Thursday, January 30, 2014

TOY REVIEW: Spy Gear Sonic Distractors (GEAR)

GEAR REVIEW:  Spy Gear Sonic Distractors - Thanks to Spin Master Toys for the sample!  The opinions and thoughts are my own, however.

 

MSRP: $9.99
Available: Now
Range: As far as you can throw it

Includes:
2 x Sonic Distractor spheres (1 black, 1 grey - 4 different sounds apiece.  See the video for the different sounds)
1 x belt clip/holder


This is an interesting little gadget from Spy Gear. Relatively inexpensive (some stores have them on clearance), and in the right scenario/gametype, maybe these would be of some use if you have a particularly sneaky style of play. 

2 spheres, and you hold the button down to trigger a timer, and after a few seconds the distractor makes 1 of 4 noises.  If you can remember the sequence of the noises on each sphere, you can readily select which one you're using (birds cawing, a cat yeowling, laser blasts) but in some instances maybe just a sudden noise of any kind would be enough).

Maybe even a game like this:



I didn't whip these around on concrete (also I would NOT suggest throwing these at people) so I couldn't tell you how durable they are from a dropped height.  I believe ideally you would roll these into position to use them, though rather than throw them around.  They are of a hard plastic construction so they would definitely bounce around.  Still, the amount of sound effects available, the compact build, included holster, and easy to use button are nice little touches. 

You might even find these on clearance at the moment, so if you have the right group and location, these could be a handy fun roleplay (spy vs counterspy, thief vs guard) element for your game types.  What do you think?  Would you try them? 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Toy Fair Preview: N-Strike Elite NERF Cam ECS-12 Blaster - Coming Fall 2014

"Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war..." - Julius Caesar: Act 3, Scene 1, page 13
 
 And Engadget sure did.  They posted Yet Another Nerf Exclusive and it was the N-Strike Elite NERF Cam ECS-12 Blaster.  No press release, but as discussed on my Facebook page (join the conversation!  "Like" me!) here is the story so far:

  • Integrated camera (!) - 0.3 megapixels (urk) at 20 fps(urkx2), comes with 4 GB SD card (ok).
  • MSRP: $75 (?!)
  • 8 (!?!) AA batteries (4 for the camera, 4 for the blaster)
  • Flywheels (dat accelerator trigger)/semiauto (but looks like a Rapidstrike, no?)
  • Allegedly hits up to 90' (probably angled)
 
 Nerf Cam ECS-12 (prototype to Engadget)
Photo courtesy of engadget.  Opted for this one because it's the real life prototype they used.  Final will have a clear magazine and blue trim.   

Thursday, January 23, 2014

London Toy Fair 2014 - UK Nerf's report

London Toy Fair 2014 - Thoughts on the Nerf overview from UK Nerf

UK NERF was at the London Toy Fair this week, and posted up a report of what Hasbro had on display.  Hasbro sent out exclusive release info already on the Nerf Zombie Strike Slingfire, N-Strike Mega Thunderbow, N-Strike Elite Demolisher, and Rebelle Agent Bow.

UK Nerf, was able to try them out.  Make sure to read the entire report, but here are some choice bits:

About the Slingfire:

"About the same size as the Sledgefire and roughly the same weight. This was designed to be used one handed so the balance is spot on. You can flick it to prime it and it lands neatly in your hand so rapid fire with this technique would be possible with a little practice, keeping the other hand free for a secondary or to reload."

The Demolisher:

" The Grenade launcher is not detachable, nor can it be without a lot of work (as far as I could see). It is fairly heavily integrated into the shell and I think if it were removable, simply using it would wrench it off the rail anyway."  Word has it the Demolisher may be full auto due to the popularity of the Rapidstrike, so that remains to be seen.

Go read the rest if you want to know more!  It sounds promising though, and I am looking forward to getting a turn at these come New York Toy Fair.  UK Nerf mentions a total of 10 releases, so it's bound to be a busy year.  No word on N-Force or Dart Tag though, we'll have to wait and see.

I'd really love to say more and speculate, but honestly there's not much to say without the blasters.  It's a little weird to see the Thunderbow reliant on the bow arm as part of the priming mech, unlike the Big Bad Bow or BnA, where the bow arms were extraneous.  The Demolisher is going to be fun I think, and I really want to know if the diameter of the missile is the same as the Mega darts.  I strongly think the Rebelle Agent Bow is going to be the dark horse of the new releases, with the new arrows (tipped something like ball, per UK Nerf).  Anyway, have fun with the info!  It looks like Hasbro didn't allow video or photos at all in their showroom hence the lack of images and photos from anybody.  UK Nerf does have some new angles though.  Thanks to them for taking time out of their lives to make the trip!

Lock and Load.

