1987 was a time of hard choices for myself. My desire for toys, for action figures was finding itself being challenged by games being offered on the NES. I was still picking up G.I. Joe figures though. In addition to getting bit by the bug for the most futuristic sport ever known. I am referring to Lazer Tag of course. Then there was the lure of the Captain Power toy line. Throw in Hasbro’s possible attempt at edging into Galoob’s Micro Machines with Air Raiders and you can see why the shelves were getting crowded.
Much like Hasbro did with their Transformers and G.I. Joe line. Air Raiders commercials totally made you sit up and take notice by way of some nice animation in their ads.
One of the other reasons that the toys struck my fancy was because of a little 1984 film. David Lynch’s film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune!
[Via] Movieclips Classic Trailers
While it would be a few years later before I discovered the source material for myself. I think you can certainly see why the settings of Airlandia seemed comfortably familiar.
With all those other toys and games that I mentioned at the top of the post, there was indeed another reason that Air Raiders became a thing for me. I have told you before that growing up in a single parent household, money was rather tight. By 1987 that had all started to change a little. Quite frankly this new toy line from Hasbro was very affordable.
One of those reasons has to do with the fact you weren’t buying action figures like G.I. Joe. You were instead raising an army with 5-packs of soldiers. The villainous Tyrants of Wind and the defiant Air Raiders.
Picking up a vehicle would generally gain you a few more soldiers as well as special leaders. Case in point, with the Wind Seeker you add Master Sergeant Blot and Private Blight to your Tyrants of the Wind army!
[Via] The Toys Channel
Sadly and probably due to how crowded the toy shelves were at the time. Air Raiders didn’t find the demographic it was seeking. Beyond the handful of people like myself that is. However at the very least we fans got a few comics from the Marvel Star Comics line as well as two coloring books.
Of course we shouldn’t forget that the Air Raiders TV commercials survive to entertain us too. To show us the promise of what could have been a long lived toy line!
[Via] Keith Richardson