Laser Tag Museum News and Updates

Updated with our latest items for the museum, and our relentless quest to document the history of laser tag.

Dedicated to preserving the legacy of the laser tag industry.

Curator

Up, Up, and Away in a beautiful Q-Zar Ballon

qballoon

We receivd an email from Joe Russo, the same man who was kind enough to allow us to display the Michael J. Fox signed Q-Zar pack.  Joe sent me an email with this photo attached.  Here is his email:

Hey Erik,

going through some of my photos from days gone by and look what I found. I think this was in 96/97 we had the Q-ZAR hot air Balloon shipped to us for promotions. We setup Free hot air balloon rides Via one of the local Long Island top 40 radio station and StonyBrook University.

Thank you again Joe for your continued support for the Laser Tag Museum.  Now, I am off to find out whatever happened to this artifact.

Curator

Laser Blast Donates New Pack

Laser Blast, based in Plymouth, Michigan, has donated a new laser tag pack to the Laser Tag Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.

laser blastThe ILTA had acquired a Laser Blast pack back in 2008 and included it in the museum, though at the time it had no electronics. Recently Al Keeping, a sales representative with Laser Blast, offered to take the vest back to Michigan and have it refitted with new electronics so that it could be displayed with lights and sound to wow visitors who saw the gear.

A few weeks later and the ILTA received the vest with both new plastics, electronics, and an adapter so that the pack could be plugged into the display cases to light up. Now the Laser Blast section of the museum is well represented with sharp looking equipment. Laser Blast even threw in one of their signature safari hats that has become a bit of a trademark with the company.

Curator

Merging News and Blog into one section entitled "News"

In an effort to streamline the website and reduce duplicate entries, we are going to merge the News section with the Blog section and call it "News".  This will give one more navigational spot on the front page title bar and help us with SEO relevance.

All old news stories will be merged into the blog and will keep their original date of posting.  Many of the news stories are duplicated so these will be eliminated.

Curator

Slow Entries due to archiving and preserving artifacts

There has not been any major updates to the blog as we are going back and correcting grammar and inserting images into the appropriate pages of prior posts.  We did gather over 500 articles to scan; dozens of three ring binders to sort; in addition to the laser tag vests, shirts. knickers, jumpers and much more.

We apologize about the delay in getting artifacts posted.  The large quantity of items that were acquired in New Zealand and Australia will take a few weeks on the intern's schedule to get up to speed.

We have been cataloging and photographing all the Vultrek items donated to the Laser Tag Museum by Robyn and Graham Vickridge-Smith.  We have also been cataloging and putting up photos  of the V2 phaser from Darren Shaw; the rare Phasor Strike phaser complete with a HeNe laser; the prototype guns from the Zone Laser Tag V2 and V3 phasers; cleaning, cataloging and photographic the V3 Fabric Vest, the V4 fabric vests and more with Zone Laser Tag.

Curator

Against Malaria Helps Acquire One of 2 Known Quasar Mark I Packs

When I was in Perth, Wombat told me that someone he knows owns a first generation Quasar pack but it was not for sale.   Shortly later I left Perth, and sadly, I did not see the Quasar Mark I pack during my stay.  A few days later, I texted Wombat and asked him to pass on a message to the owner of that pack.

Weeks went by and I finally returned home and then I received an email from Doug Burbidge.  Doug had worked at the Quaser in Freemantle and then later went to work for P&C Micros/Zone Laser Tag.

Doug made me an offer that if I made a contribution to a non-profit group known as "Against Malaria", that he would send the Quasar pack to the museum.  I made the requested donation and a week later the Quasar Mark I packed arrived.  It was in fairly rough condition with a lot of the paint peeled away and the Quasar logo nearly gone of the box.  But here was a Quasar pack from the first Quasar in the world! 

Quasar Mark 1

Doug also provided a lot of insight into Quasar for that time period.  He then helped identiify the numerous laser tag systems created by P&C Micros /Zone Laser Tag.  We will be placing his descriptions on that page shortly.

We must thank Doug for his selfless contribution to the laser tag museum as well as his altruisitc goal to help eliminate malaria in African nations.

Recent Comments
Curator
What an awesome piece of history! well done.
Friday, 25 October 2013 08:13
Curator
Oh wow! Incredible piece of equipment. Made out of steel it looks like? It's amazing how far technology has come and the lightweig... Read More
Tuesday, 29 October 2013 20:09
Curator

Laserwar of Russia Contacts the Museum

I received an email with an incredible link to a video for outdoor laser tag in Russia. 

