When Happiness Was a Warm Toy Gun

Selwyn Duke
In a way, commercials can tell you more about how we've changed than history books.  The other day I came across the above 1960s TV commercial on YouTube; it's for a toy set called the "Gung Ho Commando Outfit" by Marx.  And it's a perfect snapshot of the America that, sadly, no longer exists. Despite this fact, watching it is hilarious.  It is unabashedly politically incorrect, featuring a group of young boys running around playing war games, all decked out in the most authentic military gear a 10-year-old could imagine.  It's enough to make any suburban soccer mom's head explode. Every toy gun in the commercial looks (gasp!) realistic; there are no sissified colors, no orange plastic piece at the end of the barrel.  Yet you never heard of a child being shot after pointing one of these toy weapons at a policeman.  You see, even when I was a boy in the 1970s, we were taught enough respect for elders to understand that a certain necessary wall existed...(Read Full Post)

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