One of my all-time favorite movies is Predator starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and the GAU -17 Mini-gun. As you may recall, Jesse Ventura's character, Blain, carries the mini-gun around, unleashing thousands of rounds of gut-chewing 7.62 NATO ammunition per second. This weapon made such an impact on the movie industry that it began to appear in many of the action films of the 1980s and 1990s. Arnold co-starred with the GAU-17 again in Terminator 2 using it to convince the LAPD not to rush the laboratory Linda Hamilton was destroying to halt the research that would lead to the creation of Skynet.
When I first began collecting one-sixth scale figures a few years ago, I looked high and low for a mini-gun. Hasbro has made several variations of a comic-book looking gun, but not the actual GAU-17.
Recently, Intoyz announced they would make a one-sixth scale version of the minigun. They posted an extraordinary picture of their product, announcing it would be released in early 2001. I began to drool.
It didn't come cheap. I ordered mine from Toymaniacs for $19.99 plus seven bucks Shipping and handling.
Finally, after months of waiting, I have my very own Intoyz "Gatling Gun".
First off, it's not a Gatling Gun- that should have warned me. The "Gatling Gun" was named for John Gatling, who invented the hand-cranked, multi-barreled Gatling Gun in the mid 1800s. You might have seen the real "Gatling Gun" in such movies as "Rooster Cogburn" and "The Outlaw Josey Wales".
It seems that as long as I can remember, any multi-barreled machine gun has been called a "Gatling Gun". But in reality, they are "mini-guns" or "vulcan cannons".
The Intoyz GG is NOT the same weapon as what Blain wielded with such deadly effect. Jesse's mini had an underbarrel extension with grip, possibly off an M-60. The flexible ammo feeder led to a backpack that presumably held a butt-load of belted 7.62 ammunition. But where was the electrical power? The mini-guns are all electric-powered weapons, using small DC motors to spin the barrels, which in turn feed in the belted ammunition. (I have read many comments from movie nitpickers complaining that there was no power source for the gun. If the backpack contained so much ammunition, couldn't it have had a car battery for power? The actual prop gun used in the film ran off motorcycle batteries). Intoyz had not included any backpack. Instead, their GG comes with a small ammo can, that looks suspiciously like some recent G.I. Joe ammo cans.
So, instead of the Predator mini-gun, it appears that Intoyz has jumped ahead a few films and reproduced the Terminator 2 version. Instead of a backpack can of ammo, Arnold uses a sling-mounted ammo bag.
One of my major complaints with this GG is that it is plastic. In the advertisement photos, the light glints off the weapon suggesting a metallic construction. My GG is a dull black plastic- it's not even painted to look like metal!
Still, as far as plastic weapons go, it's fairly well detailed- it even has the electric motor a real mini-gun would require for operation.
I'm not particularly fond of the ammo feed belt- it's barely better than the mini-guns of 21st's AH-6. I was hoping for an actual mesh/linked belt of metal components.
As advertised on the packaging, the Mini-gun has a rotating barrel. Unfortunately, the barrels are warped and do not spin centered on their axis, but rather "wobble".
Also, the package declares a "real clicking trigger". I don't know what they mean. The handgrip for the GG does indeed have a depressable thumb safety and trigger, but nothing "clicks".
It does come with a slick little ammo can, complete with functioning lid. But the can looks suspiciously like some of the Hasbro ammo cans...
My last gripe about this replica weapon is the suggested age. "For ages 5 & up". I'm sorry, but being brittle plastic, I just don't believe this toy could withstand combat in the backyard trenches under the command of a five year old general. In fact, I'm afraid that a good shelf dive by one of my figures holding the GG might result in irreparable damage.
Price: Far too high
Quality of Manufacturing: Poor
Detail: Good for the mini-gun, poor for the ammo feeder
But what do you do with a mini-gun when you get it? You make Blain of course!