Friday, May 31, 2013

Tek Recon: Final Stand Contest

Saw this teaser on Facebook for Tek Recon -
5 PM!  I think EST (their HQ in Toronto, Canada, after all) so plan accordingly!

They're at 41k now, so the kickstarter campaign with 10 days to go is ALMOST THERE!  Here's hoping this contests puts it over the top.

EDIT:

THE RULES  

"Tek Recon Troops, we've raised over $42K which means we're 82% funded on Kickstarter (http://kck.st/ZLhk9x). If we reach $50K by Sunday night (11:59PM). We're going to GIVEAWAY 2 FREE Limited Edition Black Chrome Havoks! These are worth $250 each!

All you have to do to enter is:
1) Share this post on your wall and encourage your friends to check us out and buy a blaster. Tag a friend you think would like our page!
2) Tell Kickstarter on Facebook or email (press@kickstarter.com) what you love most about Tek Recon (be sure to tag us).

Monday morning we'll announce the 2 random winners so make sure we know you've entered and done the above!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=av4m1fKSd0M"

So head on over there and get entered! Don't forget to tag Tek Recon!

The inventor of: The Nerf Raider CS-35 and Nerf Vortex Vigilon!

 The Toy Industry Association Facebook page posted a Flashback Friday about the Nerf N-Strike Raider CS-35, and the man behind it, Robert Victor (his company is named "Kite and Rocket")
  
Saw this posted on the Toy Industry Association Facebook page...


Photo taken from the New York Daily News, 2011
Featured for a TAGIE (Toy and Game Inventor Expo) Award in 2011 for the Nerf Vortex Vigilon, Robert Victor's Raider gave us the 35 round drums that gave us an out of the box ammo capacity that had been unheard of in recent years.  The rest of the info about him can be found in the New York Daily News Article here - but it sounds like he's still busy at work, and hopefully working on Nerf blasters still! 

Thanks, Robert!


P.S. - My favorite part of this story is how he was inspired by spring-loaded grocery store racks that ultimately might have been the basis for the Raider's drum design, as well as the other N-Strike mags (possibly?)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tek Recon update - a beta look at the App



Tek Recon released a first look at the beta of their gaming app today, showcasing how the devices will interact in gameplay and a peek at some of the powerups, scopes, sound effects, gametypes, AMMO COUNTER, etc.  I'm really curious how the Medic and Drone powerups are going to work, as I'm assuming hits and removal from gameplay is still on the honor system.

The other question is will players have to use their data plans when wi-fi isn't available.  And if the "host" of the game's device freezes up, I assume the game drops out?

All in all though, the Tek Recon line is looking sharper and sharper with each update, and on top of that they are now just under $20,000 of their goal! (As of this writing, they are at $34,000.)

Some other quick notes - if the original metallic green isn't your color, check out the "Agent Orange" pack (as suggested by a backer, showing how Tek Recon once again is taking early feedback very seriously)!

Don't forget, continue to email/tweet/Facebook kickstarter to get Tek Recon on their weekly email blast!  It's going to need all the help it can get to hit goal to finish the race!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Nerf Centurion - Fall 2013! $49.99!

So after a few months of hubbub, here we are with the Nerf Centurion. (Popular Science got the exclusive "official" post on this, here's their take - http://www.popsci.com/gadgets/article/2013-05/exclusive-nerf%E2%80%99s-newest-gun-fires-100-feet)
picture taken from the article, illustrating distance
Highlights:
Release is set for Fall 2013
Price: $49.99 (a bit lower than I expected, thankfully)

"As for the gun [sic] itself, we’ll be blunt: this thing is freaking huge. It spans 40.7 inches from nose to heel, and at least 2/3 of that length is barrel. As with any gun, the longer the barrel, the straighter – and hopefully the farther – shots will soar."

"To get the velocity necessary (nearly 55 mph) to catapult ammo one-third of a football field, the designers had to supersize the typical Nerf launch mechanism. With a dart-filled magazine in place, you pull back on a loading handle to allow the top dart to pop into the firing chamber. Pushing the same handle forward sets the firing mechanism in place, and pulling the trigger releases a spring-loaded piston that launches the dart."

