Super Toys

One of my favorite toys as a kid was the Super Soaker. My eldest brother managed to acquire one when they came out in 1990. The Super Soaker 50, the original model, was the first one with a spherical pressurized reserve tank. This pressure tank reduced the amount of time you had to spend pumping to maintain your air pressure.

Super Soakers were really a revolution in water gun technology. Water pistols (or squirt guns as they are commonly called) in the past used rubber bladders or spray bottle-esque pumps to shoot a stream of water. These had short ranges and poor accuracy. The Super Soaker was a revolution in water warfare with several key innovations.

A large reservoir tank. With a Super Soaker, you didn’t need to stop at the hose to reload every five minutes. Some even had quick-refill systems that you could attach a hose to and refill the ammo tank without removing it from the gun. One way they kept selling upgraded Super Soakers was to make the tanks bigger, but at a certain point this starts becoming counterproductive.

Longer range. This one’s obvious. The kid with the Super Soaker could nail someone across the lawn, while the dope with the pistol had to be within a few feet of his target. This expanded strategy and the field of play greatly.

More Power. A Super Soaker could sting quite a bit due to the pressurized water stream at close distances. That moment your opponent winces could let you get enough water on them without them taking you out at the same time.

These three factors combined into a stylish, easily portable gun proved quite popular and rendered the 1980s battery powered water guns obsolete. Truly the Super Soaker was an innovator and a boon to all children who enjoyed mock warfare in the 1990s. The dirtiest Super Soaker trick was filling your ammo tank with food coloring or some other dye. It was pretty dirty because you could ruin your opponent’s clothes with it, getting a nasty talking-to from their parents. Still, it was a great way to get “bloody” when shooting each other up!

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