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Buck Rogers XZ-31 Pistol

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    Posted 7 years ago

    (5 items)

    I bought this Buck Rogers XZ-31 pistol along with another pressed tin gun that I needed help identifying. Thanks to some of you sleuths, it was identified as a Me and My Buddy clicker gun by the Wyandotte Toy Company.

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    1. Manikin Manikin, 7 years ago
      The first Buck Rogers toys appeared in 1933, four years after the newspaper strip debuted and a year after the radio show first aired. Some mark this as the beginning of modern character based licensed merchandising, in that not only was character's name and image branded on many unrelated products but also on many items of merchandise unique to or directly inspired by that character. Of the many toys associated with Buck Rogers, none is more closely identified with the franchise than the eponymous toy ray guns.

      The first "Buck Rogers gun" wasn't technically a ray gun, although its futuristic shape and distinctive lines set the pattern for all "space guns" that would follow. The XZ-31 Rocket Pistol, a 9½-inch pop gun that produced a distinctive "zap!" sound, was at the American Toy Fair in February 1934. Retailed for 50¢, which was by no means inexpensive during the Great Depression, it was designed to mimic the rocket pistols seen in the comic strips from their inception. In the comics, they were automatic pistols that fired explosive rockets instead of bullets, each round as effective as a 20th-century hand grenade.

      The XZ-31 Rocket Pistol, was the first of six toy guns manufactured over the next two decades by Daisy, which had an exclusive contract with John Dille, then head of the National Newspaper Syndicate of America, for all Buck Rogers toys. Most of these were pop guns, which had the virtue of being noisemakers that couldn't fire any actual projectiles and were thus guaranteed to be harmless as one of their selling points.
    2. vanskyock24 vanskyock24, 7 years ago
      that is sweet
    3. trunkman trunkman, 7 years ago
      Manikin this was really interesting information to read and I always enjoy learning something new -- thanks!!!! wmitschke this is a wonderful piece, I even like the aging of it -- like a discovered ancient artifact from an unknown time!

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