Icons of the Analog Age: Lazer Tag
Lazer Tag is a toy just like a paintball gun accept instead of using paintablls, it uses lasers. It was introduced in 1986 and is still made today. You can even go to a place and play, but not using the official Lazer Tag brand.
The starter set came with a belt/straps, a sensor (that can detect a hit), and a gun.
They also made a baseball cap (that could detect hits from 360 degrees).
Then came the full vest with a holster.
The following year, they released an amazing helmet.
This thing is called Starbase and would just shoot you in all directions (for those kids who had no friends).
Walkie Talkies, and an amazing rifle followed, but then a tragic accident happened. There was a young man was gunned down and killed by police who thought he had a real gun. That pretty much ended all the fun.
Afterwards, they only released white guns and rifles, and then the stock market crash pretty much ended Lazer Tag along with the company that made it, World Of Wonder (Teddy Ruxpin, Action Max). Since then, it’s been bought, re-released, sold, redesigned, and bought again, currently Hasbro has the rights.
My brother and I were lucky enough to get the started set when it was first released. It was a lot of fun. The guns were really cool looking, and as long as you had both sets and plenty of batteries (each gun took 6 AA batteries and the sensor took a 9V!) it was a ton of fun.
The most fun we ever had playing Lazer Tag was in my grandparent’s basement–in complete darkness. It was so cool to see the front of the guns light up and all the lights flashing when you got hit.
Whenever we would have friends over we would play too. We never knew anyone else that had it though, which is a shame because we could have had a giant 30 screaming kids lazer war!
This is one of those toys that seemed completely futuristic. I mean, you could fire actual lasers–LASERS! You could even get shot by them! But I guess in the end it was just basically a fancy game of tag with lasers…maybe…that’s why they called it Lazer Tag.