I think I can give some background info here
Not really much more than on the toy guns homepage, but well, I only saw that link after I already posted this here
Got my hands on a Daisy M870 Shotgun last year and it is from the same series. I wrote a review about this gun and gathered some information. Not sure, if the first part of this is interesting at all, as it is information about Daisy's history, but I'll start at the beginning nontheless and just translate that part of my review
Salesman Clarence Hamilton found investors for his business and founded the "Plymouth Iron Windmill Company" in 1882 (hey, I said I'll start at the beginning!
Under the pressure of competing companies he was looking for new ways to make his products more interesting for customers and he had an idea: A friend of his had created an airgun made out of metal. This was a novelty, as all the airguns to date were made out of wood.
Hamilton started a business partnership with this friend and every customer of a windmill got an airgun for free.
1886, Lewis Cass Hough, at that time president of the Plymouth Windmill Company, tested one of the airguns and according to Daisy's homepage he shouted enthusiastically: "Boy, that's a daisy!"
The metal airguns, which didn't look much like real guns back then were a huge success.
1895 the company sold more airguns than windmills and the management decided to stop windmill production and change the name of the company to "Daisy", as a tribute to Hough's exclamation.
Hamilton, who still owned the company began to produce .22 guns and sold Daisy 1898, to concentrate on the .22s.
(his son continued to produce these with good success and built real gun parts during WWII. Afterwards, interest for .22 guns dropped and the company had to close it's gates)
Daisy had incredible successes with their airguns and in the first 10 years of the 20th century, they saw over 30 competing companies come and go. Starting from 1902, Daisy was under the same corporate management for over 60 years. Bennet and Hough led Daisy with a steady hand through two world wars, the great depression and various other hard times and died at the end of the 50s.
In the 60s, Daisy added airguns to their range that looked more like real guns, like their Model 94, which resembled a Winchester 1894 lever action rifle. As these "real gun replicas" were successful, it's small surprise, that Daisy sooner or later got interested in Airsoft.
During the mid-80s, when Airsoft already was widely established in Japan, Daisy was interested in selling these replicas in the US.
1986, Daisy began to import various airsoft guns from Maruzen and one from FTC (Falcon Toy Corporation) and just rebranded them with their own trademarks. All the imported models were srping powered and fired 6mm BBs out of shells, which were manually ejected after the shot.
To add a bit of own, well, let's call it "creativity", Daisy decided to not call these guns "Airsoft", they decided to call them "Softair". Very creative...
However, this was Daisy's production lineup:
Rifles and MPs:
Model 12: KG-9 (TEC-9 with silencer)
Model 13: Mini-Uzi
Model 14: Ruger Mini-14 with pistol grip
Model 15: H&K MP5K
Model 870: Remington 870 Wingmaster Pump shotgun
Pistols and Revolvers:
Model 4: Colt Python .44
Model 8: Luger 9mm
Model 9: Beretta M-92 U.S. Army sidearm
Model 38: Walther P-38
Model 45: Colt .45 Auto U.S. Army sidearm
Model 57: .357 Magnum revolver
Model 59: Smith and Wesson Model 59 automatic
All the models were originally built by Maruzen, only the MP5K came from FTC.
Especially the Ruger Mini-14 and the MP5K looked a bit strange, as they had pump-foregrips to reload the gun, so they were not 100% accurate replicas.
Still, Anti-Firearms-groups were furious about these replicas, that sported a level of realism unlike anything before.
In fact, Daisy had ads with phrases like:
"So accurate in detail you'll swear it's the real thing!...a 'must have' for paramilitary enthusiasts of all ages!"
Trying to attract customers with such aggressive advertisements was not a good idea, and only one year after their release, Daisy had to succumb to the Anti-Firearms-groups and stopped airsoft sales.
Daisy seems to be pretty ashamed due to these bad decisions and they don't have any information about their "airsoft ventures" on their homepage and they don't reply to requests regarding this topic.
So if you can get your hands on a Daisy Airsoft gun, there are a few facts, that you can be certain of:
- The "Softair" gun definitely was made between 1986 and 1987.
- It probably is a Maruzen gun, except when you have the MP5K (as offered in that auction
), then it's an FTC
- It's a shell ejecting springer with low power
- It's relatively rare, whereas the Model14: Ruger Mini-14 and Model15: H&K MP5K are the rarest and most valuable.
- In general, you'll find only very few Daisy airsoft guns outisde the US
My suggestion: Get this gun
It's pretty rare and a part of airsoft history as well as a part of one of the biggest airgun company's history (even if they are ashamed of it
As to the actual value of the gun: Always very hard to tell, you need to find the right collector... maybe something around 100 - 150 USD I'd say.