"The Centurion is the first in a new line of Nerf guns that use MEGA darts. The darts are about twice the size of typical Nerf darts, which engineers say helps them get the momentum they need to fly further. The also whistle, an oddly satisfying addition to long-range shootouts."

So we can expect more Mega blasters down the road.  This all still begs the questions-

- Extra mags/mission kits will be sold when?
- I think we can assume there will be some kind of "value" pack that comes out after the inital release (happens during the holidays especially - Double Discs/Darts, blaster packs, etc.)
- The cradle... and maybe we'll get a proper scope?
- Ranges are reported to hit 100'.  Is this with the 35 degrees that has been used in the past as the angle for max range claims? (see here) - most likely yes
- Bipod better be robust
- DAT DRAW PULL.  HOLY CRAP.

Not gonna lie though... Yet Another Ammo Type?  Just when things calmed down from Sonics/Micros/Streamlines/Taggers/Discs now Megas are in the mix.  While Sonics and Micros aren't as prevalent in stores, they are still in circulation and part of many a community dart stash.  So here we go again with one more "caliber" of sorts to sort through when cleaning up.

But don't get me wrong!  I'm excited to see range and mega darts again, for sure.  Will this change Nerf games?  How?  And it is the shot in the arm in range and performance that Nerf could use?  We'll see once it hits shelves in the Fall.  And yes, I plan to figure out how to dual-wield these, too.


Nerf Rapidstrike in the Wild? Can anyone in the Philippines confirm?

Got this dropped onto me on Facebook today that Nerf Rapidstrikes are available and out in stores there.  (Thanks to D.B. for dropping me a note on Facebook to check Nerf's Facebook page, and there we are.)

Can anyone else confirm Nerf Elite Rapidstrikes are at this location?  Send pics!
Again, no pics were posted so far and I'm waiting to confirm, but here's hoping it's true!

EDIT:
Here's the confirmed photos!  (Courtesy of Nerf Club Philippines)


Monday, May 27, 2013

REMINDER: Big Announcement this week! (Centurion?)

Don't forget to check Nerf's Facebook this week, most likely tomorrow.  They have a big announcement coming!  
Speculation out there says it is most likely the Centurion finally getting the "official announcement" treatment and confirming just what it does.
What else does this mean?  Hopefully, should Nerf do another release party, myself and the other blogs such as Adult Fans of Nerf, Basic Nerf, and NerfRevolution (most in attendance last year, with the exception of Basic) might finally get their turn at it!
Keep your fingers crossed, Nation.
Edit: My mistake, Basic Nerf did not make it last year; hopefully he will be able to this year, if it happens.

Memorial Day - from F2A to you and yours

Image courtesy of the Cobra Paintball Team-

Friday, May 24, 2013

Tek Recon's 2nd Effort! - Appeal to Kickstarter!

Tek Recon's already a little over HALFWAY to their goal, but that was the easy part.  Now comes the real effort, to finish the race and bring the total home.

To make it happen, we need to make our voices heard to Kickstarter.  Whether it is through their Facebook, Twitter Feed, or emailing them at press@kickstarter.com, we need to let them know about Tek Recon running on their own site, that it has such a great following, and to highlight Tek Recon on their weekly email blast.

This might be the effort that pushes Tek Recon over the top, and as great and welcoming the reception has been so far, the work is only 50% done.  All the great perks and effort put out there so far can't stop unfinished, we've all done great now let's finish the job.

Let Kickstarter know!  Reach out to them and ask them to support Tek Recon with placement in their email blast!


Not sure what to say?  Here's an EXAMPLE of what you can say -

"Dear Kickstarter, 

As a recent first time project backer and avid blaster fan I am writing you to ask your help to get TEK RECON the visibility needed to hit it's funding goal.
I love this concept and product and believe there are many others blaster and gaming fans like me that would love to get their hands on TEK RECON.

Please help us see this project funded so that we can experience the next level of Live Action Online Gaming. On behalf of the very large blaster community I request that you include TEK RECON in your next Weekly Email blast and help us see this project funded.

I appreciate your helping bring this product to life!!!

Thanks!" 
Don't forget to sign it ;)

You've got your orders, let's go to work.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tek Recon goes to E3! Press Release received!

"TEK RECON: E3 BOUND AND BRINGING LIVE ACTION ONLINE GAMING TO LIFE!

