They don’t make’em like they used to: Get yourself shot edition

The year 1975 called. It said it wants no part of your namby-pamby toy guns with their “safety” features like neon orange tips. Not only were these pop-culture inspired “toys” specifically designed to look like the real thing (although the U.N.C.L.E. one looks more like a sci-fi laser blaster with all those mod attachments), if you read the fine print closely, you’ll see you had the option of purchasing dummy cartridges to load them with.

What was your favorite toy gun? Would playing with it today have ended with a tragic story on the 6 o’clock news? Mine was a matte-black Uzi water pistol that actually kept the water in a detachable magazine. So yeah.

Via James Lileks’ Posterous. Actually, if you’ve never looked around Lileks’ main site, block off a few hours and head over there. There’s an incredible amount of content for the retro enthusiast.

AK Centerfire from Entertech


I had one of these and it NEVER shot as cool as it did in the commercials. Ultimately, the motor stopped working all together. I returned it to get that .45 Sidearm water gun. Now that one worked REALLY well, however, it required you to carry around the tank and motor in a purse like pack. Most likely, it worked better because the motor was larger, but overall it was really cumbersome in those war torn situations in Sauganash – my Chicago neighborhood where I grew up.

Those were some mean streets I tell you.

The Mattel M-16 Marauder

Growing up in my neighborhood we played a lot of gun games. Even before the first one of us had a toy gun, we would make guns out of sticks and play “war”. Often re-enacting scenes from the Sunday afternoon war films that our father’s liked to watch on lazy summer days. My first gun was a colt cap gun and it was followed up by a cheap plastic shotgun. After I ran out of caps, they both required me to yell bang a lot. I was pretty happy with my weaponry, but then a friend of mine received a metal and wood pump action shotgun that made this amazing POW noise when fires, which of course triggered a neighborhood arm’s race.

I would never catch up and we would all be blown out of the water by a piece of gun toy tech that was already decades old. A friend of mines Dad gave him his Mattel M-16 Marauder that looked very real and made an incredible racket when fired. It was the type of gun that made everyone jealous and would probably get a kid shot nowadays, which is real shame, because it was a heck of a lot of fun to play guns as a kid. Plus great exercise since you were always running so that you could claim that they missed.

mattel m-16 Marauder

[via] Tomorrow’s Heroes