Lazer Tag Academy. The Full Moon Review.

**One Monster’s continuing mission to explore strange new (old) cartoons. Shows he has never seen! Watched in small segments and reviewed immediately. No research! No rewinds! No shame! Join me as I embarrass myself for your reading pleasure. This is Full Moon Reviews!**

Oh laser tag…the sensation of the 80’s and 90’s. All the cool kids loved it and prowled the dark, labyrinthine halls of Laser Tag battlefields all over america. All of this explains why I have, to my everlasting shame, never played Laser Tag. And not being a practiced, laser tag enthusiast, I was also unaware of that there was a Animated Series that paid tribute to this sci-fi sport. I’ve never seen a single episode of Lazer Tag Academy and honestly, only know it exists thanks to a recommendation from the Retroist’s very own Drahken. Now allow me to slip on my helmet and target chest plate. Grab my high powered laser-driven blaster and dive into the world of Lazer Tag Academy!

The opening credit is one of those great examples that describe the entire premise of the show it precedes. And what a premise it is! It starts out a thousand years from now when the world is apparently perfect (finally!) and lazer tag champion (lazer tag is apparently a HUGE deal in our perfect future) names Jamie something or other is the only person with starlight power (can’t wait to find out what that is) Someone brings the most deadly criminal of all time back to life and he appears to have done his evil deeds using lazer tag technology as well, which is quite the lucky break! We see Jamie use her lazer to create ice, replacing a section of bridge that the bad guy made disappear with his lazer. She has to go back in time and get some reinforcements to combat this bridge disappearing menace and chooses the 80’s! She gets her ancestors a boy and a girl and they will fight the forces of evil (which I thought were just the one guy) As the Lazer Tag Academy!….with the lazer tag academy?….after graduating from the lazer tag academy?

Okay so there are actually three ancestor kids and not two, and jaimie is chasing the bad guy and his friends (who look like sasquatches) through time.

So we get treated to a chase scene involving the bad guy from the opening credits. Hes running from the cops (of the future!) and he is accompanied by the cavemen/sasquatch monsters. They hijack a hover car much to the annoyance of the owner and drive/fly it to the space port. His ape beasts beat up a spaceship mechanic and they steal a ship. He’s got buddies on Mars who will hid him so they decide to head to the red planet. Well one of the little bigfoots got mad at the communication radio just like he did the car radio (I’ll tell you that story in a minute) and he punches it. Eventually the damaged radio starts emitting green smoke and the loose control of the spaceship. It crashes into the ocean and they all die forever.

Okay, so earlier when the stole that hover-car the ape creature started to try to listen to some tunes when the radio goes berserk and starts shooting records at him. That’s right, records! About eight of them. So they had an 8 vinyl album changer in the car stereo. It really is the future!

So now we are in the future!…even more futury than the future we were just in. and Jaimie (our hero) is kicking some serious ass in the world lazer tag championship (held in a huge, sold out colloseum) she wins the title and heads for the womens lockor room. She gets paiged that she has a phone call and ske asks for the video call to be projected. Into the womens lockor room…hmmm. The talking head is a scientist that says they have found a lost spacecraft that‘s a thousand years old, to which Jaimie replies that it could be very important to the lazer academy…. Why would a crashed spaceship be important to the lazer tag academy you idiot! …is what I would have said if I were the scientist, but instead he says he knows, and that’s why he wants her to be there when they retrieve it. O-kay.

They dredge up the ship (which is filthy and has a giant squid wrapped around it) they press a button that somehow instantly cleans the ship and makes the squid let go (I cant tell you how many times I could have used that!) the ship comes with a dead crew onboard. Frozen in space and sporting goofy shocked look. Everyone is horrified but the scientist says he’s getting a life reading and they need to get the ship to the lazer tag academy right away! …okay…I think im really misunderstanding the purpose of the lazer tag academy.

We get a little exposition as to how the guys who obviously should be dead are still alive turns out it was the radio gas! Remember all radio, once destroyed, will emit a gas that allows you to survive in suspended animation on the bottom of the ocean for a thousand years. They have a huge series of laser and have arranged all the bad guys in a circle to bring them back to life. Interesting that they look at the crew (one mean looking guy) and a bunch of crazy beast things and though “we should bring them all back to life!” I think I might have though “AAAHHHH! What in the name of lazer tag is that horrible, horrible monster!”

So they wake up the bad guy and the monsters and who woulda thought! The monsters start running around attacking the scientists!! They bad guy apparently wanders over to the “mind machine” and downloads all of the information about the time he now lives in. they don’t say how he found it, or why he knew how it worked. He learns there is no police of crime. The scientist asks if that would be a problem considering his criminal background (they knew he was a criminal and still revived him???) he of course doesn’t care that there arent cops and the whole gang continues to show him around the lab and teach him about technology he can use to kill everyone with. You know, like ya do!

