Defunct pizza parlor robot band repurposed for fan music-vids

Animatronic hackers are reprogramming the old Rock-a-Fire robotic band (as seen at Showbiz Pizzas around the country) to perform contemporary rock songs and producing their own fan videos for today's hits.

Today's updated set list revival comes partially courtesy of Chris Thrash, who purchased a vintage set of Rock-afire robots in 2006 and began putting them through the hip-hop paces and posting the resulting videos on YouTube a year or so later.

While Fechter was wary of the new videos at first -- they were posted without his authorization or consent, and include some racy lyrics that don't exactly jibe with Rock-afire's family-friendly image -- he saw a spark of potential when one of Thrash's videos tallied nearly 500,000 views in a matter of weeks.

"I decided to make an investment in the whole YouTube phenomenon," said Fechter (pictured above), who works to train a handpicked crew of programmers to crank out new shows every month. Fechter even recruited the original Rock-afire Explosion vocalists to re-record some hit tunes, like Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie."

Animatronic Band Moves From Pizza Parlors to YouTube, Rock-afire Explosion vids on YouTube

See also: Video: documentary on Showbiz animatronic band


  1. Awww, this brings back so many memories! I think I had a few birthday parties at our local restaurant (though it was called Showbiz Pizza). Lots of fun back when I was little. I remember my father was always happy to go there for birthday parties because it was the only kids-oriented restaurant where they served beer to adults.

  2. If I was a big important video director in Hollywood, I’d be making the new Beck video with these guys in a hot second.

  3. While this is funny, it just doesn’t have the same DIY creativity that Captured By Robots has.
    CBR are actually some old Showbiz Pizza bots who the CBR guy redesigned and reprogrammed to actually play their instruments (at least the percussion bots do), rather than just “ape” the motions.

    not hatin, just sayin…

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