Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year! Bring on 2016!

Happy New Year, everyone! (Pictured: some highlights from the past year)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Nerf Recon Mk II 2.0 addresses compatibility issues, releasing soon!


Quick update: got info from the #Nerf team that a "new" version of the Modulus Recon Mk II is coming out, that will not have the same clip compatibility issues as the earlier release. I don't have one (yet) so this wasn't a big deal for me, but if you did buy one already, contact Hasbro Customer service as they should be ready to help you out in resolving any questions. 

http://www.hasbro.com/customer-service/

Saturday, September 05, 2015

#ForceFriday - Blasters to Bull's Eye them Womp Rats back home

#ForceFriday Brings Licensed Blasters to the Front Lines
Vas The Stampede
ICYMI: Force Friday came and went, bringing with it a slew of new Star Wars toys to herald the revitalizing of the franchise when "The Force Awakens"  in theaters. I snagged a few pics on my instagram but here's the official info and word from Nerf's press releases (provided by the Nerf folks themselves, except for the lightsabers that I had to grab from ScienceFiction.com. I put a few darts through the blasters too, so there are some thoughts below as well. (All product was paid for on a shopping run, Nerf did not provide samples of these, just the information and images.)

 "STAR WARS NERF FIRST ORDER STORMTROOPER BLASTER
(Ages 6 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $12.99/Available: Fall 2015)
The fight to restore order to the galaxy comes home with the first-ever STAR WARS NERF blasters! Battle against the Resistance with this blaster that comes with a removable sight and three NERF darts that fire up to 65 feet!" 

Simple enough; the blaster's a single shot pistol, has a tactical rail on the top, and is easily pocketable. If you have a Firestrike already there's not much new here, except it's colored like the First Order Stormtroopers. The range claim is a bit high too, holding the blaster parallel to the ground achieved maybe 30-40'. Angled (VERY angled, as was the case with all these blasters) I was able to get maybe 50'. Good for close quarters but at $12.99 you might find other offerings for similar prices that have higher ranges.

"STAR WARS NERF CHEWBACCA BOWCASTER
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99/Available: Fall 2015)
The fight to restore order to the galaxy comes home with the first-ever STAR WARS NERF blasters! Battle against the First Order in the style of your favorite Wookiee with this blaster that features a removable scope, real crossbow action and five NERF darts that fire up to 65 feet!"

 This blaster... left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. I didn't own the other Chewbacca bowcaster from the 90s(?) so I was excited for it, even moreso because it seemed based on the Diamondista, which is one of my favorite blasters from the Rebelle line. However, this blaster was no Diamondista. It has a tactical rail (for a binocular style sight, included) and an ammo holder for the side. The ammo holder only installs on the one side though which is fine for me as a righty, but I wonder about left-handed users. The biggest complaint about this blaster is the size though, when you think Chewbacca you think a sizable two-handed blaster. The size on this blaster fit more for a pistol than the Bowcaster, at least in my mind. 

The worst part of the blaster though, was how it shot. Licensed products in general worry me, and past licensed products of all types (video games, blasters, etc.) were terrible. And when the blaster fired, it fired fine. Angled it would hit 60+, around 30-40' aimed parallel to the ground. BUT, the darts would sometimes spiral when they launched. And this misfire happened a lot more than I remember it happening with a Diamondista. Maybe it's the dart quality, the weather, the phase of the moon but the reliability of this blaster firing was noticeably low. While the Diamondista is only $10 ($4.98 elsewhere) that's an acceptable risk, but for a $25 blaster that carries the roleplay idea of one of the main heroes of a major franchise.... I expected better. This one I'd say wait for the sale.

STAR WARS NERF FIRST ORDER STORMTROOPER DELUXE BLASTER
(Ages 6 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $39.99/Available: Fall 2015)
The fight to restore order to the galaxy comes home with the first-ever STAR WARS NERF blasters! Battle against the Resistance with this blaster that comes with a 12-dart clip, slam-fire action, removable sight, detachable stock and twelve NERF darts that fire up to 65 feet! 

