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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Comments on “Toy Maker Now Building Weapons For The Army”

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31 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

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…

Anonymous Coward says:

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

Matt Bennett says:

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.

Yakko Warner says:

Re: 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.

Bill H says:

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.

Steve Wetzel says:

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.

Eric Johnson says:

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.

Cben says:

Mattel M16

I joined the Army in 1973 at Ft. Jackson S. C. and was issued an M16A1 with the Mattel logo on the left side of the lower receiver above the magazine well and Mattel Firearms Division on the same side above the selector lever. The serial number was something like 00002168 and below the Mattel logo and 5.56mm. I got dropped all the time for being cute and only reciting the last four numbers. I appear in a photo with her from basic but unfortunately she’s at Port Arms so you can only see her right side. No myth or mystery for me.

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