You remember Duck Hunt, the Nintendo game that came with Super Mario Bros. back when the original Nintendo Entertainment System was released in 1985. Along with that game, Nintendo’s landmark console included the Nintendo Zapper, a controller that looked like a pistol you could aim at the screen to kill pixely ducks—or fail to kill pixely ducks, in which case that accursed hunting dog would laugh at you for being a child and not very good at anything.
Well, now the Nintendo Zapper exists not as a toy to aim at pretend animals, but as a real gun that can fire real bullets that can kill things.
Custom gunmaker Precision Syndicate LLC created the gun, which is a Glock 34 made to look like Nintendo’s version. And since it’s a real gun painted to look like a toy, a lot of people on the internet had a lot to say about it, mostly on the company’s Facebook page and on Twitter.
Critics of Precision and the “Nintendo Glock” custom job have said it’s irresponsible for the company to paint a gun to look like a toy (albeit one that most modern children would not even recognize). Others countered that this is a custom job, made for a particular customer, who is probably just a collector. Precision Syndicate posted a statement about the whole hullabaloo on its Facebook page:
In light of the “Nintendo Glock” drama, we feel that the media and our fans need to know that this firearm will not be mass produced nor will it ever be. This is a one off custom build for a friend of ours. Do [sic] to the thousands of emails and messages we have received in the past 2 days we have been unable to contact everyone in a timely manner, please be patient we will get to you as soon as possible. Thank you all for your support! Oh, and please.. keep your guns locked up and away from children, it’s common sense.
It’s true that seeing a childhood toy many of us millennials of a certain age will remember brandishing at both screens and one another rendered into a real, actual gun—especially in the current climate of mass shootings occurring frequently—is unsettling. The Zapper even featured heavily in a Nintendo-based cartoon show, Captain N: The Game Master. But then again, that cartoon featured a Gameboy that was alive.
Ultimately, nobody gets mad about fans who have blades fashioned to look like Link’s Master Sword from The Legend of Zelda. Sometimes video game enthusiasts just want their deadly weapons to remind them of what it was like to shoot pretend virtual enemies on a screen with no consequen—okay wait I get why it’s creepy now.