This blaster was up to my expectations. It comes with a 12 round magazine, tactical rail sight, and a detachable stock. Colored as the First Order Stormtroopers, the main weapon to fight the Resistance. Whether stormtroopers will shoot better this time around remains to be seen, but if they're using streamlines I have a good feeling for the Resistance fighters. The blaster reminds me of the Alpha Trooper in the way it feels and shoots... which isn't necessarily a good thing. The Elite Alpha Trooper's pump felt a little flimsy for me, and would sometimes release the magazine I had in the blaster. It just didn't feel like a very robust build and definitely not like the Rampage or Raider even. Some aesthetic touches such as the "armed" vents on the side are nice though. I am not sure how left-handed people are going to like using this blaster though, with the magwell and mag release buttons positioned only on the left side of the blaster. Also, the jam door is connected to the pump, so you can't open it whenever. I don't like that, but maybe it's a small complaint. HOWEVER, the first one I bought broke using slam-fire and I had to return it for an exchange. So far the other one hasn't had any issues, and fires pretty well.

Range-wise, the blaster hit maybe 40' at least while aiming parallel to the ground, but definitely needed an angle to hit 60'+. Not surprised at that. Is it worth $40? Depends on how much you like Star Wars, need a slam-fire blaster, or.... like Star Wars? I took advantage of the promo price Toys R Us had, so I was fine with the price I paid for it. If you already have an Alpha Trooper or Rampage, you may want to pass. Personally I am still happy with it, as I always wanted a Stormtrooper blaster and am happy that dart shooters from Star Wars are finally out and hitting over 20-30'. If these do well, I look forward to more as the franchise expands.



STAR WARS NERF DART REFILL
(Ages 6 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: Fall 2015)
The fight to restore order to the galaxy comes home with the first-ever STAR WARS NERF blasters! Choose your side – Resistance blue or First Order red – and blast into battle! Each refill pack comes with 18 foam NERF darts compatible with all STAR WARS NERF blasters, sold separately.

The dart heads are transparent! Not much to say, just additional dart types which are pretty nice. 18 darts for $9.99.... that's.... uhm.... definitely not the price you get for other packs though. How much do you really want to shoot blue or red darts?


STAR WARS® BLADEBUILDERS FOAM LIGHTSABER ASST (The bottom 3 lightsabers in the picture above)
(Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: Fall 2015)
Introducing a new way to wield a Lightsaber! New Foam Lightsabers provide movie-accurate looks with a soft foam material for amazing fun. Each Lightsaber is compatible and combinable with other BLADEBUILDERS Lightsaber components (sold separately). Choose from YODA, DARTH VADER, and LUKE SKYWALKER. Each sold separately.

FINALLY! Lightsabers I can use for combat and not worry about bending/scuffing the plastic. The foam is more consistent with pool noodle foam though, and less the smooth foam used for the old N-Force line. The handles are hollowed out to use with connectors for the Blade Builder set, so you have options and configurations to choose from! For $14.99 you can definitely find cheaper foam swords, but they're not lightsabers. I gladly paid the price for the aesthetics. And yes, you lose the light-up function and the hum of the sabers, but now you can duel with the best of them! (Which is NOT recommended for play.)

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Happy Force Friday! Nerf First Order blaster pics!


#ForceFriday Kicks off the New Hope for Star Wars (toys)

Thanks to Graham B on Facebook, we have these initial pics for the new Nerf Star Wars First Order blasters! I haven't gotten these myself yet, these pics came from Graham.

Enjoy the pics, commentary to follow.












Not sure which UPC this is for (based on the order the pics were sent to me this is for the deluxe blaster.)

The range claims are approximately 65', which is INFINITELY better than most licensed products in the past. The Deluxe  blaster seems to have slam-fire and use n-strike mags, definitely something I will test though. The smaller pistol has the same range claim, but no mag usage. Interesting stuff!

UPDATE: the $79.99 price tag looks to be from an Australian source. Less price in the U.S.

