Sometime after 1865, as the Civil War continued, manufacturers who had been successful in designing and building war weapons and ammunition made some changes to their factories and began building hat guns instead. In a sense, it can be said that these rifles were born out of economic necessity. Army-focused factories that had operated at full capacity during the war were in big trouble once their services were no longer needed. The toy gun saved these factories and their workers.
Cap guns were lifelike, but instead of firing bullets, except for small harmless pockets of gunpowder, which would make a small pop when the hammer fell. Children quickly took advantage of the imagination and imagination offered by these role play aids and the toy gun instantly became a favorite with children around the world.
Although the guns themselves were reasonably priced, almost anyone could afford the individual hats, which lent themselves to their own enjoyment. The guys who didn’t have enough allowance for a gun just bought the hoods and used a simple rock to blow them up. The guys who spent all their money on the gun, but couldn’t afford the caps, adapted to yelling “bang bang” at the sight of a target.
One of the best things about a child’s imagination is that anything can be made into a toy gun, including a stick, a banana, a block of wood, or, when times get really tough, their own finger. Unlike today’s electronic toys, almost anyone can participate in a friendly game of toy guns, rich or poor.
During the following decades, some experts say that toy guns taught children the responsibility of gun ownership, helped prepare them to serve their country, and gave them understanding of how to protect their home and family. Most importantly, their presence offered valuable lessons on how to communicate with others, share, use imagination and work in a team environment.
In the following years, toy guns would evolve from their original wooden and metal frames, to plastic, to colored plastic. Interestingly, this toy helped pave the way for some of the modern adult gun designs we see today.
For example, these baby guns were the first to be made with plastic compounds, but it didn’t take long for manufacturers to see the convenience of making real guns with plastic. At this point, manufacturers began making toy guns with brightly colored plastic and foam, to distinguish their playful natures from their adult counterparts.
While toy guns are no longer the realistic replicas they used to be, they are also more affordable, safer, and offer just as many opportunities for children to engage in friendly war games, learning the same responsibilities that have been passed down from generation to generation. Although toy guns have fought their fair share of anti-gun sentiment, they are still as popular and fun for kids today as they ever were.
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