This is another post on the origins of our favorite toy series. If you’d like to read the first one, click here.
So the last post talked about how Steve Reiss created Air Raiders back when he was the Hasbro Senior Design Director for Boys Toys. Here I will share the actual concept he came up with in the pitch to management.
On a Hasbro Industries, Inc., Product Idea Form (see below), dated November 21, 1985, Steve and Greg Rogers submitted the first ideas for Air Raiders, or as he called it then, Airmasters. Greg Rogers was a designer in Steve’s department that he was showing the ropes on how to submit proposals like this. Greg ultimately left Hasbro and did not have anything to do the Air Raiders.
The description is as follows:
Airmasters is comprised of air power mechanisms cloaked in ultra futuristic bio-technically designed vehicles/battle scenarios based on air-powered weaponry. Small 1″ figures (non-articulated) act as play PCs within the vehicles. Air chambers within vehicles are ‘charged’ with supplied hand piston pump-trapped air operate elevators, ejects small vehicles, makes observation drone, fly, sucks crew figures up to board, etc.
I’m assuming play PCs refers to player characters, maybe? Many of these air-powered traits eventually ended up in some form with various AR toys like the Dragonwind, Man-O-War and Wind Reaper although there were no air-powered elevators to my knowledge. It’s always possible the Air Refinery had one. Another interesting note is that this proposal is almost two years before the actual release date (August/September 1987) so you see how long it took them to go through the whole process.
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5 thoughts on “Origins of Air Raiders, Part 2”
That initial Dragonwind design is really cool! Do you have any other scans of that stuff? I’d love to get a better look (and see what else might have been proposed).
The original Dragonwind post is here:
If you do a search for “sketch” on this site, there’s a bunch of cool original Hasbro art that’s been posted over the last two years. My personal favorites are the drawings for the Twin Lightning, prototypes for the Wind Seeker and the Command Outpost sketches.