The Sand Blasters, also known as the Sand Blast Freedom Fighters, were a Freedom Fighter group from Sand Blast City led by Jack Rabbit. While originally those who managed to escape capture and roboticization in Sand Blast City remained in hiding, the defeat of Dr. Ivo Robotnik by Sonic the Hedgehog gave them the confidence to rally together and retake their city. The Sand-Blasters are modeled after the Knothole Freedom Fighters, but also use tanks and other military equipment. Unfortunately, they also use underhanded-at times vicious-tactics, particularly in battle against the Great Desert Dark Egg Legion.
When Sonic and Tails crash-landed the Winged Victory in the Great Desert, Jack and the Sand Blasters arrived on the scene soon after for rescue and recovery of the two from hostile territory. Recognizing Sonic, they welcomed the hero of Mobius and explained how he had inspired them to stand against Robotnik's regional Sub-Boss and reclaim their home. They soon encountered a horde of Robians that attacked and tried to route them, but Sonic intervened and cleared the way to Sand Blast City. Once inside the safety of the city's protective shield, the Sand Blasters held a celebration with Sonic as their guest of honor for giving them the courage to fight back and tried to persuade him and Tails to stay and defend them from the Robians. After believing they had won Sonic over with hospitality treatment, they grounded the Winged Victory while keeping their "guests" under lock and key. When Sonic and Tails were discovered attempting to escape captivity, the Sand Blasters and everyone in the city came out en mass and armed with orders to subdue, but not hurt them. Their efforts failed however when Sonic destroyed the shield generator to their city and escaped, causing the Sand Blasters to once again defend their city from the attacking Robian hordes, swearing revenge on Sonic and his friends. (StH: #62, #63)
Some time afterwards, the Sand Blasters emerged triumphant from the attack and managed to capture and contain the Robians, who remained mindless even after Dr. Eggman took over Robotnik Prime's former territories. They later sent out a fake distress signal meant to lure in Sonic, but instead shot down and captured Bunnie Rabbot. Deciding to get their revenge on Sonic through his friends, they unleashed the Robians to dispose of her, and left Bunnie to her fate. However, Bunnie fought off the Robians and escaped which freed the Robians of their confinement also. Leaving the Sand Blasters to fight off the Robians once again, Bunnie earned their contempt just as Sonic had. (StH: #119)
Struggle for Oil Ocean
By 3237, the Robians had all been restored to normal. At first, they tried to temporarily settle in Sand Blast City, but eventually turned to Dr. Eggman and became a new chapter of the Dark Egg Legion. According to Jack, this was despite the Sand Blasters taking them in; however, the Legion's Grandmaster, Beauregard Rabbot, claimed that the Sand Blasters abused the former Robians, forcing them to go to Eggman for help. The Sand Blasters found themselves fighting this new Legion, mostly over control of the nearby Oil Ocean Refinery. The Sand Blasters once again had the city's shield up and running, in addition to newly-created EMP beacons designed by Avery to disable any Legionnaires who wandered too close. They eventually sent out a call for help which, to Jack's displeasure, caused Sonic and Bunnie to be dispatched to the region. When it seemed Bunnie had been captured by the Legion, Jack managed to get Sonic to agree to work with his team in order to finally defeat the Legion and take over the refinery; Sonic only agreed with the promise that they would rescue Bunnie. The following day, the Sand Blasters set out in jeeps with Sonic, determined to win the refinery in their next encounter with the Legion. (StH: #217)
However, Sonic soon left the Sand Blasters and ended up in what looked like a pitched battle with Bunnie within the refinery. Not especially fond of either of them, the Sand Blasters were happy to sit back and watch the fight; however, Jack soon saw that the refinery was being heavily damaged in the process, and realized that Sonic and Bunnie were deliberately causing as much destruction as possible under the pretense of fighting each other. He ordered the assembled Sand Blasters to move in, and a battle broke out between them and the Legion. During the confusion, Jack and Avery attempted to eliminate Sonic and Bunnie using a rocket launcher, deciding the collateral damage to the refinery would be "worth it." However, the two were ambushed by Beauregard, and the rocket fired into the sky; it later fell back down, causing a massive explosion within the refinery itself. With the refinery rendered unusable, the Sand Blasters retreated. (StH: #218)
Some time afterwards, the Sand-Blasters received an unexpected addition to their group: Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel, who joined the team under the assumed names "Flex" and "Jitters." Some time after he assisted them in dealing with a Legion tank, the group would run across several of his friends from the Chaotix, challenging the trio of Vector the Crocodile, Espio the Chameleon, and Charmy Bee. They captured the group and brought them in, where the trio were reunited with their two teammates. The Sand-Blasters then received an unpleasant surprise the next day, when they learned that Mighty-who had left in order to meet with Beauregard-had been "captured", and that the Legion was calling for a prisoner exchange. However, the group quickly determined to use the situation to their advantage and eliminate the Baron once and for all. (SU: #47, #48)
At the exchange, the Sand-Blasters put their plan into action, slipping some of their men into action disguised as Legionnaires. After a pitched battle in which the Chaotix joined the fight against them, they were driven off by a berserk Mighty. (SU: #49)
The Sand-Blasters employ numerous devices in their defense of their home city, a great deal more than usually employed by a Freedom Fighter group:
- Tanks: the Sand-Blasters employ a force of tanks that fire missiles at their targets.
- Jeeps: jeeps serve as the Sand-Blasters primary conveyances, allowing them to cross great distances in a short amount of time.
- Guns: in a massive departure from other Freedom Fighter groups, the Sand-Blasters actually utilize handguns against their enemies.
- E.M.P. Beacons: Short for Electro-Magnetic Pulse Beacons, these devices are designed to temporarily disable mechanical devices-a particularly potent weapon against Legionnaires.
- The main Sand Blasters roughly play off Looney Tunes: Jack, Shift and Jolt bear similarities to Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner respectively, while Tex and Avery are named after the series creator.
- The Sand Blasters are also the only Freedom Fighter group seen to carry or use actual firearms to any extensive degree as well as heavy artillery weapons and armed vehicles.