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.
Curator

"Nobody cares about the toys."

As we were packing for the Phocon event, the Intern asked if we should bring any toys which I replied "Nobody at the PhoCon event would care about the toys." So we did not bring any of the home market Photon memorabilia.

When we arrived at Phocon, as soon as we walked in the door, there stood a beautiful display of home market Photon memorabilia. While looking through the collection we couldn't help but notice a specific book we had never seen before. It was called "Thieves of Light". We went most of the show not knowing who this display belonged to but at the end of the banquet a gentleman introduced himself as the owner of the collection. His name was Matthew Patek.

Matthew explained that he was too young to be able to play Photon a lot growing up but he does remember playing the home market Photon games and watching the Photon television series. Mathew, or Mr. Pateck as his students know him, really enjoyed the Phocon event he got to play the actual Photon equipment, instead of the toys, and he also got to meet and get his picture taken with George Carter III, the man responsible for all of his fun filled childhood memories.

George and matt

After Matthew took a look at the Museum's Photon display during the banquet he asked if we had any of the home market memorabilia. We then explained how we did not think anybody at the Phocon event would be interested in home market items and obviously we were wrong. Matthew then asked if he had anything on display that we did not already have and he did. We told him we had never seen the book "Thieves of Light". Immediately Matt went to his car, grabbed the book and donated it to the Museum.

 

mattewpatteck

 

The Laser Tag Museum would like to thank Matthew Patek for his donation and commitment to preserving the Photon legacy. Matthew's donation has been added to the Photon Home Market section of the virtual museum. 

Curator

Action Tag Donates Items, First Items in USA

Ron Francis, Director and Founder of Action Tag, recently donated more unique artifacts after already donating an Action Tank Laser Barrel just a few weeks ago. This time around Ron donated a MK12, an orange G17, and a black G17. 

Actiontag1

These are the first of their kinds to be in the USA and are now on display at the Laser tag Museum.  They were shipped directly from the manufacturering plant in Europe here to the United States.  To visit the Action Tag website that displays all of their equipment click here.

The Curator had the chance to travel to Blackpool, UK to spend an afternoon with Ron Francis and to learn more about Action Tag.  Ron has a strong background in police and military training stretching back many years.  His devotion to creating products that are affordable, intuitive and rugged was noted during the interview.

The Museum would like to thank Action Tag and Ron Francis for continuing to support of the Laser Tag Museum.

Curator

Mark Young Sends Prototype System T Pack Unannounced

Mark Young, Owner of Ultrazone Sherman Oaks, recently donated a Prototype System T pack to the Laser Tag Museum. Mark has had this pack since it was first produced by Zone Laser Tag in 1998. Much to the Museum's surprise, the pack was shipped to the Museum along with a Ultrazone shirt and a note that said, "Love, Mark :)".

tprototypeMarkyoungshirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Laser Tag Museum would like to thank Mark Young for the one of a kind donation and "We love you too Mark!"

Curator

PhoCon Videos on YouTube

Vincent Desiderioscioli posted 4 videos from the PhoCon dinner event.  They are on his YouTube channle but I am embedding them here as well:

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Vinny for recording these great videos as well as your past donations to the Laser Tag Museum.

 

Curator

PhoCon Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary of Photon Laser Tag

In March of 1984 the very first Photon opened in Dallas, Texas. Without realizing, George Carter III, the inventor of Photon, started an industry that would prove to be much more then just a fad.

Jason Bock and Marc Mueller wanted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Photon in a manner unique to them.  They devised the idea of a Photon reunion with modified Photon equipment to be played at XP Laser Sport in Laurel, MD.  To get the equipment in playable condition, and to host the festivities, Jason and Marc created a crowdsourcing request at Indiegogo.com seeking $13,000.

The Laser Tag Museum's Curator watched the PhoCon project develop on Indiegogo when the funding was just shy of its goal, the Curator donated the funds for the goal to be met and for the event to take place. The Curator and the Intern for the Laser Tag Museum drove nine and half hours to PhoCon which took place at XP laser Sport.

