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Buck Rogers Atomic Disintegrator Pistol full size replica
Limited Gold Deluxe Edition By Go Hero

Buck Rogers Atomic Disintegrator toy gun pistol by Go Hero


In the 1930's, the Daisy company produced many fine weapons of minor destruction for kids of all ages. As a child of the 60's, I know them best for their cool BB guns that my friends and I played with, but most collectors reading this review know them best for the Red Ryder BB Gun from the classic film A Christmas Story.

During the Buck Rogers rage of the 30's, Daisy produced a number of cool toy guns based on the license. First was the Disintegrator Pistol, and after World War II they re-used the molds to produce the Atomic Pistol, capitalizing on the fascination with nuclear power. It was even given the model number "U-235".

Go Hero has jumped in feet first with high end products geared toward the pulp fiction fan, and following up their release of the sixth scale Buck Rogers, they have started shipping their Atomic Disintegrator, a pistol that is based on the general design of both the Disintegrator Pistol AND the Atomic Pistol, and includes the cool popping and sparking mechanism that made the Atomic Pistol so great!

This is a limited edition of 1000 guns, and they certainly aren't cheap at $175. In fact, if you aren't too concerned about condition, you can probably pick up an original for about that same price. I would expect problems with the finish though, and getting one with both a working popping sound and a working sparking feature in the under $300 range is probably wishful thinking.
Buck Rogers Atomic Disintegrator toy gun pistol by Go Hero
Buck Rogers Atomic Disintegrator toy gun pistol by Go Hero
Buck Rogers Atomic Disintegrator toy gun pistol by Go Hero
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Buck Rogers Atomic Disintegrator toy gun pistol by Go Hero
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Buck Rogers Atomic Disintegrator toy gun pistol by Go Hero
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Buck Rogers Atomic Disintegrator toy gun pistol by Go Hero
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Buck Rogers Atomic Disintegrator toy gun pistol by Go Hero
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Buck Rogers Atomic Disintegrator toy gun pistol by Go Hero
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Buck Rogers Atomic Disintegrator toy gun pistol by Go Hero
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Buck Rogers Atomic Disintegrator toy gun pistol by Go Hero

Packaging - ****
Best packaging for 2009? Go Hero gets my vote hands down.

Similar to the Rogers figure, the gun comes in a wooden box. Yep, real wood. But they take the concept even further this time.

There's a gorgeous cardboard outer sleeve with graphics and text right from the 30's. Slide it off and the wooden box is revealed, complete with laser etched graphics and text on the bottom. This gives the appearance of wood burning, tapping into the nostalgia of the era even more.

The lid is held in place with four solid magnets. On the front is a die cast metal emblem, inlaid into the lid. This emblem has not just the Buck Rogers graphic, but it has your edition number embossed right on it!

On the inside of the lid is additional text, and the gun and lead figurine (more on that in the Accessory section) are nestled in a black plastic tray. This isn't a thin, cheap tray though - the plastic is very thick and the tray quite solid.

There's also an attractive, numbered Certificate of Authenticity included in the box. Just to keep everything safe, there's also a sheet of foam that sits on top of the gun, shielding it from the box top.

This is exceptional packaging, adding to the value of the gun from both a display and nostalgic angle. Everything Go Hero produces won't need to come in a wooden etched box, but it's the perfect mate for this particular product.

Sculpting - ****
The exterior of the gun is made from metal, including the black rings ("sub atomic condensers") you see on the barrel. It's very thick, and the overall construction is extremely solid and sturdy.

The exterior looks a lot like the original Disintegrator, but there's some Atomic pistol influences too. They've done an excellent job recreating the look and feel of both guns, and yet created something slightly unique.

One of the highlights of the sculpt is the embossed text on the left side. The original guns had this feature as well. But here you get not just the cool Rogers graphic, gun name and copyright text, but your personal edition number, again stamped right into the metal!

The gun fits in a normal adult hand pretty well, measuring about 10 inches long by 6 inches tall. The grip is a little short for someone with big mitts, but this is a toy reproduction, after all.

If you're looking to put together an exceptional Buck Rogers cosplay outfit, this would be an excellent addition. Yea, it's a reproduction of the toy, but the quality is high enough to work in a cosplay situation as well.

Paint - ***1/2
The original guns came in a variety of finishes, depending on the model. After WWII, they even used the same molds to produce other non-Buck Rogers ray guns in all kinds of funky colors.

For this 'deluxe' edition, Go Hero went with a gold finish. This is electroplated, and the final product is extremely smooth, consistent and bright.

I did have a couple small dings and marks in the paint on the black rings however, holding it back from a perfect score here. However, there's nothing here preventing the gun from being on the shelf in the nicest collection, and still holding its own.

Accessories - ***
Although this is not something you'd normally see 'accessories' with, Go Hero added in a couple nifty extras.

