Lazer Tag

I first became aware of Lazer Tag when I saw some of the equipment at a friend's house sometime in 1987. But, it was really expensive and I was on a budget so I wasn't tempted. Ironically, what made Lazer Tag really popular was the demise of Worlds of Wonder, the manufacturer of the equipment. Warehouses full of the equipment were sold at a fraction of the original price to pay off creditors. KayBee's and other stores started selling the basic sets for $10, and Lazer Tag became a fad within my social circle. Earlier in that same year I had the opportunity to experience the use of MILES gear, an infrared system that the Army uses for training exercises.

My major contribution was reducing some of the annoying limitations of the equipment. Among other things, I made a module that could be added to the Lazer Tag pistol to increase its firing rate.

The only thing I've done with Lazer Tag gear since '88 is to add a laser designator to my Starlite pistol. I did that to spruce it up so it could be part of an outfit for a party I went to. I bought a laser pointer kit at Fry's which came with a laser diode mounted on a tiny PC board along with a switch and a few other components, and a case to mount it and some batteries in. Instead of putting it in the case, I bypassed the switch and attached a small (78L05) 5V regulator to it along with some diodes to drop the 5V further to the 3V the board needed. I mounted the board above the Starlite's main board toward the front of the gun, and cut a laser portal out of the front of the Starlite's case. I wired the board to the sighting LED switch (the one that turns on the LED that provides the red dot in the sight when you pull the gun's trigger halfway). It works very well. Now I wish there were people around here still interested in playing Lazer Tag…

I've gotten quite a bit of mail as a result of this web page. A common question is whether if I know where new or used Lazer Tag gear can be purchased. There is no original-Lazer-Tag compatible equipment being sold new today. However, used (or at least previously owned!) gear is available on eBay - try this search.

Various systems have been introduced in the years since WOW went under, including a lot of gear inferior to the original Lazer Tag equipment as well as some that sounds decent. For more information on modern systems, see Brian Farley's Laser Tag Pages. From my experience, an ideal system would involve sensors distributed over the body front and rear, like the MILES gear, but that may be too much to expect from consumer gear that is really meant just for fun.


This web page maintained by John DuBois
Created: 1994-03-16     LastUpdate: 2009-07-20