FOLLOWING A VERY EXCITING KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED NEW GAMES TO BE SAMPLED FOR THE FIRST TIME AT E3 JUNE 11-13 IN LOS ANGELES


TORONTO, May 21, 2013 – TEK RECON, one of the most anticipated new product launches of 2013 will be available for demonstration and sampling by fans and consumers for the first time at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, California June 11-13, 2013.
E3 will immediately follow a crowd funding campaign hosted on Kickstarter that began May 9th.  The response to TEK RECON from gamers, tech enthusiasts, and blaster fans has been exceptional as backers and players from all over the world have reached out to provide valuable feedback, insight and support. The campaign is currently more than 50% funded and tracking to exceed the kickstarter goal of $50,000.
Gamers, adventure seekers and fans of technology, get off the couch and into the game as we need your help to create a revolutionary new way to connect and play! TEK RECON Blasters feature a first of its kind design with real trigger action, authentic recoil and specially designed reusable “NRG Rounds”.
To optimize the battle and team experience TEK RECON developed a free “Live Action Online Gaming” app to enhance blaster battles. Simply connect your mobile device to the blaster to bring video game styled play to life through mobile and GPS technology.  The free TEK RECON App will be available for iOS and Android devices, enhancing real battle experience through an interactive heads up display, live chat, vision modes, and more.
“Bringing TEK RECON to market is the most ambitious and exciting launch in our company history,” stated Brad Pedersen CEO of TEK RECON Inc. “Two years ago we set out on a mission to bring video games, online connectivity and social interactive play together through innovation and great product design. The outcome, TEK RECON has come to life and created a phenomenal play experience that has exceeded our expectations.”
The time is now to be one of the first to experience Live Action Online Gaming and change the way you play. For more information on this product and the KICKSTARTER campaign please visit TekRecon.com.
Take a live look at the Tek Recon Blasters during the E3 2013 Show in Los Angeles, CA at Booth #5636 in the West Hall."
And the buzz just keeps on going for Tek Recon! From Toy Fair now to E3... who knows what's next?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tek Recon: Update #4! - (New video and info uploaded to the Kickstarter page!)

Update from Tek Recon after the break - I'll put my 2 cents in a little later when I have a bit more time.  But... wow.  The movie start pledges got picked up, and there will be some new products possibly by 2014!

To view the latest vid, head over to their kickstarter - http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/graemebissett/tek-recon-the-first-real-life-video-game/posts 


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Announced: JT Splatmaster Tournament is coming to Chicago(land!) PSP Chicago, June 2013!

Fresh from JT Splatmaster... they're starting a way to introduce newcomers to league play and competition!

(my original review here: http://foamfromabove.blogspot.com/2012/10/review-jt-splatmaster-z100-z200-and.html)  I was a fan of it then, and am still a fan of it now.  Between the accuracy and the comfortable feel of the Splatmaster line, it's a solid buy if you've been thinking about it.  It's nowhere near as painful as paintball (due to the decreased fps) but tons of fun at closer ranges than you might expect with paintball.

All the rules and regs are listed here:
http://empirepaintball.com/jt-first-shot/. More, after the break.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Tek Recon Update #3: Firing demo and Trigger explanation!



Fresh update from Tek Recon.  Pretty much says it all right there.  And holy crap.  A proper semi-auto trigger pull OR pump-action fires the blaster, you can use either mode.  The pump-action works a bit better for rapid fire, while the trigger I guess allows for that steady shot.

What I wonder is if there is a range distance between either mechanism, as that is what it sounded like in some earlier updates.  No priming the blaster like a shotgun then pulling the trigger as I initially reported/thought, but just straight up semi-auto action.  No flywheels, no priming, no additional steps.  Just point and shoot.  Havok or Hammer Head, take your pick.

Well done, Tek Recon.  Well done.

KICKSTARTER STATUS:

$19,000+ raised with 24 days to go!  Not too shabby at all.

And from their FAQ:

"I have had a number of questions as it relates to the NRG Rounds with there performance and safety. First off know that the product will meet all the safety requirements for CPSIA, CHPA and EN protocols. The NRG Rounds not only describes the shape and performance of the product but stands for: N - Non Marking R - Reusable G - Gaming They make a firm impact but are safe
There will be refills available and they will retail for $4.99 for a pack of 25 units."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Nerf Vortex Revonix 360 preview update

Basic Nerf is following this story as well, check his updates!

