The Air Blaster created a ring-vortex, an invisible smoke ring of air, and shot it towards a target. Air was compressed and set in the mechanism by pushing down the hand lever at the top of the toy. My grandfather smoked cigars, and would put a puff of cigar smoke in as I readied the Air Blaster. I pulled the trigger, and could then see the vortex of air as it moved toward its target.
It turns out that Japanese air-vortex enthusiasts have created giant versions of the same 'weapon." Take a look at the video below, which shows the device working on targets more than sixty feet away.
(Giant Air Vortex Box from Japan)
I know that this device does not hold a candle to some of the other weaponry I've discussed on this site, but I still like it. The Wham-O Air Blaster was one of the most futuristic-looking toys I had as a child, and I remember it fondly. Now where can I get one of these for my twelve-year-old son?
Update Sep-14-2019: Well, it has taken me twelve years to find a kind of reference in science fiction - the word vortex gun, which is found in One Against the Legion, a Jack Williamson classic from 1939. And my son? Now twenty-four years of age.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/3/2007)