While water pistols were the weapon of choice for kids of the 70s, a decade later things had advanced so much that unreliable jets of water had been replaced by futuristic red laser beams (well, actually, harmless infrared beams). It was the stuff of dreams when Lazer Tag came onto the scene. Who didn't feel like Captain Power running around 'shooting' lasers here, there and everywhere? it really was the stuff of dreams.
Each Lazer Tag kit came with a Starlyte gun, StarBelt, StarVest and a Star (safety first, kids) Helmet. You had to be a professional sniper to be able to hit the sensor, but who cared? With everything in tact, you looked like some kind of mini Robocop and were more than ready to go to war, whether it be in the back garden or at the local Quasar complex, where you could roam among abandoned industral scenes in the pitch black! The Lazer Tag was supposedly accurate up to 100 feet, day or night, with electronic sighting.
Although, Lazer Tag 'the game that moves at the speed of light' was not exactly a new concept (the Amy also used lasers for training, plus Phaser Gun Sets had entered the toy scene in 1979, along with Photon), but this new toy was way more advanced than its predecessors. For a start, it had a built-in vibration and alarm system so everyone knew about it if you got hit, plus it kept the score all by itself, so you couldn't really cheat, so after six hits, you were out of the game. No question about it.
Fuelling the success of Lazer Tag even more, its maker Worlds of Wonder also put out a Saturday morning kids' programme called Lazer Tag Academy. But all this came to an end just a measly two years later, perhaps after kids had given up pestering mum and Dad to buy them the rather pricey kit. Luckily, Lazer Tag was to return only another two years later, courtesy of Tiger Electronics - hitting Mum and Dad when they least expected it.
Hasbro now runs the toy, and have kept it alive to date, cashing in by releasing a Star Wars: The Phantom Menace themed set. Quasar remained popular through the 90s (well, it's a lot least painful than an afternoon paintballing) with many a kid's birthday party filling up the venue. And one more thing remains: no one cares that it's really an infrared LED beam that they're firing, just as long as it looks like a laser!