Saturday, June 28, 2014

Nerf All Access Event: Year 2014 & beyond!

Nerf All Access - Google Hangout with the Nerf Team
By Vas Stampede

Whew! Finally recovered, and on Thursday, June 26, myself, Mr. K from Adult Fans of Nerf, CJ from Click Click BAMF, and Blaster Labs arrived in NYC for the annual meetup/media event with the Nerf team to go over the new products for the coming Fall. 
Hard to believe this was my 5th year. Wow. Anyway, a lot of this I saw at New York Toy Fair but months later, here we are. There was a LOT of info with garnered from the design team, so I am  getting a little help from at least CJ and Mr. K to put it together.
- I can tell you this though, the Nerf Double Strike is still in the works! It will fire a single dart per prime, no multishot madness here.
- The development cycle is still about a year to a year and a half from drawing board to production, so at Toy Fair what I saw was halfway through.
- Some designs are actually held back in anticipation of doing them better, the upcoming Nerf Elite Cam CS-12 is one such instance.
There was a lot more! Coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy the pics! Still working on the gallery but these should tide you over in the meantime.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review: Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - Star Lord Quad Blaster! (Nerf)


 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY STAR-LORD LORD QUAD BLASTER:



Price: $19.99 (Target.com - ordered)
Range: 20'-30'
Includes: 
Nerf Elite darts x 4
Quad Blaster x 1

(The pics are reposts - But the video is new!)



There it is! The Star Lord Quad Blaster in all its glory. Last seen at New York Toy Fair, I managed to order one off Target.com.






The blaster has 2 triggers -> one opens the blaster up exposing the extra barrels, and the other fires darts. There are 2 slides behind each barrel that pull back and return to position, priming the blaster. Depending on which barrels have darts in them, those darts will fire. If all 4 barrels are loaded, the inner barrels fire first, then the outer. If you load darts any other way whichever barrels are loaded will fire (smart ARs).

Pretty basic, front-loading and a pullback slide with a sweet gimmick. It's almost the perfect formula for a licensed product. And as far as licensed products go, I'm more used to them going 10'-15', not 25'-30'. And that's what you're going to get out of this blaster. So while not on par with many Elite/other brands, it doesn't have to. The push here isn't someone looking for performance (mostly) but a comic fan who is looking to tag their nearest Ronan The Accuser-looking friend for fun. Costumers may get a kick out of this and folks who check out the movie that will become new fans of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Is it worth the $20? I enjoy the gimmick of the blaster, regardless of the ranges. I like my Nerf games stock and up close anyway, so 20'-30', 50', whatever that's not what I got it for. I got it cause it looks cool and people will understand why I yell "OOGA CHAKA OOGA CHAKA" as my new battlecry :) I will admit, I thought the ranges were a little longer at Toy Fair, but I don't really care. It's easier to holster when it's closed up, but I'd probably use it by itself and not as a sidearm because that's just how I do things.


Excelsior!

Pssst.... this was on the back. Looks like there is another blaster coming out! Star Lord doesn't get to have all the fun :)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Nerf Rebelle for 2014 Spotted!

Thanks to Mr. K at AFON for the tip, potted the Nerf Rebelle Secrets & Spies lineup (with the exception of the Rapid Red) at Toys R Us!

Picked up the Agent Bow ($24.99) and the Diamondista ($9.99) for now, aim to pick up the others later.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Review: Mattel BoomCo - F2A First Impressions on the Rapid Madness

BoomCo Rapid Madness First Thoughts!



(Recorded this late last night while I was putting together the review - I picked the blaster up late at Target, it was a surprise to see it, will update with a better video once I am rested and have better light. In the meantime, here are some pictures:

Hey everyone! So I picked up the BoomCo Rapid Madness last night. Enjoy the gallery -

The BoomCo shield is removable, and the pump is double action!


Price: $49.99 (!?)

Includes:
Rapid Madness x 1
Darts x 30
Throwable "Round" x 1
Shield x 1
Target board x 1; Instructions x 1

Impressions!
 
