolls have been recently introduced. The PlayStation game was Rock'em Sock'em Robots Arena, published by Mattel Interactive, and was developed by Paradox Development using their successful game engine from the Wu-Tang video game. The video game and action figure lines represented a newer, updated version of the robots, whereas the reissued game and licensed products all were based on the original Red Rocker and Blue Bomber characters.
In the new GameBoy Advance game, more robots were added, including:"Yellow Yahoo", "Brown Bully", "Orange Oppressor", "Silver Stretcher", "Purple Pyro", "Green Grappler", "Pink Pummeller", and the "Black Bruiser". The game was also made into a mobile phone video game by
Oasys Mobilerecently. [ [http://www.oasysmobile.com Oasys Mobile | A premier publisher and developer of mobile entertainment ] ]
In Popular Culture
*In the Season 1 episode "Along Came Joey" of "
Hawaii Five-O", the gambler Nick Morgan is seen playing the Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots toy. At the time, the toy was a relatively new phenomenon. The toy was probably included in the episode because the story revolved around the death of a young boxer.
Beavis and Butt-headsaw a game during a Primus video. Beavis encouraged one robot to kick another one in the "nads". Beavis also stated that he puts makeshift nads on all his robots, using glue and raisins.
*In the 1998 episode of "
The Simpsons" titled " Simpson Tide", when Homer joins the Navy, Marge expresses her concerns for Homer during upcoming war games, who laughs and says "How could a game ever hurt me?", before reminiscing to a time he put his head in between the two robots and beat himself up with him saying "Damn you, Rock-em Sock-em Robots! Can't we all just get along?" Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots were later parodied in the episodes " Hungry Hungry Homer" and "Fat Man and Little Boy". In the latter episode, they are called "Sock-Em Knock-Em Cyborgs". Another episode had two mafia guys playing the game with one of them saying "you knocked his block off!"
*In the 1999 "
Futurama" episode " A Fishful of Dollars", Frygives Benderan "antique robot toy", but when one robot's head gets knocked off, Bender is horrified.
*In the 1999
Pixaranimation film sequel " Toy Story 2", the main toys are searching in 'Al's office' in 'Al's Toy Barn' for Woody. A character, Slinky Dog, comes across a set of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots and asks them if they had seen Woody(Slinky describes Woody as 'a cowboy doll with a bad arm'), only for the two to argue about who was being asked, and fight, with the blue one defeating the red one.
*In the TV series "
Beast WarsTransformers", Rhinoxand Infernofight in a manner like the game. Rhinox wins and is knocked out by Megatron, Inferno's head is pushed back down by Megatron.
Much Musiccombat zone used to have the toys as a logo.
*The robots appeared on
MADtvin a COPSparody called ClOPS.
*Towards the end of Sierra's
Space Quest IIIcomputer game is an arcade sequence called "Nuke 'Em Duke 'Em Robots" and featuring two gigantic boxing robots very reminiscent of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em.
*A [http://davepics.com/Album/2002/07-28.RockEm-SockEm_Robots/ life-size version] of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots was brought to
Burning Manin 2003, 2004 and 2006
*On an episode of
Home improvementTim had a wedding cake with Rock'em Sock'em Robots shaped like a bride and groom on the top.
Saturday Night Liveskit a Bratzdoll was hitting a Barbiedoll and saying "I'll knock your block off"
*In the 1999 episode "Moon Zero Two" of
MST3K, Joel plays Rock'em Sock'em Robots with Servoand Crow.
Tenacious Dalso sings about Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots on their 2001 debut album on the track "City Hall."
*In the 2002 movie "
Santa Clause 2" a scene features Scott Calvin giving adults in the faculty Christmas party the presents they wanted. One of the adults gets Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots "in mint condition!" and is seen playing with them when everyone is playing with their presents.
*In the 2002 Reese Witherspoon movie,
Sweet Home Alabama, the two romantic leads have a makeshift wedding reception at the very end. The bride and groom dolls from the top of the wedding cake are replaced with Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, to signify how often the two fight.
*They are also seen in the 2004
Pixaranimation film " The Incredibles" on one of the shelves inside Mr. Incredible's office, in the lower left corner on the middle shelf.
*Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots can be seen being played in an episode of
Stroker and Hoop.
*In the 2005 movie "Robots" Rodney has a poster on his wall, "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em IV Red vs Blue"
*In the 2005 movie "
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", the character Mike Teaveeis seen in the ring being punched by both Rock'em Sock'em Robots after being shrunken down and trapped in the television.
*In a 2006
DodgeTV commercial, a life-size Blue Bomber defeats the Red Rocker, then unsuccessfully attempts to destroy a red Dodge Ramby punching the grill before knocking himself out with the force of his final punch. This was part of a series of ads, with Dodge licensing the characters for use from Mattel.
*In the Nickelodeon show, "
Zoey 101", two characters were seen playing each other with them.
*In an episode of "
That 70's Show", Hyde and Kelsotake a Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots set from a church bingo game, and are later seen playing with it, until Kelso loses repeatedly and storms off.
*The robots are featured on the shelf of
Stephen Colberton his show " The Colbert Report" as an oblique reference to the red state/blue state political philosophy. Stephen Colbert played a match of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots on his tv series against Gary Kasparovand won on October 17, 2007 [http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/1gmarchive/2007/10/garry_kasparov.html]
*In 2007, the Rock'em Sock'em Robots were featured in an episode of "
Celebrity Deathmatch" that aired June 25, 2007.
*Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots appeared in an episode of "
* In an episode of
Courage the Cowardly Dog, the Duck Brothers (the antagonists), used control helmets on muriel and Eustace, the minute Courage found out, the 2 ducks got one controller, Courage got the other, and Eustace and Muriel got in a big Rock'Em Sock'Em Brawl, in which both lose and their necks elongate.
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