During the Sixties my personal toy arsenal grew to the point where I had to register it with NORAD. I'm not kidding, I had more spy equipment and weaponry than Q in Thunderball!
If I was going to stay alive in the Sibling Wars in our house then I needed all the tech and firepower I could muster. When I say I could muster I actually mean my Mum and Dad, who actually bankrolled my One Man Army, upgrading my munitions every Holiday, Birthday and Christmas.
I had the Secret Sam Attache Case, a toy bazooka, the Thomas Salter Outdoor Kit, a Lone Star 007 cap gun and presiding over them all like a King was the Johnny Seven.
An initial reconnoitre with my plastic binoculars would usually establish the whereabouts of my hairy good-for-nothing Big Brothers, most often found combing their hair and squeezing large zits in the mirror. Such pretentious posing had to be punished and I was just the boy for the job!
Moving closer to my quarry I would regroup behind the settee of their evening lair, the boys' lounge. Distinctly out of bounds to a pipsqueak like me, the mere act of entering this hallowed space was an act of war in itself. Sanctions would be harsh should I be caught alive.
I deployed my Secret Sam periscope and watched and waited for signs of lounging. Inevitably beasts of burden like my bros will seek chintzed comfort in which to idle like hippos wallowing in mud. This was my chance. Loading my Secret Sam rifle with plastic bullets and ignoring all Topper's safety instructions I would fire a well-aimed salvo at their heads. It always had the same desired effect and they would at first yelp with pain like big girls and then bellow with rage. It was, as they say, time to leave.
My next station was the staircase landing, where I had already positioned heavy ordnance in the form of a large toy bazooka that shot table tennis balls. But first I had to get there. I would have to fire volleys of plastic ammo whilst running up the stairs.
Now don't be under any illusion readers that my two old brothere's weren't armed. They were and with the most lethal development in toy weaponry of the age, the Sekiden pistol. A Sekiden was a plastic gun, which was loaded with up to 100 small pellets of compressed powder. It was capable of firing five pellets a second and in the hands of crazed adolescent apes was butt-clenchingly painful. Years ahead of paint-balling, only the Crossfire pistol which used ball bearings was more deadly. I just thank God that my pubescent sibs never thought of that!
So with Sekidens loaded the Battle of the Bannisters would begin. Being nearer the top I had the advantage of height and despite taking countless excruciating hits I eventually reached the bazooka and things took a turn for the worse for my Brothers. Pointing straight at their ugly mugs I would let off a whole magazine of balls, each one pounding against their cologned cheeks with the sharp slap of plastic on skin. It was the sound of triumph but not of victory.
Shaking off their latest drubbing the two of them would forge up the stairs like a pair of infuriated SPECTRE goons. But I was already in position on the next landing near my bedroom door, which had to be protected at all costs.
This final battle for sibling supremacy required munitions of the very highest calibre and a weapon so devastating that even hormonal orcs like my bros would think twice before advancing onto my turf. It was of course Topper's Johnny Seven, the One Man Army. Defeater of despots everywhere, having a Johnny Seven was like owning a Pershing Missile Launcher without the need for wasting time with an arms dealer. It was all there in a handy box at the toy shop: armour piercing shells, anti-tank missile, plastic bullets and grenades!
With my One Man Army resting on its tripod and donning my plastic army helmet I lay prone on the landing carpet waiting. In a blizzard of Sekiden pellets my two sibs attempted to storm my position. It was time to let rip. Bullets, Missiles, Shells, Grenades. They got the lot.
They never stood a chance.
As I withdrew to the safety of my bedroom, Johnny Seven in hand, I locked the door blowing raspberries at my vanquished foe. The two older boys had lost. Broken, they turned to leave. Rubbing smarting faces and their Sekidens utterly spent they retired to the velour of their lounge to lick their wounds and ponder over the course of the battle and at exactly which point in it they been trounced by a 10 year old again.
I had won another glorious battle but the Sibling Wars would fester and rage for many many more years yet!