Jul 14, 2016

Summer Flashback - Squirt Guns

This (hopefully) series of Summer Flashback posts was inspired by the Purple Stuff Podcast hosted by Matt from Dinosaur Dracula and Jay from The Sexy Armpit. If you love pop culture and you're not listening to this show, you're missing out! In episode 30 of the podcast, the guys list off some of their favorite things about summer.

I thought, "Hey, I have things I like about summer!" and I'm always looking for opportunities to do posts that are something other than showing off a new toy or collectible. So here we are!

This first post, in case you haven't guess from the title, is about squirt guns. It's going to be a bit on the retro side. Just as our calendar is split into two significant time periods due to a grand event, so too is the legacy of squirt guns. We have Before Super Soaker (BSS) and After Super Soaker (AS...S?), maybe we'll go with Post Super Soaker.

As a kid, I was lucky enough to live about a 5 minute walk from a convenience store called Girlie's, which is still there today. This place was little kid heaven with candy, trading cards, comic books, a couple of video games, and toys. There was the usual corner store stuff too of course, but at that age, the only time you cared about it was when mom had you go pick something up, which usually involved a bribe in the form of being allowed to spend the change. The toy section then is about what you'd find in your local supermarket today: a bunch of no-name, cheap stuff.

Sorta like this...


This was where I probably found my preferred squirt gun, the Wee Gee.


The Wee Gee barrel/top is about 3 inches long. It's definitely on the small side as squirt guns go. In most instances, you'd think bigger is better, right? A bigger gun means it holds more shots. However, the smaller size has the advantage of being able to surprise your victim. 

For disposable plastic toys, these were pretty well put together. They were at least as powerful as the regular size versions and they lacked the common tendency to leak. The small size also let you carry a couple of backups in your pockets because any good summer assassin couldn't afford to be caught refilling their weapon of choice.

Back in the day, most squirt guns were translucent, colorful plastic. The transparent design let you know just how much ammo you had, bonus! Some of them were modeled after actual handguns and I remember having one just like this Baretta (correction, 1911), same color.


While these real world water shooters were great for most kids that played cops & robbers or army, I was never satisfied playing something so...earthly.


I always had a love for retro future ray guns. Given the choice between sci-fi and realistic, I'd pick sci-fi all day. I'd say blame Star Wars but even those props were made using Earth weapons as a base.

At some point during middle school, the squirt gun evolved to include battery power and got a bit controversial.


Uzis were the "it" gun in the early 80s so of course they made a squirt gun for kids! And they didn't even bother making it in a bright color. This gun would never see the light of day if pitched today. It might have been the first squirt gun to have a replaceable tank, in the form of its ammo clip. The biggest disadvantage with it being battery powered was that you had to give it a few seconds of holding the trigger before it would be primed to unleash aquatic hell.

Well, that wraps up the first Summer Flashback. I'm hoping to get at least a couple more of these out before the season is over, so be sure to check back for more summer fun.

5 comments:

  1. *Ahem* That's a 1911, not a Beretta. Sorry, the gun geek in me couldn't let it go.

    I remember having a small arsenal of squirt guns growing up. There were close to a dozen of those clear water pistols banging around in my toy box. No matter how hard I pushed that plastic plug in, they always seemed to leak. Eventually, I got a couple of those realistic guns, a Mac-10 and an Uzi. It's scary to think about it now, but neither one of them had an orange or red tip. They'd probably get me shot now. I thought I was invincible up until the point my neighbor got his first Super Soaker. Playing against him wasn't fun anymore, since I had to worry about my eyes being blown out by a high pressure stream of water.

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    1. Duly noted, and corrected, thanks! I always called it a Baretta as a kid and when I googled it to find a photo it came up with the exact thing I was thinking of hehe

      Yeah, the good ol days before we had to worry about getting shot for carrying fake guns and they could look realistic.

      Super Soakers really changed the game when they came out, eh? I remember getting my first pistol sized one, that thing was awesome!

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    2. Bah, I'm just giving you a hard time :-p.

      I thought I was a bad ass when I got my neon tiger striped battery operated MP5, but that thing couldn't hold a candle to even the basic Super Soaker. Another one I was pretty fond of, was the long tube that had a handle on the end. Stick the barrel in a bucket of water, pull back the handle, and you were ready to go. Now that could match the SS for range and power, but you had to be next to a water source. Otherwise, you were one and done.

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    3. Aw yeah, I remember those! They were good for poolside use.

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  2. I remember that Uzi!The cool thing about It was that you didn't need water to have fun with it.Any kid with an imagination could pretend to be spraying up the block making the Uzi sound effect with their mouths
    PPPRRRRRRR!Good times!

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