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Old April 9, 2001, 05:41 PM   #1
Joe Demko
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The "Mattel made some of the M-16's used in Vietnam" urban myth has turned up again on a couple of the boards I follow. If anybody has a rifle, stock set, part of a rifle, or photograph of any of the above clearly showing the Mattel factory logo, I'd be obliged if you'd post an image here. This is one of those things people claim to have seen, but nobody can ever produce any evidence. I'd like to lay this myth to rest, if possible.
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Old April 9, 2001, 05:59 PM   #2
Stephen Ewing
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Remember: M-16s are made by Kenner and Hasbro.

Steve
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Old April 9, 2001, 06:00 PM   #3
bobs1066
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I remember seeing M-16s made by Hydra-Matic and Harrington & Richardson in the company arms room back in the 1970's. I suspect the Mattel ones are all mythical...my $0.02
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Old April 9, 2001, 06:35 PM   #4
JJR
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I have heard that a subsidiary of Mattel was one of the many original contractors for some of the plastic furniture on the M-16's (and it makes sense if you think about it -molded plastic things is molded plastic things). Some GI probably saw "Mattel plastics corp." or some such thing on the inside of his handguards and the Barbigun myth was born.
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Old April 9, 2001, 06:58 PM   #5
spark@onestopknifeshop.com
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Sorry, but it's the truth.

Mattel is (or was) a contractor for M16 parts - I have first hand experience with this as my M16A1 that was issued for OSUT (Basic and MOS School rolled into one) had, you guessed it, a Mattel grip on it. Believe me, I was shocked when I saw this - but as long as the rounds hit what I aimed at, I didn't care too much in the long run.

Spark
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Old April 9, 2001, 07:10 PM   #6
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ALMOST a little off topic but I will post it anyway . Anyone interested in working for Mattel should apply now . This way you can be right in the plant and perhaps find some proof . Before you apply though , please be advised that you need not go to the plant in Murray , Kentucky . That one is closing . Go directly to Mexico where production will commence as soon as possible . Habla Si one dollar per hour ???
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Old April 9, 2001, 08:01 PM   #7
Bam Bam
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I had a friend of a friend who owned a M-16 made by Ronco. It was great in the field because it could slice, dice, mince, and puree like a mother!
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Old April 9, 2001, 08:25 PM   #8
Ed Brunner
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I have seen the name Mattel cast into the inside surface of an M-16 stock. I picked up a piece of a broken stock and there it was.
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Old April 9, 2001, 08:30 PM   #9
C.R.Sam
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Oft overlooked:

Mattel pioneered polycarbonate production. The stuff was available but without a use. Mattel figured out how to mold it, put compound curves in sheets etc.

Sam
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Old April 9, 2001, 09:59 PM   #10
Jorah Lavin
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Also don't forget that "photographic proof" ...isn't.

I know graphics people that could use Photoshop to "mould" any logo into any weapon you'd care to see, and it would "look real" online.

-J.

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Old April 9, 2001, 10:50 PM   #11
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Old April 10, 2001, 08:39 AM   #12
Scott Conklin
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I've personally seen it

Stamped Mattel on the pistol grip and inside the butt. No logo, nothing. The lack of any design logo or trademark makes me wonder if it was the Mattel we all think of. But it DID say Mattel and they were a leader in plastics...
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Old April 10, 2001, 09:36 AM   #13
Ed Brunner
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In 1967-68 I carried an XM19E1. I don't recall seeing Mattel anyplace on it. The piece of the stock I referred to in my earlier post was found in a rather busy area and I have no idea who manufactured the weapon, but I did see it.

