As a kid in the late ’50s and early ’60s, I was no different than any other boy who enjoyed the likes of Roy Rogers, Bat Masterson, and of course the Lone Ranger. Enter one of my favorite toys of the day, Mattel’s Fanner 50 cap gun. Now considered memorabilia of the time, the Fanner 50 was an awesome pistol. Designed to use their own brand of Greenie Roll Caps, Mattel produced many versions of its famous “Fanner 50” cap guns. Mine came with a holster and gun belt. The Fanner 50 gained its name from the multi-shot capability. The hammer was extra wide: You held the pistol in one hand and “fanned” the hammer with the palm of your other hand resulting in a rapid fire action. The Fanner 50 had a bright silver finish, plastic grips that sure looked like real ivory, and none of the orange barrel plugs required of toy guns today. Oh, the shootouts my friends and I had back then.
After a day of cattle rustling and gunfights any real cowboy needs a smoke. Remember those vintage candy cigarettes? They were a white sugar stick, most with a dab of pink on one end. Seems there weren’t many in the pack, but they were a favorite candy of mine in the early ’60s. Do I have to tell you why these are no longer on the market?
My most favorite toys have to have been Marx brand sets of toy soldiers. These sets included soldiers, vehicles and even structures. I spent more play hours with these sets than any other toy, by far. I would take a couple of hours to set up the WWII soldiers, tanks and half tracks in our limestone rock filled driveway, and in a matter of minutes knock them all down! Too bad these sets are no longer available.
Taking a break from driveway warfare, I would enjoy a ValoMilk candy bar. Not really a bar, this delight looked like a Reese’s Cup, but was filled with a creamy marshmallow filling. If you saved the wrappers, you could send off for a free tube of 10 cups. I have not seen this favorite candy in years.
And to wrap up my trip down nostalgia lane, I have to say that I really miss the huge Sears Christmas catalogue. These toy and gift catalogues were distributed in the ’50s and the ’60s. I would spend hours combing through the catalogue, never missing a page. Well, never missing a page with the boy stuff. Those toy soldier sets I mentioned above? You guessed it, right out of the Sears catalogue.
Reference: Personal childhood memories