In 1973, Marx captured the fun of classic amusement park target shooting games in a table-top-sized format called the Magic Shot Shooting Gallery.
Made entirely of molded plastic, the game’s magic was conjured with a “magnet muzzle” pistol. By pressing the gun’s magnetic tip against the enclosure’s clear plastic face, the player was able to pick up one of the 25 metal pellets that lie at the bottom of the game. Then, after moving the pistol into aim position, the player pulled the trigger to fire the pellet at the intended target.
12 different targets provided variety and included various spinners, pop-up numbers, ducks, and a bell that rang when struck. Each target had its own point value depending on the degree of skill or luck required to hit it.
When all 25 pellets have been shot, a new game was started by tilting the game forward to reset the targets and move the metal pellets back into their starting positions. When not in use, the pistol attached to the side of the gallery with a piece of Velcro.
After disappearing from store shelves in the late ‘70s, The Magic Shot Shooting Gallery recently reappeared on the retail scene. For a short time, manufacturer Alex Brands (now known as Alex Global Products) offered an updated version of the game under the Ideal brand.
Todd Coopee is Editor-in-Chief of Toy Tales, an online publication that covers toys and games past and present.