Check it out:

I was thoroughly impressed and hope to one day play Laserwar if I get to Russia.Check out the Laserwar page on the Outdoor Laser Tag section.

 

Curator

George Carter III continues to support the Museum...

George Carter III continues supporting the Museum by donating three one of a kind photographs, a Photon Boarding Pass for the Grand Opening of Photon Houston, and a Photon News Letter.

photon pic1

This one of the few pictures of George Carter III actually wearing the Photon equipment.

photon pic2

A photograph of the the prototype Photon Phaser.

photon pic3

A picture of the model for the first Photon arena.

George provided the items to the Museum when the Curator stopped by George's house in the Dallas area in early October, 2013.

Curator

The Creator and the Curator

I had dinner tonght with George Carter, the founder and creator of Photon.  I was in Dallas for my day job and wrapped everything up.  George and I went out and he brought me up to speed on his latest invention(which is sortof hush-hush at the moment).

He gave a few more items for the museum display cases and I will post those when I get a scanner.

It was a great evening and it is always good to hear different stories from George about the origins of Photon.

Curator

Original Laser Quest Logo Artwork Donated to Musuem

Frank Stace, co-founder of Phasor Strike, donated a number of materials to the Laser Tag Musuem including the original artwork for the logo of Laser Quest.

The logo is mounted on a foamcore board and covered with a sheath to protect the logo.  The logo was designed by the marketing firm of Barnaby & Tarr of Manchester, UK.  It was presented to Phil Pickersgill and Simon James by Barnaby & Tarr.

Frank was an advisor to the formation of Laser Quest and was given the artwork to use in future marketing materials. 

This orginal artwork has been protected in a file cabinet for over 20 years.  Now it will be on display in the display cases of the Laser Tag Museum.

lqlogo

Curator

IND-ORD-LAX-SYD-AKL-WLG-CHC-SYD-MEL-PER-ADL-MEL-BNE-SYD-HNL-LAX-IND

It took about 2 weeks to get readjusted to being back in the USA after being gone to New Zealand, Australia, and Hawaii.  The day job kept me fairly busy as this is the time of the year.

All total I shipped back 5 boxes weighing a total of 145 pounds / 65 kilos of laser tag packs, phasers, bases, game electronics, photos, marketing maetrials, newspaper clippings, video tapes (it was the 80's) and much more.

Qantas Airbus A380

Here is the trip by the numbers:

Curator

Aloha! Holoz Founder Gives Amazing Interview

Aloha!  The weather has been amazing today in Honolulu and it afforded the perfect backdrop for an interview with Holoz Founder Nick Geranio.

Nick and I sat outside of his home on the North Shore and discussed the origins and concepts for HoloZ aka Laser World.

The interview will be written up and posted on the Holoz page in the next few days.

Curator

Ozzies and Kiwi's Have Been Generous to the Museum

I am sitting in the Air New Zealand Koru Business Class Lounge getting ready for the next leg of this adventure.  It was over 25 days ago that I left home to venture forth to try and gather and preserve artifacts that have never been available in the USA.

I have had some time to reflect on all the amazing people I have met and the kindness and generosity of so many people who have given artifacts to the Laser Tag Musuem.

Dozens of people in 2 countries have opened their homes and their hearts to help honor and cherish this industry.  Donors parted with rare or last-of-their-kind items to have them on display in one central showcase for the industry.

DarkLight, Delta Strike, Laserforce and Zone operators, players and some company officials all contributed to growing the museum and ensuring items are preserved for the industry's benefit.

I have been made speechless, stunned, shocked, awed, amazed and near tears with items that have been shown to me and then made available to the museum.

Thank You! to all the amazing operators who run amazing businesses in some of the most beautiful parts of the world.  I just don't have enough words....

Curator

Sydney Operators Contribute To Museum

Two operators in the Sydney market provided hard to acquire packs to the museum.

Nick Hantzipantelis of Zone 3 Play Centre in Dee Why, NSW, Australia has been operating last tag for over 20+ years and over that time he has accumulated a few items.  Nick is running a successful location utilizating Zone Laser Tag's v4 equipment.  This is a feat as V4 was removed from circulation around 15 years ago.