A shot from last year's New York Toy Fair


 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Nerf Rebelle Agent Bow, thanks UK Nerf!

Fresh from the London Toy Fair, UK Nerf posted a press release from the London Toy Fair.  Besides the already revealed blasters, there was one more, the Nerf Rebelle Agent Bow!

Ages 8 years & up·         
SRP: $29.99·         
Available: Autumn 2014

The Nerf Rebelle Agent bow is perfect for high-profile missions that require accuracy and skill. Release the string and watch as the first ever Nerf Rebelle foam-dart arrows soar up to 85 feet across the sky making a whistling sound! For added precision, the Agent Bow features an electronic glowing red dot that provides better aiming accuracy with every shot. 


Monday, January 20, 2014

New Nerf for 2014: Nerf N-Strike Elite Demolisher 2-in-1

NERF N-STRIKE ELITE DEMOLISHER 2-IN-1 Blaster

(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $39.99/Available: Fall 14)


Got a bunch of messages about this Popular Mechanics post, but I see Basic Nerf, The Prop Weapon Co Op, Adult Fans of Nerf, Click Click Bamf and Awesome Nerfer posting about it as well. 
Grabbed from Popular Mechanics

Also grabbed from Popular Mechanics, illustrating the size.  Uhm, dang.
Here is the product description:


"Take NERF shots to the next level with the 2-IN-1 blaster that dominates both MEGA and ELITE missions! The DEMOLISHER 2-IN-1 blaster is impressive in size and power firing up to 100 feet, featuring semi-motorized blasting, a 10 dart banana clip, and all new missiles. Connect NERF scopes and lights to the blaster’s top Tactical Rail System and set sights on some of coolest NERF shots performed. Blaster includes two missiles and 10 N-STRIKE ELITE darts. Four AA batteries required, not included. Available at most major retailers nationwide and HasbroToyshop.com."

2 missiles, 10 darts.... the banana mag that so many folks have been asking for over the years, an undermounted missile launcher, swappable stock (though I may have to run with the given to have that missile storage.)

This LOOKS great, sure.  I won't get a look at this until February for New York Toy Fair (though UK Nerf looks to be on a collision course with the UK Toy Fair, who knows what goodies they'll reveal.).  The F2A Facebook page is wondering about flywheels (pretty sure that's an accelerator trigger), I'm wondering if the undermount is going to get 100' (crossing fingers).  Anyway, enjoy the pics and onward to the Toy Fairs!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Nerf Mega Thunderbow Info (2014 Release)

Started getting some messages, and heard about this - 


"NERF N-STRIKE MEGA THUNDERBOW
 
NERF N-STRIKE MEGA THUNDERBOW Toy
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $39.99/Available: Fall 14)
Awesome NERF MEGA performance transitions from blaster to bow with the addition of the N-STRIKE MEGA THUNDERBOW toy. The bow’s dynamic arms and traditional pull back system can fire five NERF MEGA whistler darts in a row up to an amazing 100 feet.  Includes 10 MEGA Whistler darts and holds up to five NERF MEGA darts at a time. Available at most major retailers nationwide and HasbroToyshop.com

So there you have it, a 2nd surprise info drop from Nerf (leading up to the UK Toy Fair, and eventually New York.)

I'll admit, I'm going to hold back judgment though given this Air Zone Extreme Power Bow blaster from some time ago - 


I'm sure Nerf's taken the design and jazzed it up (especially shooting Elite Mega darts and all) but until the blaster's in my hands there's just not much I can comment on.  I'm intrigued to check it out though,  

I don't think I see a trigger or a tactical rail on the blaster... so... "dynamic arms... traditional pullback..." interesting. 
 

Ah well, enough speculatin'.  We'll just have to see!
 
 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

REVIEW: Spy Gear Panosphere 360 Spy Cam

NOTE: Sample was supplied by Spin Master Toys (thanks to them!).  The opinions in this review are my own.

Spy Gear Panosphere 360 Spy Cam - Possible additions to put a new spin on your blaster gameplay.
Vas The Stampede





Spy Gear Panosphere 360 Spy Cam


Spy Gear Panosphere 360 w/ Wall Mount



Spy Gear Panosphere 360 deconstructed (wrist strap goes inside housing)

Spy Gear Panosphere 360 all assembled
STATS:
MSRP: $59.99 (order at Meijer - on clearance for $14.97!)
Includes:
  • Camera x1
  • Mount x 1 
  • Housing x 1
  • Rubber band x 1 
  • Velcro wrist strap x 1 
  • USB recharging cord x 1
  • Suction cup Wall Mounting x 1
  • 2 GB microSD card (will use larger microSD cards too... I haven't run into any issues yet) 
  • CD w/editing software
Specs:
W/2 GB card:
  • 2000 HD pics
  • 10 Mins. of video recording at 720p (at full charge).
Test Images (various lighting conditions. 

