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Mattel-made M16 magazines during Vietnam?


Capt.Confederacy
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Capt.Confederacy

At a gun show I attended last year, there was a dealer who claimed to have Mattel-manufactured M16 magazines from the Vietnam War. There was one on display, but, alas, my eyes are no longer what they once were. I could tell that the behind-glass display model was a legit magazine, but I could not see any stampings clearly. Given that there were so many people waiting to buy other things from that dealer, I just passed on by without giving it a further examination.

 

I, like I'm sure everyone else, have heard the untrue yarns of how Mattel supposedly made M16's. However, is it possible that Mattel made magazines for the M16? Has anyone actually seen one?

 

Thanks in advance.

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Part of this may be based on the fact that Mattel supposed made a toy rifle that helped inspire the design of the M-16, including the pistol grip.

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Has anyone actually bothered to write to Mattel Corp for the answer?

 

Steve

 

Mattel Inc

333 Continental Blvd.

El Segundo, CA 90245-5032.

Phone:

310-252-2000.

 

 

Mattel had nothing to do with the M16 or AR 15. It's an urban legend. A few minutes of your time on a quick internet search would help dispell the rumor for you, too. :) Anyway, here are a couple other addresses to help:

 

U.S. Army Center of Military History

102 4th Avenue, Building 35

Fort McNair, DC 20319-5060

 

USAOS

2221 Adams Ave

Bldg 5020

Fort Lee, VA

23801-2102

 

http://www.goordnance.army.mil/history/history_index.html

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I carried one version or another of the M16 for 20+ years (70-91), heard the same stories in the early days. Nothing ever substantiated. Checked the Mattel site, no mention of any M16 or other rifle parts by Mattel. SKIP

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In reply to this,

 

 

"The M16A1 issued to me at Basic Training, Ft Jackson SC, in 1987 had a handguard with "Mattel, Inc" on it. "

 

 

 

 

No, no it did not.

 

Pure BS

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"Pure B.S."

 

Nice,

I knew I would run into this. Bottom line, yes it did. I saw it with my own eyes. It was marked on the inside of the handguard. Mattel, Inc with an oval around it. On just one of the handguards. I remember it well because it fell off during the live fire exercise while I was firing full auto and I burned my hand on the barrel. You can believe whatever, that's your right, but I know what I saw. On some of the other sites there are others who saw the same thing, and had to put up with the same responses. I have always chuckled to myself at the naysayers. One thing life has taught me is to never say never.

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Just found this bit of info on "Mattel's Involvement with the M16, ( www.snopes.com/military/M16.asp). Seems Mattel made hand grips for the M16, but later removed their logo due to complaints by soldiers. Check it out! Not sure about the reliability of the source, but it is something. I never saw anything. SKIP

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Capt.Confederacy

Thanks for the input, guys. If I see that dealer again, I will make sure to get pix of the magazine and (hopefully) settle this debate.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

I had one of these circa 1974-75. It did have a very cool sound to it. It was a really fun toy!

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com

 

My parents bought me one for Christmas in the mid sixties....I loved it....Unfortunately I had rough neighbor kids who ruined it....One dropped it in the sand at the beach and the action stopped working...Than his stupid brother was running with it and broke it in half....I guess that's what I got for being a nice guy....Bodes

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John Wayne used one so it must be a good toy. Screenshot from "The Green Berets"

 

Screenshot didn't work...sadface.

 

Bob

No he didn't use one in the Green Berets....he picked one up off the ground a hit a tree with it breaking the stock off.

Ronnie

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No he didn't use one in the Green Berets....he picked one up off the ground a hit a tree with it breaking the stock off.

Ronnie

 

Yeah, not even John Wayne could do that with a real M-16....Bodes

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Sorry if my original post on this was abrupt. But yes, I can say never on this one. I have contacted Mattel on this years ago when I got into collecting M16 rifles and variants, and confirmed that they NEVER HAD A CONTRACT NOR PRODUCED ANY PARTS ON AN M16 OR AR15 RIFLE.

 

Feel free to contact them yourself.

 

Will pay anyone $500 for an original ANYTHING originally marked Mattel that was a part on an M16 rifle.

 

so again, like it or not, to claim it is a Mattel part is pure BS

 

edit.

 

I had also contacted both Colt and Armalite (again feel free to do so yourself instead of perpetuating a rumor) and they both have stated they never subcontracted out ANY parts to Mattel.

 

So basically everyone involved denies it, but people still "remember it". Blows my mind

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This is a rifle, serial number 00017, at auction by RIA, a respected auction house. It's clearly stated that the stock is made by Mattel. Far too many veterans have said to have seen these parts to be easily discounted. You can believe whatever you choose, but you cannot tell someone what they witnessed if you weren't there. It is what it is. The reasons that I think there aren't any out in the collectors market is one, the obvious scarcity, and two, as far as the handguards go, the logo was under the heat shield, which on the one I was issued would pop off. It wasn't readily visible. I'm willing to bet there are a few floating around if you want to rip out heat shields to look. I have more than a passing familiarity with these weapons, having owned a dozen and currently own several. I have carried M16A1s,A2s, A4s and M4s for the past 28 + years and have never seen another Mattel part. However, if I did I'd want a helluva lot more than 500.00 for it, all BS aside.

As far as the letters written to various contractors, Armalite went out of business in the 80s after being sold to a company in the Philipines. The current company bought the name and logos back in the mid 90s.

post-3820-0-68708700-1455134733.png

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That's the smallest I could get it to post. I'll try something else.

Manchu Warrior, I was wondering why it took someone so long to post that one!

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