The most obvious is the faux lead Rogers figurine. He's a couple inches tall, and done in the almost 2-D style of the 30's lead figures. I don't think it's actually lead, since the metal is much harder (and less likely to poison you if you decide to use it as a bite splint to stop you from grinding your teeth in your sleep).

There is also a small bag of extra flints, three in total. Since I had trouble with my flint right out of the box (more on that in a later category), these were an extremely welcome addition.

Finally, they added in a reproduction of the 1937 patent drawing of the gun. I'm not usually a huge fan of paper add ins, but this one could easily be framed to hang behind the gun.

I wouldn't call it an 'accessory', but there's no better place to mention the orange cap. As required by federal law, Go Hero has put a small orange cap on the end of the barrel. However, it's not glued in place, so you can pop it off for your display once you have the gun in hand.

Sound Feature - ***1/2
When you pull the trigger, a loud popping sound is heard. It doesn't - and isn't supposed to - sound like a gun firing, or merely a mechanical snap. The pop is fairly unique, designed to sound more like, well, something you'd think a hand held atomic device firing would should like. It's hard to describe, but it's certainly distinctive.

The only issue I had with this is the same issue I have with the light up feature, so I'll cover it in the next section...

Light Feature - ***1/2
Pulling the trigger also causes a spark to occur in the top of the gun, where you can see the orangey-red plastic windows. And how is this spark generated? It's all old school, baby.

You will notice a small screw on top of the gun. This is the "beam intensity selector". Inside the gun, under this screw and a corresponding spring, is a small flint, like you'd use in a cigarette lighter. When the trigger is pulled something is striking this flint, causing the spark.

The further down the screw is turned, the more contact with whatever is striking it. As the flint wears out, turning this screw down will help keep it in contact.

Taking this screw out, along with the spring, is how you replace the flint. There were no instructions included for this, but it's pretty obvious.

This is also where I had my one major problem with the gun overall. When pulling the trigger, I found it would get stuck on something, and stop working. Neither the pop or the spark would emanate from the gun when the trigger was pulled. Imagine my disappointment - first I break Buck's helmet, then I break his gun!

However, nothing was broken, just stuck. I removed the flint, and the popping action immediately started working again. Putting the flint back in and experimenting indicated that whatever strikes the flint was most likely getting stuck on it, stopping everything from working. Removing the flint and replacing it fixed it for me, but I suspect that as the flint begins to wear out, this will become an issue again. I'm not sure how often you'll need to change the flints, but it's something to be aware of, and did cause me a bit of a panic. Even with a new flint, I had to have the 'intensity' screw turned almost all the in to keep it from hanging up. I may see if I can find a stiffer spring, which may remove the issue entirely.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
At this price point, only the certifiably insane will give it to an eight year old, but you could. It's a great example of the cool toys of years gone by, and it's both fully functional and well built.

Value - **
Yea, it's expensive. This is one of those collectibles that big Buck Rogers fans are going to love - and everyone else will question their sanity. Among the group calling them nuts will be people that spent twice as much on an eFX Clonetrooper helmet. Glass houses, bricks, you know the routine.

At 1000 guns, I too felt the price was pretty steep, until I played around with it a bit. I still can't give it an average score here, but I better understand the cost that was associated with re-creating the mechanics of the gun.

Things to Watch Out For -
As I mentioned, the mechanism can get 'stuck', so when you pull the trigger the loud popping noise is no longer heard, and the flint isn't struck. After playing around with it for awhile, I found that removing the flint and popping it back in corrected the issue, implying that something was getting hung up on the flint itself. The flint that was in place out of the box was a bit worn down too - perhaps the guys in the factory had a little too much fun with it before shipping it out - and replacing that one with one of the included new flints improved the situation even further.

Overall - ***1/2
At this kine of price point, this is a collectible aimed at one of three types of people: A) those that are huge Buck Rogers nuts; B) those that are huge toy ray gun nuts and C) those, like me, who are just huge nuts.

If you don't fall into one of those three categories, then this will be something that's cool to look at, but the price tag will be the true disintegrator of your desire to own one.

But for folks in the three groups, it's one very cool toy. It captures the look and feel of the old toy extremely well, and even gives you a really cool action feature, reminding us that for all the great things we get from electronics, we lost a little too.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Sound Feature - ***1/2
Light Up Feature - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- you can pick it up from Go Hero directly for $175.

- Big Bad Toy Store has it for just $160.

- Sideshow has them for $175.

- Entertainment Earth has it for $175 as well.

- or you can peruse Ebay looking for a deal.

Related Links -
If you're a big Buck Rogers fan, you'll want to check out the Go Hero sixth scale figure released last month.

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Buck Rogers Atomic Disintegrator toy gun pistol by Go Hero


This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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