TOLEDO - The University of Toledo will make the official introduction of the new Rocky the Rocket mascot prior to the football game vs. Florida International at the Glass Bowl this Saturday, Sept. 27. Game time is 7:00 p.m.
This latest version of Rocky the Rocket replaces the rocket-man which had been used since 1998. Numerous versions of Rocky have been used since the first mascot appeared in 1966, when the Spirits and Traditions committee of the UT Student Government chose various students to dress up as "Rocky" for a different football games. The first regular Rocky the Rocket costume was designed by a seamstress from UT Theater Department in 1968. The costume was essentially pointed rocket top made of papier-mâché.
Since then, Rocky’s costume has changed many times. In the early 70s, Rocky wore a tall metal rocket helmet with many different jumpsuit type outfits, including such items as bellbottom pants. Then, in 1977, an authentic spacesuit, helmet, and boots were donated to the university by the NASA Space Center in Houston with the help of former Ohio astronaut and senator, John Glenn. The space suit was used for football games, but because of its mass, a lightweight replica was used for the basketball season. Both suits were used until 1980 when Rocky took on a more futuristic look in a costume that was designed to present more of a space rocket image.
Another Rocky costume, which was plush with huge feet, was introduced in 1983, but was only used until 1986 when a big blue plush Rocky with smaller feet was unveiled. Throughout the late 1980s and most of the 1990s only minor changes were made to Rocky’s costume.
In 1998, a new Rocky hit the scene. This Rocky, a blue and gold rocket-man complete with jetpack and astronaut helmet, had been the school’s mascot for the past 10 years until the debut this fall of the new Rocky.