On Saturday, July 26th the PhoCon Banquet was held and several guests were invited to speak.  Two stars from the Photon TV show, Clarissa Reid, who played as Kathy Jarvis (mother of Bhodi Li) and David Stay, who played as Mandarr in the Photon TV series, open the dinner with tales from behind the scenes of the TV show.  Next was the Laser Tag Museum's Curator.  The headliner of the event, George Carter III, finally came on stage to take questions from the 100+ attendees and Photon Warriors.

 gc3

George Carter III, Creator of Photon

As Jason Bock introduced the man who needed no introduction, George Carter III, the entire audience rose the their feet to give him a well deserved standing ovation that sent chills down everyones spines. This was the time the audience full of Photon players and enthusiats had been waiting for; their chance to thank the man responsible for enriching their lives in such a huge way. 

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Erik Guthrie, Laser Tag Museum Curator

 

Thirty years later laser tag is bigger and broader then anybody could have imagined. The game and technology has changed a lot since its birth in 1984, no more running, no more helmets, and no more battery belts. Even though the origanl game itself has changed the players have not. If you ask any person at the PhoCon event Photon beats any other system hands down. 

Special thanks must be given to Jason Bock, Marc Mueller, and the numerous volunrteers who toiled to make this weekend event even possible.

Curator

Solaris Leisure Has A Home After Tom Swift's Donation

It has been almost an entire year since the Laser Tag Musuem made a blog post called "Tom Swift and His Amazing Collection".

Tom Swift had bought a 20 player Laser Venture off of eBay but when his shipment arrived he was in for a surprise. Along with the 20 player system he purchased, a Solaris Leisure phaser was mixed in among the other laser tag equipment. After contacting the Curator of the Laser Tag Museum Tom learned he had something very special. 

solarisleisure

About a month ago the Curator went to Europe on a quest to bring more products to the Laser Tag Museum. Tom Swift took the time to meet the Curator in person and donated the long dreamt about Solaris Leisure phaser. The Solaris Leisure phaser is now on display for the thousands of visitors to see. 

The Laser Tag Museum would like to thank Tom Swift for holding on to and maintaining this one of a kind artifact for the Laser Tag Museum. 

Curator

The Laser Tag Museum Signs Agreement to Co-Locate the Laser Tag Convention with Amusement Expo

July 21, 2014 - The Laser Tag Museum has just signed an agreement with Amusement Expo to co-locate the Laser Tag Convention with the annual Amusement Expo trade show and convention.

 

signPictured above is John Schultz, AAMA Executive Vice President ; Erik Guthrie, Laser Tag Museum Curator; and Jack Kelleher, AMOA Executive Vice President signing the co-location agreement.

 
On March 24-26, 2015, the Laser Tag Convention will be hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada and will provide separate educational seminar tracks for both laser tag developers and operators. These seminars will cover a variety of topics such as business planning, operational strategies, new marketing techniques, employee management, and more!
 
ltclogoSeminars will be led by leading experts, consultants, and existing operators in both the laser tag and entertainment industry at large. Already, speakers are being asked to present on topics related to their areas of expertise.
 
Those shopping for laser tag equipment will also be able to meet and try out the latest in laser tag equipment on the trade show floor on Wednesday and Thursday (March 25-26) of that week. This trade show will be combined with the over 130+ companies already exhibiting at the Amusement Expo.
 
This new Convention is designed specifically for the laser tag entrepreneur. All seminars, meetings, and events will be focused on increasing revenues, creating solutions, inspiring innovation, and letting like-minded attendees discuss and share valuable information not found at any other convention.
 
Attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors can find more information about the Laser Tag Convention by visiting the website www.lasertagconvention.com . Registration for the Laser Tag Convention will be available on the website soon.
 
All attendee proceeds will go to benefit the Laser Tag Museum, located in Louisville, Kentucky, allowing the museum to acquire, display, and restore historical items related to the laser tag industry. For more information on the Laser Tag Museum, please visit www.lasertagmuseum.com.
 