HOWEVER, $20.99 for a pistol (probably single shot) & $79.99 for what is basically a Rampage? Dangit, Nerf. (See update!) For $10 more that's a Rhino-Fire. Son of Nerf Herder, I hope that's an error of some sort but I won't know for myself until I hit the stores in the morning. That's pretty exorbitant in my opinion, even if it is a licensed product. But Nerf can get away with it, because fans like myself are going nuts right now in anticipation. Heck of a trick. In the meantime, happy hunting! And may the Force be with you, always.




Thursday, August 27, 2015

Nerf Rotofury: Nerf Behind the Scenes video Released


 
Thanks to Nerf for the video! Featuring the Nerf Rotofury revealed previously, the blaster is now out and available in most major stores.
 
MSRP:$34.99
10 Shot drum (highest capacity blaster for the Mega line currently)
Slam-fire
 
My biggest nitpick with this blaster is the lack of a stock or attach point for a stock, mainly because with Slam-Fire it helps steady the blaster. At least, it did with me when I used a Rampage or Raider. Otherwise, I like the Rotofury, the extra shots more than a Cycloneshiock are pretty nice to have. Enjoy the video!

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Nerf Blogger Had Writer's Block in 2005. What happened Years Later.... Might Surprise you.

The Nerf Ambassador Meetup at #NerfHQ (Hasbro Headquarters/offices, not the old forum)
Vas The Stampede


Seriously, surprise.

 
Whereupon the blogger (and others of his ilk) visited the home of Nerf blasters, and learnt about production, design, marketing, safety standards, the future, and many things Nerf. Rival, Modulus, Zombie Strike, Doomlands, Rebelle, darts, Rounds, foreign markets, and what it means to be Nerfnation. MORE AFTER THE JUMP.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Nerf: Spring 2016 ed. Shoot megas and streamlines at the same time!

Nerf reveals Spring 2016 blasters in RARE Visit from "Nerf Fan Ambassadors" 
Vas The Stampede
 
Fresh off the "Nerf Fan Ambassador" visit to #NerfHQ in Rhode Island, enjoy the info on these future releases. More on the actual visit in am upcoming post, so stay tuned.
 
 
N-Strike Elite Dual-Strike blaster
(SRP: $19.99/Available: Spring 2016)
  • Fires both Elite and MEGA darts
  • Selector switch to choose MEGA or Elite
  • 6 dart capacity (includes 3 Elite darts and 3 MEGA darts)
  • Zombie Strike CrossCut blaster
 
(Thanks Click Click BAMF for the pic)
 
Nerf Zombie Strike Crosscut
(SRP: $14.99/Available: Spring 2016)
  • Double barrel zombie blasting
  • Spinning SawBlade (foam)
  • Includes 4 Zombie Strike darts
 
 

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Nerf bloggers visit Hasbro!

Nerf bloggers invited to Visit Hasbro Headquarters
Vas The Stampede

Today is the day! Visiting Hasbro Headquarters in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, as part of their "Fan Ambassador Meet-up". Along for the ride are Click Click BAMF, Nerd Drop, Shining Foam, Lord Draconical, Nerfhaven, and Blaster Labs.

I already started posting some pics from traveling around Rhode Island. Feel free to check in on the shenanigans socially:

Facebook: Foam From Above
Instagram: Blasterbot1984
Twitter: @VasTheStampede

Filming is not allowed for our visit, and picture opportunities are limited; whatever we can share we definitely will!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Nerf Rival Zeus Blaster Claims 100 FPS when it shoots

Nerf Rival Zeus Claims to Hit 100 FPS
Vas The Stampede

Back in February at Toy Fair, I checked out the Nerf Rival Zeus blaster in prototype form! Thanks to Nerf for sending along the full production model. Check the video below, and I'll update with my thoughts later today.



Check out the photo album in the meantime!

