Hellinahandbasket.com posted about the popularity of James Bond helped to create the TV show, Man from U.N.C.L.E.. The propmasters used a Walther P-38 and tricked it out.
The popularity of this show inspired the Transformers character Megatron. However before Transformers was created in America, it existed in Japan just as a toy by Takara (makers of Transformer toys now). There was no cartoon.
The toy actually shot out plastic bullets. However when the toy came to the US in the 80s, the US nixed that feature.