Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nerf "Bash at the Beach!" - Nerf Centurion, Nerf Rapidstrike, Nerf Revonix 360, AND the Nerf Rebelle!

Well, it is now the Day After the annual  release/Media Big Bash for Nerf.  Starting in 2009 with the release of the Nerf Stampede, myself and a number of other U.S. bloggers are lucky enough to be invited to this event.



PIC HEAVY UPDATE AFTER THE BREAK:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Nerf Centurion - F2A Rundown





Nerf N-Strike Elite Centurion Mega Blaster

And there it is.  The Nerf N-Strike Elite Mega Centurion.  One of the three main new blasters for the year (Revonix and the Rapidstrike being the others so far, besides Rebelle, etc.)

EDIT:  The Nerf N-Strike Centurion is currently up for preorder on Amazon (as reported at Basic Nerf and AFON)!
Buy it now at Entertainment Earth!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
STATS:

Cost: $49.99

Release (approximate): Fall 2013

Includes:
  • Centurion blaster x 1
  • Mega Whistler Magazine x 1
  • Mega Whistler Darts x 6
  • Removable bipod x 1 
Range:
Between 40-75', depending on the angle, dart quality, etc.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now let's get to it.  When news of a Mega line, much less a "sniper" style rifle that was going to outdo the Longshot and Longstrike came out, I was excited.  There's always been 1 or 2 players I knew who liked to sit in the back row and provide support for assault/run and gunners.  The Centurion was their stock blaster solution I thought.

After some initial firing.... I think I built it up too much in my head.  First, let's tackle some of the questions I have about the blaster.

The Size.  At over 3' long, this blaster is HUGE.  And unlike the Longshot or Longstrike, you can't remove the front barrel once it's on.  (You probably could, but not without risking damage to the blaster.  I warned you!)  It makes maneuvering through a jungle gym or tight indoor spaces a bit tougher unless you have it shouldered with a bandolier.  And even then, you're running without your blaster drawn which could be crucial seconds.  With practice, this might not be a concern but again, that's with practice.  On the plus side, it's friendly to lefties and righties.

The rate of fire.  The Centurion has a draw pull that comes out to approx. 13"on a bolt-action motion.  On the run, that could be an issue for a fleet footed player looking to fire back.  Pump-action is much faster in comparison, and electric blasters have the advantage.  Again, this blaster is designed to be used as a sniper's play style, so it would take some adjusting to remember this and act accordingly.  Methodical, and NOT a spray and pray game.




The accuracy.  Granted, these are Nerf blasters and inherently aren't known for pinpoint success at 100'.  Even Elite streamlines still veer off course, so nothing's perfect.  However, there is a level of tolerance that I have come to expect from Nerf blasters and Elite darts, and the Elite Megas definitely left me wanting.  I was expecting them to be styled more like Elite darts, with heavier heads and at least able to hit within range of a target.  In fact, the foam seems thinner and the heads were just as squishy as the original orange streamlines.  So Elite Megas, these were not.  Additionally, it was getting range relative to the other Elite blasters... and I was expecting even a few feet more.  Different functionalities add so much to a play pattern experience!


And as for the bipod?  It does wobble a bit, and does seem like it wants to let go frequently.  Believe it or not though, that bipod is far more stable than the ones on the Xploderz Xranger or Shadow Hawk.  I was pleased with how it felt, and had to try it on all sorts of things -



But!  All that being said, I see potential here.  Larger ammo I also find inherently funny, so the Centurion is a fun, over the top kinda blaster to use on unsuspecting victims.  Much like the Vulcan and the Hailfire, this blaster is designed with a role play mindset factored in; a kid who wants to pretend to be the sneaky sharpshooter, unlike the other blasters where they play a lone wolf hero archetype.  Unfortunately, the form does not lend itself well to the function of the typical way a person might play Nerf.  At least, not right now.  I intend to try the Centurion out in the field more when more mags and ammo are available, as right now with only one mag reloading is an issue as well.

And yes, there are pics out there showing the internals.  Say what you want, but I find the "KA-thu-CHUNK" of each shot oddly satisfying. 

