Air Raiders: Command Outpost!

Welcome to Airlandia, you have 3 options to live here. The first is to join Emperor Aerozar and his Tyrants of Wind, where you will be his lackey soldier who collects taxes, oppresses people and you will probably have to thwart the rebellion or die; once you are with Aerozar, you don’t get away. The second option is to live in one of the cities as a citizen. Citizens are required to pay taxes on the air they breathe and do everything that either Aerozar or his Barons want you to. The daily lives of a citizen include being down trodden and breathing refined air out of tanks—good way to keep you in line to serve the Emperor and not revolt against him. The third choice is to join the rebellion—the Air Raiders. As a member of the Air Raiders you are brave and true to your cause; living by the slogan “Free air for free men!” You are skilled and fight with all your might, you are fearless and dedicated and some day, you will be a part of an Airlandia where free men (and women) will enjoy free air!

Air Raiders flew into the world in 1987 as one of the coolest new toys on the market. A vehicle based property that included small action figures to go along with each. The big action feature was the air powered rockets, and launching mechanisms that each vehicle possessed.

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The Air Raiders Command Outpost is probably the second coolest toy in the Air Raiders line (The Man-O-War was the first).

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The outpost featured a ton of play areas including multiple figure pegs throughout the body of the piece. With steps leading to different areas including a few fox holes/ammo storage, and a few areas where guns could be mounted and swapped, the outside of the Outpost was maybe more fun than the inside.

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The building featured multiple opening hatches with figure pegs on the inside; this is where the mechanical workings and air supply that powered the base were located. There is also a control center under a large removable arch with computers and pegs to set up a crew for the inner workings of the base.

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The large gun turret on top of the dome is the pump, by working it like a single stroke of a bicycle pump it would send air through the orange hoses forcing the following items to fire:

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1. A rock slide with little plastic rocks would be forced upwards spilling the boulders onto an unsuspecting enemy—or friend…

2. A pair of missile launchers that fire thin plastic rockets, these were a standard with most of the vehicles.

3. There was an extra valve for attaching other vehicles air supplies allowing for a little more power for firing gliders or missiles—a very cool function with being able to attach another vehicle to the Outpost.

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All of these air effects worked by the valve system which allowed for four different pieces to take action on the Tyrants of Wind. A knob is turned to open the valve in which you wish to fire. The underside of the Outpost has two hoses, one is actually green and it leads from the pump to the main valve, the other goes to the rock slide and to one of the openings on the main valve.

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The little figures had some decent detail for their size. Included with the Command Outpost is General Rokk “The brave leader of the rebel Air Raiders and the son of the ruthless Baron Sunder.” General Rokk, who is in red, is a well-detailed figure and features, generalized facial features and medals upon his armor. Joining Rokk are five Air Raiders soldiers. These soldiers can man the dome gun turret and the rotation turret at the lower half of the mountain as well as working the computers or working in the mechanical area under the dome. Extra, is the Air Raiders Admiral (in gray and blue) who came with the large land yacht called the Man-O-War. I still had him in a box and 20+ years later I can at least have him stand by the General atop the Command Outpost.

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The Air Raiders Command Outpost came so close to complete that it was very satisfying. The box is huge and features some of the most awesome art that has ever graced the packaging of toys. The front shows an awesome scene of the Outpost and in the lower right corner the General and his soldiers.

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The back of the box has a totally cool battle scene with a clip and save file on the Command Outpost in the lower right corner.

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One of the sides of the box shows some great detail of the working parts of the Outpost including the domes hatches being open and the rock slide covering some Tyrants of Wind figures.

All paperwork was included such as the instruction page, which has an Air Raiders story on the reverse, (not shown).

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An unused sticker sheet—it’s seen better days but its all there. Repro’s anyone?

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A mail-away offer for the Tyrants of Wind, Emperor Aerozar and Baron Jolt. Also included are 12 orange Air Raiders and 12 black and green Tyrant missiles, a glider and a map of Airlandia. At the time of this article, there is one on ebay and costs over $950—might have to mortgage the house for that!

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Finally, there is the product catalog. I love product catalogs, from G.I. Joe, Masters of the Universe, Transformers, ect…I think they are so cool and when you are a kid (and apparently my age) you drool over getting everything with-in the page!
Everything shown had come out in the line EXCEPT the Air Refinery in the lower right—to this day no one seems to know if it made it to production. I remember wanting it when I was a kid and it was never in the stores. Looking closely, there is the mail-away Baron Jolt at the top of the steps at the bottom center and it appears that Emperor Aerozar is standing on the lower platform in the center of the tower—this makes me wonder if they were going to come with the Air Refinery and because production was cancelled that they were offered as a mail-away instead. So sad…I kept contemplating spending the $7.50 for the mail-away set, but that was a lot of money for a kid…well, at the time.
I had the Man-O-War, it magically disappeared, however I found parts of it in many places, at least I still have the Admiral. The foam ball could be levitated above a fan on the back of the huge vehicle; it was so cool…and now so expensive!

Although Air Raiders were short-lived, the air systems were very prone to failure and there was no cartoon; there was a comic book that lasted five issues—apparently drawn by Kelley Jones; I never liked his Batman, but the Air Raiders comic looked great, so I’m pleasantly surprised.

Air Raiders vanished shortly after it had begun, there was no cartoon to help sustain it; however, there were cool commercials with animation from Sunbow (G.I. Joe). A really cool line of toys that I loved; I regret often that I didn’t make sure they were cared for, but when you’re a kid you want to play with the toys, not leave them boxed and get them graded when the service comes along to sell them on ebay for thousands.

This is not a review, this is an archive—a toy memory and a piece of history.

Air Raiders, The Power is in the Air!


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