Air Blaster Gun

Air Blaster Gun

When a toy is yanked from store shelves after a relatively short run, it is usually for one of two reasons – it is either unpopular or unsafe. And perhaps not surprising to anyone, the unsafe ones are often pretty popular at the time they are pulled. Such was the case with the Wham-O Air Blaster, a toy with endless possibilities, some of them relatively dangerous. Let’s take a look back at this fondly-remembered toy that came and went with a bang.

From the fine folks who brought you the Frisbee and Hula Hoop, toy maker Wham-O introduced the Air Blaster in 1965. For scores of kids, it was love at first site and undoubtedly made its way onto many a Christmas wish list. A gun unlike any other, a few simply pumps of a plastic lever filled the firearm with compressed blast of invisible ammo through its funnel-shaped barrel. And in the hands of those with more diabolical imaginations, kids soon learned that there was virtually no prey unworthy of a nice surprising blast of atmospheric gas. Few were spared from its wrath, whether it be best friends, little sisters, unsuspecting family pet, or as clip below show, dad’s pipe.

And like many other playthings that now inhabit the toy graveyard, the air blaster was eventually taken from the cold hands of these sadistic youngsters, thanks to the increasingly innovative uses they found for the gun. It wasn’t enough to take aim at Rover or a fire upon a herd of birthday candles. No, some kids found entertainment value in shooting the guns in the ears of their cohorts – and the resulting hearing damage was enough to cause Wham-O to pull the plug-o on this infamous toy forever. It was yet another case of a few bad apples spoiling playtime for everyone.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that in the 90s, when Wham-O decided to re-release a line of their beloved toys from yesteryear, the Air Blaster didn’t make the final round. And while the Air Blaster remains a coveted addition to many a toy collector’s arsenal, most of us are left with fading memories of this literal blast-from-the-past.

Were you one of the lucky few that managed to get your hands on an Air Blaster before they were banned? Do you still have it? Were you one of the wholesome kids who used the gun safely, or were you one of the delinquents that got it pulled off the market? Share your memories of the Wham-O Air Blaster with all of us at Retroland as we pay our respects to a toy whose possibilities we barely got to explore.

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15 Responses to “Air Blaster Gun”

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  1. Bill says:

    I got one of those when I was 5 or 6 — probably 1966 or 1967. Great toy. Played with it for years, but it finally broke. I think it is still up in the attic somewhere.

    • debbie brown says:

      I got mine around the same age and time..I loved it….And I remember it lasting a long time, being forgotten for awhile and then finding it again and loving it just as much as before…One of my favorite toys growing up…And I loved my red Monster MAgnet,, I still have one of those.

  2. Mike says:

    I had one too. I am 59 now and I played with that for years when I was a kid. LOVED IT!!!

  3. dennis says:

    Great toy, my mother threw it down the hall and smashed it into a million pieces, after i fired a flute, that i shoved down its barrel and hit my brother in the head.

  4. jon says:

    i found this at a garage sale and took a bit until i decided to google it. not quite up to knocking stuff over from across the room but it does kick out a neat puff of air. Definitely a unique toy and fun when I want to have a bit of harmless mischief.

  5. Nancy says:

    I have 2 for sale in the original boxes. In reasonably good shape, considering they were much used and much loved by me growing up. Nope, didn’t set the house on fire blowing out candles and yes, I still have excellent hearing! :)

    Contact me if you are interested in buying.

    • Rick says:

      Hi Nancy do you still have the whammo air blasters if so what are you asking for them
      my name is Rick my phone number is 775-530-2964 please feel free to call me anytime
      I live at Lake Tahoe,Ca

      thank you for your time

      Rick

    • vito says:

      hi nancy i would b interested in buying one of your air blasters if still available.

    • Neil Burg says:

      Hi Nancy,
      Incase you havent sold the wamo air gun yet, I can be reaches at 805 501 1595, Thanks ! Neil

  6. Landen Diep says:

    Nancy plz call me 9016912745 i need thoose air blasters!!!

  7. Leslee says:

    Hi, I’m listing an original black air blaster on eBay. I was researching and came across this link. My eBay seller name is cebbus. The gun was my husbands.

  8. Wayne says:

    There was a 2nd generation Air Blaster called, as I recall, the Air Zooka. You held it up on your shoulder. It fired a much greater volume of air but also deafened the “near” ear. Whoops!! I had both and one day, they were gone from my toy box. :(

  9. Sam says:

    On a recent car trip, my good friend and I was talking about old toys. “Rock’em sock’em robots came up, of coarse she didn’t remember them, because “that’s a boy toy” , as she put it……. Being a guy, I thought the statement was hilarious. Then the “air blaster” came up and we laughed for a few miles talking about all the fun and mischief we both got into with it.

  10. Jonah Falcon says:

    Apparently, the Air Blasters became a staple of Martian weaponry (see if you can get the reference.)

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