Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Target is now in stock! Zombiestrike, Centurion, Rapidstrike, and more!

Pics are worth a thousand words.  This is the same Target in Rosemont, IL I been checking.  No zbombz or machetes yet.

Nerf N-Strike Elite Spectre pops up

Thanks for the tip, LittleDave55, checked Wal Marts near me and here we go.  I know there are a bunch if reviews out there already, so what's one more?  Eventually, that is.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nerf ZombieStrike Sledgefire Review

io9 broke the news initially months ago, and now the samples are in!  Well, they've been in, as Basic Nerf has been doing his thing and after tooling around with these for a bit, I've got something to say.

F2A jersey not included :P
Firing video:



Stats:

Nerf Zombie Strike Sledgefire
Approx. $27.99, available August 1, 2013
Target Exclusive
Includes:
9 darts (bright green, but like an Elite streamline)
3 shells (3 darts per shell)
1 ZombieStrike SledgeFire blaster

The Rundown:

When I first heard about it, I was intrigued.  It looked like a grenade launcher, but it fires a spread of darts like a shotgun effect.  I was also skeptical.  Shells.  The bane of my existence since the double shot.
I never liked the idea of shells.  They were necessary to fire the blaster (unless you retooled it), if you ran out of them you were in trouble, and it doubled the reload time (dart->shell, shell->blaster) for maybe 30' of power.  Not worth the trouble, and good only if you liked the aesthetics, wanted to be a cowboy, or had a yen for shotguns without the shotgun spread.

BUT THIS BRINGS ME TO THE SLEDGEFIRE.

To fire it, you pull the hammer down to move the barrel and "break" the blaster in half.  You load the cartridge into the back of the barrel, and click it shut.  Pulling down the barrel is what primes the mech.  Pulling the trigger fires.  Lather, rinse, repeat for 2 more shells, then it is time to reload.




As a blaster, this is fun.  I loved the Nerf Barrel Break, and the whole motion of breaking the barrel here and loading the shells is very much a device to enhance the roleplay aspect of being a zombie hunter.  From the click of the barrel to feeding and locking the cartridge, it is a very satisfying experience to use it.  It also nice the shells don't totally eject, that you have to pull them out to set them back in the stock to reload.

Range-wise, I got maybe a little over 50' angled.  The video shows 30-40' flat.  To be fair, the Triple Shot got 1 dart to shoot decently, and the other 2 fell way short.  Interesting bit, (confirmed with AFON via chat).  That the Sledgefire gets all 3 to fly relatively close to each other is a vast improvement.  Of note, in the description, it says -

"Zombie hunters fend off large hordes with ease using the ZOMBIE STRIKE SLEDGEFIRE
blaster. A new triple dart shell-system allows for simultaneous multi-shot blasting and quick
dart reloads on the run while extra storage space for darts keeps zombie invasions at bay. With
the SLEDGEFIRE blaster it won’t matter if the approaching undead are the fast kind or the
slow kind – they’ve met their match. Blaster comes with three NERF SHELLS and nine NERF
ZOMBIE STRIKE darts. Available exclusively at Target."


but does not mention Elite-style ranges, as the Crossfire Crossbow description does.  So, don't expect to get huge ranges with this, but enjoy the up close touch of a 3 dart blast :)


My fave part about this blaster is the spread is reminiscent (to me) of the old Blastfire, Hornet, and Lightnin' Blitz blasters, but this one has a speedloader, which is very handy.


But, if I had to gripe, it's that it seems to only shoot Elite-type streamlines.  As the video shows, original streamlines and dart tag darts would get stuck in the barrel or not launch at all.  Depending on your field of players and the variety of ammo, this could be a big deal to you about having to make sure all your streamlines are Elite styled.



