Toy Maker Now Building Weapons For The Army

from the going-in-reverse dept

Toy makers have often made weapons into toys, but what about the other way around? Wired points out that a maker of a toy rocket has been hired by the US Army to create a variable speed gun using the same basic technology used in the toy. The weapon would allow soldiers to use the same gun to fire both lethal and non-lethal rounds. Nonlethal weapons are a big business these days, but it still seems a bit out of place for a toymaker to start building one.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 7:09pm

    YO

    Can we test it out on Dorpus?

     

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  2.  
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    Niles Gibbs, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 7:14pm

    Old news?

    A marine friend of mine once told me that the Army had commissioned Mattel to build the M-16 back in the day, because they wanted a gun that could easily pop together and apart (with little thought required by the user).

     

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  3.  
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    Bill G, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 7:36pm

    M-16 mattel

    I was in the Army and no it was not made by mattel, though they did make a toy version of the M-16 just search for "Mattel M-16 Marauder Automatic Toy Rifle" on google or ebay.

     

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  4.  
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    drkkgt, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 7:47pm

    HEy I saw this movie but don't worry Robin Williams will stop them.

     

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  5.  
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    Chris, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 7:51pm

    Re: M-16 mattel

    He didn't say it was made by Mattel, just the army commissioned Mattel to build a rifle that would be dismantled and put together easily. Toy makers sometimes have simplified yet effective technology or concepts which can be used in military action.

     

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  6.  
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    Dave, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 8:19pm

    I just hope they don't mess up the production lines.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 8:43pm

    Waste of Money?

    I keep getting this weapon confused with this. Essentially it is a weapon with a slider that can change the intensity of the shot for the distance you are aiming, with integrated sight to increase accuracy. Less-lethal of course. It has some qualities you'd find in some older Nerf guns so I suppose that's it. Personally I think it'd be cheaper and more effective over all to have seperate weapons for their purpose (so don't mix the less lethal with the lethal). Enough problems have been happening of late with soldiers mixing up Blanks and Live rounds. Hate to be involved in the riot where they used live ammo instead of rubber bullets...

     

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  8.  
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    Nick, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 8:54pm

    Mattel has never made the m16, they made a few of the plastic parts for it.

    http://www.snopes.com/military/m16.asp

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 9:45pm

    Presumably the company will subcontract with Hasbro to militarize its G.I. Joe action figure to carry and use the new gun.

     

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  10.  
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    Billy, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 10:12pm

    Re: Old news?

    When the army first started getting the M-16 in the Vietnam war, a rumor was started that it was made by Mattel (it was and is made by Colt) because some of the pieces are plastic like the stock and guards. Unlike the M1 Garand, which was metal and wood.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 11:08pm

    If I recall, toy companies were involved in making spy balloons in the 40s, 50s and 60s. I think. I read it in a Carl Sagan book and I'm comfortably in bed at the moment and I am *not* getting up to find the page number/reference.

     

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  12.  
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    Hoeppner, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 1:47am

    That is an accident waiting to happen.

     

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  13.  
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    Twinrova, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 3:46am

    History 101

    This is NOT the first time this has happened in our history.

    Besides, who cares? Most toy makers need to get out of the business because all they make is overpriced, cheap plastic toys that break the moment a child takes it out of the box.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 5:01am

    I dunno if I'd like to be a soldier and walk onto the battlefield in Iraq holding a rifle that said "WHAM-O!" on the side.

    And no, Mattel never made M-16 rifles. That is an urban legend. Soldiers in Vietnam said "you can tell it's Mattel" in reference to the cheap toylike apearance of the M-16 compared to the previous wood and steel M-14.

    http://www.snopes.com/military/m16.asp

     

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  15.  
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    Matt Bennett, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 6:38am

    Why is it out of place? It's weird an ironic, but out of place? Mike, as free market sorta guy, you should definitely appreciate that if this company has the best technology, it has the best technology, and that should be pursued.

    Roombas are only a small part of revenue of the company that makes them. They are, or at least were, primarily a bomb disposal robot maker. Is that "out of place?" The company took the skills it had to make military and police robots to make a harmless consumer robot. This company is using the skill sit has to make toy rockets to make a little rocket gun.

     

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  16.  
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    Yakko Warner, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 8:27am

    Re:

    You beat me to it.

    "Actually, I think it'd be ironic if we were all made of iron..."

    But anyway, I agree, it makes perfect sense. If the idea is good and it has a useful application, why should it matter where it came from? Isn't that part of the "innovation" mantra I hear anytime an article about patents pops up on Techdirt? In this case, the government is going to the creator of the idea, crediting them as the "expert", and asking them to do something different with it. Seems like good business sense to me.

     

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  17.  
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    Mike (profile), Jul 25th, 2008 @ 11:53am

    Re:

    Why is it out of place? It's weird an ironic, but out of place?

    I didn't mean out of place as in "wrong." I meant it as in weird/ironic. :)

    I just found it amusing. Nothing more.

     

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  18.  
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    Niles Gibbs, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 11:53am

    Re:

    Mattel has never made the m16, they made a few of the plastic parts for it. I should have known it was just an urban legend. I didn't even think of checking Snopes, and I usually harp on people for not doing so. I stand happily corrected.

     

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  19.  
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    Felix M. Lopez, Nov 19th, 2008 @ 6:16am

    Mattel M-16

    I had an M-16 issued to me back in 1987 at Fort Hood as an MP for an Intelligence unit. So all these lies about being a joke and talking about toys is just wrong. I had one and fired it lots of times at the range. Why the denial?

     

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  20.  
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    Bill H, Dec 24th, 2008 @ 8:33am

    Mattel M16

    I was stationed at The Marine reserve Unit in St. Louis from 1982-1983. During this time period I was issued two M16's. The first had the logo "Made by Mattel" stamped into the Lower Receiver. That is NOT a Plastic Part. My Second had the Logo "Made by GM Hydromatic" which is GM's Transmission Division. Both were Vietnam era weapons. Once Active duty, I had several over the years issued that did say Colt on the Lower Receiver.

     

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  21.  
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    Steve Wetzel, Jun 21st, 2009 @ 5:10pm

    Mattel

    I served in the Marine Corps from 79-82. I certainly had an M-16A1 with the Mattel stamp on it. I remember pointing it out to another recruit while in boot camp. Snopes is wrong (GASP!)in this case. There are just too many of us who have seen it with our own eyes.

    So what if Mattel made a few parts of the rifle - or the entire thing? The weapon worked well and did its job.

     

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  22.  
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    Eric Johnson, Jun 26th, 2009 @ 6:18am

    Re: Mattel

    I was also issued several m-16 rifles with the lower marked with the mattel logo. Which as stated above is not a plastiv part. I don't think I ever had one marked with the colt logo. They were all M16a1 rifles. I had mattels in the guard and on active duty at Ft Carson in the 80's, so sorry folks but snopes in incorrect again, I do not understand with I found it "here" so it's really true, this is not the first time I have found snopes to be wrong.

     

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  23.  
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    دردشه, Jul 5th, 2009 @ 3:13pm

    Besides, who cares? Most toy makers need to get out of the business because all they make is overpriced, cheap plastic toys that break the moment a child takes it out of the box

     

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  24.  
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    شات صوتى, Jul 17th, 2009 @ 10:26am

    Thanks for

     

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  25.  
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    Dondi, Nov 27th, 2011 @ 2:33pm

    Toy Maker Now Building Weapons For The Army

    Serial number 3331925 (an M-16 A1)was made By UNI-Royal Co.
    I was issued it in June of 78' at Ft. Dix N.J. And it was quite well worn then!!!

     

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