Johnny Seven OMA

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Johnny Seven OMA
Topper Toy Pamphlet

Johnny Seven O.M.A. (One Man Army) is a multi-function toy weapon produced by Deluxe Reading under their Topper Toys toyline, and released in 1964.[1] Johnny Seven O.M.A. was the best selling boys' toy of 1964,[2][3] and was marketed heavily on children's television. It has a unique number of features, including seven different actions (thus the "Seven" in the name). The toy is no longer made, and has become a collector's item.[4]

Functions[edit]

All of the firing mechanisms are attached to the main rifle assembly - the pistol inserts from the bottom to provide the rifle grip (the pistol also holds caps for authentic firing sounds). The "Rifle" function shot twelve white bullets one at a time via a bolt action spring mechanism through the silver barrel. Three different "rockets" (The green Anti Tank, Anti Bunker and the red Armour Piercing fired via spring-action on the main barrel. The Grenade Launcher was on top of the gun. Johnny Seven also featured a bipod that provided stability for the various rockets and grenade. The stock could be removed to shorten the weapon while in the "Tommy Gun" mode. The toy when fully assembled was over three feet long and weighed about four pounds.[5]

Grenade launcher[edit]

A grenade launcher is located on top of the main body, above the pistol grip. The launcher extends upwards, and the spring-loaded grenade is launched by depressing a button on the side of the rifle.

Anti-tank rocket[edit]

The red "Armour Piercing" missile is fired from a launcher located on the right of the body of the gun. The firing button is placed underneath the launcher.

Armour-piercing shell / Anti-bunker missile[edit]

The two large green shells were fired from the front of the rifle directly above the Rifle barrel. The firing button is on the left side of the rifle.

Repeating rifle[edit]

Twelve white bullets are fired from a fixed magazine on the rifle. The bullets are fed into the chamber by a spring-loaded bolt, one at a time.

Tommy gun[edit]

Pull the lever back towards the stock, press the release button and you get a "rat-a-tat" machine gun noise.

Automatic pistol[edit]

The cap firing pistol could be removed from the gun.

Accessories[edit]

To replace lost components, Topper also marketed an additional spare ammunition pack that comprised a complete set of four grenade/missiles and twelve bullets. Additional toy accessories were marketed under the "Johnny Seven" banner including a helmet and walkie-talkies. Deluxe Reading used the Topper Toys brand to add a modern flair to their new product lines. Deluxe Reading was famous for creating huge package playsets that could be seen by children when viewing the top, unusable shelf in grocery store chains. By creating large, colorful boxes, the space could be used to market to the children that always accompanied parents while food shopping, an unusual marketing "trick" that worked well for Deluxe Reading and later copycat toy companies such as Remco. The "Johnny Seven" box came in two variations - one a standard box showing a boy looking through the sights of the gun, and the second (Rare now for collectors) showed a "Battle field" scenario behind the mounted gun with a see through plastic lid. The Johnny Seven gun was manufactured in four countries, and in order of rarity for collectors purposes, they were Australia, the UK, Canada (in a two language box) and the US version.

Deluxe Reading[edit]

Main article: Deluxe Reading

Deluxe Reading produced many memorable toys including the Johnny Lightning cars (similar to Mattel's Hot Wheels), the Crime-Buster Gun (similar to the O.M.A only geared towards kids play-acting cops and robbers), the Operation X-500 Space Base and others.

Toy weapons technology continued at a rapid pace with the next year bringing a Multi-Pistol 09; a James Bond type pistol in carrying case with nine different functions.[6]

In popular culture[edit]

A Johnny Seven or a cuddly toy?"

References[edit]

External links[edit]