Saturday, September 05, 2015

#ForceFriday - Blasters to Bull's Eye them Womp Rats back home

#ForceFriday Brings Licensed Blasters to the Front Lines
Vas The Stampede
ICYMI: Force Friday came and went, bringing with it a slew of new Star Wars toys to herald the revitalizing of the franchise when "The Force Awakens"  in theaters. I snagged a few pics on my instagram but here's the official info and word from Nerf's press releases (provided by the Nerf folks themselves, except for the lightsabers that I had to grab from I put a few darts through the blasters too, so there are some thoughts below as well. (All product was paid for on a shopping run, Nerf did not provide samples of these, just the information and images.)

(Ages 6 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $12.99/Available: Fall 2015)
The fight to restore order to the galaxy comes home with the first-ever STAR WARS NERF blasters! Battle against the Resistance with this blaster that comes with a removable sight and three NERF darts that fire up to 65 feet!" 

Simple enough; the blaster's a single shot pistol, has a tactical rail on the top, and is easily pocketable. If you have a Firestrike already there's not much new here, except it's colored like the First Order Stormtroopers. The range claim is a bit high too, holding the blaster parallel to the ground achieved maybe 30-40'. Angled (VERY angled, as was the case with all these blasters) I was able to get maybe 50'. Good for close quarters but at $12.99 you might find other offerings for similar prices that have higher ranges.

(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99/Available: Fall 2015)
The fight to restore order to the galaxy comes home with the first-ever STAR WARS NERF blasters! Battle against the First Order in the style of your favorite Wookiee with this blaster that features a removable scope, real crossbow action and five NERF darts that fire up to 65 feet!"

 This blaster... left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. I didn't own the other Chewbacca bowcaster from the 90s(?) so I was excited for it, even moreso because it seemed based on the Diamondista, which is one of my favorite blasters from the Rebelle line. However, this blaster was no Diamondista. It has a tactical rail (for a binocular style sight, included) and an ammo holder for the side. The ammo holder only installs on the one side though which is fine for me as a righty, but I wonder about left-handed users. The biggest complaint about this blaster is the size though, when you think Chewbacca you think a sizable two-handed blaster. The size on this blaster fit more for a pistol than the Bowcaster, at least in my mind. 

The worst part of the blaster though, was how it shot. Licensed products in general worry me, and past licensed products of all types (video games, blasters, etc.) were terrible. And when the blaster fired, it fired fine. Angled it would hit 60+, around 30-40' aimed parallel to the ground. BUT, the darts would sometimes spiral when they launched. And this misfire happened a lot more than I remember it happening with a Diamondista. Maybe it's the dart quality, the weather, the phase of the moon but the reliability of this blaster firing was noticeably low. While the Diamondista is only $10 ($4.98 elsewhere) that's an acceptable risk, but for a $25 blaster that carries the roleplay idea of one of the main heroes of a major franchise.... I expected better. This one I'd say wait for the sale.

(Ages 6 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $39.99/Available: Fall 2015)
The fight to restore order to the galaxy comes home with the first-ever STAR WARS NERF blasters! Battle against the Resistance with this blaster that comes with a 12-dart clip, slam-fire action, removable sight, detachable stock and twelve NERF darts that fire up to 65 feet! 

This blaster was up to my expectations. It comes with a 12 round magazine, tactical rail sight, and a detachable stock. Colored as the First Order Stormtroopers, the main weapon to fight the Resistance. Whether stormtroopers will shoot better this time around remains to be seen, but if they're using streamlines I have a good feeling for the Resistance fighters. The blaster reminds me of the Alpha Trooper in the way it feels and shoots... which isn't necessarily a good thing. The Elite Alpha Trooper's pump felt a little flimsy for me, and would sometimes release the magazine I had in the blaster. It just didn't feel like a very robust build and definitely not like the Rampage or Raider even. Some aesthetic touches such as the "armed" vents on the side are nice though. I am not sure how left-handed people are going to like using this blaster though, with the magwell and mag release buttons positioned only on the left side of the blaster. Also, the jam door is connected to the pump, so you can't open it whenever. I don't like that, but maybe it's a small complaint. HOWEVER, the first one I bought broke using slam-fire and I had to return it for an exchange. So far the other one hasn't had any issues, and fires pretty well.