So, where does that leave me?  I'm excited to see mega darts return, but I'm just not overcome with awe for the Centurion.  The performance was not quite what I expected this but this is only the first blaster in the Mega line and I look forward to what else comes next.  Especially if it means something like the largest Vulcan EVER:



Does that mean it's worth the $50?  To be on the forefront of trying out a new innovation from Nerf, sure.  To shoot your friends with oversized ammo, sure.  To have a cool looking totally over the top blaster that still gets pretty good ranges, then sure!  Just remember, this isn't a blaster to run, strafe, and spray and pray with on the front lines.  It's more suited to a methodical, sneaky style outdoors or from higher vantage points to check the opposition.

Questions?  Comments?  Feel free, and see you on the field.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

ZombieStrike info, thanks Canberra Dart Tag!

This info came direct from Hasbro Australia, so I trust it.  They checked in with the folks over at Canberra & Southern NSW Dart Tag (Nerf Wars, HvZ) ·
 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Nerf Centurion - Preliminary Photos!



STATS:

Price: $49.99
Includes:
Blaster x1
Barrel extension x 1
Mega Magazine x 1
Mega Darts x 6
Bipod x 1
AVAILABLE: FALL 2013


So, thanks to Nerf for this sample!  I'll definitely have a review/firing up this week, but in the meantime check out these pics.









Friday, June 21, 2013

Fish Out of Water - Playing in Living Legends 6 [paintball]

First, let's get some pertinent links out of the way:

CPX Paintball
Living Legends of Paintball
Viper Paintball Scenarios

A favorite saying I have is that "life begins at the end of your comfort zone."  Having played Nerf so much, I also try to keep an open mind about the other Ways to Play out there, whether it's water pellets, rubber bands, or in this case, paintball.

I barely remember my first time playing paintball, just that it was a bachelor party.  It was fun, but definitely different from Nerf in range, pain factor, ammo capacity, and so much more.  It was its own game, and I had a blast when all was said and done.  It was cost-prohibitive to me though, so I didn't play all that often.  Whenever someone had another bachelor party or random get together, I managed.  And then I found out about Living Legends.

For a little history, the first Living Legends was held in 2008, and it was a relatively huge paintball scenario game that took place at CPX Sports, an approx. 143 acre property with about 18 or so different fields.  Only for Living Legends.... basically the entire park was the battlefield.  It was intended to let people come together and have a great experience playing paintball with some of the greats in the sport.  And maybe through the weekend, earn a legend of your own.   That first Living Legends had just under 700 people.

This year's, number 6, had just under 2,000. 

CPX is below:


View Larger Map

Anyway, I decided this was something I needed to experience at least once, so I went for it.  Two teams (New Empire vs The Horde), and a game that ran all weekend.  I picked up some gear, played a couple of more times at CPX leading up to Living Legends, and finally this happened -

(Language warning, a word or 2 slips in the video)


It was intense, it was dirty, it was great.  Work to organize an event like this began about 6 months prior, in order to organize missions, planned skirmishes, the works.  Points and objectives were all out there, it was up to us the players and our commanders to get out there and do the work.  From about 10 AM until 6 PM I was respawning and marching to different points of conflict, making friends along the way, and just throwing myself into it.  If there was a particular spot they needed people, I went.  If I was walking along and ran across a firefight, I joined the line.  It was by and large one of the most physically demanding things I ever put my body through (on top the gear and activity, it was about 80+ degrees that weekend so water was my best friend) but it was worth every bruise and sore muscle afterward, just to say that I did it.

I had a number of tense moments in trees, bushes, and buildings thinking that I'd turn a corner and run into a cadre of Horde team members all bearing down on me, or just trading shots with multiple targets and hearing paintballs fired at 270-300 fps zip past my ear, break on trees and burnt out cars.  And your only choice is to keep going until you're hit, paint, or air ran out.  (And the way they handled logistics, it was more likely you'd get hit before the other 2 conditions played out.)

