Saturday, August 1, 2009

Roto-Flasher Gun (Renwal / 1950s / U.S. / 5.5 x 9 inches)

This is another one of those space guns that's pure... well... space gun. It doesn't have a rocket-shaped body, it's not a minimalist sculpture, it's not outrageously designed. Rather, it looks like a functional -- albeit brightly colored -- weapon from the future. This is a piece of tangible science fiction, and that's what makes it so damn cool.

The Roto-Flasher gets its name from the rotating barrel in its body. With every pull of the clicking trigger, the scene changes. It's not fancy, but it's definitely a neat idea. I'm not entirely sure where the whole "Flash" part comes from. There's no sparking mechanism, no flashlight, no disintegration beam... It sure sounds good, though. "Roto-Flasher." Kind of rolls off the tongue. Much more so than "Roto-Doesn't-Do-Anything-Else."

This is definitely a rare toy, especially in blue. And the few I have seen are usually missing their front sight, which snaps off pretty easily. The toy was also available in red and yellow, and frankly, they're not particularly common either. Yep, one rare gun.

I scored this as part of a lot containing two other ray guns. One of the others was pretty cool (I'm sure I'll get to it sometime in the future), the other wasn't anything worth writing home about. But the Roto-Flasher was the real treasure, the real reason to even think about bidding. Which I did with a vengeance. I probably bid about 20% more than the toy is worth; lucky for me, it didn't reach anywhere near that price.

Still, sometimes you pay what you need to pay to score the piece you want. If you love the toy -- really just think it's the bee's knees -- there's no such thing as paying too much.

And that's why we're completely crazy.

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