This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.
Collection Item Summary:
This toy "space gun," was manufactured in China for export. The words "Space Gun" appear on the toy's box in English. Toys like this were created to capitalize on the popularity of outer space themes in toys in the late 20th century.
Ray guns appear in most space science fiction stories, television programs, and movies. As a result, generic toys like this one, which is not modeled on any particular example, simply combined design elements that looked futuristic.
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.