Here’s another entry into my list of toys that I asked Santa for, but he sadly didn’t bring. Tin Can Alley was a little shooting gallery toy, where you had a plastic rifle that fired a beam of light at a target, which when hit flipped a little imitation plastic drinks can off a wooden wall, made of plastic of course.
In the US, where owning a gun of some sort often appears to be mandatory (well, that’s what Hollywood would have us believe anyway), I’m sure Tin Can Alley was extremely popular as rifle owning parents bought the game for little Jimmy to practise on before being handed “a reel gurn“.
Living in the UK where owning a rifle was almost unheard of in the Eighties, it’s a surprise that the toy was even given a launch over here, but there it was, sitting in the Argos catalogue and making my trigger finger itchy, but alas, that itch was not to be scratched. Not until I got a PlayStation and Time Crisis many years later anyway.
I suppose the closest we had to Tin Can Alley was when the fairground came to town, and they had those shooting gallery booths with air rifles, where you can win an oversized cuddly toy or an Elvis Presley mirror.
I don’t know if Tin Can Alley is still available in the US, but it doesn’t seem to be easily available over here. However, a far more British equivalent is available in the form of the Beano branded Dennis the Menace Catapult Tin Can Alley, which ditches the light rifle in favour of a capital Y shaped stick and a piece of elastic. Not quite the same, is it.