Amusement Expo is the annual convention comprised of the American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA), Amusement & Music Operators Association (AMOA) and the National Bulk Vendors Association (NBVA). Information about Amusement Expo can be found at www.amusementexpo.org.

The Laser Tag Museum would like to publically thank the efforts of Brian Glasgow, executive vice president of W.T. Glasgow, Inc., for his efforts in initiating the deal and bringing the parties together to create a tradeshow that reflects the growing family entertainment industry.   Mr. Glasgow is show manager for the Amusement Expo.

Curator

Action Tag Donates a Tank - actually, the IR Barrel of a Tactical Laser Tag Tank

Ron Francis of Action Tag Blackpool, UK recently donated a very cool artificat from an Actiontank.

This little artifact may not look like much but when it is put on the battlefield the Actiontank does its job. The aritifact donated goes inside of the barrel of an mobile tank that is completely kid friendly. 

actiontank

The Laser Tag Museum would like to thank Ron Francis for donating the Museums first ever laser tank.

Curator

Laser Quest Swindon, UK Donates a 20 Year Old Shield

Craig Ullrich, Managing Director and Alex Stroud, General Manager, of Laser Quest Swindon, UK, donated multiple unique Laser Quest artifacts. Alex donated a UK Laser Quest sponsored Robo Cop Poster, a hard bound copy of the Laser Quest Graffix Book; and one of the coolest artifacts - a Laser Quest shield.

LQshield

The Laser Quest shield was previously located in the Laser Quest site in Reading, UK where it was suspended in mid air as a prop for the sites lobby. The shield stands about four feet tall and has a rustic essence about it. The shield was located at the Reading site for about twenty years before the site was sadly closed. After the site had closed the shield was transported to the Swindon site. Alex then contacted the museum to let us know we could put this life size shield on display in the Laser Tag Museum for all of its visitors to see.

 Laesr Quest Shield

The Laser Tag Museum would like to thank Craig Ullrich and Alex Stroud for this one of a kind donation.

Curator

DDTR Donates Laser Claymore, Pulse and Spitfire for Display

Ivy Grcic, along with her husband Zlatko, both Owners of Grcic Corporation Pty Ltd, recently donated two tactical laser tag guns (Pulse & Spitfire) and a tactical claymore, which is a museum first. Never before has any kind of laser claymore been donated to the Laser Tag Museum, this donation is truely one of a kind. The artifacts donated were made by a subsidiary of Grcic Corporation Pty Ltd, DDTR Lasertag

The Pulse

Pulse

The Pulse was the first laser gun developed by Zlatko Grcic in 2000.  The Pulse is a mostly metal gun with a wooden handle and attached headset sensor. But this wasn't the end for Zlatko and DDTR Lasertag, after building the Pulse by hand he then moved on to develop the Spitfire Uzi.

The Spitfire

Spitfire (2)

 

The Spitfire Uzi was the second gun deveopled by Zlatko. The gun was an instant success with the help from its classic software system developed in the UK. In fact the Spitfire was in such a high demand that they began to sourcing both a metal manufacturer and electronics manufacturer in order to let Zlatko focus on designing new designs and test new equipment. 

The (Museum's First) Claymore

Claymore

 

The claymore is a high-tech aluminum cased product designed with a 50 foot long detonator to stop enemy infultration. The speaker in the claymore has sound effects to let the enemy know the have been tagged. 

All of these laser tag artifacts have had their production stopped in order for newer models with better shape, electronics, and sensors. To see DDTR Lasertag's current lineup of equipment click here.

The Laser Tag Museum would like to thank Ivy Grcic for her ground breaking donation. The thousands of visitors will surely appreciate all of the DDTR tactical products. 

Curator

The Ferraro Family of Lockport, NY Donates the Biggest Museum Artifact Yet

Brian Ferraro, co-owner of Skateland in Lockport, NY, and his family recently donated one of the last known remaining working Stargate's to the Laser Tag Museum. After trying to sell the Stargate and having no luck, Brian decided it would be a waste of a cool artifact to throw away.

stargate (640x640)

Brian made arrangements for the team to drive to Lockport, NY to pick up the Stargate. Moving the Stargate was no easy task but with Brian and his team helping we got the Stargate transferred safely back to the Laser Tag Museum.

