Monday, December 12, 2005

Toys Were Us (1)

Dear friends, I am glad to report another case of increased father-son bonding as a result of this blog.

After reading my article about my kampong days, my old friend Chuck, who is in his forties, recalled the toy gun that he and his kampong buddies used to play with. Chuck used to stay at a kampong in the Hillview-Bt Panjang area, where the present Bt Gombak complex stands.

This doting dad actually spent 3 hours to rebuild his gun from memory for his 10-year old son Scott, and shared with the boy his childhood adventures in using the gun to shoot birds, lizards, dragon flies, cockroaches and all sorts of two-legged creatures. Not only that. He drove all the way from their home in Sengkang to Seletar Farmway, to harvest the 'bullets' from roadside plants which grew there(sorry still unable to identify the name of the plant).



Presenting the Scott 327– A product of love and Singaporean creativity

Later, when I had occasion to meet Scott, the kid was so proud in showing off his new toy to me; eagerly explaining to me how it worked and asking me to try it. At first, when I looked at it, I wasn’t terribly impressed. But when I tested it, I was really surprised at its effectiveness in terms of accuracy and range – you could easily fire it across the width of a basketball court and hit a human target.

Here’s how it works.

Step 1 – Pull the trigger back slightly and insert a bullet and release to grip the bullet


Step 2 – Pull back the rubber band to hook around the bullet



Step 3 – Aim and fire by pulling the trigger slowly to release the bullet

To my young friends out there. You must have heard your parents boast frequently about how creative they were in ‘inventing’ their own toys back in the old days. Well; you have just seen one example here.


I will be sharing more examples with you in future articles under the series, Toys Were Us.

15 comments:

Victor said...

Chun See, I am first again, yeah. You can be sure that the Ideological Social Division is closely watching your blog. Teaching young impressionable minds to make weapons is not exactly to be encouraged in our social culture. Luckily it is not a weapon of mass destruction, LOL.

yl said...

uncle!! my mom made a pistol for us long long time ago!! but we dun have the special bullets... so we improvised... with pen caps!!!! see!! our generation is also very creative, okkkk!!!

Ingrid said...

the only toy my dad managed to salvage from his childhood is his self-made catapult from a tembusu tree. a solid y-structure, not those cheap machine-made ones you find nowadays. but still... cannot find out the name of those bullets

chuck said...

Those wooden guns do not cost us any money. Just some nails,wooden planks and imaginations. It was great fun.... (The best things in life is for free!!!) We also shot one another with those bullets and it really hurt leaving 'blue black' mark if shot from effective range...but the preferred targets were lizards and cockroaches which were plentiful then.

cockroach//蟑螂 said...

when I was 8 or 9 years old. Our classmate used G2 pen and make gun! hahaha. Still remeber...

During exam, I make my own G2 pen gun. I shooted it, and...and...hit the teacher.

Nikholai said...

Fwah! Uncle, you fierce. This gun shoots 5mm standard bua cherry rounds, very deadly at close range. Can kill a lizard. My father made this for me when I was young. Not exactly the same as yours but mechanism is nearly there. The Bukit Merah MK 1 Infantile Weapon.

Nikholai said...

I think, the deadliest Infantile Weapon is the hair-pin and satay stick darts. Can pierce through flesh, no joke.

Explosives of those days, darts with the sharp point pulled off, fill the hole with match powder and stuck it with a nail. Throw it in the air and it lands with a loud bang!

Oh, and wrapping a marble with match powder tightly sealed with cigarette foils and the rest you know...song man those things :P

Lam Chun See said...

Nikholai, I am afraid I am not so much into weapons - so your deadly infantile weapons are new to me. But it does sound a bit dangerous, so I want to warn all the kids again; PLEASE DON'T TRY THIS!

Our time we don't have much toys, so we make our own crude (& dangerous) toys. Nowadays, you have lots of choices. So pls read for knowledge only; and pls don't go and try to make your own weapons.

Thank you.

Nikholai said...

Hey lighten up ;) Ok we're not advocating violence, bomb-makings :P Just reminisce the old days. And yesh, kids, don't make your own weapons. Just a side note to anybody attempting :P you might have heard of how some kids in Malaysia lost their fingers and severely burnt their faces while modifying fire-crackers. Dangerous physics. Come to think of it, I was lucky those days.

Shaun Wong said...

Thanks for sharing Mr Lam, really enjoy the content on your site, and this post is on something close and dear to my heart. I guess the prevalance of collecting new-fangled toys as a hobby is a sign of the decadence the younger generation revels in.

peter said...

When the World Golf Championship came to Singapore in 1968 (played at SICC in Sime Road), we were fascinated with the game of golf. Remember those big names in golf such as Lee Trevino.

We knew golf was an expensive game and not for kids. So in school at the age of 14, we drilled holes into our class desks with a compass(tables were those with metal legs and not wooden legs) to make it the "holes". For the golf clubs that came from our pencils.

The game was played across 3-4 tables. In those days, we all sat in rows. When the lesson was in progress, each of us took turns to whack the ball into the hole. It was a game needing great accuracy and patient. Oh the ball was actually chalk polished to a small round shape.

We kept score using those score cards. Those with the lowest score won the round. Since golf had many rounds, each hole was played over another row of tables. When Ministry of Educaiton came around to inspect the furniture, they found many classrooms had tables full of holes.

During lessons, all the boys ended up changing position. The teacher was impressed because he thought his teaching captured our attention. But the truth was we were playing on a new hole.

Friends, this was our first attempt at playing golf on the Bras Basah Golf Course. 30 years later we play the real golf game but it cost a bomb unlike yesterday.
BUT OUR GOLF GAME DID NOT IMPROVE SINCE THEN. The people who could play well played hockey in school.

Annette Fox said...

Hey guys - what about the not so macho toys? The girls played 5 stones with either stones or little bags of beans or sand; or ball and shells - played with a golf ball and cockle shells; chongkat played with rubber seeds; chateh of course - either bought from the mamah stall or made from rubber bits of inner bicycle tube tyre and chicken feathers; and then there was "balong" which involved lines and boxes drawn out in the sand and a tactical sudden "dapat" to get your opponent out.

ovei bardhan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ovei bardhan said...

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