Toy, Tin Toy, Ray Gun, "Space Gun," Space 577001

Display Status:

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 brightly-colored metal toy gun was manufactured by the Japanese toy company Daiya, likely in the 1960s.

At the time, Japanese toy makers were having great success making inexpensive metal "tin toys," especially with outer space themes, for export. This toy came with four projectiles that could be shot via the mechanism in the toy.

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.