Nick has an incredible system to maintain and care for his equipment and to keep his guests happy.  But Nick also has a store room of parts and pieces that are not available in the States.  So Nick and I spent an evening sorting through items and were able to put together a Zone Laser Tag V3 pack and a V4 pack.

Zone Laser Tag V3 Pack and Phaser

Guy Warren, owner of two Zone locations, spent a day with me showing both locations.  Both facilities are very unique and I was able to come away with a number of ideas about laser tag arenas. 

V3 Pack and phaser

Guy also had a v3 vest in near perfect condition.  It was stored away several years ago and he dug it out to provide it to the Laser Tag Museum.

All three packs donated by the two fine operators have already been shipped to the States as part of the last shipment as I wrap up my New Zealand and Australia trip.

 

Curator

Treasure Trove of Marketing Materials Made Available

"Go ahead Erik, help yourself to everything on these shelves" said Kate Holmes, Managing Director of P&C MIcros.

Kate has been involved with the laser tag industry for nearly 25 years.  In her spacious office in Mt. Waverly, VIC is a bookcase complete with photo albums and scrapbooks.  The scrapbooks cover Zone Laser Tag throughout the world.

Pictures, pamphlets, leaflets and more from Australia, New Zealand, UK, Sweden, France, Argentina and many other countries.  Kate allowed me to take any duplicates of materals. 

After sorting through the duplicates, I set about to scanning as much as I could.  After about 7 hours of scanning, I was just about finished when I discovered yet more items.

All total, I gathered about 500 different articles, marketing materials, and photos going back to 1989.  It will take us some time to catalog this vast treasue trove of materials.

The Laser Tag Museum wishes to thank Kate Holmes for allowing access to a wealth of materials long forgotten in the laser tag industry.Zone Collage

Curator

"We are going to need more than 40 minutes..."

...and we did.  The private collection of laser tag items was probably the largest outside of the Laser Tag Museum.

Mark "Chook" Harding is one of the top 3 players in Australia.  He has been an active member and player for over 20 years.  He holds the record for visiting more locations in Australia than any other person.

Chook has jackets, T-shirts, pins, a handcrafted necklace, and a numer of laser tag phasers.  Rare ones.  The kind no longer made.  The kind that should be in the museum.

His collection included three very special Zone Laser Tag phasers that were of interest to me.  He had a prototype System T phaser shell; a Phasor Strike phaser shell and a prototype V3 phaser with electronics.

psrare

The next day I was able to confirm the two white phasers as prototypes with the inventor, Patrick Holmes, of P&C Micros.

Chook, and his lovely wife Dee, and I chatted for hours about laser tag locations throughout Australia and the changes that the industry has undergone in the past 20 years. 

At the end of the wonderful conversation, Chook and I were able to make arrangements for the 3 rare phasers to be placed on display at the Laser Tag Museum.  Here are the phasers:

 

The Laser Tag Museum thanks Chook for his wonderful contribution to the museum.  Further, we thank his dedication to the sport of laser tag and realize that guys like him helped grow the industry in the early days.

Curator

Rarest of Rare Phasor Strike Phaser Will Be Displayed

The third ever made Phasor Strike phaser has been acquired by the Laser Tag Museum through the efforts of Doc Baldwin and Jack and Debbie Turner. 

Doc is the owner of the 20+ year old Zone 3 in Canberra, ACT, Australia and Jack & Debbie are the owner's of Lazer Blaze, the oldest laser tag arena in North America though not in continous use.

The phaser was owned by Brad Barns, a long-time employee and hardcore player of Zone Laser Tag in Melbourne.  It was given to Brad  by Mr. Patrick Holmes, owner of P&C Micros, the inventor of Phasor Strike (now Zone Laser Tag).  The phsaer is complete with the electronics and the Helium-Neon laser assembly in pristine condition.

Phaser Strike Phaser

Brad had kept the phaser for over 20 years in a special wooden case where the phaser was protected and secured.  Doc and Jack spoke with Brad about having the Phasor Strike phaser on display in the museum as opposed to being stashed away in a closet.  This would allow the 50,000 visitors to the museum to appreciate the phaser.

Brad, who has always tried to promote the laser tag industry both in Australia and throughout the world was kind enough to part with one of his most cherished possessions.

The Laser Tag Museum wishes to thank Brad for his willingness to part with the Phasor Strike phaser.  We also would like to thank Doc, Jack and Debbie for locating the phaser and working to secure it for the museum.

