Bang!

gun

❄ Mudlark’s Advent, Day 18 ❄

Lone Star ‘Gambler’ cap and spud gun, made in England. .
Featured in catalogues from 1962 – 1988, the Gambler was a die cast metal pistol supplied with a patented cap loading cartridge for firing potato pellets. One collector remembers it thusly…
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“The Gambler was so fantastic and so frightening, as kids, we didn’t need to pretend it was a real gun, because it was. It had a barrel that would flip open, it had a bullet inside the barrel, and you could fire the toy like a real gun.”
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Unsurprisingly the gun seemed to disappear from shelves in the late 1970s, the same collector coining it ‘The World’s Most Evil Toy’.
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Source: Ffrontier.

Jacks, Snobs, Knucklebones, Chuckstones…

snobs

❄️Mudlark’s Advent, Day 7❄️
Jacks, Snobs, Knucklebones, Chuckstones… what do you know it as?

Dating back to before the Greeks, the game of Chucks (I’m going with this name, as China clay dice, like this one I found on the foreshore, were used) has been as big a mainstay in the playground as hopscotch or catch.

It is “a traditional children’s game, played the world over, for which there is no formal organising body. Consequently, rules vary from country to country and place to place.
The game is also known by a variety of names including Jackstones, Chuckstones, Dibs, Dabs, Fivestones, Otadama, Tally and Knucklebones. All that is needed to play the game of Chucks is five small clay squares.”

” The simplest throw consists in tossing up one stone, the jack, and picking up one or more from the table while it is in the air. This continues until all five stones have been picked up. Another throw consists in tossing up first one stone, then two, then three and so on, and catching them on the back of the hand.”

Alternatives to the squares can be pretty much anything of a similar size – originally sheep knucklebones were used.”
Actually the ‘knucklebones’ used were astragalus, bones in a sheep ankle, or hock.

I knew the game as Jacks, but instead of clay dice, metal or plastic spikes connected to a central base were used. My grandmother kept a set in her old bureau. I never really got the hang of the game, but spent hours pinging them along her old chintz carpet, only to spend further hours trying to retrieve them from under the settee.

The game was relatively simple on the surface of it, chucking the squares up and catching them on the back of your hand, but variations of hand positions with names such as ‘riding the elephant’ and ‘sending the people to church’ made things a bit more tasty.

Other permutations including the use of a bouncy ball and clapping ones hands between catches. Not so simple after all!