Toy Guns

I don’t know what it is about growing up male, but being a boy (and even on into adulthood as a man) means that guns play an important role in your life.

For a brief time while we lived in Michigan – and even after moving to Tennessee and Georgia – my father was a member of the National Rifle Association. I can’t recall him ever shooting anything more than the occasional chipmunk in the back yard, but we did have a pellet gun and some kind of handgun locked away in the house.

These days he just shoots clay pigeons, if anything, but guns were still important to my childhood and adolescence.

We weren’t hunters – despite our rural beginnings – and most kids of my era were Star Wars obsessed, which means that our household had the mother of all toys. And I don’t mean those lame 70’s lightsabers, I’m talking about Han’s blaster:

Han Solo Blaster Toy

Ours wasn’t quite like this new-fangled replica, but we did have a squirtgun that was pretty awesome:

Han Solo Blaster Squirtgun

This guy has a loving video documenting his working Han Solo Blaster toy from The Return of the Jedi. I suppose ours was early 80’s as well as it made that same noise.

We also had the very cool Stormtrooper blaster:

Stormtrooper Blaster Toy

The reason I’m thinking about all things gun-related is yesterday’s link to the steampunk weapons crafted from Nerf guns.

Jenn just put a picture of the guns in action up on Flickr. It’s Charlie’s Angels meets kids on Christmas. Priceless.

And all my “research” today got me thinking about a game we played in high school. The older brother of a friend organized a yearly “assassination game” that was incredibly fun to play and equally hated by school administrators.

Can you imagine bringing toy guns to a high school these days? Honestly, if we hadn’t been honors students and fine, upstanding citizens we’d probably have gotten suspended.

We used to use tracer guns, but nothing like the newer stuff they have these days. Our main weapon in the “assassination game” was fear.
Fear and surprise.
(Lather, rinse, repeat).

But I still have a soft spot for the Ghostbusters proton packs. While not technically guns, we had a reasonable facsimile in the form of a backpack sprayer my dad used on weeds and pests.

The thing was lime green and had a skinny wand, so it wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough. Put on a long trench coat from the closet or a jumpsuit and you were good for an afternoon of pretend and imagination.

Honorable mention goes to another squirtgun we had that looked like the 60’s era Star Trek: The Motion Picture phaser. Sadly, the internets won’t show me their treasure trove today and I can’t find a photo. Here’s a pic of the thing:

Star Trek Phaser Squirtgun

What toy guns did you have growing up?

Was your dad briefly enamored with the Second Amendment and let you shoot pie tins with the pellet gun in the back yard?

Did you play Star Wars and make the neighbor kid play Chewbacca because he was unintelligible anyhow?

Unleash the nostalgia!

6 thoughts on “Toy Guns

  1. I was incredibly jealous of the kid down the street who had Han’s blaster. His was black with a silver tip. I also wanted the Storm Trooper blaster, but no matter how many times I circled it in the Holiday Catalogue, I never got it. I did have a Daisy BB gun and later a pump-action Pellet Gun. I also remember having a Space: 1999 gun. My favorite toy gun however was the Air Blaster.

  2. My brother had this mother of all rubber band guns. It was the size of a large rifle and had six studs that stuck up from the barrel thus enabling you to set up six extra large rubber bands in a row. When you pulled the trigger the gun made one hell of a racket as one of the studs would go down and release one of the rubber bands. You could do this six times before you had to reload.

    I never used it to shoot animals or anything. My sister once, but never any other animals.

  3. John says:

    I am 42yrs old. My older brother and I had the Star trek tracer disc guns. We used to play with those for hours.
    Now I have a 5 yr old son who is familiar with the old Star
    Wars movies, knows all the charaters, etc. He now watches
    the Clone Wars cartoons. I have purchased 2 storm trooper
    blasters ( one for him and me!) He got a Han Solo Blaster I bought online new in the box for $20.00 from a online vintage toy company for Christmas. He also has a General Grevious Blaster to. He loves all the guns and we have alot of fun playing Star Wars.

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