Toy gun

Johnny Seven O.M.A.

1964-1970 (manufactured)

Deluxe-Topper Ltd

Length: 89.6 cm Gun, Depth: 27.2 cm Gun, Height: 11.3 cm Gun, Length: 18.0 cm Anti-Bunker missile, Diameter: 16 cm Anti-Bunker missile, Length: 12 cm Grenade, Diameter: 18.4 cm Grenade, Length: 14.2 cm Armour-Piercing shell, Diameter: 9.1 cm Armour-Piercing shell, Length: 18.5 cm Anti-Tank rocket, Diameter: 17.5 cm Anti-Tank rocket, Length: 3.0 cm Bullet (x8), Diameter: 3.2 cm Bullet (x8) [gun body] Height: 22 cm total, Length: 68 cm total [detachable pistol] Length: 26 cm total [grenade] Length: 11 cm total, Diameter: 16.5 cm largest [armour-piercing shell] Length: 14 cm total, Circumference: 9 cm largest circumference [anti-bunker missile] Length: 18 cm total [anti-tank rocket] Length: 18 cm total [bullet] Length: 3 cm total [butt] Length: 25 cm maximum, width: 4 cm [box] Length: 97 cm, Width: 27 cm, Depth: 12 cm

B.259:1 to 15-2011 MoC

'Johnny Seven O.M.A. [One Man Army] Gun', plastic and metal, Deluxe-Topper Ltd, England, 1960s [gun body] 'Johnny Seven O.M.A. [One Man Army] gun body, plastic and metal, Deluxe- Topper Ltd., England, 1960s

[gun body] Gun body manufactured from, predominantly, moulded green plastic. Rivets and other details are picked out within the moulding. Attached to the front of the body is an aluminium rifle barrel, and two further barrels and gun sight in moulded black plastic, the latter two being spring operated to launch the armour-piercing shell and missiles. On the top of the body is a moulded black plastic and metal grenade launcher, with a metal spring firing mechanism, which can be rotated upwards and fixed at three angles or housed flat in the gun body. Forwards to this is a 'magazine' compartment into which bullets can be placed in readiness for firing. A black plastic bi-pod is attached to the underside of the body which, when not in use, is folded forward and attached to the body by metal clips towards the front. Towards the rear of the underside are the slots and black plastic catch which hold the detachable pistol in place. The whole is held together with metal screws and bolts. The body contains a number of levers and switches which control the gun's various actions. These are all labelled within the moulded plastic. On the right side of the body, at the rear, arrows and wording indicate the direction in which to detach the stock. Also towards the rear is a circular grenade release button and dial, and a pistol release switch, both in silver plastic. Forward of this is a black plastic and metal switch to activate the 'Tommy Gun' firing mechansim, a metal rathchet and spring device located within the body of the gun connected to a black plastic knob which is pulled backwards to 'load'. In the centre of the body is the metal trigger, and a metal rifle bolt, again mounted on a spring, which can be pulled back to load the bullets inserted into the magazine into the rifle barrel. Forward of this is a small black plastic knob with an arrow pointing upwards which fires the armour-piercing shells. On the left of the body, towards the front, is a green plastic button, with no label, which fires the missile and rocket. [detachable pistol] Pistol, manufactured from moulded green plastic glued together. With moulded detailing in green plastic on the handle and sides, and in silver plastic on the right side. A moulded metal trigger spring mechansim is attached to the body, the whole of which can be opened upwards to allow caps to be loaded. [grenade] Green moulded plastic grenade, with additional moulded cylinder on base which slots into the grenade firing mechansim on the main body of the gun. [armour-piercing shell] Red moulded plastic cylindrical shell, with black moulded plastic shaft slotted into it, to allow shell to be slotted into the firing mechanism of the gun body. [anti-bunker missile] Green moulded plastic cylindrical shell with ribbed and grooved moulded detailing, with black moulded plastic shaft slotted into it, to allow shell to be slotted into the firing mechanism of the gun body. [anti-tank rocket] Green moulded plastic cylindrical shell with ribbed moulded detailing on its nose and moulded fins flaring towards its base, with black moulded plastic shaft slotted into it, to allow shell to be slotted into the firing mechanism of the gun body. [bullet] White moulded plastic bullet, with deep groove towards its base. [butt] Brown moulded plastic gun butt, with moulded detailing to give the impression of a wood finish. The butt was moulded in two poarts, which are screwed together. On the front edge are two feet which slot into the main body of the gun. On the right side is silver writing. [box] Rectangular box, made from corrugated cardboard printed on the outside. The lid has 'Johnny Seven O.M.A. One Man Army' printed in red and black text on a yellow background, with the additional text 'Seven guns in one. No batteries needed' also printed in black. Also on the front is a large colour photographic image, glued onto the box, showing a boy with gritted teeth pointing the gun against a sky-blue background. Either end of the box has 'Johnny Seven O.M.A. One Man Army Seven guns in one. No batteries needed' printed in red and white text on a black background, with the additional text 'Distributed by Deluxe-Topper Ltd. hayes, Middlesex, England. Made in England' printed in black on a white background. Both sides of the box have 'Johnny Seven O.M.A. One Man Army' printed in red and white text on a bl;ack background, amd also seven diagrams, printed in black, red and white against a yellow background showing the different aspects of the gun: the grenade launcher, armour-piercing shell, anti-tank rocket, retractable bi-pod, repeating rifle, automatic pistol and tommy gun. Above these diagrams, red text reads 'Does All This'. The underside of the box, and one of the end flaps, has been drawn on in black crayon by a previous owner.