Commentor, you were right.  This is a tester that is out.

WHOA: Nerf Revonix - found in the wild?

While scanning through instagram... found this new shot of a Nerf Revonix 360 (so did Basic Nerf).  Not a website and not from Toy Fair, but user "daltontheamazing" might have a nerf Vortex Revonix 360 of his own, judging by the picture.
I thought the Revonix was not scheduled 'til the Fall, but release dates do get fuzzy!  Looks like his location is set in Rhode Island too... so the plot thickens.  (Anyone remember the Pyragon leak last year?)
Anyway, of note is the discs are white (and what looks like a red one?) As opposed to the red/white ones I saw at Toy Fair and the green ones in some of those store photos.
Interesting... very interesting.

EDIT:  Join the discussion on reddit - http://redd.it/1edcoe

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Preview: Elite Alpha Trooper cs-12range test versus Original Alpha Trooper CS-18

Fired a few darts from my original Nerf N-Strike Alpha Trooper CS-18 and the new Nerf N-Strike Elite Alpha Trooper CS-12, and here's what I got.  From where I was standing, the original shot about 30', while the Elite Alpha Trooper hit around 50', at a pretty flat angle.  Full review is being worked on!
Where the blasters lay denotes the cluster; original closer to camera than the Elite.  The one Elite dart near the original was a ricochet that bounced back.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

TEK RECON: KICKSTARTER IS LIVE (UPDATE) - Hammer Head, Havok



KICKSTARTER LINK IS HERE:





Got word of this from the fine folks at Tek Recon - they're launching a little early, and ON KICKSTARTER.  I'll let them explain in the press release below.

"TEK RECON: BRINGING VIDEO GAMES TO LIFE!
One of the most anticipated product launches of 2013 hits KICKSTARTER on May 9th



TORONTO, May 8, 2013 – TEK RECON, one of the most anticipated new product launches of 2013 will be available for the first time through KICKSTARTER.COM on May 9th @ 8am eastern standard time.

The goal of the KICKSTARTER campaign is designed to further enhance the development of the TEK RECON blaster and free app, and to get the product into the hands of early adopters and key influencers helping to create the first real life online video game. Through the course of 31 days fans will be able to fund the project through purchasing product, exclusive rewards, and bid on great prizes that include appearances in the television commercial and an all expense paid trip to present at E3; all contributing towards our KICKSTARTER funding goal of raising $50,000.

“Bringing TEK RECON to market through this KICKSTARTER project is the most ambitious and exciting launch in our company history,” stated Brad Pedersen President and CEO of TEK RECON Inc. “Two years ago we set out on a mission to bring video games, online connectivity and social interactive play together through innovation and great product design. The outcome, TEK RECON has come to life and created a phenomenal play experience that has exceeded our expectations.”



Gamers, adventure seekers and fans of technology, we need your help to create a revolutionary new way to connect and play video games with your friends IN REAL LIFE! Get off the couch and into the game with the newest and most realistic way to blast away on the field or anywhere. TEK RECON Blasters feature a first of its kind design with real trigger action and specially designed reusable “NRG Rounds” that blast up to 75 feet.

To optimize the battle and team experience TEK RECON developed a free “Real-Life Online Gaming” app to enhance blaster battles. Simply connect your mobile device to the blaster to bring video game styled play to life through mobile and GPS technology.  The free TEK RECON App will be available for iOS and Android devices, enhancing real battle experience through an interactive heads up display, live chat, vision modes, and more.

The time is now to be one of the first to experience Real Life Online Gaming and change the way you play. For more information on this product and KICKSTARTER campaign please visit TekRecon.com."

A look at the OS of the Tek Recon app
The Tek Recon Hammer Head. Approx. $19.99, 30 round capacity in a mag in the handle.



The Tek Recon Havok blaster, pump-action.  Approx. $34.99 as of the listing I saw at Toy Fair.  90 round capacity last I saw.


So there you have it.  On May 9th Tech4Kids (makers of Tek Recon) is willing to let fans endorse the product, assist in the development, and in return you can get the blaster early, or any number of other bonuses, including possibly a trip to E3?  Interesting, indeed!