Range-wise, the blaster hit maybe 40' at least while aiming parallel to the ground, but definitely needed an angle to hit 60'+. Not surprised at that. Is it worth $40? Depends on how much you like Star Wars, need a slam-fire blaster, or.... like Star Wars? I took advantage of the promo price Toys R Us had, so I was fine with the price I paid for it. If you already have an Alpha Trooper or Rampage, you may want to pass. Personally I am still happy with it, as I always wanted a Stormtrooper blaster and am happy that dart shooters from Star Wars are finally out and hitting over 20-30'. If these do well, I look forward to more as the franchise expands.

(Ages 6 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: Fall 2015)
The fight to restore order to the galaxy comes home with the first-ever STAR WARS NERF blasters! Choose your side – Resistance blue or First Order red – and blast into battle! Each refill pack comes with 18 foam NERF darts compatible with all STAR WARS NERF blasters, sold separately.

The dart heads are transparent! Not much to say, just additional dart types which are pretty nice. 18 darts for $9.99.... that's.... uhm.... definitely not the price you get for other packs though. How much do you really want to shoot blue or red darts?

STAR WARS® BLADEBUILDERS FOAM LIGHTSABER ASST (The bottom 3 lightsabers in the picture above)
(Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: Fall 2015)
Introducing a new way to wield a Lightsaber! New Foam Lightsabers provide movie-accurate looks with a soft foam material for amazing fun. Each Lightsaber is compatible and combinable with other BLADEBUILDERS Lightsaber components (sold separately). Choose from YODA, DARTH VADER, and LUKE SKYWALKER. Each sold separately.

FINALLY! Lightsabers I can use for combat and not worry about bending/scuffing the plastic. The foam is more consistent with pool noodle foam though, and less the smooth foam used for the old N-Force line. The handles are hollowed out to use with connectors for the Blade Builder set, so you have options and configurations to choose from! For $14.99 you can definitely find cheaper foam swords, but they're not lightsabers. I gladly paid the price for the aesthetics. And yes, you lose the light-up function and the hum of the sabers, but now you can duel with the best of them! (Which is NOT recommended for play.)

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Happy Force Friday! Nerf First Order blaster pics!

#ForceFriday Kicks off the New Hope for Star Wars (toys)

Thanks to Graham B on Facebook, we have these initial pics for the new Nerf Star Wars First Order blasters! I haven't gotten these myself yet, these pics came from Graham.

Enjoy the pics, commentary to follow.

Not sure which UPC this is for (based on the order the pics were sent to me this is for the deluxe blaster.)

The range claims are approximately 65', which is INFINITELY better than most licensed products in the past. The Deluxe  blaster seems to have slam-fire and use n-strike mags, definitely something I will test though. The smaller pistol has the same range claim, but no mag usage. Interesting stuff!

UPDATE: the $79.99 price tag looks to be from an Australian source. Less price in the U.S.

HOWEVER, $20.99 for a pistol (probably single shot) & $79.99 for what is basically a Rampage? Dangit, Nerf. (See update!) For $10 more that's a Rhino-Fire. Son of Nerf Herder, I hope that's an error of some sort but I won't know for myself until I hit the stores in the morning. That's pretty exorbitant in my opinion, even if it is a licensed product. But Nerf can get away with it, because fans like myself are going nuts right now in anticipation. Heck of a trick. In the meantime, happy hunting! And may the Force be with you, always.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Nerf Rotofury: Nerf Behind the Scenes video Released

Thanks to Nerf for the video! Featuring the Nerf Rotofury revealed previously, the blaster is now out and available in most major stores.
10 Shot drum (highest capacity blaster for the Mega line currently)
My biggest nitpick with this blaster is the lack of a stock or attach point for a stock, mainly because with Slam-Fire it helps steady the blaster. At least, it did with me when I used a Rampage or Raider. Otherwise, I like the Rotofury, the extra shots more than a Cycloneshiock are pretty nice to have. Enjoy the video!

