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1980s BATTLE OF THE 4x4s: STOMPERS vs ROUGH RIDERS


Two classic motorized toy lines battled it out for the king of 4x4s in the early 1980s, they were known as Stompers and Rough Riders.



Stompers toy line debuted in 1980, they were the brainchild of creator A. Eddy Goldfarb and sold by Schaper Toys. In 1981/82 Ljn Toys wanted in on Schaper's success of it's Stompers toy line and released a similar line of 4x4s call Rough Riders. Consequently the battle of the 4x4s had begun, not just on store shelves but also in the court room. Schaper and Goldfarb filed lawsuits against Ljn Toys but in the end settlements were made, and the companies continued their toy lines.


Both toy lines used a single AA battery to run the electric motors. Stompers debuted first so they hold the distinction of being the first electric mini 4WD drive toys ever produced.



Stompers had some cool first generation vehicle body styles in the likes of Ford Bronco, Chevy Blazer, Toyota SR5, Jeep Renegade, Subaru BRAT along with Peterbilt semi-trailers and Mack trucks. In 1983 Schaper came out with the second generation of Stompers featuring multiple speeds, as well as an entire new line of body styles including campers, boats, dump trucks and even drag racers. Most vehicles also included a Stunt Wheel, a fifth wheel that attached to the vehicle's underside and allowed it to be driven on two of its main wheels. The vehicles came with two sets of tires, they had foam tires for inside, and rubber tires for outside.


Rough Riders had always come in second to Stompers, but the one thing they had on them was licensing rights. Ljn Toys held the right to make Rough Rider 4x4s which resembled popular TV show vehicles of the time including The A-Team, Knight Rider and The Dukes of Hazzard.


Which brand was your favorite as a kid, let us know in the comments section.

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8 Comments


Rough Riders 4x4’s you can try to stop ‘em!

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I’ve got them now its definitely rough riders from me as I’m in uk and these are more popular and more available than stompers but I do have both and love them all 😁👍🏻

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I had a couple of Stompers and learned quite by accident they could even run underwater on the bottom of my grandmother‘s pool.

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Larry Palmer Jr
Larry Palmer Jr
Sep 23, 2022

I had 1 roughrider but several Stompers, i think the RR was the red vette or firebird, the stompers i had were the Subaru brat, the chevy Scotsdale, dodge Ram, and i think the chevy Luv pickup. We used to have a sandbox on the schoolyard and would cut tracks to let them run autonomously. Oh the memories, God I'm getting old. BTW the stompers run the track better, the RR would just about climb anything, especially the berms meant for turning. This was about 81-82 when we were doing this

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Ron Prockupski
Ron Prockupski
Jun 24, 2022

i had the silver firebird stomper, i mailed in two proof of purchase plus shipping and handling, still got mine it got lots of play

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