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Your Cyber Monday Morning Mental Sorbet: 5 Retro Items You Probably Won’t Find on Sale

Don Adams: Electronic Detective

Each Monday we try to give you something to start off your work week. Something odd. Something disturbing. Sometimes even something downright deranged. This week, it’s Cyber Monday. And we hope you’ll be kind enough to conduct all of your Amazon purchases through us, because we get kickbacks–and those kickbacks help pay for things like, oh, everything. But because it’s Cyber Monday, we wanted to take a look at some gift ideas you probably (and perhaps sadly) won’t be able to find online today. Or at least not for a bargain.

First up, let’s go to Mattel and their 1950s commercial for the Shootin’ Shell pistol. Now…I’m not one of these weirdos who thinks we should kidproof the world. Far from it. I’m only a little taken aback that this thing actually shoots something out of the barrel, which seems like a recipe for potential disaster. No, what I find a little weird about this first vid is how the commercial paints the kid as a cold-blooded gunslinger. Which is by design, of course, and makes perfect sense in the context of the day. But today? It comes off as a liiittle bit creepy.

Direct link for the feedreaders.

You can find the guns online for as low as $9.99…but those appear to be without bullets. Ah, but those Stik-M caps start at $40. And the plastic bullet tips appear to be another $10. A lot easier to have just bought this in 1958.

Next, we stick with Mattel for the Thunder Burp Gun. I’ll explain why in a minute.

Direct link for the feedreaders.

What intrigues me about this toy is that #1, when fired, especially at large land mammals, it appears to be able to turn back time. And #2, is it just me, or is the narrator here the same guy who told us about Mr. Bungle? Who is that guy?

I couldn’t find this for sale online, but the ad for it alone costs $7.50. So.

Next, let’s go to the awesome Don Adams, and Electronic Detective, which honestly looks like a cross between Clue and Stop Thief! I had never heard of this game previously, and the commercial makes it out to be incredibly complicated.

Direct link for the feedreaders.

A complete scan of the instructions and cards and such can be found at Sam’s Toy Box. Insanely, I’ve seen these online for as low as $2. But with no guarantee they still work. So.

Next, for a low low price you can get a vinyl album of Peter Pan, starring Mary Martin.

Direct link for the feedreaders.

That is probably the only video you will see today in which a marionette attacks a record player. Also of note is the fact it’s an “orthophonic” release. I’ve read the Wikipedia entry that concerns orthophonics and I’m still not sure what it means. It doesn’t appear to be one of those nonsense words you make up to sell things, but I just keep picturing very comfortable shoes that contain within them an awesome sound system. And I can’t find this for sale online, much less the wacky marionettes.

And lastly, for some portable entertainment…

Direct link for the feedreaders.

…that’s right the Westinghouse Attache. Which becomes portable by taking a regular television set and sticking a handle on it. Now the poster of this vid says that that’s Alan Napier, aka Alfred from the 1960s Batman. Granted, he’s sans glasses and mustache, but I don’t see it. Do you? What’s weird about this product is not only can I not find any of them on sale online but I can barely find any Google hits either. Mostly just this picture of them for sale in 1962. Wild.

Hopefully this shopping guide for the retro lover will be of some use. If not, stand by for more guidance on modern products. Or there is the array of stuff available at the places that uploaded all this goodness: TVDays and Captain Bijou.