Was there ever a toy gun as cool as Wham-O’s Air Blaster? Not only did the thing look like a spaceman disintegration ray, it actually fired a blast.
A blast of air, yes, but that was as close to a spaceman disintegration ray as most kids were going to get. And maybe a good deal closer than they should get.
Wham-O added the Air Blaster Gun to its line of space-age kids toys – Hula Hoop, Frisbee, Monster Magnet, etc – in 1965. And like those earlier toy classics, the Air Blaster fell right onto the “gotta have it” toy wish list.
A pump lever on the top of the gun built up its concussive power. With each pump, the gun compressed a charge of air, ready to blast with a pull of the trigger.
Shot through the funnel-shaped barrel end, a blast of air could blow out a candle at twenty feet, or it could simply scare the crap out of friends, siblings and/or pets.
Unfortunately, not every kid played nice with the Air Blaster Gun. The toy was eventually pulled from the Wham-O line in the late 1970’s, and according to schoolyard rumour, the reason for the disappearance was that certain less-than-genius-level kids were pointing the things into their own ears or the ears of others (a sure recipe for hearing damage).
Perhaps for that very reason, Wham-O didn’t bring the Air Blaster Gun back with the rest of its classic toy line-up in the late 90’s.
Absence does make the toy gun cooler, however, and the Air Blaster has become a very hot property on the collectibles market. Times may change, but nothing dims the dream of owning your very own spaceman ray gun.