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.

Friday, February 25, 2011

New arrivals for product testing! Marshmallow fun co.!

Marshmallow shooters just arrived! Thanks, Marshmallow Fun Co.! Review soon!
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Video from Toy Fair 2011 - Nerf n-force Vendetta double sword!

Using the coming Nerf N-Force Vendetta sword @ Toy Fair! Thanks, Nerf & Hasbro!
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Friday, February 18, 2011

THE BIG SHOW - Welcome to Toy Fair 2011

Wow. So, I went to Toy Fair. My story is a blog entry in and of itself, but you're probably not here for pages of witty observation. The saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words... so let me tell by show.

Some initial pictures!





Now for the bread and butter of this site: Foam shooters and other fun projectile toys!

The Hasbro/Nerf Showroom: New NERF DART TAG, a teaser for the NERF VORTEX line, and Nerf apparel were in the Nerf portion, while I saw everything from RC to BEYBLADES, GI JOE, TRANSFORMERS, STAR WARS and more!)




Prime Time Toys: (POWERSTRIKE 48, QUICKFIRE 12)



Marshmallow Fun Company (MAZOOKA EXECUTIVE MARSHMALLOW SHOOTER)



and an honorable mention to TOOBERS AND ZOTS, while not a foam dart shooter/projectile brand, definitely have a product worth looking into if you have a lot of roleplaying/cosplay elements in your games. They're a construction set of foam pieces that interlock and wrap around together to make fun shapes like hats and swords and in one case, even wings :)



Also, some interesting roleplay/game type stuff at BACKYARD SAFARI/ZILLIONS I took a look there and have some ideas :)



RAZOR SCOOTERS (@RAZORUSA) - c'mon, they're action sport toys. I had a lot of fun with their stuff!



Someone new to me, MOBO CRUISERS. Basically I saw this and went, "OMG OMG A BIG WHEEL FOR ADULTS"





MOAR TOYS/ACTION FIGURES AND ASSORTED GEEKERY! MOAR MOAR MOAR!

LEGO (PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN HARRY POTTER PHARAOH'S QUEST HERO FACTORY NINJAGO):



BANDAI (OMG BEN 10 POWER RANGERS AND THUNDERCATS)



DC COMICS (Figures! BATMAN SUPERMAN WONDER WOMAN GREEN LANTERN OMGOMGOMG)


SHOCKER TOYS (TICK ANIME ONE PIECE AWESOMESAUCE)



I have a soft spot in my heart for seeing "The Maxx"

NECA TOYS (GREMLINS FRIDAY THE 13TH NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET FREDDY IGGY POP PREDATOR)



GAMEHEADS (LEFT 4 DEAD PORTAL HALFLIFE(?) TEAM FORTRESS)



PANACHE PLACE (CRYSIS 2)



TECHNO SOURCE (TETRIS LINK, 20 Q)



GUND (soft plushie toys, awesome watch for their GRIDIRON FANATIC)



OHIO ART (AIR PICKS - seriously these things are pretty cool)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

NERF DART TAG 2011 RELEASE INFORMATION

Fresh from Toy Fair 2011 in NYC, here's the press release for the Nerf Dart Tag gear upcoming!


"This year, NERF brings the high-speed, performance based sport of DART TAG to the next level as DART TAG athletes across the country are drafted to compete in the 2011 NERF DART TAG World Championship. A completely redesigned collection of innovative blasters and accessories allow fans to train at their ultimate best and help them take their skills from their backyard to the NERF DART TAG World Championship. Get your gear and blast your way to victory!


NERF DART TAG SWARMFIRE Blaster
(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $29.99/Available: Spring 2011)
The first fully automatic DART TAG blaster in the collection, the NERF DART TAG SWARMFIRE blaster, will change the game of DART TAG forever! Players can launch a powerful stream of up to 20 darts, keeping opposing teams at bay. Requires six "C” batteries, included. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.




NERF DART TAG Official Competition Jersey
(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $15.99/Available: Spring 2011)
An essential element of the DART TAG arena, each NERF DART TAG official competition jersey, available in orange or blue, features target panels on the front, back, and sleeves, as well as mesh side panels to keep teams cool in the heat of battle. Available in size Small or Large. Each sold separately. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.






NERF DART TAG SHARP SHOT Blaster
(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $7.99/Available: Spring 2011)
Get ready for a DART TAG game wherever you go with the NERF DART TAG SHARP SHOT blaster. This new, lightweight blaster features a carabiner styled clip which can be hooked on belt loops allowing players to always be at the ready for when a battle breaks out. Includes four Velcro Tip DART TAG darts. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.



NERF DART TAG SPEED LOAD 6 Blaster
(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $12.99/Available: Spring 2011)
The NERF DART TAG SPEED LOAD 6 blaster helps keep the intensity of DART TAG game play at an ultimate high. With a new top reloading system and cool, sleek design, players on both teams will have to stay on their toes to keep up with all the fast-paced action and rapid return fires. Includes six Velcro Tip DART TAG darts. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.