They tell the evil guy that he is a blood reletive of Jaimie and therefore might have the starlight power to. You can do anything with it raise giant steel platforms, travel through time, kill everyone and rule the world… then they give him a laser gun and tell him how to use the power (Jaimie is at the academy to develop it for good and that’s also why they brought the bad guy there…the bad guy who would also obviously use the power for good…) So he makes a giant indoor tornado and wrecks the lab while laughing maniacally. Later, while still given free reign of the complex, he steals a laser gun, frees the ape monsters and disappears with them somewhere in time.

It turns out that Dreer (the badguy) went back to the most pivotal point in all of human history…1987!!!! Ahhh!! Apparently one of their common ancestors named beth invented a formula for a lazer tag something or other that can be manipulated somehow to take over the world. Since Dreer just learned that starlight existed, I don’t know how he found this out but…

The professor and Jaimie are watching video feed of the past in real time of Beth walking on a sidewalk (people in the future can watch live video of you whenever they want WHENEVER THEY WANT!) He tells Jamie that she has to go back in time and stop Dreer and that he’s set her lazer to set her down right next to Beth. When she actually travels back in time she ends up in the middle of the busy freeway meaning that the proffesor is trying to kill her!

She avoids being hit by a truck and finally meets Beth and her tough guy brother. Neither believe her story about being a lazer tag super hero from the future and Beths brother threatens to beat her up. The Skugs (the ape creatures) arrive and freak everyone (including some clowns) out. Jaimie calls Beth’s brother a “turd headed ape” I had no idea this show would have that kind of language. I appologize. We then get an awesome action scene! Jaimie throws a palm tree at a Skug who is swinging from a vine …in the mall….somehow. Dreer turns a carpet into a flying carpet and they escape…with the wrong kid
While they wait for the homicidal mania who kidnapped their brother to make his next movie we get some lighthearted hijinks. They make some jokes have some snacks and the dog runs off with the laser gun!

Dreer sets up a secret meeting with Beth to exchange herself for her brother while Jaimie and the brother continue to search for her gun. A creepy and dorky kid next store is watching the whole thing with binoculars from a tree…I don’t know if he eventually becomes a part of the show or not. They find the note that says where Beth went and they take a bus to go find her. Jaimie makes the bus fly which turns the bus driver into babbling idiot.

They arrive in their magic bus and quickly take control of the hostage situation. It turn out all three kids can control the starlight and they use it to whoop up on the badguys who unfortunately escape into time. They concoct some goofy story for the parents that Jaimie is a foreign eschange student and the other house didn’t work out so she wants to stay there. The parents immediately agree with no documentation or fore-warning and despite the fact that she has no foreign accent at all. The dog steals the steak for dinner and we all have a good laugh. As the show closes the two brothers start crazily double high fiving each other for no apparent reason. Beth says it best; “welcome to 1987”

Re-cap

Well…if Laser Tag was as fun as The Lazer Tag Academy then I guess I don’t mind that fact that I’ve never done it. I guess the show was okay. It certainly had a lot of unintentional humor. I do enjoy chases the bad guy through time storylines so maybe I would enjoy the over arching storyline. As it stands all I want to do is wish each and every one of you a heart double high five! And to reiterate the warning that when you least expect it…future scientist guy is watching you on a giant screen…in The Lazer Tag Academy!!!!!

history of Laser Tag

Everything you need to know about the history of Laser Tag

A lot of people love laser tag, but how how do we know about the The history of Laser Tag? Texas businessman George Carter, inspired by the laser fights in Star Wars, opened the first Photon arcade in Dallas in 1984. The smoke, the lights, the sound effects, the receptors that recorded hits – it was totally awesome. Photon arenas were franchised across the country, with the home version hitting stores in 1985.

Watch this early Laser Tag Commercial

Here’s a clip from the very obscure, very short-lived, very terrible Photon TV series, which was about aliens and how some teens had to fight them off with their toy lasers or something. Despite this epic premise, the whole thing was clearly shot at a lesser Photon arena, then syndicated to low-wattage UHF stations around the country.

Watch this intro and outro the Photon TV Series

Here the history of Laser Tag would take a dramatic turn. Photon was clearly the Betamax to Worlds of Wonder’s Lazer Tag’s VHS. That company came out with its own much sleeker, much more popular Lazer Tag in 1986. Also making it better? It spelled laser with a Z. It also had a show, but this one was a cartoon called Lazer Tag Academy. Like many ’80s cartoons, it was designed to sell toys, as well as boost admission to the real Lazer Tag Academy, which, sadly, did not exist.

Watch Lazer Tag Academy

The fad was over by 1988. Worlds of Wonder went bankrupt that year, and the Photon chain closed in 1989. As arcades closed and video games went homebound, the opposite happened with laser tag – it left the home and went public, occupying the empty spaces left by arcades, many to this day. And honestly, playing laser tag in a fiberglass and Styrofoam dungeon while Daft Punk blares overhead is a bit more fun than dodging my mom’s glass animal collection.

The infamous “Secret Agent” Lazer Tag Commercial