Weird Sixfinger toy from the 1960s


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/09/weird-sixfinger-toy-from-the-1.html


#2

I know what to ask Santa for!


#3

This fascinating ad was running when I was in Kindergarten.

No way my parents would buy me one. I don’t think I ever saw one in the store; that packaging is neat!

One of my classmates had one. He’d lost the little attachments so it was down to just a fake finger by the time he showed it to me.


#4

Instant expulsion nowadays.


#5

“It looks like a finger”

That’s… not what it looks like.


#6

“It looks like a finger but it does all this” seems, shall we say, to be missing a few vital functions for the best toy ever. Oh joy.


#7

Of course, in the last fifty years, our sense of humour has improved to the point that adding an extra finger to your hand is no longer funny.


#8

I had one. James Bond and Man From UNCLE were huge, and spy toys were all the rage. It could fire a message about 4 feet. Same range for the “bomb” which you had to add a greenie cap for the “explosion”. Had a pen attachment, too.

I remember having a “spy kit” which included a belt where the word SPY lit up if you pressed a button (not very covert). It had a cigarette case/lighter that was really a “gun”. Open the case it appeared to be a row of cigerates, but that opened up to show a radio dial. Pull off the dial and there was space for your greenie caps. Press the button to “light” the lighter, and a gun barrel popped out and fired off one of the 4 greenie caps you could load it with. There was also a gun that converted into a rifle. Good times.

For those unfamiliar, caps for toys came in 2 basic varieties - red roll caps and green sticky caps (aka, greenies). The rolls were perforated with a hole between each charge, That allowed the caps to be automatically fed through the toy. I had a western “6-shooter” that used roll caps. In theory, you could fire off a whole roll, but in reality, they jammed and got misaligned a lot.

Greenies came in sheets, and had an adhesive backing. No automatic loading, but you could use them in toy hand-grenades and the like. Sometimes we’d just stick them on the sidewalk and hit them with a hammer.


#9

I had one of these as a kid. Looking back, I thought it was tied in to “Get Smart” the tv spy comedy.


#10

Later the greenies got replaced by red “strip” caps. Small plastic cap similar to a brass percussion cap. All held together in line by a ratcheted plastic strip. This allowed them to be either pinched off individually for things like toy grenades (and they seemed to be compatible with most vintage toys). Or they could be run through a mechanism as with roll caps (though the two were not interchangeable). The strip caps were harder to find and more expensive than roll. But they were a lot more usable. They could misfire but seldom jammed. In the 80s an 90s you were hot shit if your toy murder machines used strip caps.


#11

I had one of these as a kid, also. I most definitely do not remember it being so phallic at the time. I’m guessing the toy has changed less than I have in the ensuing years.


#12

Someone should do a Kickstarter to update that for today.


#13

Sixfinger 2017:

  • Tablet stylus
  • Ricin dart launcher
  • Laser
  • Diamond tip etching tool
  • Roach clip
  • Sharpy

#14

Heck, we used to hit roll caps with a hammer, too.


#15

It’s not like finger-shaped toys have gone away.


#16

Or you could just drop a brick on the whole roll.

I remember putting the green caps into dart-like objects then throwing them as hard as possible at your friends (& vice versa, of course). If you were lucky they’d hit your friends in something hard (shoe, knee, head) and go off. Good times.


#17

awry??


#18

In the early 80’s there were some seriously bad ass guns that loaded the strip caps from a detachable magazine, and actually cut and ejected each one as you fired. I still have a Luger with a silencer. If I remember they were Italian made. There was enough space in the magazine to attach 2 strip caps together to make it “high capacity”. Even back then Massachusetts was a difficult place to find the strip caps (I don’t think they were legal here)…I usually had to go to RI to find them. I have very fond memories of playing man hunt in the woods with cap guns.


#19

Ah, so that’s where Mel Brooks got the idea from!


#20

More like Sexfinger, amirite?