Storobia Archive

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots

Most of the toys and games I remember from my youth are now long gone, having been "out evolved" by bleeping hordes of flashing pixels. Yet a few vintage games have survived the test of time and are still in the stores to buy today. Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots (often written informally as Rockem Sockem and called Raving Bonkers in the UK) is one of these.

What Is Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots?

Rockem Sockem is a classic kids' game/toy with a robot theme. It has to be said that the robots are really incidental - it's basically a combat game and could have had any theme. Presumably using robots not only appealed to children but also avoided accusations of being too violent (although Bender from Futurama was horrified at the game's brutality to robots!).

The game is essentially a simple fight simulator - primitive in the extreme when compared with modern video games like Virtua Fighter 5, but arguably much more fun. Each player controls one of two plastic robots, either the Red Rocket or Blue Bomber. The two robots stand face to face in a small ring and the players jab wildly at control to make them swing punches at each other.

There are no points victories in Rockem Sockem, it's knockouts only. To be precise, the objective is to "knock his block off" - a suitably placed punch will cause the opponent's head to pop up in a most satifsying manner.


The game was initially introduced in 1967 and was an instant hit. It eventually went "out of print", presumably a victim of the video craze. Fortunately it was revived for the 21st century by Mattel in a version that although slightly smaller still retains great nostalgia value. There have also been variants available to buy, for example the Superman Returns version (although reports say that - in accordance with the Comics Code - Superman always wins this version!).



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