About the Zeus:



NERF RIVAL ZEUS MXV-1200 Blaster
(Ages 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $49.99/Available: Fall 2015)
Bring NERF battles to the next level with the mighty NERF RIVAL ZEUS MXV-1200 blaster. Simply push the power-up button, then take aim and unleash motorized blasting power on the opposing team. The powerful, precise RIVAL ZEUS MXV-1200 blaster gives fans and their allies an edge in battle and features an ambidextrous  clip loading and release button, safety switch, and fold-up sight. The included NERF RIVAL 12-round magazine is also compatible for use with the NERF RIVAL APOLLO XV-700 blaster, sold separately. Blaster is available in both red and blue and includes 12 NERF RIVAL Foam rounds. Six C batteries required, not included.
Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and at HasbroToyShop.com.
Nerf Rival Apollo:
Nerf RIVAL APOLLO XV-700 Blaster
(Ages 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99/Available: Fall 2015) 
Perfect for the heat of the competition, the NERF RIVAL APOLLO XV-700 blaster sends NERF RIVAL foam rounds soaring in the air with extraordinary velocity. To defend themselves and teammates against the opposition, pull the lever to move the RIVAL foam round into place, then take aim and launch! Blaster is available in both red and blue includes seven NERF RIVAL foam rounds. 
Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and at HasbroToyShop.com.
Additional photos in the gallery:

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Behind the Blaster: Nerf Super Soaker Zombie Strike Splatterblast

Thanks Nerf for the latest behind the scenes video! Check out the light up tank and multi-barreled shooting action of the Splatterblast.


Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Nerf Rebelle Arrow Revolution Demo (Toy Fair 2015)

Test-firing video from New York Toy Fair featuring the Nerf Rebelle Arrow Revolution blaster - as seen at about.com with the ToyQueen.



The arrow loading mech seemed a little clunky, so here's hoping it's refined by release. As for the draw on the bow, it's still designed with 8+ in mind (more on the 8 than the "+") but fans of the Rebelle bows so far might enjoy the new reloading cylinder, as well as an additional use for any arrows they already own. Coming this Fall 2015!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Nerf releases info on more DOOMLANDS 2169


Nerf releases images of New Doomlands 2169 melee weapons!
VasTheStampede



Nerf sent over some new images today of some hand to hand roleplay weapons/toys to look forward to from Doomlands 2169, the Swift Justice and the Vigilance! 

Produced by Perpetual Play, the Swift Justice looks inspired by a trench knife with the hand guard, while the Vigilance will hopefully please anyone who misses the old N-Force Klaw hatchet. No price info yet from what I had, continue to stay tuned as more updates become available!




Thursday, June 25, 2015

Nerf Doomlands 2169 press release!

Nerf goes "steampunk" with Doomlands 2169.
Vas the Stampede

"With the debut of the NERF DOOMLANDS 2169 line, members of NERF NATION can become the heroes of the future. This all-new NERF blaster segment was designed to inspire active, imaginative play with a futuristic edge only the NERF brand can provide. The year is 2169, nearly a century after an asteroid impact wiped out civilization as we know it. The post-apocalyptic wasteland once known as earth is filled with bands of marauding thieves and all manners of creatures. Now, the time has come for a hero to emerge from the wild, savage land to deliver justice and freedom to the human race with the new NERF DOOMLANDS 2169 blasters by their side.

The debut DOOMLANDS 2169 lineup, featuring the LAWBRINGER blasterwith a twelve dart rotating barrel and the pump-action VAGABOND blaster, is available exclusively at Target this fall and features all new sci-fi steam-punk designs, visible firing mechanisms, and NERF performance. In the epic battle for the future, NERF NATION will prevail.


The Fall 2015 NERF DOOMLANDS 2169 line includes:
 
NERF DOOMLANDS 2169 LAWBRINGER Blaster
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $34.99/Available: August 1, 2015)

Patrol the lawless landscape and fight for justice with the NERF DOOMLANDS 2169 LAWBRINGER blaster at your sideThe formidable LAWBRINGER blaster features a twelve dart rotating barrel and visible hammer mechanism for blasting, while integrated dart storage allows for quick reloads on the run. With the LAWBRINGER blaster, no futuristic foe is safe. Blaster comes with twelve NERF DOOMLANDS2169 darts. Available exclusively at Target.

NERF DOOMLANDS 2169 VAGABOND Blaster
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99/Available: August 1, 2015)

Survive the savage future and dominate post-apocalyptic battles using the NERF DOOMLANDS 2169 VAGABOND blaster. With unique DOOMLANDS style, pump action firing, and a six dart rotating barrel, the VAGABOND blaster is an essential tool for future freedom fighters. Includes six NERF DOOMLANDS 2169 darts. Available exclusively at Target.

