Sunday, February 27, 2011

Toy Fair 2011 Series of reports - 1st stop, Hasbro/NERF! #TF11

Hard to believe it was only two weeks ago that I was standing at Toy Fair, in New York City. Armed with a gift for gab and a media pass, I had managed to write and take FoamFromAbove from an obscure niche Nerf/foam dart shooter hobbyist blog to an obscure niche hobbyist blog with enough credit behind it to warrant a media pass at one of the largest toy industry-only events in the US. Rubbing shoulders with the bigwigs and looking at toys months before they hit the stores. A lot of the stuff here might not see a store shelf or retailer until Fall 2011.

I could go on at length about this, but nobody needs to know that. You’re here to read about the toys! I visited a LOT of companies, but anyone who’s followed me for some time knows where HAD to go.. Hasbro. For the past couple of years, 2 NDTLs, one Stampede major release later, I had to visit with those that knew me first. I saw everything! As you can tell from the various galleries (http://foamfromabove.blogspot.com/2011/02/big-show-welcome-to-toy-fair-2011.html), Hasbro rolled out a lot, and I didn’t even snap a photo of EVERYTHING. Pertinent to the blog, there is a slew of foam weaponry coming out in the form of Thor, Captain America, and of course, Nerf Dart Tag and N-Strike/???.

The Thor movie is going to send out some new melee weapons in the form of foam and electronic versions of Mjolnir (both super soft, see my videos @ youtube.com/foamfromabove), a sword and shield set, and a spiffy helmet befitting a Norse god of thunder. Captain America’s going to get a disc-shooting shield, flywheel powered, awesome embodied. Somebody get me two. Cap’s also going to have a half-helmet to match, something to keep the costumed hilarity going.

The Nerf Dart Tag line gets bolstered, with releases of the Speedload 6, Quick 16, Sharp Shot, and Swarmfire. Full details are here: http://foamfromabove.blogspot.com/2011/02/nerf-dart-tag-2011-release-information.html. Personally, my favorite out of the bunch is the Swarmfire, but the Quick 16 and Speedload utilize a new breech/internal clip system which should fit well with any arsenal, Dart Tag or N-Strike. How these new blasters will change the landscape of the NDTL this year remains to be seen; the furyfire has been the standardized equipment for two years now, and this would be a good time to see some change and upheaval in the interest of keeping things fresh. The Determinators have made it two years in a row and new blasters may be just what the champs need to keep’em sharp and guessing if they return this year.

N-Force has already had the Klaw Hatchet and Vantage Sword pop up and officially added to their lineup, but what’s to come was fantastic. I’ve seen some calls for spears and the like in conversation and on forums, so the new Vendetta double-sword, totalling at around 5’ long at full extension is going to hopefully answer those requests. It splits into two swords (hence the “double” of the moniker) and clicks together to make a staff/spear of sorts. Pretty cool looking, to boot.

And what about N-Strike? Supposedly a new line called the “Vortex” line is going to be a whole new slew of innovative gameplay blasters, precluded by the “Gear Up” series of tiger-striped blasters: the Barricade Rev-10, the Raider CS-35, Recon CS-6, and the Maverick Rev-6. Much like the “Clear the Way” clear series of blasters preceded the Stampede. They were tight-lipped on the technical details about the upcoming Vortex line, so look for new details later this year at This Very Blog on hopefully something new.

There were reports of Nerf looking to expand into accessories and fashion, and sure enough I saw headphones, a Nerf alarm clock (already spotted at Target), shirts, hats, and sneakers. Keep your eyes open, @NerfNation... I sense a change coming!

I also got to look up close at the new Super Soakers, but considering it’s still at just-freezing temps in Chicago I have not been able to properly test any of them and ya know, no water inside the showroom lol. They look and feel great though, can’t wait for the weather to get warmer! In any event, it was a great time inside the showroom and I look forward to what the next year will bring from Hasbro and Nerf!

Some items of note through the rest of the Hasbro showroom were some of the new merch coming from the Transformers, toys based on the upcoming "Dark of the Moon" movie - a new voice changing Optimus Prime helmet complete with glyph scarring, a
toy blaster that fires Nerf darts, bunches and bunches of new figures from Marvel, Star Wars, and Beyblade, a new Ricochet remote control car, and... wow. Just so much! Seriously, if you haven't already just look at the gallery:



Speaking of Star Wars, I think my favorite piece of non-Nerf related gear is the new lightsabers -

From ToyFair2011 - Hasbro Showroom


Pretty good, right? Compared to the $100+ for the master replica types in stores right now, the $35ish price tag on these beauties is looking pretty good!


Stay tuned, I'll have a few more reports and observations from #TF11 continuing.

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