Guns Don’t kill People… Pencil Boxes Do.

Conceptual art work? Marketing faux pas? Irresponsibility in the world of stationary? I’m sure it’s all of the above with this item.

In a dollar store in midtown Manhattan, I happen upon a bin of 9mm, semiautomatic, M9 …pencil boxes. actual size, replicas of the pistol adopted as the primary handgun of the U.S. military. And IT”S A KIDS PENCIL BOX! The manufacturer took  time to come up with a fairly detailed copy. Even down to the identifying nomenclature on the top of the barrel. Compare the pencil box to the actual firearm in a Wikipedia entry. Of course it isn’t indistinguishable from the real pistol, this is bright pink (to attract the ladies?) and plays music too.


Unfortunately I have no idea what tune it plays. The battery has long since died, but one can imagine it’s some music box version of the theme to a Dirty Harry movie. oops, my bad, that would be for the .44 magnum shaped sippy cup. I would love to hear what the “wonder melody” tune is. Perhaps the music feature might be a playing capability? The grip seems to have buttons, maybe musical notes for the shooter…er student to compose his or her own tune as they fire away at their school assignments? The music component can be popped out  a little like a clip but I think that might be me fooling with it more than a planned design element.

disclaimer1To be fair to the manufacturer there is a disclaimer printed on the back stating it’s unsuitability for children under 36 months. Of course, how stupid of me, field stripping a baby like this involves a lot of small parts (recoil spring, guide rod, crayons…) and small ones might choke on something. Well in any case this should be exactly what the back to school consumer is looking for in our post 9-11 world and in the wake of all the hyper sensitivity (justified) about firearms in school. And to think these babies didn’t sell and ended up in a dollar store. Who could have possibly anticipated this marketing error in judgment?

On a corollary to this, a gun shop in Wisconsin offers the option of customizing your gun in shocking pink with a Hello Kitty logo on the stock.  A disturbing prospect to say the least.


(above) a still from the video broadcast February 19, 2008

Lock and load Sally, Dick and Jane, lock and load.


2 Responses

  1. Hmmm. Not like the Hello KItty melamine stuff we have here.

  2. That’s a very edgy pencil box. I like it. It makes a statement, sends a message to teachers that Americans won’t stand for their socialist nanny-state red indoctrination. Way to go!! I want one for my kid.

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