This Website
Copyright ©  

All Rights Reserved

See These Websites Within Nichols Cap Guns:
Cap Guns
The Antique Cowboy
Cap Gun Paradise
Toy Gunslinger
Piñon Collectibles
Turner-Nichols Service Center
Cap Gun Treasures
GrandDad's Toy Box
Jim's Vintage Toys
The Ten Gallon Hat
Cap Gun Toys

Get THE BOOK on the History of Nichols Industries

PAGE 1 of 4

The Mattel Toy Company began in 1945 when Elliot and Ruth Handler, who made picture frames, had scraps left over and thought of making doll furniture. He designed it and she sold it. LIKE CRAZY!

Their biggest break came when they started advertising their new Burp Gun on the Mickey Mouse Club TV show. They were the first people smart enough to go directly after the kiddies and not worry about selling to the adults. Then Barbie came along in 1959 (named after their daughter), then Ken (named after their son), and the rest is history.

When I was a kid, Mattel came out with some really nice Cap Guns. They were the "Shootin' Shell" series and also the Fanners. Naturally I hated them. But I was a little kid and I was jealous for my Uncle Talley and the Nichols guns. No need. There was a good market for all brands. Not like today!!!

Mattel also came out with "Greenie Stick-M-Caps," and so I had one more reason to "hate them." Those little caps sold like crazy. Now I wish I had a case of them! (Make that a train load!) Funny thing was that as cute as the idea was, the caps really made a good mess with the glue and all. We present some Mattel guns here and since Mattel is still a fine company, we remind you that all trademarks are theirs, etc.


There are over 8,000 pages (including those from thumbnails—and the site is still growing!) on this website that will give you more information plus BIGGER PHOTOS!
Rare Stevens 49-er in BRONZE!
(then go find it!)

(Thank you for some of you have contributed generously and have helped us stay alive!)
Normally I don't grovel and beg for money, but I am past that stage, as the site is so difficult to keep up.


Believe me, even small contributions help! This is the only site where you are likely to find most of the Cap Guns ever made. The site will always be free to use, but it's not free for me.

(Contritubutions start at only $10, but you can make it more if you can afford it.)
(And we absolute refuse to put you on a mailing list or sell your e-mail address.)
Thank you "History Buffs & Collectors"—Mike Nichols, Texas

Here's a good way to start off the Mattel section, with a little display.

Here is a "thumbnail" of a Fanner Plainsman set. Both of these photos are from our friend Jamie Linford.

Mattel Shootin' Shell 45

The Big Gun! The Shootin' Shell 45 that was created to compete with the Nichols Stallion 45.

Left side of the famous Cap Gun. Mattel made some really popular guns, and most are still highly valued.
Thank You Ken Thompson For Your Photos!
Thank You Bob Garvey for these instructions and above photo.

This is a dealer's Shootin' Shell window display in a store from long ago.

Thanks to Michelle James for this photo.

Here's a wonderful shot of a nice set of Mattel Shootin' Shell 45's.

Our good friend Steve Arlin gave us this photo.

Mattel Vigilante Holster Set
Be Sure To Click On The Thumbnails!

A really fine set w/ holster and caps and bullets and such.

Photos thanks to Jamie Linford.

And here's the Vigilante Double Set with Shooting' Shell 45's.

Photos thanks to Steve Arlin.

And here is a terrific example of a "shadow box" type of box for the Mattel 45.


Thank You!!! Douglas Skutt for the above photo.

For those of you who might be as old as I am and your eyes aren't quite what they used to be, here is what it says on this advertisement from the 1960's (as well as I can read it!):

#408   Retail: $3.00
Loads and shoots 6 Shootin' Shells, fires Greenie Stik-M-Caps®. Has built-in bullet-loader in handle for easy Shootin' Shell assembly. Comes with 6 Shootin' Shell Cartridges and 12 safe bullet-noses and Stik-M-Caps.
Gun: 9" long.
Std. Pack: 1 doz.: Wt.: 12 lbs.

#662   Retail: $4.00
Ejects cartridges realistically, has revolving cylinder, smoking barrel, single and double cocking action. Shoots safe Shootin' Shells, fires Greenie Stik-M-Caps. Comes with 6 Shootin' Shell cartridges, 24 safe bullet-noses and Target. Gun: 11" long.
Std. Pack: 1 doz.: Wt.: 21 1/8 lbs.

