Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year Under the Barrel II: Nerf and other related foam blasters in 2010

What at year. So much has changed and happened this year, both in regards to this blog, other blogs, and playing with Foam Blasters. Nerf, Lanard, and BuzzBee remain major players but when there’s this kind of buzz the true winners are the end users, you and me that head to the stores to see what’s new.

For at least the last 2 years, FoamFromAbove (and other sites, as I’m sure you’ve heard) started working with Nerf, releasing official press releases and information as it comes down the pipe. What this means though is you won’t catch rumors, pictures, and vids of stuff that has not officially come from those we work with, or even mods to said blasters. That’s why I was able to put out pics of the original clear series last year before they fully hit stores(
From Recently Updated
)

and the initial US shots of the Stampede back in July at a media-only release event: (FFA IZ MEDIA)





Once again, the outreach is surprising from such a company, and the opportunity to talk to them is something I never would have expected ever in my years of writing this little blog.

As far as this year in foam weaponry went, Nerf’s amount of releases were insane. The N-Strike line was obviously the highlight, with the Stampede being released in September. Battery operated, fully automatic, using the quick reload magazine system for swapping magazines in and out (as opposed to ye olde front loading systems) it was something definitely new and added a different dimension to the game that we haven’t seen in awhile. It took what the Vulcan started, and did it it so much better. Later in the year, the Barricade Rev-10 came out, another battery operated blaster. This time, it was a turreted blaster in the spirit of the Maverick where you front loaded the turret, no magazine but it is a semiautomatic blaster, making dual-wielding much easier than even with the Stampede.

The N-Strike line also had some store exclusives added to its ranks on the US shores! The Alpha Trooper (http://foamfromabove.blogspot.com/2010/05/new-release-alpha-trooper-cs-18-blaster.html), The Spectre (http://foamfromabove.blogspot.com/2010/11/new-nerf-blaster-spectre-rev-5.html), and the Barrel Break IX-2 (http://foamfromabove.blogspot.com/2010/05/exclusive-nerf-n-strike-barrel-break.html) were out this year. The most unique of all these had to be the Barrel Break, with its mock-double barreled shotgun loading action. the Spectre was a definite improvement over a Maverick (less one shot), and the Alpha Trooper was a good alternative to the Raider (unless you already owned a Raider, which made buying the Trooper redundant, unless you were a collection completionist).

Nerf also took a stab at fashion, releasing a tactical vest




Camo Ammo

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_km53cj4uhRA/TEaYi1R9xQI/AAAAAAAABDc/KkRR7KUfYOo/s512/NerfCamoAmmo.jpg , http://lh4.ggpht.com/_km53cj4uhRA/TRlADr9AQwI/AAAAAAAACqc/MxQhBA4uryM/DSC_0265.JPG


Tending to use more N-Strike clip blasters, I haven’t been able to test the retrievability of the Camo Ammo fully.

As for the N-Force line, what else is there to say?

From FFA_NerfReleaseJuly2010


Nerf is still strongly supporting the melee end of things, releasing the Warlock Axe, Battlemaster Mace, and Stonewall Shield set. Look for the Vantage Sword in 2011!

I know, I know... “What about Dart Tag?” Well no worries. The word is out there and while I can’t say anything myself just yet... it’s coming.

In case you missed any of the sweet Nerf Dart Tag League news this year:



Two years running now, and the champs from last year repeated! Who'da thunk? Here's hoping there's a year 3, and good luck to NARF at getting another shot! (I'm from IL, I support the hometown guys!)



Not to say BuzzBee’s been quiet on their end, either! Some of the more notable releases this year had to be the

Hunter




The Powerstrike




And most recently, the Hawk. (Check out http://nerfornothing.blogspot.com for images!)

And what about 2011? See me again in January, and we’ll talk then! Some pretty big news in the works, and hopefully some tweaks to the site itself. In the meantime, thank you so much for your patronage, and visiting this little blog about silly toys and blasters.

Oh, and my fave blaster of 2010? The Stampede was close, but I think the barricade might have stolen the year for me. Anyone who has seen "Hard-Boiled" with Chow-Yun Fat knows exactly what I'm talking about.

'Til next time, remember to throw your blaster games how you wanna throw'em, and let the attendees sort it out.



HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!



P.S. I ignored commenting at length on the lawsuit Hasbro/Nerf filed on competitors BuzzBee and Lanard, as I'm really not qualified to do so. Hasbro won, and I'll leave it at that.

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