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Nick Danger

Buck Roger Atomic Pistol timeline

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Nick Danger

I came across a couple of ads for the Buck Rogers Atomic Pistol, dated 1946 and 47.  I understand that this toy came in three versions: blued steel, nickel-plated, and yellow-painted.  The first ad (1946) advertises the toy in "silvery, gleaming metal," which I take to be the nickel-plated version.

 

1709985486_buckrogersad1946.jpg.6684399cd46926e862ebb1e5d6532d25.jpg

 

But, the second ad advertises an, "improved, new, 1947 Buck Rogers Atomic Pistol," that is, "golden lacquered," which is obviously the yellow-painted version (nice phrasing from their marketing department, by the way).

 

1358051927_buckrogersad1947.jpg.fb4ea59770e6ef6cf37b23858eb8199e.jpg

 

No clue from either ad about when the blued-steel version was released, but I think it's fair to say the yellow-painted version came out a year after the nickel-plated version.

 

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Phil R

Edited april 6

Z -38  disintegrator  pistol is 1935 and  called  copper finish. Some sources say this gun was also produced in nickel finish which I've never seen.  The U-235 Atomic pistol is 1945 and silver or black finish. some sources also say this gun was made as  plain steel, no plating or bluing which I've never seen. The U-238 Atomic Pistol is 1946 and gold color finish. I believe there are four different holsters for the various guns. There is a questionable holster for the red metal water gun. All of this is documented in the database.

There are 27 pages of Buck Rogers collectibles in Hake's- Character Toys- book from the 6th edition 2006 which I used for this information.. This edition has over 1100 pages of  many character toys.

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Nick Danger

Good morning, Phil.  Thanks for chiming in.

 

I understand the timeline that Hake's and other sources have established, but these two ads contradict it.  In fact, they support Brian's tweaking of the timeline from 1945 to 46:

 

 

The ads do not address the U-238, only the U-235.  And according to the ads, the gold-finished version of the U-235 was an, "improved, new," version for 1947, which I believe is new information.

 

Apologies if I muddied the waters by misidentifying the three established finishes for the Atomic Pistol (black-finish, silver-finish, and gold-finish).  I've never handled the silver-finish (yet), but from photos, it looks nickel-plated to me.  I do own a black-finish version, and it looks like blued-steel to me (based upon a few antique swords I've handled over the years), but I'm no expert.

 

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Phil R

Remember the Hake book is 2006. As we have found from Joe the timeline for a lot of toys is ever changing, usually backward not forward.  I take dates as a general rule .  The copper and gold colors are obviously flash finished over steel and corrode and scratch over time. My silver gun is definitely finished with some kind of coating over steel, perhaps nickel. I have reblued  my Wilma gun with cold process.  I've seen black guns and they don't appear to be just bluing but a coating such as metallic finishes. Only an observation not verified fact.

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tikidoc

@Nick Danger

From the database see last photo.. This was a set of the gold version with a holster marked as the U-238, ready for Christmas 1946, so in tern if the gun was to be sold individually it would have been sold after Christmas 1946 once all the sets with holsters were sold off making the individual gun selling in 1947 as the U-235. The U-238 may have been the combo set and the individual pistol U-235 and that would have been new for 1947. Just my hypothesis. That is going on the information in the database and the ad that you found.

 

Under the photo in the database it states: BUCK ROGERS U-238 ATOMIC PISTOL AND HOLSTER SET - DAISY MFG - USAMfg. by Daisy 1946. A combination of a gold version of the U-235 space gun, leather holster and belt. Sold in a red and black box. This was a mail-away boxed set for Christmas 1946. 10" long gold colored steel

 

New information: I  found this. It's a similar ad that is in the data base as the back cover from a December 1947 JR catalog? So the U-235 may have been new for 1947 as an individual pistol, and then marketed for Christmas 1947 as the U-238? @Brian.. Is the ad from for the U-238 in the database from 1946 I could not read the small print on it? Is it possible that Daisy could have used the same marketing strategy in 1946 and 1947? 

 

Or I could just be over thinking this whole thing. Is not the first time and won't be the last.

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buck.jpg.34d94c8160f0682486968898016aa7f9.jpg

 

 

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Phil R

I have both the entire Dec 1947 magazine and the  Ready for Christmas ad which which is on the back of Children's Activities November 1946. As you might know the paper items give aways  are much more difficult to  obtain than the guns themselves.

P1010001-003.JPG

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tikidoc

@Phil R Thank you that is some great information. So then Daisy used the simular ads for Christmas 1946 and 1947 to sell the U- 238 which I believe is the pistol holster combination, and the U- 235 in gold or yellow then is from late 1946, but introduced as the U- 238 combo pack then sold as pistol only in 1947 as the U-235? In my head that makes scence.

 You are so right, paper items are very hard to come by, but, that makes it more fun doing research. We may have proved my hypothosis correct? 

 

 

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