October 2009 Recap

Below is a recap of all the post we've covered in October 2009. If you missed any, or simply want to see them again, click on each "title" to be taken directly to that post. As always, thanks for reading.

C.O.P.S. (N' Crooks)
Lazer Tag

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Lazer Tag (Worlds of Wonder)

Lazer Tag
Worlds of Wonder
1986 - 1988

The 1980's were a different time. Pop rock was ablaze across pretty much every 80's radio station. Barriers with foreign countries were being broken, and even better, it was okay for kids to play with toy guns. Yes, back then you could still walk into your local K-Mart and buy a cap gun that actually looked like a real gun. As we ran around our yards, and even more socially unacceptable today, our entire neighborhoods, we would have a blast (no pun intended) pretending we were shooting the hell out of each other. It was fun, and it was safe. Boy, those times have changed.

In 1986, Worlds of Wonder introduced us to this great new way to play with guns. Lazer Tag was essentially "light guns", known as the StarLyte (pistol) and StarLyte Pro (rifle), that used the same technology as your TV remote control. It fired a coded pulse of infrared light (outside the spectrum visible to humans) which causes the detector to react.

Rather than running around shouting, "Hey, I shot you!" Only to be told, "No you didn't!" Lazer Tag provided you with a clip on target (StarSensor) which settled the arguments of whether or not you truly had been blasted. The targets also kept score and after so many hits taken would produce a "game over" sound, at which point one would need to reset it.

Even if you didn't have a friend to play with, Worlds of Wonder released a stationary target which could be set up anywhere and used to play single player known as the StarBase. This was also a great training accessory to help you become a better shot with the StarLyte.

They even produced a walkie taklie for people who split up into teams (StarTalk) to play.

For those who really wanted to get into it, you could also deck yourself out with the StarHelmet or StarCap. Each provided you with more sound effects and also provided your opponent with more targets to shoot at. A StarVest was also produced, which did away with the clip on StarSensor which was prone to fall off while running.

While the official Lazer Tag brand fizzled out as the 90's rounded on the world, there have been several incarnations of it from various companies. There have even been specialty shops opened across the U.S. that have arenas set up that you can rent the equipment and play in. Worlds of Wonders even produced an updated look to the guns in the lat 90's known as the Deluxe Kit. At this time however, the market was so oversaturated with guns like this, and while units sold well, it was not well enough to come anywhere close to what the 1980's versions sold when first introduced.

Today it's very difficult to find mint in box Lazer Tag items, and even when you do, they aren't guaranteed to be in working condition. The StarLyte Pro (rifle) seems to be the most difficult item to track down in a mint condition sealed box.

To go back to a time where playing with guns was socially acceptable (and to an extent, safer) would be fantastic. But, at least for now children of the 80's still have their memories.

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Cops (N' Crooks) (Hasbro)

Cops (N' Crooks)
1988 - 1989

The year was 1988. The company was Hasbro. Like most toy lines of the 80's, C.O.P.S. (which by series two became C.O.P.S. N' Crooks) spawned not only a toy line, but a cartoon series and a short lived comic series produced by Star Comics (part of Marvel Comics). The show took a different approach than your typical good guy organization versus some random bad guy organization and made it simple. Cops lead by Bullet-Proof verses crooks run by Big Boss. It was your every day typical scenario. Well, except for the whole high tech gadgets and gizmos with destined to fail plains from the baddies.

There were twenty-four figures released over the two series Hasbro produced. Those figures included (left to right, top to bottom - series number is dictated in parenthesis after name):

Sgt. Mace (1), Highway (1), Longarm (1)

Officer Bowzer and Blitz (1), Airwave (2), A.P.E.S. (2)

Taser (2), Powder Keg (2), Inferno (2)

Barricade (1), Bullet-Proof (1), Sundown (1)

Nightstick (2), and Checkpoint (2), Rock Krusher (1)

Louie the Plumber (2), Big Boss (1), Buttons McBoomBoom (1)

Beserko (1), Nightmare (2), Hyena (2)

Dr. Badvibes (1), Koo Koo (2), and Bullit (2)

Each figure also had a file card printed on the back of the package that contained a biography of the character. These file cards were written by Larry Hama, who also wrote the file cards for Hasbro’s G.I. Joe action figures. The artwork made for each package is illustrated by Bart Sears, Mark Pennington, and McNabb Studios.

Several female C.O.P.S. and Crooks characters appeared in the cartoon and the comics, but were never released as action figures. This was due mainly to the lack of marketing that female characters had with young boys.

A total of nine vehicles were produced which featured five new figures only available with their particular fly ride (figures shown in photo below). Each "good guy" vehicle had a siren on top to show that it represented the long arm of the law. Oddly enough, none of the vehicles had any firing bits and pieces which was quickly becoming the hot trend of toys in those days.

Air Raid Helecopter with Bullseye, Ironside’s Armored Assault with Hardtop,, A.T.A.C. with Heavyweight,Roadster with Turbo TuTone

Highway Interceptor with Roadblock, and Pursuit Jet, Bluestreak Motorcycle, Bluestreak Motorcycle, Highway Interceptor with Roadblock, and Pursuit Jet, Jailbird Air Speeder, Dragster

Unlike the regular figures, the five vehicle figures didn't come with any additional accessories. To put faces with names, the figures were as follows; Heavyweight, Bullseye, Roadblock, and Hardtop, and Turbo TuTone.

A third series was planned out which would have included a new line of circus type figures entitled "The Pranksters". Unfortunately the series was cancelled during the prototype stage. None are known to exist.

Check back next time when we take a look at Lazer Tag!


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