Overall, is it worth the $30?  I'd say cautionary.  It would make for a good sidearm (although a bit long to holster, maybe a sling) but the shells, limited amount of them, and reloading doesn't work well for a fast-moving, trigger happy play style.  If you find yourself in the thick of a horde rush or firefight, you might be better served with a turreted blaster or the something mag fed.  If the cartridges were/are going to be sold separately, I think I would change my tune. But having only 3 cartridges available right now is a big hindrance.

HOWEVER, the bright colors (I like the color scheme, it looks crazy), the comfortable stock, tactile feedback from loading the blaster, and having a slightly larger spread of darts per shot can mean millimeters between a miss and a tag.  For me, on the aesthetics alone, it is worth the purchase, and hitting the 40' mark at a 3 dart spread is great for a last ditch shot.  It just might save you a respawn.  Just for the gimmickry of it though, this is totally a lot of fun and worth a go.

EDIT: (forgot to mention these earlier)

Stencils!  Zombie-themed stencils were included with the blaster to decorate appropriate targets:)

Nerf Zombie Strike Stencils!


P.S. - It's been a crazy week, but don't worry I'll update this review with pics of attachments/stocks ASAP.



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Nerf Revonix360, ZombieStrike Sledgefire, and Nerf Elite Rapidstrike

EDIT 1:  NERF REVONIX 360 FIRING VIDEO:


(No range test yet, it's coming along with the full review.  Just wanted to get SOMETHING up and posted for you all).


EDIT 2:

Galleries and some photo spam!













Samples received!  Reviews and pics to follow.

New Nerf tags spotted in Rosemont, IL

As shown, zombiestrike sledgefire, hammershot, machete, zbomz, and nerf blazing bow are up at Target.  Nerf mega dart refills as well, and a Nerf Elite target pouch and a an elite utility pouch.  No product on shelves yet.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Nerf ZombieStrike Sledgefire Unboxing (Bankcroft.de video)

Spotted this via ExtremeNerf but Bankcroft.de posted an unboxing video of The Nerf ZombieStrike Sledgefire!

Video is below - it's in German though, just so you know.



Definitely jazzed about seeing this for myself now, it definitely looks like it has better firing on all three darts as opposed to the Triple Shot, which performed better singled.  It loads like a grenade launcher though (at least, I think so) so besides the reliance on shells (which I hope are sold in separate packs) we'll just have to continue to wait until these are out everywhere.  Nice job, Bankcroft!

Nerf ZombieStrike Rises at San Diego Comic Con! (SDCC)


So, first saw Atamaii's video pop up on Urban Taggers and here we are, ZOMBIESTRIKE.  FROM NERF.  At least through 2014.  Here's the video followed by some screencaps of interest from the video (edited to properly link Atamaii's web site in addition to the youtube channel and clarify screen caps came from Atamaii's video) -



And he's not the only one there! Jet of Nerf Mods & Reviews has her own blog, Blaster By My Side, where she chronicled what she saw.

Alright, so what have we got here?
The ZombieStrike Sledgefire

Unsurprisingly, reminiscent of the triple shot.  Obviously, the "shell" isn't in.
Hammershot, I imagine it would fit in the SWEET REVENGE holster as well, but only one way to know for sure.

SIDEstrike/holster.  Accomodates the Firestrike as well apparently.

CROSSFIRE CROSSBOW

It... well, fires darts and has dart holder storage.  No surprises.  Still want one.

Fuse Fire.  Jury is out until I can try it.

Ricochet.  Small sidearm, supposedly a new Scout for people to use.

Targeting set (that's the Vantage/Srike Blade in the front)
Look!  A new Jolt, and it has ammo holders!   Sweet!

Targets.  Zombie Targets with the Targeting Set.

Z-Bombs.  Looks like they were taken after the water bombs from Super Soaker
but retooled a bit.  I see a saw blade(?), a brick, that rocket looking thing
and what could be a proper football.  Also, you see the pouch to hold them.

Z-Bombs.  Word.


The pouch for Z Bombs.

A "Starter Kit" and the bandana.