 

Curator

Darren Shaw of Fun City Sunshine Donates V2 Phaser and more

Darren Shaw has been operating laser tag locations for over 20+ years.  He has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience along with a few laser tag packs.

Fun City Entertainment Center, in Sunshine, VIC, Australia is a massive entertainment complex complete with go-karts, laser tag, motion simulators, haunted house and more.

Zone Laser Tag V2 Phaser donated by Darren Shaw

Darren invited me to sort through his large storage area for laser tag equipment and components.  His staff members Frankie and Dave spent quite a bit of time with me as we crawled through boxes and more.

Ultimately, a Zone Laser Tag Version 2 phaser; an infusion base; and a number of other arena and system components were gathered up for the Laser Tag Museum.  Also, a unique Marshall Phaser in the shape of an outdoor MP4 phaser was also donated.

Thank you to Darren and his team for the efforts on behalf of the Laser Tag Museum!

Curator

...and the phone rang

"Erik, it's Graham, we found some interesting items for you.  Can you come back today?"

Robyn Smith was fixated to find more items in her vast collections of documents and she did.  She found items that were simply incredible.

Back in New Zealalnd, Frank Stace told me about another laser tag system that was based out of Sydney.  The company was called Lazerdome.  There were a couple of photos but nothing substantial.

Robyn had marketing materials from Lazerdome; a membership card; pictures of the interior; and even the floor plan layout.

She also had great newspaper articles showing Len Kelly (now of Laserforce) wearing Vultrek equipment.  Also, Len's ex-wife Sharan was in an article.  There was an amazing newsletter from Laserforce announcing the switch from Vultrek to Laserforce complete with dates.  This is important as it changes our timeline regarding Laserforce as a manufacturer.

There was a stack of newspaper articles  about Phaser Strike.

There was sales literature from Laser Strike based out of Christchurch.

There was an article about Geoff Haselhurst and the very first Quasar along with some marketing materials.

It was a treasure trove of information about laser tag systems during a pretty obscure time period.

We will be placing examples of the artifacts on the various webspages.Vultrek Collage

Curator

Mythological Vultrek Parts the Mist of Time

Vultrek has been one of the most elusive laser tag systems for the Museum to gather any information about since it came to our attention several years ago.

Vultrek was never available in the USA and to the best of our knowledge there were only 3 or 4 Vultrek locations that existed in Australia back in the mid-1980's.  The odds that we would ever see a Vultrek pack or get anything about Vultrek was fairly bleak.

But, all of that changed.

Vultrek Gen 1 Orange

Graham and Robyn Smith opened the doors to their amazing warehouse in Adelaide, Australia and spent hours with me on Tuesday September 2, 2013.   When I walked into the warehouse, they had a number of Vultrek helmets and packs waiting for me.

Robyn spent a considerable amount of time picking out some of the best Gen1 and Gen2 Vultrek's sets.  She made sure that everything was clean and ready for the museum display cases back in Louisville.

If it only ended there, I would have considered the trip a success.  But Robyn had hundreds of photos from their Vultrek 5 location that was in Adelaide and then relocated to Port Adelaide.  She had numerous magazine articles and newspaper articles.  I sat there for hours scanning items that I had no idea existed.

In the meanwhile, Robyn, with the help of her daughter Kia, put together a Vultrek Care Package unlike almost anything ever donated before.  The four Vultrek packs that I mentioned before; membership cards; Vultrek letterhead; newspaper articles; a massive 24" x 36" Vultrek poster and much more.

Graham and I chatted about the origin of Vultrek which will be placed on the Vultrek page.  Robyn and Graham were charmingly gracious as I sat amongst their collection and we ate dinner.

More details about Vultrek will be posted soon.

Curator

Quasar Founder Provides Truth and More

Geoff Haselhurst, founder of Quasar / Q-Zar, spent several hours with me chatting about the origins of Quasar and the interconnectivuty of the events that occured to create one of the greatest laser tag brands in the industry.

I had to drive 5 hours south of Perth into one of Australia's remote regions.  The fierce windstorm that was knocking over trees in the road was amazing.  I was almost to Geoff's house when a branch dropped onto my rental car and smashed the windscreen.  But that did not deter me from my mission to interview Geoff.

Details of the interview will be posted soon.

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