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REVIEWS & INFO
TV Show Info
Behind The Scenes
Wilfrid Hyde White
Black & White
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century - A Media and Collectible Resource, 1928-2005
Daisy XZ-31 Buck Rogers "Rocket Pistol", 1934|
Above, Original Advertising for the Rocket Pistol,
Click To Enlarge
Prior to its release, the Daisy company worked in conjunction with author Philip
Francis Nowlan and cartoonist Richard Calkins to redesign the guns, helmets
and holsters used in the original comic strips. Since the cartoons and the
radio show had developed a significant following, it was an ideal time for Daisy
to introduce its new line of duplicated toys to the market place, so in February
of 1934 Daisy introduced their first Buck Rogers gun, the XZ-31 Rocket Pistol..
Above, The XZ-31 Rocket Pistol, Click To Enlarge
Prior to its release, Daisy had convinced the Hudson department store in Detroit
to use a large rocket ship and a set of Martian figures for their new "Buck Rogers
in the 25th Century" Christmas theme, these same props where used by again
Daisy to finally introduced the XZ-31 at the American Toy Fair...
Despite initial skepticism and using the same props from J.L. Hudson, Macy's
Department Store in New York began promoting the XZ-31 and it was so
successful that over 2,000 people stood in line for a chance to buy the new
item. As the week went on the crowds grew and in order to keep Macy's
supplied, Daisy kept trucks on the road every day from their Michigan plant.
Above, Original Packaging
Following its first week the XZ-31 was shipped to stores across the country,
pricing's for the Rocket Pistol changed almost hourly bought on by a massive
price war between rival distributors. Daisy profited heavily from this situation
by buying back its guns from the lowest seller and re-selling them to the other
stores. According to Daisy sales manager Cass Hough, "during those first two
weeks the Gimbel's and Macy's toy departments looked like a cyclone had
struck and people were still lining up to buy"..
Soon almost every toy store in the country was clamoring for shipments of the
XZ-31 and Daisy couldn't get enough materials to keep up with the production
demand. That same year for Christmas, Daisy developed a holster and a
helmet to go with the Rocket Pistol and in the following year they produced a
smaller version of the Rocket Pistol, called the XZ-35 or "Wilma" pistol.
Above, Cocking The Handle, Click To Enlarge
The handle is pulled down to cock it (Picture Above) and when you pull the
trigger it makes a loud pop!!..
Daisy XZ-35 Buck Rogers Rocket "Wilma" Pistol, 1935|
Above, XZ-35 Rocket Pistol
The XZ-35 Rocket Pistol was slightly smaller than the XZ-31 measuring around
7 1/2 inches in length, where as the XZ-31 was closer to 9 1/2 inches. Plus
another distinguishing difference was the barrel, the XZ-35 barrel nose is black
right to the end without a collar.
Above, The XZ-35 Fine Print and Barrel, Click To Enlarge
Above, Close up of the XZ-35 Handgrip, Pistol and Holster
Click To Enlarge
The Daisy, Zooka Pop Pistol and Rocket Dart Pistol - 1952+|
Above, Zooka Pop Pistol ,Click To Enlarge
Although Daisy stopped producing Buck Rogers toys around the mid 1940s,
the company continued to use the same dies to manufacture new items, and
in 1952 Daisy recycled the original Rocket Pistol to produce the Zooka Pop
Pistol, identical to the XZ-35 model except for its bright, multicolored finish.
Above, Rocket Dart Pistol, Click To Enlarge
Daisy re-tooled the XZ-35 once again to make the Rocket Dart Pistol,
this toy was able to fire small rubber suction darts and came with an
additional target board .(Pictured Above)
The Daisy, Buck Rogers Disintegrator & Atomic Pistols, XZ-38, U-235, U-238|
Above, The Disintegrator Pistol XZ-38 finished in nickel
Click To Enlarge
in 1935 Daisy produced a new Buck Rogers gun, the XZ-38 Disintegrator Pistol,
this gun featured a fluted barrel and flamboyant fins. Produced in both nickel and
copper finishes, the gun was both sold in stores as well as merchandised as a
Cream of Wheat premium in 1935 and a Popsicle premium in 1939..
Above, A copper finished XZ-38 with Holster
After World War II, Daisy used the existing tools and dies from the Disintegrator
Pistol to create the U-235 Atomic Pistol, this gun reflected the current fascination
with atomic energy and was available with a blue finish, unfinished steel or gold.
Above and below, The Atomic Pistol U-235 in unfinished steel plus its rare original
packaging, also a very nice close up of the barrel. When the trigger is pulled you
here a very loud pop followed by sparks that light up the sparking chamber, the
gun measures around 10 1/2 inches in length..
Below, advertising for the U-238 and reproduction packaging, i don't know
anything more about this item except that it was an exclusive 1946 Christmas
mail away item and probably the last Buck Rogers gun ever to be produced
by Daisy. (Order form on the Left),Click To Enlarge
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