TV News: SyFy Revives Our Rock ‘em, Sock ‘em Dreams

Fighting robots of old.

As a child, you may have played with a toy affectionately known as “Rock ‘em, Sock ‘em robots”. The premise was simple; you’d press a little button and one of the aforementioned robots would start to beat the living snot out of its opponent. It gave children a release to let their infantile aggressions out on their opponent without having to deal with any repercussions from your parents for giving lil’ Jimmy a black eye.

As a young adult, you may have been duped into watching a movie called Real Steel. The film- which looked like a grossly over-the-top parody of a children’s toy, was actually worse. It did nothing to quench our ingrained thirst to see two robots demolishing each other with nothing but their titanium alloy fists.  But I’m sure that by now we’ve all forgiven Hugh Jackman for this failed attempt at robot boxing; Dakota Goyo*, however, not so much.

And now, the good people at the SyFy network have listened to our robot-boxing prayers and have delivered onto us Robot Combat League. Now I know the visual you have in your head is some 3-ft homemade robot clashing pathetically with something that looks like it was made from a garbage can and bicycle parts. No worries, because these are not the robots you and your friends made for the science fair. These are real humanoid, 1000 pound, fighting machines that are ready to put the “Sock ‘em” in “Rock ‘em, Sock ‘em”.

The man behind the machines is Mark Strakian, a robotics expert who has a Hollywood background. Strakian has worked behind-the-scenes on films like Men in Black, Hellboy, The Grinch and Blade Trinity. Unfortunately, robots won’t be completely autonomous. They are remote-controlled and do need a something called a “stabilizing beam” (which looks just like the beam that connected to the “Rock ‘em, Sock ‘em” robots of yesteryear) to help the behemoths move around the ring.

Fighting robots of today

The show, which premieres February 26, 2013 (providing that the Mayan calendar is wrong), will feature 12 teams that will go head-to-head for the grand prize of $100,000. WWE wrestler Chris Jericho will host .

Are you excited for ‘Robot Combat League’? Or are you tired of boxing robots (maybe you’re more interested in boxing zombies?)

Author’s note: Nothing but love for Dakota Goyo. You were superb as lil’ Thor, so you’re forgiven for Real Steel.



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