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This Buck Rogers XZ-38 Disintegrator Pistol was produced in 1935 by Daisy Manufacturing Company of Plymouth, Michigan, in response to the immense popularity of the first metal Buck Rogers gun, the XZ-31, which appeared in 1934. The new toy featured additional fins on the muzzle, a more elaborate handgrip, and a sparking chamber on the top of the gun. The gun could be purchased in stores, where it was available in both copper and nickel finishes, or acquired as a premium from Cream of Wheat in 1935 and Popsicle in 1939.

Fictional space heroes often carried space-themed versions of the Western's ever-present six-shooter or rifle. As a result, for several generations, pretend gun play with ray gun toys formed a central part of many children's imagined space adventures. Exactly how one blasted space enemies often reflected the newest technologies. In the late 1940s, "atomic" guns proliferated. "Laser" guns followed the creation of the practical laser in 1960.

Michael O'Harro gave this toy ray gun to the Museum in 1993 as a part of a large collection of space science fiction objects.

Display Status

This object is on display in James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

James S. McDonnell Space Hangar
Object Details
Country of Origin United States of America Type MEMORABILIA-Popular Culture Manufacturer Daisy Manufacturing Co.
Dimensions 3-D: 22.9 x 3.8 x 15.2cm (9 x 1 1/2 x 6 in.)
Materials Overall, steel alloy with copper coating
Inventory Number A19970902000 Credit Line Gift of Michael O'Harro Data Source National Air and Space Museum Restrictions & Rights Usage conditions apply
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