This game was released by Marx toys in the 1960s. Marx was later acquired by Tyco Toys, which was itself acquired by Mattel in 1997.
Marx released in 1966, the world’s first boxing robots with “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots,” a game designed by Marvin Glass & Associates. At the time, the toy was really the world’s only boxing robots and it became hugely popular during the 1960s and ‘70s. Even though technology has produced far more advanced robots since then, the game is still an old favorite and finding a new audience with today’s youth.
The game consisted of a plastic boxing ring platform, on top of which stand two robot fighters, the Red Rocker and the Blue Bomber. Players, or “managers,” can use the joysticks to control their respective robot’s movements forward and side-to-side to throw punches at their opponent. If you are able to hit the other robot at just the right angle, you’ll be able to “knock his block off!” In other words, the robot’s spring-loaded head is knocked loose and pops up, signaling the end of the “round.” Simply push the robot’s head back down and you’re ready for another go at it.
One thing about this game that makes it so wonderful is that it didn’t need any batteries. It is just good old fashioned fun that you can have without a computer or even electricity. Compared to the video games that now saturate the children’s entertainment market, this toy is a breath of fresh air and reminder of simpler times. Check out those simpler times in this advertisement for the original Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, and then click here to see a recent commercial for Dodge trucks that you might remember, which shows the enduring appeal of this pop culture phenomenon.