Heroic Vehicles

Blasterhawk: Heroic Land & Sky Disk Launcher (1986)

Blasterhawk is one of the more interesting vehicle concepts to show up toward the end of the Masters of the Universe line. In many ways it was similar in concept to the Battle Ram, with flying vehicle element that could detach from a ground-bound base vehicle. It also had the ability to integrate with the Eternia Playset, which increased its play value.

Design & Development

An early exploration of the concept of a disk-launching toy comes in the illustration below by Ted Mayer for a “Zap ‘n’ Go” vehicle. The illustration dates to September 22, 1983:

Another exploration on the disk-launching theme comes from Ed Watts, in this Disk Blaster illustration, dated September 16, 1984. This is a land vehicle and lacks the flying aspect of Blasterhawk, but the tank treads would find their way in into the toy.

Image source: The Power and the Honor Foundation Catalog.

We get a look at concept art for the flying portion of Blasterhawk in an illustration for the Eternia Playset by Ted Mayer. The image below dates to February 5, 1985:

Image courtesy of Ted Mayer
Close up view of Blasterhawk concept art

We also see a very simple foam mockup of Blasterhawk on top of an early Eternia clay model:

Image source: Sean Lehmkuhl 

I’m sure there was another more finalized piece of concept art for the vehicle, perhaps by another artist not represented here. Unfortunately it has not surfaced yet. You can see the final version of Blasterhawk in this image from Mattel’s 1986 catalog.

Image source: Nathalie NHT

The earliest newspaper ad I’ve found for Blasterhawk dates to June 6, 1986, indicating it probably started appearing in stores around that time:

Toy & Packaging

The packaging artwork for Blasterhawk comes from William George, and features Battle Armor He-Man at the controls:

Blasterhawk came with a removable radar dish and eight battle disks. Like the Talon Fighter, it could be held with a handle on the underside. The trigger was in reach from the handle as well, allowing it be fired like a toy gun as it was maneuvered through the air. The attitude of the top section could be adjusted by pivoting it forward or backward within the curved slot, allowing the user to make adjustments to the angle of fire.

Blasterhawk could be docked onto the turret base that came with the Eternia playset, like so:

Image courtesy of Øyvind Meisfjord

In order to dock Blasterhawk, the red Laser Blaster normally connected to the turret base would need to be removed:

Image courtesy of Øyvind Meisfjord

Update: Rik from Twitter pointed out that it should also be possible to reverse the above configuration, pairing the Eternia playset red Laser Blaster with the tank portion of the Blasterhawk. Øyvind was kind enough to provide a picture what that looks like (note that he’s customized his Laser Blaster with some additional paint applications):

Comic Appearances

Blasterhawk made a number of comic appearances. In The Hordes of Hordak, Prince Adam makes a big show of introducing the brand new vehicle, which of course works to introduce the toy to children reading the comic. Later on Teela uses Blasterhawk to defeat Horde Troopers, which would be an ideal play pattern.

In The Ultimate Battleground, Blasterhawk is piloted by Snout Spout, who rescues He-Man at one point in the story. We also see Blasterhawk take off from the central tower in the last page of the comic.

Blasterhawk appears in the Fall 1986 issues of the US Masters of the Universe Magazine. It appears briefly in a single panel, piloted by He-Man. The issue also featured poster art of Blasterhawk by Earl Norem, which I will show later in the article.

Issue 60 of the UK MOTU Magazine featured a Secret Files: Vehicles section narrated by Scrollos. There was a full-page section on Blasterhawk, where we learn the vehicle was designed by Man-At-Arms. The disks are described as “energy discs” and it’s described as having great speed and firing accuracy:

Issue 13 of the UK Adventure Magazine featured a very brief appearance of the vehicle:

There was also a Masters of the Universe Club advertisement featuring Blasterhawk firing on a Horde Trooper:

Image source: He-Man.org

Blasterhawk appears in the German Ehapa Verlag series, in issue 8 from 1988:

Image source: He-Man.org

It also appears in issue 2 of the 1988 Magic Boy series, in an air battle against Fright Fighter. The vehicle’s handle isn’t illustrated here:

Blasterhawk appears in issue 6 of the MOTU Star Comics series:

Artwork Appearances

Blasterhawk appeared in the 1987 Mattel Style Guide on the same page with Fright Fighter, with illustrations by Errol McCarthy:

Image source: The Power and the Honor Foundation

It also appears in an Earl Norem poster included in the US Masters of the Universe Magazine:

Blasterhawk also appears in William George’s 1986 Eternia poster, and on the Eternia box art by the same artist:

Other Advertising

Here are a few other ads for Blasterhawk from publications around the world:

Blasterhawk in Action

The following image and videos of Blasterhawk in action come courtesy of Øyvind Meisfjord:

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