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    Guns in My Brooklyn Neighborhood

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I have great memories of running around my neighborhood with my guns chasing the bad guys. In the fifties, detective shows and westerns dominated our TV screens. I would put on my Mattel Shoulder holster, load up my Snub Nosed .38 with Shooten shell bullets and Greenie Stick-em caps and save the world in my backyard. If I was in a Western mood, I had the full line of six shooters and rifles.

  Matty  Mattel was played by Paul Lars Henderson




Any gun-toting boomer kid who watched The Mickey Mouse Club or Matty’s Funday Funnies might remember all those great gun commercials from Mattel Toys. The western gun sets were highly detailed, and looked like the original shootin-iron.


There were some tie-ins to popular programs and characters like Dick Tracy, and The Untouchables. But the majority of the guns and rifle play sets were generic. All the Mattel gun spots had a theme that would run through  the commercials in which a narrator usually introduced the product, and the sixty-second ad played like a mini-western movie.

The Mattel Toy’s Shooten shell Frontier Gun & Rifle set.

Mattel Western line of Shooten Western frontier hand guns and rifles

                Backyard Gun Play

There was a big pear tree by the side of my house, connecting the porch roof that led to my bedroom window. I loved sneaking out my window in search of my friends hiding below with their toy gun sets. I have to admit a secret fascination with the ways of the detective world. ...there’s just something about a spy — dashing across exotic countries, darting down alleyways, slipping through guarded borderlands. Of course, it’s the romance and danger of the spy that compels me with the finger on the trigger, sinuous blondes and vodka martinis, stirred, not shaken.


If I climbed across the peach tree, it led to my neighbor Bruce’s garage roof, where I could climb behind his garage and sneak into his back yard without him seeing me. Just before I entered the enemy’s back yard I pulled out my .38 and checked the chamber.I wanted to make sure all my six shooter shell bullets with my Greenie Stick-em caps were primed and ready to go.


Bruce knew my tactics and one time jumped in front of the opening of his back yard and let me have it, with his Daisy Air rifle. The Daisy had a great sound when you stuffed the front of the gun in the dirt and shot it off. The dirt went flying. Well, it may have gotten me a little dirty ... but not my guns.


Mattel Toys Dectective Shooten-Shell Gun Set and a Dick Tracy Tommy Burst Machine Gun with Billy Mumy

 Playing Detective with Mattel’s Snub Noise 38, shoulder holster,

shooten-shell bullets and Greenie Stick-em caps

The World of Spies & Secret Agents

SECRET SAM Attache Case & Rifle Topper Toys

Sears Secret Agent Attache Case 

Multi- Seven 09

One of my favorite secret agent toys that put the "boom" in "boomer weaponry " was the Agent Zero M Sonic Blaster. When we flash back in time to our not so violent boyhood years, compared to today that a majority of my friends still have vivid memories of the Sonic Blaster.  

ZERO M Sonic Blaster by Mattel with Kirk Russel

Kurt Russell with AGENT ZERO M SONIC BLASTER! “Fires booming bolts of air power! Safe! No caps or batteries needed!” Made in 1964 by Mattel, Agent Zero M Sonic Blaster blasted a DANGEROUS powerful blast of air and if that wasn’t enough, the sound of the blast measurements (which is right next to your ear) top out at a DANGEROUS 157 decibels.

Made in 1964 by Mattel. "Looks Like A Radio...Really A Secret Rifle!" Realistically designed as a "Transistorized Portable" radio w/foil radio dial sticker. Has simulated tuning/volume knobs plus AM-FM switch. When a button on the back is pressed, the stock and barrel are designed to spring out. This mechanism works and radio turns into a 22.5" long rifle. Radio's carrying handle then serves as a scope. Designed to fire roll caps. 

The Agent Zero M line of toys from Mattel in the early 1960s made young boys feel like real spy's. The toys transformed from everyday-looking objects into weapons, mostly cap guns. First is the Radio Rifle which turns from a simple transistor radio into a cap rifle.  Other toys in the line were a movie camera and knife that turned into guns as well as a belt buckle that has a pop-out derringer. I have also seen the Spy Detector Game released with the Agent Zero M logo on it.

Marx Toy Gung Ho Army Commando Outfit.

Communication Toy Technology


by American Character Toys

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