NERF DART TAG QUICK 16 Blaster
(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Spring 2011)
Whether you’re getting ready for an offensive or defensive DART TAG play, you’ll be able to stay calm and collected with the new rapid-fire NERF DART TAG QUICK 16 blaster by your side. The NERF DART TAG QUICK 16 blaster sends an intense stream of darts towards the opposition and features an integrated clip system making reloads quick and seamless. Includes 16 Velcro Tip DART TAG darts. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.



NERF DART TAG VISION GEAR Eyewear Assortment
(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $4.99/Available: Spring 2011)
Your DART TAG uniform isn’t complete without NERF DART TAG VISION GEAR eyewear. The new NERF DART TAG VISION GEAR assortment includes one pair of VISION GEAR eyewear (choose from orange, black, or white), allowing players to pick the best look to suit their team’s style. Featuring a new flexible rubberized coating to keep players comfortable during play and hinged arms for battles on the go, the NERF DART TAG VISION GEAR eyewear assortment is ready for a DART TAG game anytime, anywhere. Each sold separately. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.



NERF DART TAG 2 Player Starter Pack
(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $29.99/Available: Spring 2011)
Experience the thrill of the NERF DART TAG League tournaments right at home with the complete NERF DART TAG 2 Player Starter Pack! Featuring two DART TAG SHARP SHOT blasters, two sets of DART TAG VISION GEAR eyewear, two DART TAG Official Competition jerseys, and eight Velcro Tip DART TAG darts, the NERF DART TAG 2 Player Starter Pack has everything you and your friends will need to get started. DART TAG jerseys available in either orange or blue; sold separately. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Water pump = foregrip and it primes the dart blaster part like a recon
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Off brand blasters from toy smith, coming up! They are combo dart & water shooters.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

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Inline shotgunned marshmallow shooter!

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Toy Fair, Day 2!

Hi all! Just like the title says. Had my tour of hasbro so from here on out it will be any off-brand stuff like Prime time toys or something. In any event, I will have higher-res photos when I get home! The great folks at Hasbro were tight-lipped about the vortex in all regards except for the name and release date, and assurances we have not seen this yet. So, more info to follow in the coming months, true believers!

I also asked about the Nerf Dart Tag League, and there are some changes abound. No specifics, but something will be new this year.
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hey all! Vids from toy fair are up on youtube:
Http://youtube.com/foamfromabove
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Yup. Mass posting! Full galleries will be made when I get back to Home Base.
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Thor weapons! #tf11 toy fair!

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?

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Toy fair visit!

Done! Just finished my visit in the showroom! I will be uploading later tonight. Did not have a chance to ask those questions, or the ones I did they could not comment. More later!
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Boy toy of the year!!!! Congrats Nerf!

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Well, hello

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Prime time toys!

The makers of the air zone line!
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Aw yeah.... NYC

Toy fair starts TOMORROW!

And congratulations to nerf on winning outdoor toy of the year with the super soaker shot blast, and boys' toy of the year with the stampede ecs!
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Friday, February 11, 2011

Interesting tidbit from another toy blog:

I was perusing blogs and websites leading up to Toy Fair, and ran across this interesting press release. There's a lot of news on it about EVERYTHING Hasbro (including info about Thor - there will be a Mjolnir light up hammer apparently!)


But, we're not here to talk about godly weapons. We're here for foam blasters, and NERF.

Hopefully they don't mind, I took this from the main release I linked to:

NERF

In 2011, the NERF brand will continue its high-energy evolution with exciting advancements in its SUPER SOAKER and DART TAG lines, as well as a reveal of the new, top secret NERF VORTEX blaster collection. This year the NERF SUPER SOAKER line takes the water blaster world to a new level of power and performance with battery-powered blasters, including the new NERF SUPER SOAKER THUNDERSTORM water blaster, and easy to use CLIP SYSTEM refills giving fans the faster reloads and edge they need to become ultimate water warriors. In 2011, the popular DART TAG World Championship will celebrate its third consecutive year with revamped recruitment and game play. To celebrate the evolution of NERF DART TAG, four new DART TAG blasters will be released this spring including the NERF DART TAG SWARMFIRE blaster as well as NERF DART TAG official competition jerseys and new NERF DART TAG VISION GEAR. And, to round out a full year of new introductions, the NERF brand is inviting fans to “Gear Up for 9.10.11” when it will introduce the NERF VORTEX collection, a completely new and innovative blaster experience. NERF fans, known as NERF NATION, will also be able to step up their game in 2011 as the property continues to break out at mass retail and become a global mega lifestyle licensing brand with cutting edge products ranging from footwear to graphic tees, electronics and digital gaming. For more updates and information on each of the NERF brand’s five existing N-STRIKE, NERF SUPER SOAKER, DART TAG, SPORTS, and N-FORCE lines, visit www.YouTube.com/Nerf, www.Twitter.com/NerfNation, or www.Facebook.com/NerfNation and become a part of NERF NATION.

