Ask any 6-year-old about the Italian Stallion himself, Rocky Balboa, and you’ll probably get a blank stare. But who needs him when you can bring that same boxing greatness to your elementary school sleepovers with Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots?
Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots took fighting off the playground and to the tabletop in 1964, and it has been a popular toy ever since. Discover the competitive toy collecting world and how much these vintage Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots can go for today.
Vintage Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots Values
If you’re sifting through thrift store shelves, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for original Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots boxes. Toy collectors really only gravitate towards the first few production years, making anything made post-1970 not worth much.
But within that small timeframe, there are substantial variations you can look for that’ll change how much one Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em is worth in comparison to another.
|Collectible Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots||Approximate Values|
|Complete, Boxed 60s Sets||$100-$500|
|Well-Loved 60s Sets||$50-$100|
Complete, Boxed 1964-1966 Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots
Boxed and fully complete Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Ems from the mid-1960s are really where the money’s at. These boxes should come with the instructions, two robots, yellow boxing ring, four ring posts, four joy sticks, and strings to wind around the ring.
In great condition, these toys have sold for anywhere between $100 and $500. For example, this 1966 complete box with only a little aging recently sold on eBay for $479.99.
Well-Loved 1960s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots
Less valuable, but still worth hunting down, are the well-loved vintage Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. These boxes might be torn, stained, or have water damage. The toys themselves might be missing parts or the instructions. Lastly, the game itself will probably have some signs of wear and tear. It’s not something you can really avoid when you’re slamming your robots back and forth into each other.
These copies are still worth something to collectors, albeit less than the unused ones. Typically, these can go for around $50 to $100. For example, this worn Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots set from the late-60s with a beat up box recently sold for $86 online.
Newly Vintage Copies
It’s very likely that a lot of the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots you find in thrift stores are going to be from the 1970s or later. Even in great condition, these aren’t worth a ton. In fact, they lose value the closer their manufacturing date is to today. For instance, this now considered vintage (isn’t that a trip?) copy from 2001 only sold for around $13 on eBay.
There Is Demand, But It’s Low
Keep in mind that vintage Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots aren’t hard-to-find Barbies. There are collectors around the world who look for good copies, but they’re not going to get into a thousand-dollar bidding war over them.
But if you really want to make a profit, stick with online marketplaces and avoid thrift stores. They won’t necessarily know the potential resale value, and they might not have the audience to warrant them paying you what it’s worth. If you’ve got a mid to late-60s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em, take to eBay and the like to find collectors willing to pay.
The Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots Story
Mattel might be the imposing giant of the toy industry right now, but many products in their catalog didn’t come from their own R&D department. Just like with Polly Pocket and Bluebird Toys, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots were first manufactured and distributed by the Marx Toy Company decades before Mattel snatched them up.
Marvin Glass and Associates devised the two-player game in the mid-1960s, creating a competitive and animated toy that didn’t require any complicated mechanics to work. Using a joystick and button combination, kids would face off in the ring.
Playing as either Red Rocker or Blue Bomber, you would punch your way to blowing someone’s lid — quite literally. This spring-loaded head feature really upped the violence while keeping things perfectly PG. The game hit shelves in 1966 and has been in production ever since.
Relive That Childhood Action Today
Mattel still manufactures Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots today, and you can get one for about $15 in stores or online. However, if you want a more sustainable approach, look for newer copies in consignment stores near you. You might even be able to get them a lot cheaper! But if you’re lucky, you just might be able to snatch up one of these valuable vintage Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots sets instead.