Little bast--! Ahem. That is to say, "Little dickens!"
No, what I'm really thinking about is how the ratio of relatively common ray guns to their boxes is much different than the ratio of relatively common robots to their boxes. That is to say, of the common robots that appear on eBay, many have their boxes. Whereas, of the common ray guns that appear on eBay, very few of them have their boxes.
Case in point: Chief Robot Man. Not too uncommon a robot, and with a box that I see more than a few times every year. Same goes for the W robot, the Battery Operated Planet Robot, the Battery Operated High-Wheel Robot, the wind up Easel Back Robot, and the little, red Yoshiya Jupiter Robot. If you decide to only buy these toys if they're mint in box, you won't have too much trouble, or spend too much extra money.
Conversely, the Buck Rogers XZ-31 Rocket Pistol, a toy that is always available -- always -- almost never has its box. Same goes for the Hubley Atomic Disintegrator, the Wyandotte ray gun, the Ideal 3 Color Gun... The list goes on and on.
I don't know -- is it my imagination? Am I just dreaming? I haven't conducted a proper investigation, and to tell you the truth, I don't plan on rolling up my sleeves and really digging into the problem. It's a mystery of the hobby, I guess.
Anyone have any thoughts on the matter?