An appropriate children's toy from 1964


Originally published at:


I’m drooling over here!


Reminds me of this scene:


Why does this toy deserve a concerned “whoa”…but Johnny Quest from the same time peroid is OMG JOHNNY QUEST IS SO COOL! And for the record…Johnny Quest was cool.
Well, IT was cool before they rebooted it in the 90’s and neutered it for any implied homosexuality with Race and Dr. Quest by shoving in plot lines where they’re both dating women…it was pathetic, it was "Hey…not gay…look here…we’re dating women…like Not GAY…TOTALLY NOT GAY…have you seen my girlfriend…she’s in this episode…NOT GAY"


I had no idea Paul Verhoeven made commercials before his film-making career!




Pretty sure I remember this ad from when I was a lil’ kid. A classmate or neighborhood kid MIGHT have had a many-pieces-missing sample of the real thing.

I had water pistols and cheap pot-metal cap guns as a kid, but nothing as elaborate as this monster!

Also . . . TOPPER!


I don’t think that was concern - I think it was awe.


Any toy that momentarily distracted a kid from that afternoon’s duck-and-cover drill at school was A-OK. In 1964 parents were too obsessed with thermonuclear annihilation to worry about an eyeball or 2.

The adults who thought such a toy ‘too militaristic’ might very well choose to give a kid Jarts instead.


I smell awesomeness.


My cap gun from the following decade…


I was 10 and my brother was 7 when we BOTH got one! We loved them. Fond memories of the battlefield. Served in the Army during Vietnam. Never came close to conflict thank goodness.


There’s another “HOLY CRAP!” Cold War era boys’ toy in the same realm of awesome as this.

It was a toy warship that GREW. It went from a destroyer to a cruiser or an aircraft carrier or something. It lengthened, and might have popped out a bigger superstructure.

My cousin’s friends actually had this thing, well after it went out of production, and it still worked!


I think we talk about this thing at least once a year.


I was the crafting type, I made a “Rifleman” Winchester repeater (sort of) cut out of a board and some pieces of Erector Set for the lever.

Thing is, most kids in my NYC suburb played “army” in that era, there was a WAR on! Yet most did not grow up to even own guns, never mind have any violence at all in their lives. Little boys fascination with weapons appears hardwired, I’ve seen kids who were ridiculously sheltered by hyperliberal parents who still had this fascination, maybe even more so.


Today’s Johnny Seven gun


From the same era. A Mister Machine.

you had a box of parts and instruction sheet to turn into a robot. Came with a little wrench too.



That was a relatively safe toy compared to others in that era.

They had guns that cocked by compressing an air cylinder, then “fired” by releasing the air with a bang into the barrel. There was a cross-piece in the end of the barrel so that you couldn’t load anything into it. Except that sand and grit worked fine. And sometimes that cross-piece went missing…


Johnny Seven is bullshit. It promises seven guns in one, but c’mon, “retractable bi-pod” clearly doesn’t count. For that reason, l’d prefer just an old-fashioned Johnny Five.