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Toy rifle - "Safari" ball gun

"Safari" ball gun

  • Object:

    Toy rifle

  • Place of origin:

    England (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1957-1962 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Mettoy Playcraft Ltd (manufacturers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plastic, aluminium, rubber

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Major Charles Kirke.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Museum of Childhood, Moving Toys Gallery, case 13

Physical description

Toy rifle, plastic and metal. The stock is brown/black mottled plastic, the barrel is aluminium. On the right side of the rifle is its bolt which, when pulled back, primes the spring firing mechanism. When the trigger is pulled, the rifle fires red plastic balls which are housed in the barrel. The end of the barrel is capped with a brown plastic ring containing a rubber washer. On the left side of the rifle is moulded decoration of two running stags, highlighted with gold paint. The grip and stock are also decorated with gold paint.

Place of Origin

England (manufactured)


1957-1962 (made)


Mettoy Playcraft Ltd (manufacturers)

Materials and Techniques

Plastic, aluminium, rubber

Marks and inscriptions

'Mettoy / Made in Gt. Britain'

'Patent Pending'


Length: 88.5 cm, Height: 14.4 cm, Depth: 6.3 cm

Object history note

Given as a Christmas present by the donor's mother, thought to be either 1962 or 1963. Given to the V&A in 1983 [83/1156].

Descriptive line

Toy rifle, Mettoy; Plastic, metal, English 1957-1962

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Mettoy catalogue 1957, p.18 (see MOC/LINE/4/98)
Mettoy catalogue 1959, p.A8 (see MOC/LINE/4/98)


Plastic; Aluminium; Rubber

Subjects depicted



Christmas presents; Toys & Games; Arms & Armour

Production Type

Mass produced


Museum of Childhood

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