Release Date: February 24, 2021

I first heard about LJN’s Roll & Rocker from the Angry Video Game Nerd episode on NES accessories. Ever the historian, my initial reaction was, “why?” Back in December of 2020, I finally decided to look into this odd peripheral. What I found was a company in a tight situation. One of LJN’s toy gun lines, Gotcha!, was a complete disaster. Luckily, their video game products were selling very well and keeping the company profitable. But with licensee regulations and a chip shortage, LJN needed to expand into NES accessories. That’s how we got the infamous Roll & Rocker.

My favorite part of making this video was cracking open the device. It’s 95% plastic! I also enjoyed testing all the games. I do want to be fair to the Roll & Rocker: It does work! But it’s not a great way to play video games.


“Acclaim Entertainment Completes Acquisition of LJN Toys from MCA.” PR Newswire, April 23, 1990.

“Check Out These Moves!” GamePro, August 1989.

Gellene, Denise. “MCA to Take $35-Million Charge in Quarter.” Los Angeles Times, June 29, 1988.

“Hilltop Department Stores Ad.” The Herald-Palladium, December 21, 1990.

“Industry News & Views.” Computer Play, March 1989.

“Put Your Body into Your Game.” The Miami Herald, April 21, 1989.

“The Ultimate Game Club Ad.” Hartford Courant, January 5, 1990.

“Torrent of Titles from Nintendo Licensees.” Computer Entertainer, June 1988.

Vettel, Phil. “Waving ’bye to Joysticks at Toy Fair.” Chicago Tribune, March 3, 1989.

“Wealth of New Titles for Nintendo System.” Computer Entertainer, June 1987.