Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Spin Master - Land of Spy Gear and innovations



Some great shots of Spin Master toys, makers of Doctor Dreadful and Air Hogs!  They had some pretty cool stuff for boys and girls, in particular interest was Spy Gear.  Formerly of Wild Planet, Spy Gear's got some great gadgets on the way.  I wasn't allowed pictures at the show, but I'll manage to get some from a press kit.

For some highlights:

Kawaii Crush!



Flutterbye (flies like Air Hogs)


That's right... a "no bake" donut maker!


Toothless

Baaaaad


Best.  Board game.  Ever.  Roll the dice, push the sticks, and hope it doesn't pop on your turn!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

New Nerf Super Soaker lineup - 2013

PPretty sure these dropped in stores, but what's a little more info out there?

The 2013 NERF SUPER SOAKER line includes:

NERF SUPER SOAKER ARCTIC SHOCK Water Blaster
(HASBRO/Ages 6 & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Spring 2013)
Ice cubes in a NERF SUPER SOAKER blaster? Get ready to give friends a soaking shock of Xtreme cold with the new SUPER SOAKER ARCTIC SHOCK water blaster. Featuring a wide mouth 25 fluid ounce clip that can fit ice cubes for a sub-zero blast, this pump-to-fire water blaster delivers a steady stream of icy water to shock your friends. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.


NERF SUPER SOAKER SWITCHSHOT Water Blaster
(HASBRO/Ages 6 & up/Approx. Retail Price: $29.99/Available: Spring 2013)
Intimidate the competition with the SUPER SOAKER SWITCHSHOT water blaster, which allows players to deliver extreme soakage by choosing one of four different spray options! Additionally, the SWITCHSHOT water blaster boasts a 20 fluid ounce detachable banana clip and detachable shoulder stock so fans can tailor their blaster for each water battle. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.

NERF SUPER SOAKER HYDRO PACK
(HASBRO/Ages 6 & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Spring 2013)
Outlast and outsoak your friends with the Xtreme capacity of the NERF SUPER SOAKER HYDRO PACK. Featuring a three liter water reservoir, this water backpack connects to any SUPER SOAKER clip system blaster, keeping players fully stocked and ready for action. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.



NERF SUPER SOAKER SHOTWAVE Water Blaster
(HASBRO/Ages 6 & up/Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: Spring 2013)
Featuring an exposed clip for easy reload, the SUPER SOAKER SHOTWAVE water blaster is pump-to-fire for quick release during battle. The mid-sized water clip fits on all clip system SUPER SOAKER water blasters (each sold separately) for maximum customization and can hold up to 10 ounces (.3 L). Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.


NERF SUPER SOAKER FLASHBLAST Water Blaster
(HASBRO/Ages 6 & up/Approx. Retail Price: $8.99/Available: Spring 2013)
Stealth enough for a sneak attack and compact enough for easy concealment, the SUPER SOAKER FLASH BLAST water blaster features a cocking slide for quick trigger fire action or slam-fire for non-stop soakage. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.



NERF SUPER SOAKER DOMINATION DRUM Accessory
(HASBRO/Ages 6 & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: Spring 2013)
Upgrade the capacity of any clip-system SUPER SOAKER water blaster with the SUPER SOAKER DOMINATION DRUM accessory. The massive water drum holds 37 ounces of water - perfect for keeping the water battle going. SUPER SOAKER blaster sold separately. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Toys R Us visit: some new blasters?

Some of the newest stuff I spotted at Toys R Us recently, among them the zCurve Huntress bow, Rip Rocketz, Buzz vs Zurg Toy Story pack, and a Nerf double dart Strongarm.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Nerf Rebelle Alpha Girl Blaster POV demo

Not really a proper review video, but I was wearing a GoPro on my chest and here's another perspective of firing the Nerf Alpha Girl Blaster that comes with the Mission Kit in the Rebelle line -



Of all the Rebelle stuff, I am pretty sure this is my favorite.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

New York Toy Fair - Nerf, Zing, Katniss, oh my! Possible trending for 2013

New York Toy Fair ended and that leaves a hole in my schedule and a LOT of material to run through.  But as always, I'll do my best.

Nerf-wise, the biggest news to come out of the showroom this year wasn't some super secret video with a mysterious silhouette.  This year Nerf was upfront about where they're going by revealing their new line with girls in mind, the Nerf Rebelle.