NERF MACHETE

NERF MACHETE (AGAIN)
 Unfortunately, it looks like everything is under glass.  A few more Target exclusives it looks like beyond the Hammer Shot and Sledge Fire, and I'm pretty sure I saw "Jan '14" as a release date for some of those things above.  There's a very good chance that this stuff will be out even before the New York Toy Fair, so cross your fingers that a good amount of this will be ready in time for the holidays even!

TL; DR -

SledgeFire - I'm wary about how the shells are going to work and play, but I'll be able to judge better once I actually have it.  I just hope the shells will also be sold in a mission kit.

HammerShot - Now, please.

Crossfire Crossbow - See above.

Nerf Machete - See above and above.

Z bombs - So, instead of socks...?  But I like the idea of a foam brick to toss around.

Sidestrike/FuseFire/Ricochet/Targeting Set - I'm a little eh, but will reserve excitement for seeing them firsthand.

ZombieStrike Blade -  It's.... a Vantage.  While I do like seeing N-Force ideas are not entirely out the window just yet (they did say it would be supported at last year's party, so nice to see them come through in a way.)

Also..... NERF MACHETE.

Overall, I'm really looking forward to the line and can't wait to try them out.  Between the Hammer Shot and the SledgeFire, that's a good amount of innovation from the start.  If the Crossbow is comfy and the Machete robust, I will be a happy camper. 



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Nerf Rebelle, the promo video!




Thanks for putting this out there, Nerf Canterbury! (https://www.facebook.com/NerfCanterbury) they posted this promo video for Nerf Rebelle, and the girls have as much of a game face as the boys do! (Though admittedly, a little surprised at the lack of acrobatics that N-Strike Elite tends to have, I know for a fact there are a large number of girl parkour practitioners out there, Luci Romberg for instance).

In any event, to further contrast the Rebelle line, (although maybe Vortex doesn't fall in this comparison) the girls are running through a wooded area, not the factory setting N-Strike Elite gets to use.  Draw what comparisons you will *coughHungerGamescough* but here's the video with a hint of things to come.  All the same you have a break down of the upcoming line, the standard slo-mo shots and the continued promise of similar power.  Naturally, we'll only really know for sure once these hit shelves.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

F2A Review: JT Splatmaster z300

JT Splatmaster z300 Sniper
You know the drill.

First, a little more about what JT Splatmaster is about, what the JT First Shot Challenge is, and where Splatmaster is going next, thanks to Rich Telford (XSV Paintball), commissioner of the JT First Shot Challenge, Pro Paintball player (for 20 years now), and overall cool guy:



And that being said,  here's the demo video and some shots I traded with Thomas Taylor after PSP Chicago.  Dude is a beast at normal paintball, and it was an honor to trade paint with him.



STATISTICS:
  • Price: approx. $49.99
  • Available:  Now, varies by location 
  • Range: approx. 100' (flat, not angled)
  • Priming Mech: Side-lever arm, mimics a bolt-action feel of sorts
  • Capacity: 15 Splatmaster .50 paintball rounds
  • Loading: Breech-loaded, through an opening on the top of the marker.
  • FPS: Approx. 140, but may shoot higher.
  • Attachments:  Tac rails on top and bottom (perfect fit for picatinny mounts, I have used a GoPro mount), removable and adjustable stock.  Stock has a spot to attach a sling/bandolier.
    Barrel plug is included.
  • EDIT 07/16/13 Sorry for overlooking this - if it wasn't obvious the priming arm is on the LEFT side of the blaster, effectively making this only for right-handed people.  The z200 is still a decent enough primary for both lefties and righties, but lefties are going to have a bit of a different mechanic from righties if they use the z300.
JT Splatmaster z300 (barrel plug is in)

Tactical rails along the top and bottom of the barrel; picatinny mounts work just fine :)

Safety button

Down the sight, and this aims pretty well.!

The lever arm priming mech; kinda felt like a bolt-action rifle after a bit.



