Original Lazer Tag Logo
|Materials||Plastic with electronics|
Lazer Tag is a brand name for the infrared pursuit game generically known as "laser tag", "lasertag", or "lazertag". First introduced by Worlds of Wonder in 1986, the Lazer Tag brand is currently a subsidiary of Hasbro's Nerf toy line.
Lazer Tag was created by Paul Rago at the toy company Worlds of Wonder in 1986, appearing at approximately the same time as the home version of Entertech's Photon brand. Like Photon, Worlds of Wonder's Lazer Tag brand also inspired a TV series. The animated series Lazer Tag Academy was produced by Ruby-Spears Productions, with one season airing on NBC from 1986 to 1987. Three Choose Your Own Adventure-style books were released based on the game as well. A boy is briefly shown playing Lazer Tag in the 1988 film Married to the Mob. A Lazer Tag video game was released in the late 1980s for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC and Commodore 64.
The toy had controversy. In April 1987, 19-year-old Leonard Falcon was shot and killed in Rancho Cucamonga, CA by a sheriff's deputy after witnesses saw him and several friends playing with it, mistaking the toys for real guns. The deputy soon quit his job. According to some sources, the negative publicity associated with the incident contributed to Worlds of Wonder's bankruptcy and dissolution the following year.
Shoot the Moon
Shoot the Moon Products of Pleasanton, CA acquired the Lazer Tag brand name after Worlds of Wonder ceased operations in late 1990. The brand name was licensed to Tiger Electronics from 1996 to 1998, and to Hasbro following their acquisition of Tiger.
Tiger released a variety of Lazer Tag-branded products in the mid-1990s as well as a series of Star Wars-themed blasters, culminating in a toy collection themed for the release of Star Wars Episode 1. Following poor sales, Tiger discontinued the line.
Lazer Tag Team Ops
Following a ground-up redesign, Shoot the Moon licensed their next generation product to Tiger Electronics. Released at Toy Fair 2004, Lazer Tag Team Ops (LTTO) featured a double-barreled design allowing a tagger to identify targets and confirm hits at a distance, and the ability to self-host timed games of up to three teams with various rules and scenarios, with debriefing and score review following the game.
Nerf branding replaced the now-defunct Tiger Electronics labeling on all products in production beginning in 2012.
In August 2012, Hasbro released an all-new Lazer Tag line, which allowed users to integrate an iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, or iPod Touch unit with the blasters. The associated Lazer Tag app converts the smartphone into a HUD unit, which displays power levels and update players' gaming progress on an online leaderboard. The app also offers augmented reality experiences, unlockable attacks and gear. The following month, the new, larger iPhone 5 was introduced, which did not fit into the new blaster's clamshell carrier.
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