BoomCo is Mattel's foray into toy blasters. They don't use foam darts, and the big gimmick is this "sticky technology" on the dart tips that are specially formulated to react and stick to specifically developed targets. It's a huge line, and coming from one of the top toy makers in the world, is it enough to challenge Nerf, a brand that has become eponymous with toys that shoot darts and other projectiles?

In the past, many other brands have come and go - Light Strike, Max Force, gel shooters, and so on. The difference here is Mattel is much bigger than the other companies trying to broach the blaster market in the past. They have deep pockets for R&D and Marketing which really help getting your brand and toy noticed.  

"Sticky" technology, you say? According to Mattel's techs, they formulated the rubber/polymer/whatever on the darts to only react/stick to the specially designed targets. And they do! It's amazing! It could theoretically make hit-tracking and scorekeeping much easier depending on what rules/gametype you, the player, devise. And it's a strong grip, too. Any other surface/material and the darts just bounce.HOWEVER - CAVEAT - the stickiness will fade if not maintained; you have to rinse the darts regularly or use tape to remove debris. Have no fear, the instructions have.... instructions on how to do this. The Round included is entirely composed of the sticky material, which.... gives me some scenario-style ideas. But more on that as the line develops.

The darts themselves are constructed of a thick straw-like plastic, topped with the sticky material. I don't have a scale to tell you a difference in the weight of these darts vs. foam. If I had to attest to durability, I'd rather take the darts out to a game rather than hypothesize, and see the attrition that way. The foam darts are definitely thicker, and you can find a pretty good overview at UKNERF..
The dart was fine!


Let's look at the BoomCo Rapid Madness. At $49.99 + tax, I was a little leery about buying it. There are/were numerous blasters of similar function in the past (Magstrike, Powerclip for starters) but they were also pre-Elite and at most were hitting 20-30', probably. The Rapid Madness outdoes that with 50' in range (see the video above!). It also comes with a shield, a target, and a throwable projectile (see previous paragraph).
The Rapid Madness! (Shield is attached and closed up)

The "Round" - both halves stick together when they are pressed, they separate for easy cleaning.

Functionally speaking, we've been there, done that. Pump the blaster (at most) 18 times (a double-action pump no less), pull the trigger, and point where you want to unleash your straw/rubber-sticky doom. The only difference in this instance is the 50' in range vs. maybe 30' in earlier blasters. It's this similarity though that makes me question the price, even with the extras included.

The blaster is fully automatic, so it is definitely a spray and pray kind of experience. I found myself wanting to use a grip with my offhand besides the pump, but there really isn't another place on the barrel that seemed like a good fit. Aiming from the shoulder also seemed improper because of the nature of the blaster, so I actually found shooting from the waist better, again with the spray and pray idea. The double action nature of the blaster's pump might make it feel slower to refill with air, and depending on your play style this may or may not be your cup of tea. Once your first salvo is out.... MOVE. However, as you can see in the (newly added) video, doing bursts of darts isn't too hard with the Rapid Madness.

The shield mounts on the barrel and deploys at the press of a button. Even though there is a sort of iron sight on it I felt like the shield made aiming a bit more difficult, which made shooting from the hip even more preferable. In fact, like the Nerf Stampede shield I felt better just having it off. I also don't think the blaster is for lefties, since the clip loads from the left of the barrel and has to be inserted that way due to the arrow guides. There was a bit of the blaster near the grip that would dig into my hand as well, whether that is because of the design for kids or a flaw in construction I am not sure.

The blaster itself had a separation in the shell already as well -
The shell seemed a bit opened here.
But it worked and as the video shows, the volley needed some dialing in but otherwise it worked pretty well. When I have some time (and daylight) to update the video outside to check max range, I will. The pump felt durable and sturdy, as did the rest of the blaster (something you can expect when a company like Mattel is doing the building.) My nephew (he's 11) thought it looked pretty cool, and got a kick out of shooting it.

