Steve Canyon board game from Lowell Toy Mfg. (1959)

Company: Lowell Toy Mfg. | Release date: 1959 | Ages: 10+ | # of players: 2-4 | Where to purchase: eBay

“You’re a real pilot in this exciting Air Force game!”

Twelve years after the Steve Canyon comic strip debuted in newspapers, Lowell Toy Mfg. released the eponymous board game. The comic, created by cartoonist Milton Caniff, focused on the adventures of Steve Canyon, an Army Air Corps veteran who ran an air cargo transport business and later rejoined the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

From 2 to 4 players could take on the role of the Air Force pilot and attempt to win the game by being the first to fly their F-105 Thunderchief airplane from Peterson Field to any three other Air Force bases.


The game board depicted an aerial view of part of the Western section of the United States. Peterson Field (now called Peterson Space Force Base) was located at the center of the board. Around the board’s edges were 4 other major Air Force bases in the country: Cannon Air Force Base, Chanute Air Force Base, Malmstrom Air Force Base, and Travis Air Force Base. The board also contained a variety of other objects, including houses, roads, trees, and rivers.

At the start of a game, each player chose a miniature F-105 Thunderchief Jet Plane pawn and placed it on Peterson Field in the center of the game board. Players were also given a cardboard instrument panel to track their fuel consumption. Weather, Storm Hazard, and Airfield Cards were placed face-down on the board.

Players moved across the board via the roll of a single die. Pawns could be moved in any direction but were required to move one space at a time through 1,000-foot altitude increments printed on the board.

As players executed their travel itineraries between Air Force bases, they encountered obstacles due to random Weather and Storm Hazard cards that impeded their progress, consumed fuel, and potentially required an emergency landing.

After successfully reaching a base, a player was rewarded with an Airfield Card. The first player to secure three cards was declared the winner.


A complete game included 1 game board, 4 miniature F-105 Thunderchief Jet Plane pawns, 1 die, 2 pencils, 1 pack of Weather Cards, 1 pack of Storm Hazard Cards, 16 Airfield Cards, and 4 instrument panels. Printed instructions, including a two-page insert providing historical background on the F-105 Thunderchief airplane, were included in the box.

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