Tek Recon wants to make sure they get the blasters done properly, so here they are opening up to the wonderful world of crowdfunding.  Their kickstarter page launches May 9th, so if you've been yelling "TAKE MY MONEY" since news on Tek Recon first came out, here's your chance. 

Between the interactivity of the mobile app, the new ammo type, and some of the neatest touches when it comes to aesthetics and user experience, I'm intrigued to try it out and see how it all works.  I've been itching to get a more in-depth look at this since New York Toy Fair, and it looks close, so, so close. 

I'll post the link once the kickstarter goes live and definitely keep an eye on Tek Recon's Facebook Page.

Onward, to May 9th!  And good luck to Tek Recon in making this work!



Thursday, May 02, 2013

REVIEW: Skylanders Giants - Trigger Happy's Dart Blaster from Mega Bloks!

Mega Bloks were awesome enough to send along a couple of samples from Toy Fair - Trigger Happy's Blaster and Ignitor's Flame Sword.

Trigger Happy's Dart Blaster

Ignitor's Flame Sword (size comparison to a Nerf Marauder)

What wonderful intellectual property are these devices for destruction from?  The Skylanders Giants game, where a player uses a figure on a platform to connect to the video gaming device of their choice and play that character IN THE GAME.



Now, my past experience with licensed blasters is not very positive.  At all.  The Jango Fett blasters I have weren't anything special, nor were the clone trooper dart blasters I picked up.  On top of that, this is Mega Bloks's first foray into making roleplay toys, so I was a little curious how these would stack up against past experience.

Thankfully, the stats spoke for themselves:

STATS:

Price:  Approx. $14.99 depending on the store
Range:  Anywhere from 30'-40' (with darts NOT the ones included.  The darts it comes with decreased the range to about just under 30')
Ammo:  Foam darts with a hard plastic, thin tip
Ammo Capacity:  6 darts before reloading

Darts that come with the blaster

Versus Nerf Elite Streamlines and current Dart Tag darts

Shot of the chamber

Air restrictors inside (and no, the cylinder does not pop out to reload.)

 Annnnd the video:


So how did I like it?  Sure, it was similar to Nerf Maverick but in a case like this it's the aesthetics that are important because of the licensing.  Folks who love the game (or have kids who love the game) are going to like this, as well as anyone (like me) who likes a gold-colored blaster (I played A LOT of Goldeneye on the N64).  The cylinder not popping out was a surprise, but the side divots are nice touch to get around that.  As you can see in the video, the divots don't line up with the chambers on the cylinder.  It would be nice if the holes had lined up WITH The divots, instead of trying to load the darts in on an angle, but the blaster would look a little odd and a little less symmetrical.  I get that.  The lack of a trigger guard bothers the showman in me as I can't spin the blaster on a finger.  But, that's a nitpick.

Unfortunately, the included darts don't do the blaster any justice.  They drop the range and the heads are unforgiving if they did hit their target.  Granted, a toy like this isn't INTENDED to be shot at others, but things happen and I would have liked to see suction cups or something softer at the heads of the darts, if anything so the blaster would hit the ranges it does with regular Nerf ammo.

And the ranges are THE most surprising thing about this blaster.  Once I loaded proper darts it got comparable range and performance to any Maverick I had (Strongarm doesn't count, it's internals are ahead of the Maverick curve but I had to include it for argument's sake.)  I was pleasantly surprised to say the least!

After being burned so much with licensed blasters in the past, I would take this into any stock blaster game as a good sidearm confidently.  Per the usual rules around here, I won't be modding this so I won't write about possibilities.

Ultimately, I think it works as a sidearm if you're into stock blaster games and the golden aesthetics remind me of sneaking around in my video game days.  It's not exactly the Golden Gun, but it's closest I've gotten :)  Skylanders fans might get a kick out of the blaster as well, as the license is HUGE and the game is really popular.  Trigger Happy looks like a fun character to play as well (judging from the videos, maybe an actual Skylanders player can sound off on him) so if you're hurting for a unique looking sidearm or want to live the adventure with Spyro and friends, pick this up.   

These are only the beginning too, at Toy Fair there was plenty more on the way, as shown below:






'til next time, chummers!  Got a question?  Post below.

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