By Chuck MAdurski
Remington had pocket knives. Winchester the flashlight. There is the (actually useful) Glock shovel. Clocks from DPMS, Colt Zippo lighters,Bushmaster coffee mugs, even Beretta luggage! But whoever heard of a collectable toaster? Especially in the gun world? Well, they exist after a fashion…
I had seen the accessory toasters from ArmaLite before. They were in Shotgun News ads, on the Internet, even in Catalogs. And I am one of those with a strong sense of the ridiculous, so of course I had always wanted one. But I didn’t want to buy a rifle just to get one. At the 2006 spring Knob Creek shoot, I was lucky enough to get one without having to buy the whole rifle package.
As a “premium” or some kind of gift to entice a prospective customer, toasters have a long and honored tradition in American banks, among other businesses. “Open an account here and receive a shiny new toaster!” Who could resist? No one who was in need of a new toaster, anyway. While many gun companies over the years have offered related items with company logos on them, a toaster was certainly unique.
Dreamed up as a promotional item by ArmaLite’s owner Mark Westrom nearly ten years ago, the ArmaLite Toaster was meant to outdo the competition in offering the most completely accessorized .308 rifle package. The first ones featured the newer Leaping Lion logo which was part of the deal when Westrom purchased the ArmaLite name. Furthermore, no amount of arm twisting or pleading could get one without buying a rifle. I guess I would have to wait patiently for the secondary market.
When the much anticipated AR-10B was nearing release ArmaLite realized the original Pegasus logo would look great on the side of the gun. An example of the rifle was unavailable to examine, so while I am unsure if the 10B got the Pegasus or the Lion logo, ArmaLite did make a new run of toasters to be given away with it featuring the Pegasus and the motto “The Legend Returns…”
Fast forward to April, 2006. While walking through the pole barn at Knob Creek, a vendor had a couple of toasters on his table, but no price tags. “Make an offer” says he. I thought about it, asked questions, etc. At the time, I was unaware that the Pegasus toasters even existed and the vendor only displayed Leaping Lion versions. Finally, after some discussion, we agreed upon a price and he threw in the added bonus of offering me a brand new toaster still sealed in the original box, not coated withthat dust that gets everywhere at the Creek. Of course, as soon as I got home I couldn’t wait to open the box and check it out. Imagine my delight when I pulled it out of the box and it was the Pegasus! It now sits on a shelf in the gunroom next to a similarly marked ArmaLite AR-7, still never having been soiled by any baked goods.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V10N10 (July 2007)|