Saturday, April 2, 2011

Nintendo Kôsenjû Guns and Rifles (光線銃SP, 光線銃 カスタム, 1970-1976)

Four different guns and rifles exist in the Nintendo Kôsenjû light beam series. In this post we will shed some light on their differences, in particular the compatibility between guns and rifles and the various targets.

The four Kôsenjû guns and rifles

In the image above, we see from top to bottom: Kôsenjû SP Rifle (光線銃SP ライフル, 1970), Kôsenjû SP Gun (光線銃SP ガン, 1970), Kôsenjû Custom Action Lever Rifle (光線銃 カスタム レバーアクション ライフル, 1971) and Kôsenjû Custom Gun (光線銃 カスタム ガン, 1976).

The Kôsenjû SP and Kôsenjû Custom guns are similar in size and design. The main exterior differences are the color of the handle and the trigger mechanism. Furthermore, the light source of the Kôsenjû Custom Gun is more focused and stronger than that of the Kôsenjû SP Gun, which improves the range of the gun.

The Kôsenjû SP Gun has a white handle and a metal trigger and hammer.

Kôsenjû SP Gun

The Kôsenjû Custom Gun has a brown handle and a plastic trigger and hammer.

Kôsenjû Custom Gun

The two rifles are quite different. The Kôsenjû SP Rifle is smaller and much lighter than the Kôsenjû Custom Lever Action Rifle. It is a real toy rifle, and also a lot cheaper than the Kôsenjû Custom Lever Action Rifle. The Kôsenjû Custom Lever Action Rifle on the other hand, is very close to a real riffle. Like the Kôsenjû Custom Gun, it has a better light source and greater range.

The Kôsenjû SP Rifle is prepared for firing by pumping the handle bar underneath the barrel. It came with a small toy telescope sight, with plastic lenses.

Kôsenjû SP Rifle

The Kôsenjû Custom Lever Action Rifle is loaded by moving the lever underneath the trigger. A professional telescope sight (Custom Lever Action Rifle Scope) with real glass lenses was available as an accessory.

Kôsenjû Custom Lever Action Rifle

Because of the different light sources in these guns and rifles, they are not fully compatible with all available Kôsenjû targets.

Leaflet included with Custom Gunman/Lion explains you cannot use SP Gun and Riffle

In particular, the Kôsenjû SP Gun and Rifle cannot be used with Custom Gunman and Custom Lion, as explained by the leaflet pictured above. The leaflet explains that for these targets the Custom (Lever Action) Rifle or Custom Gun should be used. Interestingly, the price for the rifle is quoted as ¥5,000 in 1976, significantly lower than the 1971 introduction price of ¥14,000.

Compatibility diagram included in the Custom Gunman manual

The compatibility diagram pictured in the Custom Gunman manual also shows which rifle and gun can be used with which target.

Kôsenjû Custom Target with focus lens attached to the sensor in the middle

The Kôsenjû SP Gun and Rifle can be used for the 1971 Kôsenjû Custom Target, if the focus lens which came with the target is attached to its light sensor. The tag attached to the Kôsenjû Custom Target shows its backward compatibility with the Kôsenjû SP series.

The Kôsenjû Custom Target also sports the SP label

This compatibility stuff may sound more complicated than it actually is. Just take a look at the table presented below, which summarizes it all.

Custom Gunman and Custom Lion require a Custom Gun or Custom Rifle

1 comment:

  1. About the price difference - I wonder if this had anything to do with inflation? I suppose most likely is that they managed to make production cheaper etc but nevertheless I wonder about inflation because 14,000 yen by today's standards for such a toy seems pretty expensive to me (considering it's made out of cheap plastic). What do you think?

    And by the way, I am really enjoying your blog and finding out about all these amazing old nintendo games. I have one request - I wish I could just continue browsing from one post to another without having to individually open each post. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.