(This page is an exert from The Virtual Laser Tag Museum ran by TagFerret.)
200 Century Parkway
Mt. Laurel, New Jersey 08054
Item numbers 44401, 44402, 44403, and 44404.
The plastic, packaging, instructions, and stickers sheet of the Laser Combat Challenge Set (#44402) all reflect this date.
Game Play Details:
This was a fixed 3-hits-to-win system. Scoring was done in the guns rather than in the targets (see Technology section for details.) There is a single red POWER indicator LED on the top spine of each gun, and three score LED's (Yellow, Red, and Green) in the geometrical looking section at the rear of the gun.
The Challenge Set (#44402) consists of two guns, two vests, two BART target robots, and stickers for decorating and making the important parts of the vests and robots reflective.
According to the instructions, the Team Force set (#44404) also contained at least one BART Target robot, while neither the Patrol (#44401) nor Duel (#44403) sets came with the BART robot. Beyond that I can only assume the differences between sets was the number of guns vests in each, as the instructions are common to all four sets.
Sound effects are very simple tone-based sounds. They seem to be produced through a speaker rather than a piezo disc but i Am not one hundred percent certian yet. The "Winner" sound is virtually identical to the two-tone reset sound the WOW StarSensor makes upon power-up.
The range claims on the packaging are "up yo 40 feet." This is one of those rare toys in the lasertag segment which not only lives up to, but outperforms its range claims even under direct sunlight. It works amazingly well for such a simple-seeming design. I saw no sign of false detects from sunlight, though i did prove that by wiggling the transmitter back and forth across the target I was able to make it repeatably score multiple hits with the same shot.
The instructions indicate it is compatible "with any infrared or white-light target game." I don't see how that would be possible. It neither used the same number of hits as was common to the other systems (6 or 10) not the sdame sensing technology. Perhaps it was simply referring to the fact that you opponent could wear the reflexite vest which worked with your Laser Combatr gun, while you wore the StarSensor which registered hits from his StarLyte?
Batteries: 1 9-Volt plus three AA's per gun.
The gun produces a long visible white-light flash using a standard PR-2 flashlight bulb each time the trigger is pulled. I suspect the light has a modulated signal of some sort as it works astonishingly well for such a system even in direct sunlight, but I have not yet proven it via reverse-engineering.
The target vests and BART robots are passive items, serving only to reflect the white light transmitted by the gun. Active target panels are covered in a sticker of special "Reflexite" material which is very similar to the material that the Galoob Lazer Pro 9000 target would be made from years later. The white light spot is astonishingly bright when reflected by the Reflexite material, but not when reflected by anything else except perhaps a mirror. The vests have four panels of this material (front, rear, and both shoulders) as do the BART robots.
The receiver is a photocell of some sort built into the front of the gun behind a lens. It is sensitive to the reflected signal during the period when the trigger is pulled and the bulb is transmitting. If the reflection is seen, a hit is scored.
The BART (Bio-Automated Roving Target) robot, despite having the same name as would later be used for the same concept in Laser Challenge gear, was technologically very basic by comparison. It simply had a 3-position switch for skill level which controlled how long the robot would operate before stopping, and a red button to start that operating period. To win against the robot, the player was required to score 3 hits on the Reflexite panels of the robot before the robot came to a stop. Should the robot strike any object, a traditional "bump-and-turn" mechanism caused it to chage direction without stopping.
The transmitter bulb does a nice job of producing a visible spot on any wall within about 20 feet during daylight, which helps in correcting one's aim. It is a nice feature, though not as dramatic as the Xenon strobe effect of the Buddy-L system.
There are four different sets mentioned in the instruction boooklet which is common to all:
#44401 Patrol set (no BART)
#44402 Challenge Set (2 guns, 2 vests, 2 BARTs)
#44403 Duel set (no BART)
#44404 Team Force set (at least 1 BART)
I am not aware of any plastic or color variations.