The shelves are stocked with all types of various weapons: shotguns, handguns, rifles, and submachine guns.

Have you entered the exhibit hall of the local NRA convention?

No. You’re strolling down the aisles of a toy store searching for the perfect birthday gift for your son.

Buying toy army guns for kids is completely natural for millions of American parents. Playing cops-and-robbers or other “shoot the bad guy” games is viewed as imaginative, innocent fun and serves as a rite of passage for little boys all over the world. It’s certainly part of the American representation of what it means to be a man: successful aggression is equated with heroics, making men appear tough.

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Most of American history, particularly stories about the Wild, Wild West, is rife with mythology about gunfights and gunslingers. Thanks to films and television, most of us grew up with larger-than-life visions of famous gun-toting lawmen like Wyatt Earp and thrilling villains like Billy the Kid. Today, enemies tend to take on the characteristics of a space alien rather than a cowboy, but the idea is basically the same. The weapon of destruction may be more sophisticated than the old six-shooter, but the rules really haven’t changed that much. The objective is always, “Bang! Bang! You’re dead!”

Most army toy guns for kids are fairly inexpensive, costing under $25. However, for the true aficionado, there are toy weapons on the market that can cost you up to $200. And, these kids army guns have not diminished in popularity over the years. Available in any toy store or online, toy guns and their much-coveted accessories, including grenades, knives and various types of kids army gear, are even more lifelike now than ever before.

Here are our top picks if you are looking for an affordable option:

12″ Toy Machine Gun

This “Dual Spear Ranger Toy Machine Gun,” is equipped with realistic firing sounds, flashing red and blue lights, a red laser and ammunition clip. And, the barrel of the gun even rotates back and forth to give the full effect of a “real” weapon. This 12” machine gun with electronic sounds and LED lights looks and sounds just like the real deal.

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26″ M16 Toy Machine Gun

The “M16 Lights & Sounds Machine Gun” is a realistic-looking replica of a real M16, complete with flashing lights and sounds. This 26” battery-operated toy army gun is BIG and will provide hours of entertainment for “war” games. This is a must-have for any army wanna-be.

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22″ Toy Sub Machine Gun

The “Army Force Battery Operated Sub Machine Gun Scatter Rifle With Rotating Bullets And Sounds” allows kids to pull the trigger and watch the bullets rotate around. Complete with flashing lights and machine gun sounds, the 22” Sub Machine Gun includes a pretend scope and bipod legs for a realistic adventure.

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If you have some cash to splash here is a more expensive option:

1/32 Anti Tank Army Toy Gun

This realistic 1/32 scale model will add real style to any collection.

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Don’t forget no army role play is complete with just a toy gun. Accessories such as grenades, helmets and vests will all be needed so check out this affordable combat set:

Army Combat Set

The “Ultimate Kids Toy Army Combat Set” is an all-in-one set that includes a 24” camouflage machine gun with lights, realistic vibration and firing sounds; two kid-sized military vests and helmets; one 8” pistol; two 4” grenades; one military flashlight; and one 4” military binocular.

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Gun Collection

For children that like choice, it can be best to buy a set with a collection of different guns. The “20+ Military Police Army Gun Set” is an all-inclusive set that features two 24” black M16 toy army machine guns; two grenades; two 10” toy knives; two replica kids walkie talkies; two sets of hand cuffs with keys; two fake watches; two 9” pistols with soft darts; and two badges.

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Toy Army Guns Safety

Toy weaponry has been around since the dawn of time. And, it’s a known fact that little boys can make a weapon out of anything they happen to have on hand, even a tree branch. However, with the many different varieties of toy weaponry today, most of it looking so much like the real thing, certain countries have even banned toy army guns because they’re so often used to commit crimes.

Toy army guns in and of themselves don’t necessarily encourage violence among growing, impressionable young children. However, many experts argue that allowing children to role-play with toy guns is a recipe for disaster. If you are going to allow toy guns in your home, here are a few safety tips:

  • Be sure that part or all of the gun is brightly colored so it’s not mistaken for a real gun.
  • Keep gun play inside the house. Caution your child not to bring toy guns to school or to play with them outdoors.
  • Teach your child not to pretend to shoot people in the real world. Guns, even toy ones, should never be pointed at people.
  • Take the time to talk to your child about gun safety. They’re never too young to learn that certain things could kill them and aren’t just for fun.
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