You want to know how old I am? My childhood predates “Super Soakers.” Those now-ubiquitous toys first went on sale in 1989, when I was a senior in high school.
What you see below is what passed for cutting-edge water gun technology in 1985 — battery powered water “machine guns.” There were a few variations of toys like these; some fetch a high price from collectors. (There is a “Rambo” RPG model that sells for more than $60 on eBay, even if it’s used and outside its original packaging.)
The motorized Mac 10 was an early birthday present one year, I think … and damn did I love that thing. It made machine gun sounds when you fired it, even if it devoured batteries in order to accomplish that. I’ve seen a vintage advertisement boasting that it could “shoot up to 20 feet,” but that’s ridiculous — I remember mine shooting maybe six feet, if I arced its fire correctly.
Regrettably, this wasn’t a well made toy. It stopped working the same summer I got it, and fairly soon.
It occurs to me that I had many, many more “war toys” growing up than kids of today. (And in this tragic age, the implications for greater public safety are obvious.) But our 80’s videogames were pollyanna stuff compared with the bloody first-person-shooters of today.