The Tracer Gun is Back: Dream Toys of the 1980s

This Russian knock-off of my childhood Space Gun made me nostalgic for my youth, so I had to order one. Because playing with toy guns is normal for a well-adjusted, mature adult man.

So what’s the deal with these things?

What’s a tracer gun?

tracer gun in package

These blasters go by many names: Disc Gun, Space Gun, Tracer gun, and many more. But whatever the name, this shooter is a lot of fun! It leaves discs in all sorts of places for your pet to get their jaws on or for the vacuum cleaner to gobble up. As a kid they were sure to either be chewed up and come out the backside of the dog or glued inside the guts of the vacuum cleaner for eternity, driving my parents crazy.

Worth it? I think so.

Honestly, the tracer gun is an awesome toy! You can play with it in the dark or bright sunlight and it’s sure to be tons of fun either way. As a kid, you could spend hours tracing its path all over your house or backyard. The tracers are gentle to indoor surfaces and leave tracers in a wide variety of materials, not just the “tracer paper” that was included with the original kit.

You’ve got plenty of options.

What kind of tracer discs are available?

The tracer gun has tracer discs for just about anything: tracer paper (which doesn’t have great visibility or weather durability), tracer string (durable and visible outdoors but uses tracer paper and can be hard to trace because of its thinness), tracer tape (similar in terms of visibility to tracer string but even more durable), tracer shell (a soft plastic tracer, overall visibility is average but its tracers have an unusual shape and can be seen from a greater distance compared to the tracers on all other models of tracer guns), tracer shell tracer (a tracer tracer tracer! You can attach a tracer to the tracer shell tracer for even further visibility), and finally glow in the dark tracers (these really should be called “glow in the dark discs”.)

tracer gun discs

I now keep my tracer gun in the living room, and if someone decides to go on a shooting spree with it, they will be unable to harm any of my vacuum cleaners or dogs. Both the dog and my wife are deeply appreciative. My wife didn’t much enjoy constantly having to pull tracer discs out of the jaws of the Roomba.

They’re a surprisingly superb baseball training aid…

I know this sounds a little strange, but you can use your tracer unit, fire the jet discs into the air for a friend, and have them try and hit them out of the air with a baseball.

It’s the perfect way to help young players improve their batting skills. The discs fly erratically and at different speeds, so it’s not as easy as it sounds. I’ve found that using a tracer gun for batting practice has helped my batting average significantly.

And if you really want to step it up, set the tracer gun to blast away on continuous mode until the batter begs for mercy.

Are these kind of like the Nerf pulse pistols?

In terms of function, yes. But these are much cooler! They’re also cheaper and easier to find. You can even find them at your local dollar store.

I highly recommend the tracer gun to anyone looking for a fun, easy-to-use, and cheap toy that will provide hours of enjoyment. You don’t need the fancy flash hider found on the more expensive Nerf guns, which don’t even make any sense anyway.

The joys of youth

When I was young, I had a tracer gun. Several decades later, with the rise of production capabilities and technology improvements in almost every industry to make goods cheaper than ever before (including toys), there is now a new version that’s every bit as good as I remember from my youth. They’re a lot more high quality than I remember, though they’re also more expensive.

Now, at my age again (but with a different perspective), I am (once again) caught up in the joy of owning one. This tracer gun will make you fall in love again with tracer guns. I know it did for me, and my pets.




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