Not to mention that there were some great people I ran into.  Our Commander, Wolf , was very easy to talk to and say hi, whether at HQ or at the concession stand.  I used a few videos of TechPB's as a reference about what to expect and how to prepare, and managed to meet him as well.  Everyone I spoke to (either on the field or moments of down time) was either willing to help answer a question about where to go, what to do, or if a ball had broken on me.  The refs were great, making sure the rules were followed but also that players had answers and most importantly, were doing ok.  I had never been asked/told to hydrate so much, it was good reminder.

Also, in the video I mentioned "tanks" and this is kinda like what I'm talking about -
Taken from Bunker Shots - https://www.facebook.com/Bunkershots


Sadly, I only went for 1 day.  Day 2 was the "Final Battle" where moments like this were commonplace: (it's a battle over a single spot to score points). 
Photo taken from "Bunker Shots"  - https://www.facebook.com/Bunkershots
That being said, I consider this Bucket List item only half complete.  Next year!  Until then, I'll keep exploring this hobby too and hopefully have a new trick or two up my sleeve for next year.  There's truly nothing else like it that I've experienced yet, and I can't wait to do it all again.

See you on the field.


Thank you so much to CPX and Viper for putting this all together!  Thank you to the pro shop staff!  To HK Army!  And most of all, to every player that was on that field.  It was an honor.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Nerf Fall 2013 Refresher (Rebelle, N-Strike Elite, Vortex, Blazin' Bow)

Just a quick look back at some of the things left to expect for the Fall in the U.S. (at least as much as my press kit from February had) - I copy/pasted many of the descriptions below from my kit descriptions.

NERF N-STRIKE ELITE STOCKADE Blaster

(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $21.99/Available: Fall 2013)

With motorized blasting capability, the STOCKADE blaster utilizes features such as a rotating 10-dart barrel and a removable stock with storage for 10 extra darts. The N-STRIKE ELITE STOCKADE blaster comes complete with 10 N-STRIKE ELITE darts as well was a removable stock accessory with storage for ten additional darts (sold separately). Blaster requires three “AA” batteries, not included. Available exclusively at Wal-Mart nationwide.
NERF N-STRIKE BLAZIN’ BOW Toy

(HASBRO/Ag
es 6 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Fall 2013)

Who’s ready for more NERF action? Send NERF foam arrows soaring across the sky with the NERF N-STRIKE BLAZIN’ BOW toy. The BLAZIN’ BOW toy features an authentic pull-back bow design that you simply pull back, aim, and release to fire the NERF foam arrows. The BLAZIN’ BOW toy can hit targets from up to an impressive 40 feet away, and comes complete with integrated storage for two additional foam NERF a
rrows. Includes three NERF foam arrows. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.

New deco for the Nerf Vortex line (should be out this Fall)


NERF REBELLE SWEET REVENGE Kit
(HASBRO/Ages 8 & up/Approx. Retail Price $19.99/Available: Fall 13)
The NERF REBELLE SWEET REVENGE Kit is a girl’s best friend and includes the accessories she needs to take on any NERF REBELLE mission in style. The star of the NERF REBELLE SWEET REVENGE Kit is the bold five dart revolving blaster, which features a cool purple deco and bright magenta accents. Pull back on the lever to ready the blaster and press the trigger to send darts soaring through the air up to 75 feet. Add style savvy during non-stop, action-packed adventures with the included pair of NERF REBELLE VISION GEAR eyewear. Taking a break from the excitement? Players can stow their blaster and extra darts in the included hip holster, and take the NERF REBELLE action with them wherever they go. Includes blaster, five collectible darts, and belt clip holster. Available at most major retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.

NERF REBELLE VISION GEAR Eyewear

(HASBRO/Ages 8 & up/Approx. Retail Price $6.99/Available: Fall 13)

Players can accessorize their NERF REBELLE adventures with NERF REBELLE VISION GEAR eyewear, a pair of tough and trendy specs that bring both fashion and function to any adventure. A rubberized coating keeps NERF REBELLE girls comfortable, and hinged arms make the VISION GEAR eyewear easily packable for on-the-go action. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.
NERF REBELLE HEARTBREAKER Bow

(HASBRO/Ages 8 & up/Approx. Retail Price $19.99/Available: Fall 13)