Sincere thanks to Sandee Thomas for this photo!

A good loading gate view of this .45.

You can never have too many instructions. Notice these are only in one language. How primitive!

Mattel Shootin' Shell Target Set

Nice Box!

The Set

Gun & Ammo
Be Sure To Click On The Thumbnails!

All Photos Thanks To Ken Thompson

This is the back side of the box, explaining it all..

Here's the back side of the target, showing the working mechanism.

Thanks to Scott McCollum of Cap Gun Treasures for the above 2 photos.

You could also buy the target by itself.

Thanks to Jack Rosenthal of Toys and More for the above photos.

Mattel Regular Bullets and Shootin' Shell Bullets
These bullet paks are getting increasingly scarce. These are NOT Shootin' Shells though. Mattel made both. You really ought to click on these thumbnails so that you can read what it says. Only about 5% of the people who visit this site click on the thumbnails, which is a shame, since there are thousands of extra-big photos in the "background."

These photos are from Don and Judy Sinkular of I SELL NEAT STUFF.

The picture on the left shows the Mattel Shootin' Shells single shaft. The right shows Mattel Shootin' Shells in yellow. Both are extremely rare. I made sure that this photo would be big enough that hopefully you can actually see the single shaft on some of those gray ones in that package. If you will recall, unlike the Nichols shooting bullets, the Mattel Shootin' Shells didn't really even need a cap to fire. The concussion of the hammer was enough to jolt them out of their shell that had a spring and BOING, they would fire.

This photo came from Bob and Pat DeFeis

Greenie Stik-M-Caps
Naturally I hated Greenie Stik-M-Caps. Why? For the "perfectly logical reason" that they weren't Nichols. And every kid on the block wanted them. And used them. And I couldn't, for that would make me a traitor! But they were a great marketing ploy and sold like crazy. Previously nearly every cap in the entire Cap Gun world had been red. Until these! Some genius thinking outside of the box. Pardon the pun.
Be Sure To Click On The Thumbnails!

Cases of Greenie Stik-M-Caps! (and rolls)
And here are some cases of Greenie Stik-M-Caps. They were about 25 cents a box at the time, but now, as you might surmise, they are worth a tad more!

Have you ever seen so many Greenie Stik-M-Caps?
This offering is from Tim McCraw.

Mattel Colt Shootin Shell Six Shooter Cap Gun Rifle
From the Mattel Colt Shootin Shell series, here is a genuine Mattel Colt Shootin' Shell Six Shooter Cap Rifle.
Be Sure To Click On The Thumbnails!

These photos are thanks to Judy Sinkular.

Here's the back of that box.
Photo by Gary Primavera

Same rifle, familiar Shootin' Shell 45, but all in one set.

Photo contribution by Jack Rosenthal

Here is the Mattel "Crackfire" Winchester rifle. This toy makes a "crackfire" sound when it shoots. This version has the gold toned lever action and trigger.

Thanks to Mark Sangret for this photo

Here's another example, but this one is in a box. The box is probably more rare than the rifle!

Thanks to John Korody

Mattel Rolling Block Rifle
This rifle makes no sense to me. I just can't believe that the average 12 year old kid even knew what a rolling block rifle was. So why not just stick with toys the kids knew something about? But this is pretty doggone rare and to have the scabbard too? Cool.

Thanks to Steve Arlin

Indian Scout Rifle and Bandolier and Box
Here is basically the same rifle as pictured above, but this one is MINT FROM THE STORE!!! You just can't get any better than this except to somehow have personally willed the pasteboard box to not have aged at all with time. It even has the original shootin' shells in the box. Or course you can click on these thumbnails and see bigger photos, but one of the ways you can tell it is a different example is that the screw (or rivet) just ahead and above the trigger guard is still shiny.

These photos are from Scott McCollum.

Mattel Pages
Page 1 Page 3
Page 2 Page 4

We will be happy to list toy shows and the like (free), if you will please send them to me at: .
Should you have some nice photos and/or some text, please send them to me at: .

This Web Site Constructed by Syntropy Properties, Inc. © Copyright All Rights Reserved

This Web Site Constructed by Syntropy Properties, Inc. © Copyright All Rights Reserved

Total Visitors:

There are currently collector/s visiting our site.