This toy gun, the 'Johnny Seven O.M.A. (One Man Army)' was manufactured in England in the late 1960s by Deluxe-Topper Ltd, although this design was originally manufactured in the U.S.A. by Deluxe-Topper's parent company, Topper Toys. It is made from plastic and metal. It was first sold in the U.S.A. in 1964, and in the same year became the best-selling boy's toy. It was heavily marketed on television, and came in a very large, brightly-coloured box designed to catch a child's attention. The gun was marketed as being 'seven guns in one', and had the capability to launch a grenade, an armour- piercing shell and anti-tank rocket. It had a retractable bi- pod, to convert the gun into a sniper rifle, as well as a repeating rifle action and a detachable pistol which could be loaded with small explosive caps which made a loud bang when fired. It could also convert into a Tommy gun (machine gun) with rat-a-tat sound effects and the possibility to remove the butt of the rifle to shorten the gun. There was nothing else on the market at the time with this range of gadgets, which made it particularly appealing. However, this product, along with similar toys, saw a down- turn in popularity as opposition to the Vietnam war increased in the U.S.A. and as the Peace movement in general, with it's questioning of war toys, also gained more popular support.

The 'Johnny Seven O.M.A.' gun was first produced in the U.S.A. in 1964 by Topper Toys. The 'Seven' in the name refers to the fact that it was marketed as being seven guns in one, with the following features, all attached to the main gun assembly: the capability to launch a grenade, an armour-piercing shell and anti-tank rocket; a retractable bi-pod, to convert the gun into a sniper rifle; a repeating rifle action; a detachable pistol, into which caps can be loaded; and Tommy gun [machine gun] sound effects with the ability to remove the stock to shorten the gun. The gun was heavily marketed on television and was extremely popular, becoming the best-selling boys toy in 1964 in the U.S.A. Other 'Johnny Seven' accessories were also available, including an ammunition pack, helmet and walkie-talkies. This object was purchased from the interet (e-bay) from Rob Iddon (seller's id. valerieinez0170) on 19 December 2011. This product, along with similar toys, saw a down-turn in popularity as opposition to the Vietnam war increased and the Peace movement in general, with it's questioning of war toys, also gained more popular support.

Location: Museum of Childhood, Temporary Exhibition Gallery, case 7

View this object on the V&A website