The ultimate adventure accessory, the NERF REBELLE HEARTBREAKER bow features “true” bow action and powerful dart performance! Inspired by current pop culture trends, the HEARTBREAKER bow offers girls the poise and precision to take on any mission. To activate the bow, simply load a dart in the front and take aim. Then, pull back on the bow string handle and release to send darts soaring across the sky up to 75 feet, allowing for shot that shows off your skill with aim and attitude. Ready for action, the bow features an accessory rail which provides for five-dart storage for easy access to ammo and allows girls to customize their blaster with fun add-ons, like the NERF REBELLE App Cradle (sold separately). The NERF REBELLE HEARTBREAKER bow comes with five collectible darts, Available at most major retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.
NERF REBELLE SNEAK ATTACKERS Two Pack

(HASBRO/Ages 8  up/Approx. Retail Price $12.99/Available: Fall 13)
Equip your best friend with a blaster and team up to take on any secret mission together with this NERF REBELLE Two Pack! This pair of mini blasters packs high-performance power beneath its pink and purple exterior, with enough blasting power to fire darts up to 60 feet! Each super stealth blaster features its own unique deco, and is small enough to stash in a pocket or purse. Stylish spies will love that these blasters have room for double-dart storage, so back-up is never too far away. Includes four collectible darts. Available at most major retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.
NERF REBELLE PINK CRUSH Mini Crossbow

(HASBRO/Ages 8 & /Approx. Retail Price $9.99/Available: Fall 13)

Stealth yet powerful, the NERF REBELLE PINK CRUSH mini crossbow is a lightweight, sleek crossbow that lets girls get in the game with confidence and flair. Don’t let its sweet pink deco fool you – when the action gets tough, so does this crossbow!  With elite performance that sends darts soaring up to 75 feet away and ample room for backup ammo on the bow’s arms, it allows players to rapidly reload at a moment’s notice. The NERF REBELLE PINK CRUSH mini crossbow comes complete with four collectible darts. Available at most major retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.


NERF REBELLE Accessory Bag

(HASBRO/Ages 8 & up/Approx. Retail Price $14.99/Available: Fall 13)
 Always make sure back-up ammo is within reach and reload on the go with the NERF REBELLE accessory bag, a stylish pack with ample room for storing accessories. The accessory bag features a pouch for holding darts, and includes 10 collectible darts. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.
NERF REBELLE Crossbow

(HASBRO/Ages 8 & up /Approx. Retail Price $24.99/Available: Fall 13)

An impressive crossbow with fast-flying dart action and flexing bow arms, this NERF REBELLE Crossbow blends blaster action with crossbow precision. Slide the front handle to flex the bow arms back and ready the blaster for play. Pull the trigger and watch the bow arms propel forward as darts soar up to 75 feet toward the target. By holding the trigger and pumping, players can instantly transition between single shot and multi shot mode, unleashing a rapid stream of darts for exciting nonstop action! Includes six collectible NERF REBELLE darts. Available at most major retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.

NERF REBELLE Dart Refill Packs

(HASBRO/Ages 8 & up/Approx. Retail Price $6.99/Available: Fall 13)

A girl has to be ready for action at a moment’s notice, and the NERF REBELLE Dart Refill Packs ensure there’s always plenty of back-up. Each refill pack includes 12 collectible foam darts some colorful and some with fun funky patterns. Dart Refill Packs are compatible with all NERF REBELLE bows and blasters (each sold separately). Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com

NERF REBELLE MISSION CENTRAL App

(HASBRO/Ages 8 & up/Approx. Retail Price $14.99/Available: Fall 13)

Girls can grab a group of friends and experience the ultimate social adventure together in an App-enhanced world of the NERF REBELLE brand! To start the fun, fans can download the free NERF REBELLE MISSION CENTRAL App to their iPhone or iPod Touch, and insert the device into the stylish NERF REBELLE MISSION CENTRAL App cradle accessory. Attach the accessory to a compatible NERF REBELLE blaster (sold separately) and then it’s time to bring friends together for some serious fun! Within the app, players can create a personalized avatar and form squads with friends for multi-player gaming. NERF REBELLE players can capture photos and videos while in play, and even share the fun with friends. Players can also go on quests, compete to win in-game benefits, and even earn accessories for their avatar within the app. The NERF REBELLE MISSION CENTRAL app will be available for download at the App Store and compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPod Touch (4th Generation). Compatible with select NERF REBELLE blasters. Available at most major retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.
 NERF VORTEX REVONIX360 Blaster