For years, I've been running the "Foamme Fatale" gallery on my blog to show that in fact, girls are interested in and play with Nerf toys too.  This isn't, nor should it be a new or surprising development.  From Amazons to Samus Aran, females are into the action toys as well.  It's good to see that for a couple of years, Nerf did the research and is now getting this initiative in gear.  1200 girls surveyed to see what it is they wanted out of Nerf blasters, and the Nerf Rebelle line is evidence of that.

Now, I don't remember, but did anyone see girls in the running for the last user-submitted NDTL?  Just putting that out there.

First off, I'm a big fan of the line.  I love the functionality, the streamlined feel of the blasters, and the call back to older weaponry (Nerf Crossbow, Bow N Arrow) with some of them.  The "Rebelle" (and I think even that's a bit smart, I believe playing off "reveille") line will get the same performance as the Elite blasters, and the only difference then is the outside aesthetics, kinda like how boys and girls are different on the outside, but on the inside we're all able to reach 75'. (Or something like that).

Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow
Nerf N-Strike Blazin' Bow
The performance is there for the Rebelles, for sure.  And handling the blasters I can tell you the function matches the form.  They are sleek, streamlined, feel pretty mobile, and are very eye-catching.  All good ingredients for success.  Now, at first I was wondering about the pink trim, and "why does the girls stuff have to be pink?" but... it's what my niece has been looking for.  And this is why I say it will sort of challenge gender stereotypes.  Sure, pink is a stereotypically feminine color, but remember the original Bow And Arrow(s?)  And as cool as some of these blasters are (I refer to the Nerf Alpha Girl) the boys are going to HAVE to get used to a pink blaster.

So, failed argument bemoaning the coloring.  Nerf researched high and low for 2 years figuring out what girls wanted, and they wanted pink blasters, accessories, social interaction, the works.

One more note on the pink... the packaging and everything is going to stand out on the shelves.  Think about it.  You walk down the toy blaster aisle, as a young girl you see aisles and aisles of shooting toys in a sea of blues, greens, yellows, oranges, and all with serious-faced boys firing blasters.... and there it is:


Something different.  A pink box, a couple of girls looking like they're ready to have some fun with blasters.  And not just blasters where it's "oh, these are for boys, but hey girls can play too" it's FOR you, a female, speaking TO you in the advertising.  Images mean everything, and this might be what it will take to get most (remember, research of over 1200 girls for 2 years) girls to give the blaster aisle a 2nd look for something directed at them.

Marketing theories aside, the Nerf Rebelle line is only one hint of a trend to bridge a gap between boys and girls in the active toy department.  Not just Nerf, but Zing Toys made a pink bow called the Huntress:

As well as included some female characters into their marketing collateral.

What does this mean?  Attempts to appeal to the association to characters such as "Katniss Everdeen" from The Hunger Games and "Merida" from Disney's Brave.  No joke, a number of the pitches I heard during Toy Fair drew correlations to creating strong female empowerment imagery to associate to one's toys.  Or it was applying technology for existing "Boys'" toys to "Girls'" toys.


What does this mean for our blasters?  Nothing alarming, don't get me wrong.  What this means is that girls have been recognized as a missed opportunity in the action toy department, and Nerf's Rebelle and Zing's Huntress are the start.  We might see more of this female-oriented development from other companies in the future should these particular initiatives succeed.

The OTHER point, is with the social climate being what it is right now in regards to firearms, bows and arrows and weaponry of that category are the 2nd trend I'm wondering about.  That's why you see a Blazin' Bow after a series of triggered blasters from Nerf, the Rebelle line is bows and crossbows (for the most part), and why Zing is what I believe is the dark horse of the category with their bow-centric toys.  Sure Rebelle has the revolver, but unlike the Nerf Elite series, between the aesthetics and the color scheme, Rebelle seems like it is trying really hard to shake the image of a modern firearm, with all the smooth aesthetics and bow-type functions in spite of the triggered system (that's why the Heartbreaker is the big item from the Nerf Rebelle line; it's a non-triggered toy I think and thus less of a firearm.  And Katniss.)

POINT #2:

My Last Dart has already spread the news that Nerf is going to make discs that serve different functions, one of which is to get the discs to fly faster and farther.  Knowing that they are already pushing the envelope with the blasters themselves, this makes sense that they decided a back door way to try and get higher performance with the ammo.  The Elite darts were only the start (essentially modified stock streamlines). Now you have what could be a precedent for different dart types as well.