The Stargate is a nearly 10' tall (3 meters) laser tag prop manufactured by Laser Storm and based off of the movie "Stargate" (1994). For those who do not know "Stargate" was a movie made in the 90's staring Kurt Russel (Col. Johnathon O'Neil) and James Spader (Dr. Daniel Jackson). In the movie, the Stargate was an ancient artifact discovered in Egypt with hieroglyphs on the perimeter of the Stargate.  The Stargate was transferred to an Army base located in Colorado.

Dr. Jackson was called upon to translate the hieroglyphs and once he figured out that the hieroglyphs are coordinates, he and his enter the coordinates into the Stargate which opened a wormhole to the planet of Abydos. Col. O'Neil then leads his men and Dr. Jackson and his crew into this unknown world where the plot really thickens. 

The laser tag prop Stargate is almost a complete circle that goes outside of the entrance to the laser tag arena. After the players get debriefed the Stargate puts on a show. A combination of fog, lights, and audio clip all begin at once. The players stand in awe as the Stargate opens a wormhole in front of them to which they are to go in and defeat the enemy.  There is a video of a Stargate on the Laser Storm page.

The Laser Tag Museum would like to thank Brian Ferraro and his family for this huge donation. The Musuem will be forever grateful for this donation.

Curator

Battlefield Sports Sends Donation From Across the World

The Laser Tag Museum is in disbelief with all of the incoming tactical equipment. The Museum would like to thank its latest donor of tactical equipment, Battlefield Sports, for sending its donation all the way from Australia. 

Battlefield Sports sent a wealth of materials to the Laser Tag Museum, all of which are pictured below:

The Beserker

 

Berserkers

 

The black colored Berserker is a lightweight mostly wood simulated Scorpion also with a classic electronic infra-red gaming system. The Berserker was named after the Norse warriors who are depicted in Old Norse literature to have fought in a nearly uncontrollable, trance-like fury. The one of a kind wooden gun was actually designed by Peter Lander's father, John Lander. Battlefield Sports ceased production of the Berserker model in June 2004.

The Spitfire

spitfire

The camo colored Spitfire got its now de guerre in honor of the WW2 single-seater aircraft. It was said that "Flying the Spitfire was like driving a sports car" and the same goes for light and lean machine designed for the ground. The Spitfire is made of aluminim so it could withstand the beating it takes on the battlefield and has a range of about 50 yards in broad day light. This unique gun has been through several design iterations but is still one of the most popular models in the Battlefield Sports line-up. To see their entire line-up click here.

 

 Right On Target

BS Book

 

Right On Target is a tactical laser tag guide written by Nicole and Peter Lander. Nicole Lander is Co-Founder of Battlefield Sports and a highly successful entrepreneur who has been recognized by The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Review, The Australian, NETT# Magazine, and even received the Telestra Business Woman of the Year (Innovation) award for Queensland in 2009 for her business and entrepreneur achievements

Peter Lander, Founder of Battlefield Sports and Inventor of SATR (Small Arms Transmitter Receiver) technology. Peter is an accomplished gamer and entrepreneur who has almost twenty years of experience under his belt. Peters business (Battlefield Sports) has been awarded Exporter of the Year (Arts/Entertainment) and Australians Technology Showcases' Member of the Year Award. And thanks to the Battlefield Live business Peter has been featured on prime time national TV programs like Getaway, Queensland Escapes, Gold Coast Weekender, and Brisbane Extra.

Right on Target helps teach those new to the tactical world what it takes to be a Live Gaming Professional, a brief history of Battlefield Live, how to get started, Battlefield Marketing, staff selection, and much more. To see for yourself you can download the whole e-book from Battlefield Sports website by clicking here.

Business Cards

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These dog tag styled business cards are great marketing materials for Battlefield Sports that allows the cutstomer to see the equipment and read a little bit about it while still staying small like a traditional business card.

Collage of Materials

 bscollage2

Battlefield Sports also sent a wealth of materials to display at the Laser Tag Museum. Some of the items they donated were.

- 3 Laser Tag in a Box magnets

- 4 Laser Skirmish magnets

- 4 Battlefield Sports square dog tags

- A Battlefield Sports Brochure

- A Battlefield Sports Team Building Brochure

- A Trade Matters Brochure which featured a Battlefield Sports Section

The Laser Tag Museum would like to thank Nicole Lander, Peter Lander and Battlefield Sports for their substantial donations. The thousands of visitors a year will be astonished by these outdoor artifacts. 

 

Curator

Back to the UK in the search for artifacts

Just a quick update to say that I just gave a presentation about the Laser Tag Museum to a group of laser tag operators in the UK. 

I have also had the chance to play a wicked cool member's game at Laser Quest Swindon; I already picked up an incredible Solaris Leisure phaser from our old friend Tom Swift; I had a fanatstic meeting with David Byrne of Laser Force (UK); and I learned more about the orgins of the elusive and evasive Laser Venture.

Photos will be posted and in the meanwhile, the team in the USA picked up an amzingly rare item for the large artifiact collection of the Laser Tag Museum.

I also have another couple of posts to promote some very cool outdoor laser tag equipment from Australia.

A lot is happening and I will update the News section as soon as I slow down, probably on an airplane.

 

 

Curator

Dexter Morgan Donates Deathmatch Medallion

Dexter Morgan, Owner of Tac-Ops in Fresno CA, recently donated a unique  Deathmatch medallion.

Tac-Ops is a laser tag facility in Fresno California but this isn't your normal game of laser tag. In Tac-Ops 10,000 square foot arena two teams face off against each other using highly realistic guns that resemble SMG's, AK47's, sniper riffles, and other realistic combat weapons. Unlike conventional laser tag Tac-Ops doesn't use a vest or even black lights in there arena, it is designed to feel like a military mission or a first person shooter game. This facility is truly one of a kind.

tacops1tacops2

The Laser Tag Museum would like to thank Dexter Morgan for his generous donation. To visit Tac-Ops website click here

Curator

LaserTag Pro donates 2 Hi-Tech Taggers to the Museum

Aaron Fischer, the owner of Laser Tag Pro, donated 2 taggers from Hi-Tech.  The 2 taggers, an HT-11Predator and a HT-6, will now be on display at the Laser Tag Museum.

Hi-Tech Electronic Assemblies Inc. was established in 2005 and since then has grown from just a 4,000 square foot facility to a 14,000 square foot facility located in Council Bluffs Iowa. The facility is where Hi-Tech assembles all of their products.

 

HT-11 Predator

ht-11

 

HT-6

ht6

 

The Laser Tag Museum would like to thank Aaron of Laser Tag Pro, inc.for helping the increase the Tactical section of the museum.  Aaron is helping to preserve the history of the tactical industry.  To learn more about Laser Tag Pro, please visit their website.

Curator

iCombat Increases Tactical Display for the Museum

The outdoor section continues to grow with even more equipment coming in from another tactical laser tag company. This time it was iCombat who stepped up to the plate.

iCombat has become one of the leading suppliers for the tactical laser tag industry with its unique perspective and strong market position.  Owner Rick Jensen has developed an impressive team that is raising the bar and setting new standards.

iCombat loaned the Laser Tag Museum a number of artifacts including:

    • one Gen 1 irM4
    • one Gen 1 Barracuda
    • one Gen 1 Eagle Eye
    • one original Predator
    • one Gen 1 irVest
    • one Eagle Eye/Barracuda Prototype
    • Predator Games dog tag necklace

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The Laser Tag Museum would like to thank iCombat for helping the outdoor section grow with their loan. You can see each item individually on iCombat's page by clicking here or learn more about iCombat at www.icombat.com.

Curator

Dallas News Writes a Great Story on George Carter, the Creator of Photon and the Inventor of Laser Tag

The Dallas News wrote an incredible article about George Carter and the creation of Photon.  In an article entitled, "Who knew? Laser tag was invented in Dallas", George Carter is interviewed regarding the origins and development of what is now known as laser tag.

gcarter2014

 

Cheryl Hall, who has over 4 decades of covering the business circuit in the Dallas market, sat down and conducted an interview with George Carter.  The article was published on May 7, 2014.  Check out the article HERE.

Curator

LaserTagPro Founder Donates The Clutch and Version 1 Battle Rifle Pro

Aaron Fischer, CEO, Founder, and Developer of Laser Tag Pro, recently made a generous donation to the Laser Tag Museum. Mr. Fischer donated The Clutch and two Laser Tag Pro Battle Rifle Pro Guns, Version 1.

The Clutch was the first unit that Aaron created which featured another manufacturers electronics. After branching off and creating the Laser Tag Pro company around 2011, Aaron and his team began working on the Battle Rifle Pro, the first Laser Tag Pro unit. The Battle Rifle Pro was released on April 8th, 2013.

The Clutch was the first outdoor laser gun with a "bump" reloading technology. When you ran out of ammo all the player had to do was bump the clip to reload the gun, which made for a more realistic style play then clicking a button to reload. The Clutch also had a folding stock that made it very unique and compact.  

ltprotheclutch

 

The Battle Riffle Pro (Version 1) weighs only about 2 and a half pounds and has a range of up to 400 feet during daylight hours but can shoot as far as 700 feet at night. It also has some really cool features like vibration feed back and blue-tooth and WiFi that allows you to connect your smart phones or laptops to the gun for advanced gaming options. 

Laser Tag Pro has since released a second version of the Battle Rifle Pro.

battleriflepro

 

The Laser Tag Museum would like to thank Aaron Fischer for his donations and the time he gave to the Laser Tag Museum. To see the Laser Tag Pro page click here.

 

Curator

Blog entries will now include outbound links.

Effective May 1, 2014, the blog entries may now include outbound links to the donor's corporate website, if applicable.  Unfortunately, we will not be able to backlink any blog entries prior to May 1, 2014.

Curator

Zone New Zealand works together to Donate rare Laserforce Gen5 Alpha and Gen5 Beta packs and more.

Never had a team of laser tag enthusiasts come together to move so much laser tag equipment and to travel across two islands with a total distance of over 884 miles (1423km) just to then ship the items 8,198 miles (13193.4) to Indianapolis.

But what was being shipped was worth the efforts and the distance.  Laserforce Gen5 Alpha and Gen5 Beta packs; staff and operational manuals; VHS videos; warbot electronics; red base and green base electronics; and much more.

lfpacks

This ancient equipment originated from the then Laserforce Dunedin, New Zealand.  Owner Grant Bracey-Brown and his business partner switched to Megazone's equipment installing the Nexus v2 system in November 2013.  Megazone New Zealand's Managing Director Wayne Cortlett oversaw the donation to the Laser Tag Museum.

Grant boxed up all the packs and manuals and more to have them ready to go to Auckland.  Another Zone operator, Malcolm Graeves, who is the owner of Megazone Ponsby, was hired by an activities group to run a mobile laser tag event in Dunedin for one weekend.  Grant and Malcom worked together to get the two boxes shipped back up to Auckland with Malcolm's mobile laser tag set up.  Once the 2 boxes of Laserforce items were in Auckland, Wayne Cortlett then arranged to ship the two boxes to the Laser Tag Museum's Indianapolis office for archiving and documentation.

So it took three Zone Laser Tag operators to safely transport 2 boxes of Laserforce equipment to the Laser Tag Museum on the other side of the world.  It is beyond words how these three opertors were able to look past the competitive nature of the industry to ensure that the Laserforce equipment could be placed on display in Louisville, KY, USA.

The Laser Tag Museum extends the most sincerest thanks to Wayne Cortlett; Malcom Greaves; and Grant Bracey-Brown for their combined efforts and personal expenses to ensure that this part of the Laserforce history will be honored and displayed at the Laser Tag Museum.  Wayne, Malcom and Grant were able to look past industry rivalaries and work together to ensure that the Laser Tag Museum displays the industry without favoritism. 

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