When it boils down to it, what are we looking at? The Rapid Madness is expensive for a mechanic we've already seen elsewhere. It requires stocking up on Yet Another Ammo Type, and even then the BoomCo ammo gimmick may fade out over time and leave you with darts that do little else but bounce like any other darts but at a premium price (for the blasters that launch them, if not the darts themselves.) However the range is on par with the current market of available blasters (at least, until certain 90-100' blasters hit shelves later this year) and honestly they do look pretty slick and futuristic. The sticky tech sounds like it'll be a lot of fun to play around with and I'm willing to give the line a chance and see where they go. If you want to try something new maybe give this a look. But with its price maybe check out some of the lower priced blasters before you go with the Rapid Madness. Honestly, of all the blasters in the line, I wish I had found the Twisted Spinner first, based on the uniqueness of the blaster alone.

Thoughts? Questions? Let me know in the comments! NOTE: I moderate comments, so if they don't show up right away, don't worry about resubmitting! I will get there and read them. :)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

BoomCo Found! Target acquired :)

Found the Rapid Madness from BoomCo (Mattel) today! $59.99 at Target. Enjoy the DPCI code in the picture :)

TOY Review: Zing Toys Sky Gliderz!



Includes:
Rip Zip Launcher x 1
Zing Gliderz x 2
MSRP: $15.99
Range: 120 feet (approximate)





Operating instructions
 Ok! Let's take a look at some high-flying insanity from Zing Toys in the form of their Blast Off Sky Gliderz! Similar to the Sky Ripperz in launching mechanics, but vastly different in ammo. Where the Sky Rippers have that front heavy foam head attached to a plastic/paper shaft, the Sky Gliderz are foam-winged.... well, gliderz. They're shaped like planes (and the wings are adjustable, you DID watch the video at the beginning, right?) but launch off the Rip Zip Launcher the same; simply hook in, pull back, a little elevation helps, and let go.

This review is a little different than most of the ones for this blog, because the toy in question shoots but for a vastly different purpose. It's a glider, a model(ish) plane, something that simulates the fun you'd have out of flying a paper airplane and then some (maybe.) It's not for target shooting, and the design makes it so that isn't something to expect you can do. You just pull back, let go, and enjoy the show.

I set out a target to check the range, but with all the looping/zooming around in a variety of directions, it just wasn't the right criteria to look for. As the box instructs, elevation, firing technique, and wing position can all dictate how/where your gliderz fly. In my case, the gliderz would loop around once (whistling through the air) and take a flight path that landed it about 90-180 degrees from where I originally aimed. As you can tell in the video, it was tough to capture on film. And I made sure, given the unpredictable nature of gliders in general + the power zing uses for most of their toys, this particular toy needed space. Like an open field. 

Like I said, predicting where the Zing Sky Gliderz is one of the more fun/whimsical (depending on your perspective) aspects of the toy. It gets long range for sure (after some wing bending) but where you're going to have to walk to pick it up is another question. Maybe you'll figure out how to launch the Sky Gliderz in such a way you can fly between bottles, but in my opinion, the most fun to be had is just to keep it simple and let the gliderz fly where they may.

Depending on how far you pull back on the Rip Zip Handle, that will determine the distance and speed of your launch, and whether you'll hear that amazing whistle as it zips around you, or a slow, easygoing cruise down to the ground.

So yeah, while the Sky Ripperz have range, they behave in a predictable linear pattern. They're satisfying to pull back and see how far they go. The Sky Gliderz are plenty of fun watching just how nuts they go, and worth a look when you're outside this summer. Just make sure if you take'em to a picnic that you have A LOT OF SPACE around you, and do be careful if you make it circle around yourself, in case the Gliderz get a little close. However, that is definitely a trick shot you can't claim with a lot of other toys.

Questions? Comments? Leave one! Thanks to Zing Toys for the samples, and take care!

Stampede

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

PREVIEW: Star Lord Quad Blaster

Ordered a Star Lord Quad Blaster from Target.com, and here it is! Have some photos (and a demo video at www.instagram.com/blasterbot1984)

Most interesting thing about the blaster? The Rocket Power blaster shown on the back of the box, which was not at Toy Fair! Total mystery to me!

HOOKED ON A FEELING

Friday, June 13, 2014

Nerf Summer Gear 2014 preview


Thanks to Nerf for the latest drop of gear! More pics to follow! 

Poster
T-Shirt (this is on the back)

FOAMME FATALES

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