So, expansion of the Nerf line into other mediums, and the super secret release this year won't be a singular blaster, but a whole collection? Anyone else smell something like Cyberstrike gear? Who knows!

ONCE AGAIN, I found the press release here:

http://blog.zoolert.com/2011/02/11/hasbro-gives-a-sneak-peek-of-its-2011-ny-toy-fair-lineup/

http://blog.zoolert.com/2011/02/11/hasbro-gives-a-sneak-peek-of-its-2011-ny-toy-fair-lineup/

http://blog.zoolert.com/2011/02/11/hasbro-gives-a-sneak-peek-of-its-2011-ny-toy-fair-lineup/



Tomorrow.... I go to TOY FAIR!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Toy Fair Run-up: Review for the N-Strike Barricade!




(Thanks to Nerf's youtube channel for the video! Inside blast!)



Nerf continues support of battery powered blasters with its latest entry, the N-Strike Barricade RV-10! It’s a 10-shot, rotating turret pistol looking blaster powered on 3 AA batteries, flywheel projectile system, and uh... a trigger. Yes, a trigger.

You load the darts into the turret and with each trigger pull the turret rotates and a pusher arm moves darts into flywheels which launch the darts, anywhere from 25-30’ (as with any fresh outta the box Nerf blaster).

When I first got word of this thing, my heart skipped a beat. Up until now, running with a Nerf blaster in each hand meant having to get creative about how you were going to reprime each blaster between shots, and shooting both at once required some pretty deft evading and manual dexterity to get the blasters reloaded and reprimed. So much for hilariously fun John Woo-style shootouts.

The Barricade is a true semiautomatic. It has a ten shot revolving chamber, and each trigger pull fires a single dart without having to reprime any firing mechanism, as once the switch turns on the flywheels keep spinning. It works, and the vertical orientation of the flywheels aids in the accuracy of fire, as opposed to previously released flywheel blasters that had horizontal-oriented flywheels.

I recently took the Barricade to an indoor Nerf fight, and I found if you try to fire it too fast it might cause the blaster to jam. You have to be mindful and make sure that each trigger pull you make is a full motion. Probably some practice under quick trigger pulls is asked for here just to make sure you know how touchy your Barricade is. It was able to fire anything I loaded in there, from streamlines to off-brand micro darts. The trick was to take my time with each trigger pull.

Size wise, the barricade is not much bigger than a stripped-down recon. It's big enough that you can use the underside of the muzzle for a handgrip, but the bread and butter of it is using the barricade like a pistol. The back part of the shell can accomodate a stock as well. Getting to and rotating the chambers to reload is pretty easy, and clearing jams on the top of the barricade isn't difficult as well. Probably the trickiest thing is remembering to check your jam door is closed, the switch is on, and your batteries are charged if you have problems turning the blaster on.

No bones about it though, this blaster is fun. I had a bit of time trying to call hits on people, due to reliability issues firing darts when things got hectic. It was even more difficult trying to use two blasters. I hate to draw comparisons to video games, but using two barricades drastically reduced my field of vision, and also hampered my ability to reload the turrets. A trick I like to do is palm a few darts in my free hand when using a front-loading pistol, but with two blasters at a total of 20 shots that method didn’t work and when it was time to reload there was no Zombieland slam reloading motion I could use... I had to rely on teammates for cover while I stuffed shots back in to each turret. Even reloading on the run was near impossible without a proper way to holster a blaster. Probably would be better and more efficient to use the barricades alternatingly as opposed to both at once. Then... where’s the fun in that though? I did manage to do a knee slide coming around a corner as I lit someone up with both barricades at least once, though! Using these in stock dart matches in the summer will be the next test.

Overall, was it worth it? Yes! For two? I leave that up to you, the buyer. The RoF does feel faster than a lot of the other blasters I use (including the Stampede, without having to wait for the spring to wind up and all that) and maybe even beats my speed on emptying a 35 drum with my Raider. But this is definitely a nice innovation to see from Nerf, and whatever your feelings are about their direction using battery-powered blasters, you’d be missing out to not give this a try. Not having to use that extra second to manipulate a priming mech and THEN pull the trigger is really handy in a pinch!

I've found them at Target for just under $20, and TRU for over $20. Now grab your ammo!

TOY FAIR! I LEAVE SATURDAY! NEW YORK!

Don't forget, if you have questions for Nerf!

http://foamfromabove.blogspot.com/2011/01/dont-forget-new-york-toy-fair-2011-in-4.html

Seriously, reply in the thread and when I get to the Hasbro showroom I'll know what YOU all want to ask about! If they can give answers, I'll get answers! No promises on what I'll ask, but give me an idea!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Leaving this weekend! Ok all!

Hey! I leave for toy fair this weekend! Don't forget to send in questions, I will try to get answers!
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FOAMME FATALES

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