Office lighting (reasonably good lighting)


Hallway of my storage unit.

Low light, a peek inside the actual unit.
At $60 the resolution isn't the clearest in low-light (a touch grainy), but surprisingly better than I expected in well lit situations (also given that this is for kids 8-13 years of age).  it is a fish eye lens, in order to encompass the "360" look attached to a swivel that moves within a 90 degree arc..  Initially, I had wondered if the lens would be remotely operated somehow, but that isn't the case.  Where ever you place the camera, the lens has to be aimed ahead of time.  With the fish eye lens though, there's little room for missing something.  Given the low profile of the camera alone, and even the housing/mounts, getting the right angle shouldn't be a problem.  Obviously, any other additions such as a viewfinder or anything would add to the visibility of the camera, and the cost.  For what it is, it is a pretty good price for your homegrown spy in training.

The housing functions as a "hockey puck" style mount for the camera (see the video) and a container for the wrist strap, one of the little touches Spin Master does with its toys that I really like.

It takes a few hours to charge using the included USB cord.  I have used both my computer and other wall-mounted plugs with a USB connector, so you're not stuck if you have other electronic devices.  The included instructions were easy to follow, and I was up and running (literally) with the camera in minutes.  Already having editing software, I just use the microSD card in my card reader, and that does the job.  I haven't used the editing software myself (I already have my own), but if you do perhaps you'll get a kick out of it.

Bottom line, I found it a lot of fun to try and see what angles, and just what the capabilities of the camera were.  Sliding the camera into position was hilarious, and various options of how to use the camera (wear, wall mount, super sneaky off the mount, etc.) might be a good time for a kid.  It goes without saying that the camera must be used responsibly, and those issues need to be brought up during purchase.

As far as game types go, I don't know if I'd use this as a mount or anything to record gameplay, but if you came up with a spies vs. counterspies scenario, this might be something to play around with (having to record a document or something else; let your imagination go wild, for the 10 mins. the charge will last recording video)  With the speed that a typical game can run, I don't think this camera could keep up, and there are full on cameras for a little more that might be better to use.  This is still a toy for roleplay purposes, but even with that, it is still an impressive piece of tech.

Monday, January 13, 2014

New Nerf Blasters for 2014 - Nerf Zombie Strike Slingfire

New Nerf blaster for 2014 is announced!  Just before the UK Toy Fair begins, here we go!

UPDATE: Here's a video of the blaster I took from New York Toy Fair:


NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE SLINGFIRE Blaster
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $29.99/Available: Fall 14)
Zombie hordes are no match for the ZOMBIE STRIKE SLINGFIRE blaster! The blaster’s lever-action allows for quicker reloads on the run and DIY-style designs lend an authentic feel to any NERF zombie attack. Blaster comes complete with one six dart clip and six ZOMBIE STRIKE darts which can be fired up to 75 feet. Features the NERF Tactical Rail System customizable with NERF N-STRIKE scopes and accessories, each sold separately. Available at most major retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.


Interesting look, lever action, and supposedly going to get the 75' Elite ranges.  I wonder how a drum mag is going to look in there.  1 tactical rail, 2 sling points (the barrel and the buttstock), and.... there you go!  The UK Toy Fair is going to see this first, and I do believe I'm going to get a crack at this next month at the New York Toy Fair.  How do you feel about that $30 price tag though?

Don't forget to check out some of the other U.S. Nerf bloggers that receive info like this for their unique spin (their might be others by this point, I am not sure) -
Basic Nerf, Adult Fans of Nerf, Click Click BAMF, Shining Foam

Also, New York Toy Fair 2014 is next month!  I'm all booked and set to go, now it's just the waiting game until I get there.  Coverage begins February 16, and I'll be in the Hasbro/Nerf Showroom at 9 AM.  Just a quick reminder - this trip is out of pocket for me, no company flies me out (unlike the Nerf summer gathering/release parties) nor do they sponsor me so I'll visit/give their products additional coverage.  But as long as I have a press pass, I'll make sure to head out so I can get what info I can to share.  It is one of the first looks I get up close and personal with the blasters for 2014, so I have some direct experience with what you might expect.  There are also prototypes and toys which may not make it to market, but that's the risk in the toy industry!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Nerf Fall 2014 announcement incoming!

Incoming word from an email from Hasbro PR:  this Monday, supposedly, Nerf is going to announce a new blaster for Fall 2014.  Not sure what it will be, but I will be watching my inbox, and post what I find here!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Nerf Zombiestrike Fusefire photo

The Nerf Zombiestrike Fusefire.  Picked it up at Target for $19.99. Includes 5 discs.  Not included are 3 AAA batteries that work the light-up function on the blaster.

FOAMME FATALES

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