Prototype Atomic Flash
Louis Marx Co.

This prototype is made of lithographed tin with red, translucent windows which reveal a sparking flint when the trigger is pulled. Compared to the production model which was marketed by J. Chein Co. (see below), this Marx prototype shows a number of interesting differences. It has a more square grip than the Chein model, and it is almost 1/2" longer. In addition, the trigger of this prototype is reversed from that of the production model, and the vertical fin that runs the length of the prototype's body is 1/8" narrower . Finally, the flint slides on top of the prototype and the production model are not the same size or diameter. All these differences mark the prototype as substantially different from the gun that was eventually produced by Chein for the market.

How did a Marx prototype become a toy ray gun manufactured by J. Chein? Perhaps a Marx designer left the Marx Co. for Chein and took the design with him or vice versa? If anyone has information about this interesting situation please contact Dennis Merritt.