When I grew up in the 70's, toy guns were banned in my family. If you
played war or 'cops and robbers' you would surely grow up to be overly
agressive and emotionally blunted. At least if you were playing with the
ugly, 'capitalist' plastic guns you could buy in stores, because somehow
homemade toy guns were okay. So if you could get your hands on some
plywood and a broomstick and did not mind getting a few splinters in your
fingers, it was okay to pretend to kill each other.
In the meantime many things have changed, but the fact that boys play
with guns is not one of them. A stick or a coathanger becomes a 'gun'
from an early age. That many parents don't like plastic guns is apparently
Recently, I was in the workshop making wooden guns with my son and
nephew. They helped make them - we sketched and sawed and
hammered and had a great afternoon. Afterwards, they were off, playing
with them for hours. Later in kindergarden and school, the homemade
guns were a big hit. All the other kids wanted play with them - even those
several years older.
Small Arms gives fathers (or mothers of course) without access to tools or
a workbench the opportunity to experience the joy of creating something
with the child. Something that can be played properly with afterwards and
that kids perceive as 'cool'. (rarely the case with a bird house or
homemade cutting board). Moreover, they part with the perception of
wooden toys as 'educational' and 'wholesome'. I think many fathers are
tired of 'wholesome' and want to bring some of the atmosphere of scraped
knees and endless summers from their childhood into their children's lives.
Kristoffer Zeuthen, Industrial designer. KILO ZULU Design
Industrial designer Kristoffer Zeuthen
during the toy gun prohibition - not
seeming to mind too much. Please
notice the sheriff's star.