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There are three universal truths about toys I’ve learned during the childhood: Toy concepts get better as time goes on, toy manufacturing quality drops over the years, and Legos will always, always be goddamn expensive. Children nowadays can ride in a child-safe motor scooter, play chess with frikkin’ laser beams on the pieces, or empty a clip from a powered Nerf uzi into a crowd of kids with powered super soaker cannons with backpacks, spread guns, and mounted water balloon grenade launchers.
Something awesome got left behind in the transition.
That awesome, is called the Eliminator TS-7.
TS-7 is this big-ass gun with push-button sound effects and lights. The ‘7’ part comes in with being able to attach and pull apart several parts of the gun to create different weapon firing effects, bayonets, or ditch the gun part and run around with a big ass sword. It was really just a short sword part (Power Dagger) that had two buttons on the handle that made ‘clang’ and ‘woosh’ noises. Then when you slid the dagger into a giant machine gun casing (Army Machine Gun), it would activate the gun buttons that would make machine gun fire, laser sounds, and grenade launchers. Then you had two extra plastic attachments, one was a long blade that you could put on the dagger to make a big sword (Power Sword), or you slide that in the gun and it would function as a bayonet (Bayonet Machine Gun). The other was an orange pointed cylinder tube you could attach to the sword to make a bigass laser tube sword (Laser Sword) or you stuck the tube on the top of the machine gun part to create a laser gun (Cyber-Gun). Now if you combined the longsword into the gun for the bayonet, then stuck the laser tube thing on the gun, you had the official terror beast weapon (Eliminator TS-7).
This thing was long, dude. Several feet. Pretty bulky and heavy too. ‘So huge that the neighborhood children and I would pretend to play Terminator. Other kids would have the little pistol guns that made the four different firing effects based on how far down you pulled the trigger, one of them being the sound of the pistol firing a really long lobbed granade for some reason. They’d be the resistance. I’d be the terminator. I’d be stompin’ along my yard like a damn robot holding this giant thing with one arm, turning with my whole body when I twist looking for bastard resistance kids to shoot at. I’d play it like a damn video game since the old Turtles arcade game was big at the time so the rule was I had to blink my eyes intermittently when I was ‘damaged’ and blink them faster and faster when I was supposedly ‘closer to death’ like that Rocksteady boss fight, or any early 90s arcade boss fight for that matter. The more ‘damaged’ I was, the more features of the TS-7 gun I had to take off until I was stripped down to just the sword, where I’d chase down the other kids and try to wack them with it. That was until they would supposedly ‘blow my legs off’ and I’d have to crawl around and-…-you know-…-die.
It was a fun game we played. I was like, 9 years old or something. This weapon came out in like, ’91 I think. I never saw toys or anything quite like it since. Granted, a Nerf powered machine gun with clips is better than imagination, but what were you gonna do during the decade where every suburban parent began wanting to duct tape their kids in bubble wrap and ban or gimp-up everything else interesting outdoors, yet they didn’t want the kids to spend time indoors playing videogames?
I don’t remember how true this is, but the urban legend to why this gun hasn’t been brought back or updated was because some kid seriously beat the crap out of another guy with just the dagger part and was hospitalized. That’s the weapon in the picture on the far left in the upper row; the tiny blade with the giant hilt. That part has all the electronics in it, so its got some weight in it. The short blade is permanently part of the base unit, so that shit won’t break. ‘Tis good for beatings. ‘Tis.
As for me, I think my mom sold the TS-7 at some garage sale in my teens. I don’t remember being devastated about it back then, but I do miss that thing right about now.