Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • ON TV
  • ON TOUR
  • WATCH ONLINE
  • WEB EXCLUSIVES
  • RESOURCES
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    Late 1940s Hiller Silver Atom Ray Gun

    Appraised Value:

    $4,000 - $5,000

    Appraised on: August 26, 2006

    Appraised in: Honolulu, Hawaii

    Appraised by: Gary Sohmers

    Category: Toys & Games

    Episode Info: Honolulu, Hour 1 (#1101)

    Originally Aired: January 1, 2007

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Gun
    Material: Metal
    Period / Style: 20th Century
    Value Range: $4,000 - $5,000

    Related Links:

    Who Is Hiller?
    More on the maker of a toy ray gun that turned up in Honolulu

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW

    Comment

    Appraisal Video: (1:52)

    appraiser

    Appraised By:

    Gary Sohmers
    Collectibles, Toys & Games

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: I bought it at a swap meet here in Hawaii, back in the early '80s. The person that was selling it was taking care of a property where there used to be a store on the property, and they found this in the basement area. This among other items.

    APPRAISER: And you got it for how much?

    GUEST: Twenty dollars.

    APPRAISER: Twenty dollars! Did you think you got a good deal then?

    GUEST: I'm hoping so.

    APPRAISER: Oh, you're hoping so. Well, let me tell you a little bit about the Atom Ray Gun. This is made by a company called Hiller. And Hiller only made one space gun, and this is it. And it's interesting, because it's a water pistol, and it's made out of metal. And we believe that Hiller, in '47 or '48, decided they need to make something with all their spare parts, and how are they gonna do that? They came up with this fabulous gun--

    GUEST: Oh, interesting.

    APPRAISER: --and they named it "Atom Ray" because of the atom bomb. And all of a sudden, everything in consciousness was about the atom. And it was a big thing. They were harnessing the atom for everyone's benefit, but at the same time, science fiction was saying there were things like Atom Ray Guns that could disintegrate people, or at least get them wet. And that's what the squirt gun was for. They made it in two different variations. They made a red version, and they made this silver version. But to find it in mint condition like this, where the action still functions to squirt... and you have the original box, which is, I would say, in as a mint condition as I've ever seen one of these. Now, that's just to give you an idea about the toy aspect of it. It's a rare toy. Now, reality is, what could it sell for? Well, we know we have accurate records that ones in this condition have sold between $4,000 and $5,000.

    GUEST: Oh, wow. I didn't think it was anything close to that. I'm glad I didn't put water in it. I'm flabbergasted.



    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
    WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
    PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube