Photon vs. Lazer Tag – Which is Better?

I really wanted Lazer Tag as a kid, but I received Photon and was mildly disappointed only because I could never play with all my friends and their Lazer Tag guns. This commercial though makes a compelling argument for Photon. I mean that guy and his electric white hair must be pretty wise to have a collar that large.


The Retroist

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!

Never Miss an Episode

Stay up-to-date on the latest from the Retroist Podcast. Sign up and receive email notifications when there's a new episode of the Retroist Podcast or when we launch new podcasts.
* indicates required

7 thoughts on “Photon vs. Lazer Tag – Which is Better?

  1. Doug says:

    I had Lazer Tag, but only toward the tail end of the fad. I had the gun and the hat. Not sure if I had anything else or if there was anything else to have (did the gun come with a chest target?). We had a Lazer Tag arena in our area that operated on Saturday nights. It lasted about a month.

  2. Gun came with the chest target. I would eventually have both and would play a lot of outdoor lazer tag in high school. Part of me always thought lazer sports would have come further by now.

    I blame paintball for it not.

  3. CarlosTheDwarf says:

    I was never lucky enough to have either. My cousin and I got some knockoff from the JC Penney outlet for Christmas one year, though. I can’t for the life of me remember what it was called. The guns “shot” visible light that , in theory, would reflect off of several shiny targets on the vest and be picked up by a receiver on the gun. And before you ask, no it never worked right. At least the guns looked cool. They were ruggedly made and we kept them for years.

  4. I got two Lazer Tags for Christmas in 1986 and I loved it. Especially since my parents had a hard time paying for it and I knew the sacrifice it was for them. My cousin Scott and I played a lot of games at my grandmother’s and eventually two younger cousins got a pair the next Christmas.

    One of my favorite Lazer Tag memories was when an aunt was cutting the grass and my cousin Scott couldn’t hear anything. Including the hits I was scoring on him. Needless to say, he went out in record time. I also remember another cousin hiding behind a stand up pool and taking shots at me. That strategy worked until I noticed light coming through it and I zapped him.

    Good times and I miss them.

  5. Ah, Lazer Tag. I was able to beg and cajole a basic set from my Father, at the very least he noticed that during the Summer of its release other kids in my Grandmother’s neighborhood were running around with them. I totally know where you are coming from, Payton.

    Where my greatest ‘Lazer Tag’ memories come into play though is after High-School a place opened up in my neck of the woods called Laser Storm. My friends and I would go there almost every Saturday Night and run through the fog, shooting at the sensors controlled by the computer and the opposing players.

    It stuck around for quite some time, three or maybe four years. I agree with you, Retroist. Paintball is the reason this is not a National sport.

  6. I always wanted Laser Tag, but never got either. There was a Photon place near where I live, which lasted for years and was aggressively promoted on a popular radio station. There’s a small facility on River Road in Wisconsin Dells that offers Laser Tag games, which I got to play a couple times as an adult and were a lot of fun; everything I ever dreamed it would be as a kid!

  7. Commodore Rock says:

    Photon wins simply because the Lazer Tag brand was only a toy. Photon was a sport played in arenas for a few years before they launched their line of toys to compete with Lazer Tag. Starting in 1984 in Dallas, Photon arenas were the first and best. Before generic laser tag arenas were marketed mainly as a kids birthday party thing with cheap looking small arena add-on to family entertainment centers, Photon ruled with huge multi-level arenas with fog, atmospheric music and sound effects. It was the best.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.