In the 1960’s, Mattel made a toy rifle modeled after the M-16 that was being adopted by the military. The date that I have seen on photos and videos of the Mattel Marauder have been 1966 as a copyright date. I do not know how long the toy rifle was made. There doesn’t seem to be much history available.
One of these is for sale on Ebay right now and it is in incredible shape for a toy that is 50+ years old.
I was born in the early 70’s and played a lot of ‘Guns’, ‘Cowboys & Indians’, ‘Cops & Robbers’, ‘War’, etc. and would have loved to have had one of these toys. The current listing price for this example on Ebay is $425.00. Almost half of the price of the current Colt CR6920 5.56mm rifle.
The designers really made a pretty neat toy/replica for the time. The pistol grip is really close in appearance to a real M-16/Colt SP1 pistol grip. Note the side-mounted charging handle to actuate the firing feature. I chuckled at the high mounted ejection port door above the travel channel for the charging handle. You had to have felt like the luckiest kid alive if you got one of these when you were 7 or 8 years old.
For a more detailed view of the toy and to hear its ‘firing’ feature, check out this video on YouTube:
We hope you enjoyed this quick journey back through time. Thanks for stopping by.