Kids, Sonic Blasters and Simpler Times

Hard to believe, but there was a time when people bought their kids toy guns and play military weapons, the kids played with them--and nobody screamed that the kids were being made into serial killers! Case in point, the 1960's commercial for Mattel's Zero M Sonic Blaster, a large toy air bazooka you pumped up to fire "a massive blast of compressed air," capable of knocking down cardboard targets at up to 30 feet.

Yes, the kid in this YouTube hosted commercial is a dead ringer for a young Kurt Russell, who was a very successful child actor. Some Internet research revealed that the Sonic Blaster was the gotta-have toy for boys on Christmas in 1966, though it was actually on the market two years earlier. There's no actual date on this commercial, but Russell was born in 1951, and he looks to be 12 or 13 years old here, which would put this circa 1964 or so.

If you have a Sonic Blaster gathering dust somewhere, you may have a valuable toy. According to the website, Retro Thing, Vintage Gadgets and Technology, a new-in-the-box Zero M Sonic Blaster went for $3,000 at auction--in the early 1990's!