Airlandia: Next up is airraiders1987, webmaster of the Air Raiders fan site that actually inspired this site). He did a great job meticulously collecting all the information out there about our favorite toy line.
airraiders1987: Air Raiders is one of the great untapped and short lived 80’s properties. If I was in charge of relaunching Air Raiders, my focus would be expanding on the characters in Airlandia and the rebellion. Since the cartoon never made air (no pun intended) back in the 80’s, all we had were short bios and Marvel’s promising five issue Star Comics run. I found Marvel’s take to be fascinating. They were able to further explore what the toy bios and inserts gave us. What happens when a government controls man’s most basic need – air? That’s a heavy concept for a kid’s property. Survival down to man’s number one need, even before food, water, and shelter.
To make the characters relevant, the toyline would have to get bigger. Those original figures have amazing little details for a 2 inch scale, but you can barely notice them to even appreciate it. They’re just masked generic tiny soldiers. And most of them were indistinguishable. I don’t think G.I.JOE: A Real American Hero would have been interesting if the team was 98% nameless greenshirts. And sadly, neither was Air Raiders for most kids back then.
I’d create two lines. The main line would be a mass market 3 3/4 inch scale which could also fit other Hasbro properties. I would keep the same basic Air Raiders and Tyrants of Wind colors. I love the vintage toy suit designs, and see no reason to alter them. They just need to be sized up. I would also get some design artists to create additional suit/costume designs for specialized factions and new characters. Vehicles are a must, and I’d have a mix of old and new. The old vehicle designs are kinda timeless since they were all futuristic anyway, but I think some new designs would be great to see. I would get some engineers to look back on and improve the air gimmick. I think the possibilities could be endless in terms of not only vehicles for the toys, but also play weapons and gadgets for kids based on air mechanics.
Of course, the property would need media this time around. An adventure cartoon would be great to see which would flesh out the characters. Not unlike the Marvel 80’s comic book series, I would probably explore the Baron Sunder dynamic against his son, General Rokk, who is leading the rebellion on Airlandia. Almost sounds like Star Wars, right? Emperor Aerozar and the power play within the government structure with his barons (the Lords of the Winds) would help keep episodes fresh by seeing revolving villains. As for protagonists, I would keep a team dynamic similar to G.I.JOE. General Rokk, Lt. Noble, Eeleta, Jasun, and additional new characters would be the heroes. In terms of the overall story, you could easily weave in very real issues like corrupt governments, global weather disasters, poverty, and rebellion in an adventure story. There’s room to expand on the look of Airlandia, and it’d be a lot of fun to see this after all these decades. Whatever the cartoon ultimately looks like, I feel it needs to be colorful while still very otherworldly.
Along with the 3 3/4″ line, I’d love a collector focused line sculpted by Four Horsemen Studios at the 7″ scale. This line would be very detailed and be primarily character driven with a few of the vintage vehicles at least. In addition, I’d love a comic book series that directly picks up after what we saw in Marvel’s Star Comics, which would start as issue #6. Same style, same format, same continuity, but new adventures.
From there, I think video games are a possibility if the main line and cartoon are a hit.
A two way approach would work best. For kids and adults, I’d look at a phone app game given the accessibility. Then for consoles, maybe an Air Raiders LEGO game (if they got the license) and a multi-player online shooter that focuses on battles on Airlandia between the Tyrants of Wind and the Air Raiders.
It could be set by a story arc focused on Emperor Aerozar which includes the Air Raiders infiltrating various Air Refineries, overthrow of certain Baron’s castles, and targeted uninhabited locations in Airlandia for air sources. On the flip side, the Tyrants of Wind options would include attacking the Air Raiders secret base/s, various villages, illegal gardens/plant nurseries, etc… I would consider making it a series like “Air Raiders: War for Airlandia” or “Air Raiders: War for Life”.
Airlandia: Great ideas! Another vote for larger figures, similar to replicant01’s idea, going with the Star Wars-sized figure complimented by a collector’s edition of big stuff. I love the ideas for the comic and cartoon, and would love to see someone delve further into plot directions for those.
And LEGO AR games! 🙂 Thank you very much for sharing your ideas, airraiders1987!