(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $39.99/Available: Fall 2013)

Amp up freestyle foam blasting performance with the NERF VORTEX REVONIX360 blaster which achieves the farthest VORTEX distance yet, up to 70 feet! This disc blaster features new, awesome deco and has a revolving drum that rotates each time you fire the blaster.  Plus, the SLAM FIRE Handle gives you total control over your rate of fire – blast a single shot or hold the trigger down and slide the handle repeatedly to unleash an unstoppable stream of discs.  Includes 30 multi-color XLR discs. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.





Saturday, June 01, 2013

Review: SlugTerra Deluxe Blaster Set - 15-Piece - Eli vs. El Diablo Nacho (and Burpy & Joules 2 pack)



Thanks to Jakks Pacific for the samples!  I saw these pop up in Toys R Us a few months ago, and they looked interesting to try out, so here we are.

Slugterra is a new cartoon, and this set of toys is based around it.  Here's a commercial:



What is included in the set
Stats:
Price: $32.99
Pull & release blaster; trigger is fake
Includes:  See photo
Demo video:



Size comparison

Shield Comparison
Dart comparison (without canopies)
Shield may be hanged.
SlugTerra darts w/Open canopies

How to Play
Joules figure sold separately, hood ornament deco.

Burpy figure sold separately, attaches as a hood ornament of sorts.
REVIEW:

Whew!  Right off the bat, this isn't a typical blaster set.  It is priced and geared around a target shooting game, not tagging your opponents personally.

And yet, I was pleasantly surprised at the power this thing had.  Don't let the dart with the canopy shot deceive you, these little blasters have a bit of power in them.  I was hitting around 30'-40' with regular darts (Nerf Elite, Buzz Bee, Dart Tag, etc) and just under 30' with the darts the blasters came with without the canopies.  The canopies, being parachutes, of course limited the darts to 10', just enough range for a target shooting game for kids.  And that's just fine.  Getting the darts INTO the barrel was a bit of a struggle for some darts, but in that case barrel tightness probably helped in the range department.


The darts that the blasters come with, even without the canopy aren't very good for distance, but they look cool and fit the theme of the show.  The blasters looked cool and futuristic, good for any kid to pretend they're Eli or any of the other characters in Slugterra, and the little slug dudes are fun to look at and even engaging to a degree. 

Per the show, the little "slugs" sold in 2 packs attach to the top of the blasters. My niece and nephew (8 & 10 years old, respectively) thought this was a nice touch and that it was super cute.  Personally, I thought Burpy makes a great iron sight though this might adversely affect holstering.

The Slugterra blasters don't have triggers, but considering Jakks Pacific is the same company that brought out the recent Max Force line, I wasn't entirely put out by this.  Considering this had the other kiss of death of being a licensed property, the range being near 40' nearly blew me away considering how small the blasters are.

If you consider this as a game for your kids, then you get a huge set of stuff in box and ready to go (with the exception of some slug guys to mount on the blasters) for $32.99, which isn't too bad for an interactive licensed board game with a lot of different items included.  If you're looking for a new sidearm, these are a great size with good range, but as a dart tag player you might find the pull and release mechanism a little awkward (especially if you're bigger than an 8 year old) and maybe check out the bigger versions of these blasters.  Although, if you really need the trigger action you may want to pass on this.

Overall, I thought they looked pretty cool and for a parent looking for a simple game for their kids to play and maybe do some dart tag when the mood strikes, these aren't a bad way to go for a starter set of blasters and darts.  Again, I think the power level of these rivals some relatively similar 2 player sets and for a close if not identical cost.  I'd chalk this being a touch more expensive due to the licensing involved.

In any event, hope this was helpful!  








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