If you do not speak Airportese, the above is the route that I recently flew over a 26 day period for both work and vacation which always means that I find time to help secure incredible, exciting items for the Laser Tag Museum.
Here is a recap with more detailed postings to happen over the next several weeks.
My first part of this trip was to Brisbane, Australia where I spent 5 days visiting incredible facilities and attending an Australian Zone operator conference. It was exciting to listen to operators and the myriad of methodologies in operating a facility. Also in attendance were a couple of potential operators.
But serendipity struck for the museum. I sat next to a gentleman who happened to be the former Australasia distributor for Laser Venture. Laser Venture is a product that we have wanted to display for sometime but have been unable to secure a pack from the manufacturer in the UK. You already know how this ends - Laser Venture will be on display at the museum compliments of the happenstance of sitting next to someone and striking up a conversation.
I then spent a Saturday afternoon huffing and puffing in the woods. Nicole and Peter Lander of Battlefield Sports were gracious hosts while they operated one of the most amazing tactical events that I have ever seen. Over 100 taggers running up and down the hills laughing and giggling. Nicole and Peter had donated to the museum a couple of years ago and this was a great chance to catch up and play some Battlefield Sports.
After Brisbane, I went down to Melbourne to see Darrin Shaw's new location in Shepperton. Darrin has been a generous supporter to the museum in the past so it was an honor to be able to go see his new 50,000 sq. ft. facility.
On to Adelaide where I caught up with Robyn and Graham Vickridge-Smith, founders of Vultrek. This couple, long retired from the laser game industry, shared even more knowledge about the industry in the mid- 1980's.
While in Adelaide, I spent time with Matt Parker who recently revitalized his business with a substantial investment and makeover. It was a cool facility to visit. But Matt had a surprise for the museum. He had a HELIOS PRO to donate that was worn and autographed by Hollywood movie and TV star Kevin Sorbo. This pack will be on display as part of the Hollywood Collection.
A quick hop up to Kuala Lumpar where I was met at the airport and driven to see one of the most successful locations in all of Asia. Laser Battle. They are located in one of the busiest shopping malls in the world with over 100,000 visitors a day at the mall. The staff was incredible and the arena held some innovations that will help improve the over all game of laser tag. More details to come.
Jumping ahead of the recap, I got to spend a day in Toulouse, France with Laser Quest International's Tim Aldous and his business partner Olivier. Tim and Olivier have created the first hybrid laser game business in the industry over 2 years ago. You will have to read my post to learn why Toulouse may be the future of the industry. But, Tim and Olivier also donated a pristine condition LQ10 pack with flawless plastics. This will be a gem on display.
Skipping ahead, my trip ends in Rome, Italy where I met with X-RAID Laser Games. I spent 3 1/2 days visiting locations, learning about the Italian laser game industry, and even watch X-RAID conduct a sales demonstration. The trip concludes with Guiseppe Colazzo and Lorenzo Ribaldi presenting two packs to the museum. The first is one of only 2 prototypes of X-RAID to exist. As a prototype it is delicate, hand crafted out of resin with the phaser made from carbon fiber. The second pack was a brand new production pack that has features not found on any other laser tag system in the world.
Everything that was donated to the museum will be cataloged and photographed in the coming weeks. Check the new news section for updates on the latest items donated to the museum.