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The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots toy is a potent metaphor

There's just a lot of layers here.

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Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

One wonders if, when Mattel drew up the design for Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots: Batman v Superman Edition, they realized that it had made a metatextual observation on the movie itself.

"Move them into position," promises the copy on, "and pummel back and forth until one superhero 'flies' off the platform!" 'Flies' is in quotation marks, presumably, so as to distinguish between Superman's innate ability to fly and the stumbling fall of the defeated boxing champion.

We know, thanks to trailers that have revealed what really appears to be the entirety of the movie's plot, that Batman and Superman will be manipulated by Lex Luthor into fighting each other rather than becoming allies, much in the same way that this toy encourages innocent children to pit two superheroes against each other instead of, say, a supervillain. Like Doomsday. Who also appears in the trailer.

Or is Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots: Batman v Superman Edition more evocative of the studio system surrounding Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where grown men pit superheroes against each other in a quest for box office returns... or of how we grasp at gritty violence as a way to legitimize our childhood nostalgia.

Either way the makers of this toy will be first up against the wall when the robot uprising comes.