Released in the mid-1960s, Topper Toys’ Secret Sam toy line abetted budding spies-in-training with a range of gadgets for covert missions. The flagship item of the series was the Secret Sam Attaché Case, a spy kit concealed in a black plastic carrying case that measured 11.5 in. x 15.5 in. x 2.5 in.
Advertised as “the most amazing secret weapon ever,” the case included several spy essentials secured in place by Styrofoam packing. The pièce de résistance was a spring-loaded plastic pistol with a moulded grip and scope. The gun shot short- or long-range plastic bullets (three of each were included). In a clever design twist, Topper allowed the pistol to be discharged while the case was closed, thanks to a button on the side wall of the attaché case that could be surreptitiously pushed to release the trigger.
The pistol could also be equipped with a 14-inch-long attachable periscope, which provided kids with a stealth view of people and objects that weren’t in their direct line of sight or converted into a pistol via an attachable silencer and stock. Finally, the gun could fire a missile carrying a secret message, useful for transmitting classified information from behind enemy lines.
All spies need access to a secret camera, and Topper integrated one into the Secret Sam Attaché Case. It used 127 film to take stealth photos through a side opening in the case when a button on top was pressed. It could also be removed and used in a standalone fashion.
The popularity of Secret Sam Attaché Case led Topper to release additional spy gadgets, including Bomb Binoculars, a toy that functioned both as a binocular set and explosive device; and, the Pipe Shooter, a normal-looking pipe that contained a secret mirror and had projectile firing capability.