|The Original MK1 Land Radier|
The original plastic model was released soon after the release of the Rhino in late 1988. The design of the tank was based on early tanks of the 20th century, such as the British Mark I tank. Like the Mark I, the Land Raider had no turret and instead had its weapons mounted in sponsons on the sides of the tank. By the mid-1990s, the Land Raider appeared in numerous pieces of art created for Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 universe, including the game's second edition boxed set. By this time, the Land Raider had been taken out of the Imperial Guard armoury and became an exclusively Space Marine vehicle. Unfortunately for Space Marine players at that time, the Land Raider plastic kit had already been discontinued and remaining boxed sets were difficult to find. Only in 2000 did Games Workshop revive the Land Raider's legacy with the release of the new Space Marine Land Raider MK III plastic kit. A few months later, Games Workshop released a boxed set for Chaos players.
Outside Warhammer 40,000, the Land Raider appears in other games set in the same mythos. Plastic and white metal Land Raider models were available Epic 40,000. These early-version Epic Land Raiders had the same look as the original Warhammer 40,000 model albeit much smaller in size. When the 3rd edition of the game (now known as Epic 40,000) was released in 1997, a model of the Land Raider was produced known as the Land Raider MkII, having both a plastic model and a metal "command" version with antennae and a gunner. The MkII never fully found its way into the Warhammer 40,000 range as a mainstream kit although several aspects of its design did influence the current MkIII plastic model. A MKIIB 'upgrade' kit was introduced by Forgeworld to modify the current MKIII chassis to resemble the earlier MKII. Metal Land Raider MKIII's were released for the 4th edition of Epic, Epic: Armageddon.
As part of the Epic 40,000 universe, Mk II Land Raiders were fieldable units in the 1997 Final Liberation computer game. In THQ's hit-RTS game Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, the Land Raider is the Space Marine faction's heaviest unit.
Land Raiders are also equipped with a "Machine Spirit", an artificial intelligence crafted by the Adeptus Mechanicus that allows the hulking behemoth to move and fight, even without a crew, as if on autopilot. In game terms, this is represented by the vehicle having the "Power of the Machine Spirit" vehicle upgrade built-in to its game stats. The Chaos Space Marines also have access to these powerful machines as they took with them countless numbers of these destructive behemoths. In the Eye of Terror, the Machine Spirit is destroyed and replaced with an Infernal Device that performs similar functions.However, this special rule was taken out for the chaos space marines in the fifth edition codex.