Skillset Overtime: Vintage Toy Guns Were the Best of America’s Pastime

“Boys will be boys” — a common saying that most of us heard growing up anytime we would get up in a little skuffle. Boys today spend most of their time interacting with their friends online. They battle on the latest first-person shooter, yelling at each other through a fancy headset. But that’s not always how things were. There was a time when boys would actually gather with classmates outside in the fresh air, perhaps with their newest toy guns from a recent birthday. They would use their physical strength, their outdoor surroundings, and most importantly, their imagination.

Toy Guns From a Forgotten Age

Together they would take on and defeat evil around the globe, maybe even plan a spy mission to stop an evil plot from unfolding. From G.I. Joes to wild toy guns, it was an incredible era of toys. They would bring to life stories from their minds that would create endless hours of playtime. Unknowingly, however, these sessions would shape and mold them into boys that would grow up to be men worthy of defending the country.

Fast forward to current times, and the cap gun has been replaced by the VR headset. Everything is artificial and mission outcomes are already predetermined. Physical hand held toys got even worse. Pokemon cards, Dance Dance Revolution and yes those dumb fidget spinners. It’s no wonder the next generation of boys were at a disadvantage by the time they entered the workplace. I guess in the long run soft toys make soft men, just look at the Spoolgeinator!

Jason and Ben are here to break down all the action in this week’s edition of Skillset Overtime. Make some popcorn, grab a cold one, and get ready to go where no Skillset host has gone before! After you watch the video above, check out some more Overtime with Spanky Spangler, Fashion Week Gone Wrong, and Florida Man! For even more, grab an issue of Skillset Magazine.


  • mark morrison

    thanks for the menorys i played with several of these things

  • Every guy on my block had the Spy radio and the Bazooka, we used to put tennis balls in it and pump it up high they went far.

  • The most important point from those days, as my childhood was lived back then, is that all the adults ENCOURAGED young boys to go outside and play those war games. Seeing a group of boys yelling and screaming in mock combat did not alarm people, and we ourselves knew that we were playing pretend; none of us ever thought about obtaining a real gun to bring to our play battles.

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