Late 1940s Hiller Silver Atom Ray Gun

Value (2006) | $4,000 Retail$5,000 Retail

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.

And you got it for how much?

Twenty dollars.

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

I'm hoping so.

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--

Oh, interesting.

--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.

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.

Appraisal Details

Hudson, MA
Appraised value (2006)
$4,000 Retail$5,000 Retail
Honolulu, HI (August 26, 2006)
20th Century

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