.50 paintballs are loaded throught the breech here (the blue part is a door you push open to load)

Your ammo stores here; see how many shots you have left
 I first checked out Splatmaster with the z100 pistol and z200 shotgun, and the z300 is way different from either. 

The z100 and z200 were tested with a chronograph to around 120 fps; the z300 will usually hit around 140 fps but I have seen videos where the fps hit around 180 fps at max.  So, definitely a beefier, stronger shot.  However, the priming arm mechanic feels a lot slower than the z200's pump-action motion so there's definitely going to fall on the player whether they want the power of a z300 or a faster run and gun style the z200 lends itself to.  Additionally, the z300 adds a little backspin to keep the shot aloft (hop up?), so I sometimes sailed a little high from my target.  It took some adjustment at first, but eventually I got comfortable.  Still, the power and accuracy in the z300 are pretty righteous.  It's a nice trade if you have a more deliberate and surgical play style.  Overall, the range and accuracy are pretty impressive.  I'll definitely do a follow up with higher standing targets and revisit this in the future.

The EXPERIENCE:
  
 Let's talk about how the z300 handles and feels.  As far as holding it, the adjustable stock really helps.  It's comfortable, and after holding other toy blasters it feels skinnier and a bit easier to aim, carry, hold, and run with by comparison.  The styling lends itself really well to a proper rifle, making moving and aiming pretty intuitive.  If I had to critique anything, I'd say it needs a bipod, as this is the Sniper type of marker in the lineup.  The priming action is smooth, the trigger pull doesn't fight, and the arm sits against the body in line with the rest of the marker, so if I strap it to my back it doesn't jab at me.  There is only one sling point though, and that's on the back of the removable stock.
Removable stock with 5 different settings.  The sling point is that loop on the back of the stock.
Furthermore on the handling.  The z300 loads through a door in the top of the marker that holds the paintballs (illustrated in the pics above.)  With every move of the priming handle, a ball loads into the barrel (via gravity and a follower that pushes the balls along, it might take some practice or jiggling if you experience any misfires) and the trigger pull launches the ball.  I didn't experience any chopped/broken balls so far and misfires are rare (and I'll attribute those to human error), so between the paint and the marker itself, everything is pretty reliable.  You can reload the chamber either one at a time with paintballs but there are also speedload tubes (pods) that JT makes (see the pic below) to expedite the reload process.  It took a little practice to get the right motion/angle to get the tube to push the door down and feed the balls, but as you can see in the video above I got it.

In a way, this simulates refilling your hopper with a full pod (and it's very possible to miss reloading a proper paintball hopper too, so that's just part of the game.)  Either way you choose to do it, you have options.  In fact, of the existing ammo containers, the grenade shaped ammo packs work pretty well too, just they're bulkier than the speedload tubes (and during the Splatmaster First Shot challenge you only have 30 rounds per player, so starting ammo & 1 tube.)

Bottom line, while the priming motion and rate of fire is a tad slower than the z200, the z300 is definitely worth the $49.99 for it's power, range, accuracy, portability, aesthetics, and just overall feel.  For kids and adults looking to start in paintball this is a great offering.  It is definitely one of the coolest looking things I've used, and handles so nicely.  That the rails accommodate picatinny accessories (like my GoPro mount) is a huge plus (and might address the bipod gripe I have) and only adds to how much I like this marker and is a must-try for anyone thinking about this line.  So far Splatmaster has the z90 (not reviewed yet, debuted at JT Splatmaster Chicago), the z100, z200, and now the z300.  Each offers a little something different in the play experience so see which suits you!  Just please remember to obey the local laws regarding paintball products, please. 

In closing, big thanks to Rich, Thomas, and everyone at Empire/JT for their time and efforts.  Hope to see you all again!  As a majority of my time with them was spent at THE FIRST JT First Shot Challenge in Chicago, of course I have pics :)  Splatmaster is a brand worth watching with what their goal is (building paintball by making it more accessible to people) and what they're making for people.  They've got some great ideas, and I hope to see them come to fruition.



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