Other companies do this now.  Zing has two versions of arrows; the long-range version and a suction cup version.  Each gives a player a choice on how they want to play, so I would not be surprised to see more of this, with different types of ammo that might fall within safety regs but are different from foam darts.  See: the TekRecon, Vapor blasters, and Xploderz ammo.  Heck, Marshmallowville is out there with Marshmallow shooters too.  Rubber bands, water pellets, marshmallows... smaller ammo than darts, flying farther, and higher ammo capacity than Nerf. (TekRecon's Havok is going to boast 90 shots per reload, and similar with Vapor and Xploderz.)

Head spinning yet?  Girls are a new market, look for new innovations in ammo types more than the blasters, Max Force and the first round of water pellet blasters was the start.  Possibly blasters are going to start looking crazier and crazier, so they look less like real firearms.  Ultimately though, Nerf still has one more (or 3) trick up its sleeve.... the as-yet unrevealed blasters that are under NDA right now, but being hinted at.  Nerf's still THE brand to contend with, and we'll just have to see what happens next.  Lock and load.

Now:
Nerf
Zing
Vapor 
Marshmallow Shooters
Xploderz
TekRecon
PrimteTime Toys (more foam dart shooters, but they're revealing more later this year)
Splatmaster (though that's paintball)

Whew!

Friday, February 15, 2013

New York Toy Fair - TekRecon Debrief



The "flag" QR code scanned with app.

Havok and the Hammer Head

Hammer Head

Havok and Magazine




How the magazine comes out of the Hammer Head


From the press release:

Tech 4 Kids To Revolutionize Boys Action Experience with Tek Recon!

With innovations never seen before, Tech 4 Kids is set to revolutionize the action blaster category with
Tek Recon! Tek Recon is a new line of blasters that integrate cutting edge design and the latest in
gaming technology to provide the ultimate targeting and boys action experience. By bringing blasting
capabilities to new heights, and by adding revolutionary app-enhanced gameplay features comparable to
those of sophisticated video games, Tek Recon truly takes the category to the next level. Simply attach
your smartphone to the blaster’s mount and you’re ready for Tek Recon Advanced Battle Systems that
include GPS radar, voice communication capabilities and tons more gaming features!

Tek Recon blasters are the ONLY in their category to feature:

  • App-enhanced video game quality multi-player battles and team play, in REAL LIFE!
  • High performance rapid fire blasting (rubber rounds) with real recoil kickback

Additional features include:
  • Futuristic blaster design
  • Massive capacity of rounds (30 with Hammer Head, 90 with Havok), reusable with no mess
  • Long blasting distance with modifiable blasting modes
  • Fast trigger blasting with quick clip reload

Advanced Battle Systems:

The optional smart phone enhanced features are industry leading in bringing video game like experiences
into real world play and include:

  • Reality /Digital Convergence (RDC) to capture real world actions through the lens of a smart
    device jam packed with popular, in demand gameplay features
  • Heads-up Display (HUD) with customizable vision modes, sound effects, and scopes for
    enhanced scouting of targets and objectives
  • Massive closed circuit gaming experience where players can use GPS to track the movement of
    teammates and opponents through Tek Recon Radar
  • Downloadable upgrades and links to a global social community, where screen captures can be
    shared, personal stats can be tracked, and team leader boards populated
  • Flashlight for night vision, surveillance video and camera, inter-team walkie talkie features
3 Popular, Familiar, and Exciting Game Modes:
  • Isolation: every person for themself tagging battle - last person standing
  • Team supremacy: team battle, eliminate opponent team through tactical maneuvers and tagging
  • Intel recovery: team reconnaissance mission - locate and scan all flags before

The app works with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPod Touch devices as well as select Android
devices.

Available Fall 2013
Suggested retail price: $19.99 (Hammer Head), $34.99 (Havok)
Ages 8+

Please visit www.tech4kids.com.

Whew! New York Toy Fair 2013 - Nerf Debrief (In case you didn't want to click through my WHOLE album)

Nerf Revonix 360

Where you load the discs

Iron Man spring launcher (reminiscent of a small pistol)

Iron Man disc shooter (in the spirit of the foam disc captain America Shield)

Heartbreaker Bow (click for info)

Nerf Rebelle Alpha Girl Mission Kit (click for info)

Nerf Rebelle Sneak Attacker 2-pack (Click for info)

Nerf Rebelle PINK CRUSH mini crossbow (Click for info)

Nerf Rebelle Crossbow (Click for info)

Nerf Blazin' Blitz Bow (Click for Info)

Nerf Vortex Firefly tech Glow in the Dark Mission Kit






Firevision Flyer

Angry Birds blaster (Koosh)

Angry Birds blaster


FOAMME FATALES

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