If I had known that you all would be so curious I would have kept it.
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Old April 10, 2001, 09:40 AM   #14
Double Naught Spy
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There is a brief discussion of Mattel's maurader at http://www.ultranet.com/~ed/toyguns.html
We had one. Nice toy. Now for the real thing?
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Old April 10, 2001, 04:11 PM   #15
Grumpy
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I was issued an M-16 A1 with a Mattel stamp on the stock.
This was at Parris Island in Nov. of 80.
Dopey me asked the D.I. when were we going to get the REAL rifles.
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Old April 10, 2001, 05:25 PM   #16
Bam Bam
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Hold on to that baby, DZ. It is probably already worth half the price of a Bushmaster.
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Old April 10, 2001, 06:38 PM   #17
Jeff OTMG
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I use to shoot a Harrington & Richardson M-16 back in the early to mid-70's at the Naval Munitions Depot in McAlester, Okla.
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Old April 11, 2001, 09:10 AM   #18
Joe Demko
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Hey All,
Thanks for the replies. I'm not interested in disproving this because I think it is an insult to the gun, rather I'm interested in historical accuracy. If Mattel stocks exist, I want one!
For those of you who remember seeing Mattel marks on guns, let's try to see if you are all remembering the same thing. It was a long time ago, I know, but try to answer a couple questions to the best of your recollection, if you would:
1. Where was the mark?
2. What was the mark?
3. Was the mark raised or stamped?

Thanks, gentlemen.

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Old April 11, 2001, 11:23 AM   #19
Joe Demko
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http://mattel.com/corporate/company/...ection=history


Nothing at all about making M-16's or stocks mentioned here.

Have emailed Armalite and am attempting to contact Colt to see what they have to say.
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Old April 11, 2001, 03:20 PM   #20
Johns50ae
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If you think about it, it all really makes pretty good sense. Well it does to me anyway.
The government contracts go, and have always went to, the lowest bidder. You have to consider the "times", there was no plastic bumpers, no plastic trash cans, plastic was a new thing, state of the art kinda stuff. There wasn't allot of it around like there is now and Mattel was then, at that time, the biggest producer of it, so i'm sure that they could fill the bill allot cheaper than any other (then new) company.
I i this question floats around long enough, someone who worked for mettle at the time will see it and post. It is an interesting question though.
Golgo-13 if you hear anything at all, let us know.
One more thought in closing, if not Mattel, then who?

-John-
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Old April 11, 2001, 03:52 PM   #21
Joe Demko
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Here is the reply I got from Armalite.




Dear Sir,

Not by Armalite.

Thank you!

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: "Joseph Demko" <JA_Demko@hotmail.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2001 12:13:26 -0400

>To Whom it May Concern,
>
>Sorry if this is something you've answered before, but were any AR-15 rifles, parts, stocks, or training rifles manufactured under contract or otherwise by the Mattel toy company in the 1960's? There is a persistent story to this effect that I consider to be nothng more than a myth, and I am engaged in an effort to disprove it.
>
>Thanks,
>
>J. Demko
>
>

--
--
ArmaLite Internet Division
ArmaLite Inc.

--
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Old April 11, 2001, 04:29 PM   #22
Bogie
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H&R made some good ones...

My basic training rifle was an H&R, and it consistently shot where it was supposed to...

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Old April 11, 2001, 08:16 PM   #23
Arrell
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Hey Grumpy!!!

I was at Parris Island the same time you were. Went in August. I was in Platoon 1074, I think. Senior Drill Instructor Staff Sgt. Fiallo. After graduation I went to Marine Security Detachment, NAS Sigonnela, Sicily. Finally ended up in Camp Pendelton Ca. 1st Bn 9th Marines, at Camp Horno. Did a WestPac and a couple of other things, like Panama. The rifle I was issued in Boot Camp was made by General Motors, it was a really beat up A1. I also saw some Maytag made A1s.

Sempre Fidelis, Oooh Raah!!
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Old April 11, 2001, 09:45 PM   #24
Ed Brunner
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All I remember about it is seeing the word. I think it was raised. (Of course I am a Certified Old Fart and that was more than thirty years ago.)
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Old April 12, 2001, 03:07 PM   #25
Fraser
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The patent for synthetic plastic was issued in 1909. Plastic predates the Model 1911 pistol. The earliest handgun I've seen with a plastic frame was made in 1942. It is displayed in the UDT-Seal Museum, Ft. Pierce, Florida. Additionally, the US Army Air Force used plastic machine gun bullets during World War II.

Plastic has been around for over 90 years.
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