Thursday, March 29, 2012

They call it the Tag Master Blaster

This is less of a "review" of this legendary Laser Tag blaster and more of it's involvement in the laser tag group that I've been running.  Before I got into Nerf, I had been an avid and active fan of laser tag, starting a group called the Omaha Laser Challenge Association in 2006 to plan and organize games.  I had been tagging long before that too, but it was mostly casual get-together with friends.  Like the group's namesake, we used Laser Challenge-brand gear.  Even with the Lazer Tag Team Ops gear on the market at that time, we chose to stick with our older seasoned Laser Challenge equipment for our games.

We knew that Lazer Tag Team Ops and Laser Challenge weren't directly compatible, but we did learn of a way to integrate the systems together.  That's about the time that my friend picked up one of the most coveted LTTO blasters: The Tag Master Blaster.  By disabling a beacon that all LTTO blasters emit, we were able to use the Tag Master Blaster in Laser Challenge games.  It's "hit signal" was able to land tags on our Laser Challenge gear, so we were able to utilize it just by disabling that beacon (which would normally hit Laser Challenge gear and will essentially "kill" the user holding it).

Still, the TMB was super accurate, able to hit folks from hundreds of feet away (max range that I saw it used was around 800-900 feet).  The tricky thing about the TMB is it's how tight of a beam of light you have to work with.  You have to be VERY accurate with this blaster at just about any range, as there is almost no spread to it's shot.  This means that if you're running around the park with it, trying to one-hand fire, you'll probably miss every time.  This is why, despite it's size, the TMB is very much considered a "Sniper rifle" or "DMR" when it comes to laser tag.

The other neat thing about this blaster is it's rocket.  Much like a Nerf Titan, you pump the handle in the stock of the blaster to fill up an air tank that fires a foam rocket that has 4 IR LEDs mounted in it.  Upon firing this rocket, it sends out a "hit" signal in a 360 degree radius that can be very handy in clearing out opponents that are closer to you.  It can also be thrown instead of fired, to be used much like a grenade would be in a game.

The first LTTO/LTX game with the OLCA
For several years, the TMBs in our group were used for Laser Challenge games but after we got our hands on enough LTTO and LTX gear, we  decided to try something the OLCA never had before: a full Lazer Tag-brand game.  It took all the gear we had to run this game and we enjoyed it enough to continue pursuing the purchase of more LTTO and LTX gear.  The TMB was able to fully realize it's power in these matches as they became more frequent.

The only problem with the TMB is that because it's an LTTO blaster, it has to be "Hosted" to use teams settings, unlike the grab-n-go nature of the LTX.  With our arsenal of LTXs at our disposal, the TMB is used less frequently because of this Hosting requirement.  Usually the TMBs are only used in games large enough that we need to tap into our smaller collection of LTTO gear to use them.

Regardless, the TMB has been a sought-after blaster for ages because of it's comfortable desin, accurate nature, unique rocket launcher (only laser tag blaster to have one), and reliability.  They're tough to come by these days but they're still compatible with the LTX and the new LTAR system coming out in Summer of 2012.  This means you can still expect to see this legendary laser tag blaster making appearances at games for years to come!


  1. nice,if i was going to get into laser tag id definitely try to get my hands on one of those.
    P.S. i enjoy these longer posts more than the others.

  2. Sadly my rocket doesn't seem to function. I believe it is user error and I am doing something wrong. At first it worked perfectly, now the rocket wont seem to emit the laser. I feel it is user error because it is happening on 2 separate devices. Any advice?