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Random Surprises: Lazer Tag Academy Storyboard Artist Keith Tucker

A couple of days prior to storyboard artist Keith Tucker hosting a discussion on "The Art of Storyboarding" I was sitting across from him in a hotel in Westlake, Ohio. I was wearing my Laser Tag Kitten t-shirt and we were casually chatting. All of a sudden he notices the shirt, points to it and says "I worked on that show too."

What?! Remarkably he is talking about the 1986 short lived animated series called Lazer Tag Academy that was a vehicle to promote "Lazer Tag", the Worlds of Wonder brand of home laser tag that competed with Photon's home version during the Christmas season of that year. The television series ran from September to December of 1986 and was created by Ruby-Spears productions. This gentleman I was chatting with was part of making the show happen, preparing storyboards for the animators in Korea.

Now, admittedly I am Team Photon all the way and really not as well versed in "Lazer Tag" as I could be. My knowledge of the Lazer Tag Academy television series (which apparently only ran for 13 episodes) is quite limited. From what I know it was about a laser tag champion from well into the future who goes back in time (to "modern day" 1986) to protect her ancestors from an evil enemy and his gang of henchmen creatures who want to stop one of the teenage ancestors from eventually developing the Starlyte, the real life Lazer Tag phaser seen here...

So for anyone who has something snarky to say about the Photon series (the live action television series intended to promote the "other" brand of home laser tag) just re-read my last paragraph. :)

But back to sitting across from Keith Tucker and this unexpected revelation...

What a random surprise to learn about his role in the production of this show! The series sounds essentially like an animated product placement commercial for Lazer Tag, but this is still part of the laser tag history for certain. It was a very cool surprise to find out about this connection. I shared some stories with him as well and I think he was pleasantly surprised to hear that there are a few Lazer Tag Academy items on display at the Laser Tag Museum.

And I was pleasantly surprised myself to have him draw me a Laser Tag Academy sketch to take home with me.

Thank you Keith! So great to have a chance to talk with you about Tag on TV!

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