Thursday, December 31, 2009

Zetaray (Pifco / Early 1960s / U.K. / 4.5 x 7 inches)

Sorry for the delay, everybody. The holidays can be a busy time... and a lazy time. But we're back, and ending 2009 with a bang! Get it? Hm...

The Zetaray, by a British company called Pifco, is definitely one of the gee-whizziest ray guns in my collection. Its sleek, slick lines and sweeping fins make it look more like a space ship than a space gun, and the metallic blue plastic is probably the most beautiful finish you're likely to find on any toy.

Of course, like so many of these ray guns, the looks outweigh the functionality -- this one clicks and has a flashlight in the barrel. But it's still enough to have made the Zetaray a fun toy for kids to play with back in the day.

The gun is clearly modeled on the Radionic Resonator Beam Gun (which I wrote about here), which was made by the British manufacturer Multum. Pifco modified the tail fin and ditched the more complicated, multi-color lens array. They also offered up the Zetaray in a second color, metallic bronze, which is quite striking. Still, I've got to say I like the blue one more. It's definitely less common.

The basic Pifco version of the design was reused a few other times. There's version from Argentina called the Linterna Espacial, which is available in both red and green. And I recently saw an amazing version from Australia called the Supersonic Space Shooter that includes a color-changing mechanism similar to the one found on the Radionic Resonator Beam Gun.

Australia's version of this classic gun. Pic via eBay.

While all these variations might be tough to get, luckily for collectors, the Zetaray isn't that hard to find, and can usually be had for a reasonable price. Which is nice, because it's a great piece that looks stellar in any collection.


  1. Wow, I've never seen that one. It really does look like the Resonator's little brother!

  2. My mom got me the zetaray pifco gun when i was 10 1968, she saved her cigarette coupons to get it, i had hours of fun with it dont know what happened to it though.


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