Canceled Air Raiders Toys from 1988

Hey folks, some exciting stuff to share. For those of you who don’t know, Air Raiders was released in 1987 and there was a planned followup of new toys that was scheduled for 1988. The toys were designed and built and a pre-Toyfair catalog was released in 1988. However, due to sales and other factors, the line was canceled and a different catalog actually hit Toyfair that year.

I had already made a post about these particular toys years ago (click here to see my breakdown) but recently I was able to get better scans of the catalog pages, thanks to a great fan of the toys, so I thought I would share them. In addition, some new information came to light which I’d like to talk about too.

First things first, here’s the new photos:

Outposts and Banshees

Defense Stations and Figures

Figure2Battle Dashers

Next is a mystery that I’m hoping someone else has some insight on. It’s a graphic of the “1988 Pre Toy Fair Media Schedule.” I have to admit that I have no idea what this was for as it mentions Cable and Kid Netwo[rks]? And yet, Air Raiders had no cartoon to plug and I never saw any commercials for the new stuff so what was this for? Any thoughts?

Media Schedule

And last is what I’m very excited for. It’s the pricing guide, something I never saw before. Normally that really wouldn’t be a big deal but we learn a few things.

AR prices

  • Check that out! The Gatling (click here to see it) WAS going to be part of the second year of toys! Lead designer, Fred Rieber thought it was destined for a third year but someone thought differently, I guess. Also, the Whirlwind Troop Carrier? Now we did see the Whirlwind mentioned before with the figure that would release with it but we had nothing to go off of. I actually assumed it was going to be the G.A.S.P. vehicle pictured in the catalog as the marketing guys changed the names sometimes. Well, I was wrong. My new theory is that the Whirlwind might be the Cyclone that the other lead designer, Dan Price, was working on. I don’t know if we’ll ever have a answer to that.

  • I’m curious why there are no pictures of the Gatling and Whirlwind in the catalog. The Gatling prototype model was clearly finished, maybe the Whirlwind wasn’t?

  • Notice the pricing difference between the 1987 toys and the 1988 toys? Nothing above $10, they were going smaller and cheaper with the new toys.

  • Hey, who wants to buy a boxed Man-O-War for $25? 🙂

  • No mention of the Air Refinery. I guess it wasn’t going to roll over from the first year? I wonder what happened with this, maybe it was considered too big and expensive as they obviously tried to save the line by going with smaller and cheaper vehicles and sets.

Retail Price List

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One thought on “Canceled Air Raiders Toys from 1988

  1. Love all the images! I’m still yet to find an Air Raiders ad in all the comics and magazines I’ve trawled through. They seem to elude me always!

    Re: the “1988 Pre Toy Fair Media Schedule.” you mention…
    I’ve seen these before in catalogues, whereby a toy franchise links to its TV and video media. A bit strange as Air Raiders, as you say, had no show to plug, but maybe they had something in the pipeline, or a series of adverts? The colour codes show something was planned for the ‘Kid Spot’ and ‘Cable’ from January to June.

    My below example is from a 1998 Mattel catalogue:

    Barbie bags and stationery – the 1998 Mattel France Maroquinerie et Papeterie catalogue

    As you can see, it’s very similar to yours!


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