The toy's designers managed to cram an enormous amount of play value into this ornate, but small package. Pulling the trigger provides the ubiquitous clicking noise while at the same time firing a (flashlight) beam of light. Turning one of two knobs located just above the reflector flips either a red or yellowish-green gel in front of the light bulb, changing the beam's color. The gun also has not one but two compartments for secret messages, one located under a yellow cap in the back, and one in a hidden panel in the butt of the gun's handle.
The red gel in the retracted position. Note the flashlight bulb on the right.
The red gel covering the flashlight bulb. The retracted green gel can be seen over along the right edge.
The green gel flipped down to cover the flashlight bulb.
The cap removed from the back of the gun.
This is one of my favorite space guns, and I'd been searching for it ever since I first saw a picture in the book Ray Gun, by Eugene Metcalf. So much detail went into the toy's design -- the futuristic rings and swoops, the giant reflecting lens, the wire-frame handle. But this is a rare space gun, and wanting one doesn't equal getting one. Especially if you're like me, and really wanted the fantastic display box.
I love how the designers took the time to consider what each part of the gun would actually do were the weapon real. It's complete gibberish, of course, but how great are labels like "Atomic Charging Port" and "Static Condenser"? It's just a brilliant way to show off the toy.
The gun's fairly rare, but it does come up from time to time. Sadly, I never had the money, and I had to let two or three of them slip past me. Finally, though, not too long ago, this one appeared on eBay with a surprisingly low starting bid. I figured it would increase by another 50 percent by auction's end. Still, I placed a bid, not really expecting to win. So imagine my surprise when the auction ended and no one else bid? Not only did I score a dream toy, but I managed to save a bundle on it.
A nice example of how patience -- whether voluntary or enforced by the gods of eBay and collecting -- can pay off nicely.