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Nerf Blogger Had Writer's Block in 2005. What happened Years Later.... Might Surprise you.

The Nerf Ambassador Meetup at #NerfHQ (Hasbro Headquarters/offices, not the old forum)
Vas The Stampede

Seriously, surprise.

Whereupon the blogger (and others of his ilk) visited the home of Nerf blasters, and learnt about production, design, marketing, safety standards, the future, and many things Nerf. Rival, Modulus, Zombie Strike, Doomlands, Rebelle, darts, Rounds, foreign markets, and what it means to be Nerfnation. MORE AFTER THE JUMP.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Nerf: Spring 2016 ed. Shoot megas and streamlines at the same time!

Nerf reveals Spring 2016 blasters in RARE Visit from "Nerf Fan Ambassadors" 
Vas The Stampede
Fresh off the "Nerf Fan Ambassador" visit to #NerfHQ in Rhode Island, enjoy the info on these future releases. More on the actual visit in am upcoming post, so stay tuned.
N-Strike Elite Dual-Strike blaster
(SRP: $19.99/Available: Spring 2016)
  • Fires both Elite and MEGA darts
  • Selector switch to choose MEGA or Elite
  • 6 dart capacity (includes 3 Elite darts and 3 MEGA darts)
  • Zombie Strike CrossCut blaster
(Thanks Click Click BAMF for the pic)
Nerf Zombie Strike Crosscut
(SRP: $14.99/Available: Spring 2016)
  • Double barrel zombie blasting
  • Spinning SawBlade (foam)
  • Includes 4 Zombie Strike darts

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Nerf bloggers visit Hasbro!

Nerf bloggers invited to Visit Hasbro Headquarters
Vas The Stampede

Today is the day! Visiting Hasbro Headquarters in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, as part of their "Fan Ambassador Meet-up". Along for the ride are Click Click BAMF, Nerd Drop, Shining Foam, Lord Draconical, Nerfhaven, and Blaster Labs.

I already started posting some pics from traveling around Rhode Island. Feel free to check in on the shenanigans socially:

Facebook: Foam From Above
Instagram: Blasterbot1984
Twitter: @VasTheStampede

Filming is not allowed for our visit, and picture opportunities are limited; whatever we can share we definitely will!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Nerf Rival Zeus Blaster Claims 100 FPS when it shoots

Nerf Rival Zeus Claims to Hit 100 FPS
Vas The Stampede

Back in February at Toy Fair, I checked out the Nerf Rival Zeus blaster in prototype form! Thanks to Nerf for sending along the full production model. Check the video below, and I'll update with my thoughts later today.

Check out the photo album in the meantime!

About the Zeus:

(Ages 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $49.99/Available: Fall 2015)
Bring NERF battles to the next level with the mighty NERF RIVAL ZEUS MXV-1200 blaster. Simply push the power-up button, then take aim and unleash motorized blasting power on the opposing team. The powerful, precise RIVAL ZEUS MXV-1200 blaster gives fans and their allies an edge in battle and features an ambidextrous  clip loading and release button, safety switch, and fold-up sight. The included NERF RIVAL 12-round magazine is also compatible for use with the NERF RIVAL APOLLO XV-700 blaster, sold separately. Blaster is available in both red and blue and includes 12 NERF RIVAL Foam rounds. Six C batteries required, not included.
Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and at
Nerf Rival Apollo:
Nerf RIVAL APOLLO XV-700 Blaster
(Ages 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99/Available: Fall 2015) 
Perfect for the heat of the competition, the NERF RIVAL APOLLO XV-700 blaster sends NERF RIVAL foam rounds soaring in the air with extraordinary velocity. To defend themselves and teammates against the opposition, pull the lever to move the RIVAL foam round into place, then take aim and launch! Blaster is available in both red and blue includes seven NERF RIVAL foam rounds. 
Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and at
Additional photos in the gallery: