In the mid 1960s, Kenner Products had a number of successful products, including the Easy-Bake Oven, Girder & Panel and Bridge & Turnpike Building Sets, the Give-A-Show Projector, and Gun That Shoots Around The Corner.
The toy with the no-nonsense name was released in 1964. In toy-gun parlance, Gun That Shoots Around The Corner was a 5-shot repeater with “bolt action”: the player could fire five of the 10 included ½-inch soft rubber balls without reloading. The unique feature of the toy was a barrel that swiveled a full 180-degrees in either direction. Attached to the barrel was a mirror that could be used as a periscope to sight targets at various firing angles.
With a hit on its hands, Kenner expanded the product line in 1965 with the release of Pistol That Shoots Around the Corner (and over your shoulder, too!), a toy gun far more compact that its 12-word name would indicate. Like the original gun, the pistol was equipped with a muzzle that swiveled a full 180-degrees; it fired “poplets” – lightweight plastic balls – via air pressure generated by squeezing the grip and shooting.
Pistol That Shoots Around the Corner was billed as an “indoor-outdoor fun toy”, which is perhaps the reason that Kenner made sure to note that the poplets were incapable of breaking glass or light bulbs in a majority of their ad campaigns at the time.
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