One of my favorite toys is the Man-O-War. How could you not love this massive tank that’s bristling with guns, cannons and all sorts of neat gimmicks like the floating orb sensor and the scout car that launches from below? It’s an amazing vehicle and certainly one-of-a-kind. It always interested me that there wasn’t a Tyrant equivalent since all the vehicles in the toy line had an adversary of the same size and price on the other side such as the Hawkwind and Twin Lightning, the Dragonwind and Thunderhammer, etc. It appeared that nothing was matched up with the Man-O-War.
Well… not true.
It turns out that yes, there was a nasty nemesis for the Air Raiders flagship. Take a look at the Wind Reaper, the Tyrant’s answer to the Man-O-War.
This tank is a thing of beauty. It has several mounted gun pods that can swivel and shoot hidden missiles in all directions, not to mention the large heavily armed central tower. It can launch small vehicles and house an army just like the Man-O-War. Craziest of all, it seems to have some sort of vacuum ability to suck up rebel soldiers to imprison them. And if they aren’t wanted, there’s even an ejection ability to send those POWs flying! I got a kick out of the mounted gunner in the front who is positioned RIGHT in front of those massive wheels. Talk about a hazardous job…
I found this art on an auction site a while back. In addition to the Wind Reaper, the seller had several Man-O-War and Dragonwind sketches. Below the picture is the seller’s comments, I can only assume he was a designer who worked on the toys. I wish he went into more detail about the abilities of the Wind Reaper, especially whether there was actually going to be a vacuum motor built into it!
Air Raiders was an action vehicle and figure line created by Hasbro in the mid to late 80s. The figures were just two inches tall and articulated at the shoulders and hips. The size and articulation of the figures gave designers at Hasbro a huge opportunity to create really cool vehicles and play-sets which they did!
The line was unique in that everything was powered by air. Bellows, tubes and valves made this really fun for boys to assemble and activate. Air Raiders and their nemesis, Tyrants of the Wind lasted three years before being cancelled. So the line is now hugely collectable!
This is a one of a kind collection of art work and drawings. The large renderings measure 18 x 24. These are marker and colored pencil on marker paper. One is mounted to matte board measuring 22 x 26. The matte board has a few dents and tears at the edges from knocking around in my flat file for 3 decades. However, the colors are still vibrant because it has been kept out of the sun light. This concept made it to preliminary foam model form with proof of concept prototypes, which I believe were destroyed when the line was canceled. I have checked through my flat files and I believe these are the last of the drawing and renderings that I have for Air Raiders. This collection also includes original sketches and blue prints for the Man O War and Dragon Wind. These were just drawings I created to be used as guides for the final art box illustrations.
Sigh, there was a foam prototype but it got thrown out, what a loss! I’m left wondering whether this was a 1st series concept that got canceled along with the Air Refinery or if it was developed later for the canceled second series.
Last is the technical diagrams for those who like to see that kind of stuff. It’s nice to have this too because who knows if it would ever be possible to recreate these separate pieces with a 3-D printer. Maybe someday…
And for those who are curious, this bundle sold for $800! Ouch!