Ah yes, in keeping with the latest E2 quest and finding an empty nodeshell with memories of my childhood to boot, it has all the makings of a great day....
Think about it...the time was the 1960's. Technology is on the rise. Man is racing for the moon. Theories abound about how the technology is going to change the world for the better. Robots would assume the more trivial and menial tasks associated with everyday life leaving us mere mortals with more quality and leisure time. So what else could we make these robots do? To quote one of the more famous introductions to a modern day prizefighting..."Lets get ready to ruuummmbblllee!"
Introduced by Marx Toys in 1966, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots became an instant hit. The two characters, the Blue Bomber and the Red Rocker, were always ready for a good fight. Squared off against each other in the middle of a yellow boxing ring, the robots were controlled by the hands of their masters via a somewhat crude control panel that was on each side of the ring. The levers on the control panel were flexible so that the fighters were able to move around the ring. Punches were thrown by pressing separate buttons on the panels that controlled the robots fists, resulting in many a sore thumb. A good shot to the chin, and the head of the losing robot would fly up from its net while making a bzzzzing sound.
Strategies for conquering your robotic foe were many and varied. From the stick and move to the all out assault, the Blue Bomber and the Red Rocker were always ready for action in a style that would make Mike Tyson nervous. The toys sold well into the 70's but then seemed to lose their appeal. Every now and then, you might run across them in a garage sale or flea market.
A side note, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots made a cameo appearance in the 1999 movie Toy Story 2.