NERF DOOMLANDS 2169 30 DART Refill

(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: August 1, 2015)
Stock up on extra NERF ammo to ensure dominance in the wild futurePost-apocalyptic heroes carrying the DOOMLANDS 2169 30-DART refill won’t be caught with an empty blaster in battle. DOOMLANDS foam darts feature gold deco with signature DOOMLANDS logo. Available exclusively at Target."

Word has it Nerf is sending additional info our way, unreleased anywhere else. Keep watching this space, and lock and load, chummers!



Friday, June 05, 2015

Google Hangout with Nerf HQ inbound!

Friday, April 17, 2015

ICYMI: Nerf Behind the Scenes - Nerf Mega Cycloneshock

VIDEO: Nerf Behind the Scenes - Mega Cycloneshock (ICYMI)
Vas The Stampede

Nerf sent out a video for its Mega Cycloneshock, here's the scoop from the design team themselves.



Some takeaways... car design? That's something I want to look more into if/when the next chance I have to hang out with the design team (hopefully this summer).


Monday, April 06, 2015

K-Force is here! (Preview)

Thanks to K'Nex for sending along their launch line of K-Force blasters! Reviews coming soon, enjoy some photos.

Find the original post from Toy Fair Here!


Monday, March 16, 2015

Marshmallow Shooters - Orbballistics, Varmint Series, and more! (Toy Fair 2015)

Orbballistics and more from Marshmallow Shooters at New York Toy Fair
Vas The Stampede

Find the picture gallery in full here: Marshmallow Shooters at New York Toy Fair 2015

Say what you want about Marshmallow Shooters, other blaster lines have come and gone but they are among one of the constants at New York Toy Fair year after year. Last year the biggest news from them (in my opinion) were the Ghostbuster-themed shooters, they looked great and while they were still functionally the same as previous releases, the line was just in time for the big anniversary of the release of the original film.


This year, it's not a new paint job that piqued my interest, but this new line of blasters from Marshmallow Shooters, the "Orbballistics" as well as the "new" "FoamFury" line. Marshmallow Shooters is now in the business of making reusable foam ammo, as they did have some people who wondered about "wasting food" when it came to using Marshmallow ammo. While this is a concern for me as well, another problem with marshmallow ammo is degradation from heat or reuse. Squishy marshmallows loaded into barrels/hoppers usually meant residue on barrels and plunger heads. Foam ammo makes that less of a problem, thankfully. Based on the technology that they use for the "Orbball", the ammo for the Orbballistics is a hollowed out foam tube that forms kind of a hollowed out oval, something like a grape, or a mini, teeny tiny hollowed out football. I've had some fun with the Classic, Crossbow, Bow, and a variety of other shooters in the past, but the ammo wasn't optimal in the summer and I had to keep mindful about that. Also, never mind the constant consumption of my ammo from other players. Before the round, during the round, after the round, etc. Not entirely unexpected and it was all in good humor, it became the running gag any time one of us used a marshmallow shooter. Thankfully though that also gave me a lot of reasons to make s'mores and rice crispy treats as well!
 

Marshmallow Shooters is claiming 60' flat on these things (and it might be possible, haven't been able to do the video yet because of technical difficulties but there is one) so that's pretty interesting stuff. Some of the initial comments I've gotten tell me these are similar to the Vortex Koosh blasters from way back, but these are definitely more compact. I didn't have any prices at the time at New York Toy Fair, but they may be available as of 4th quarter, at least in time for the holidays.

As always, if I manage to get any samples I'll be sure to do a review right at this blog. The model I handled was a prototype, so it's way early for me to comment on handling and build strength. At most I can say that it looks sleek, and the ammo holders are always a nice touch. Past that, I am always looking forward to seeing new challengers to the foam arena.

Besides the Orbballistics, Marshmallow Shooters had "FoamFury" which is their classic shooter now firing foam "ear plug" like ammo. 20' of range, so while made for a quick release definitely not what one can expect from the Orbballistics shooters. Also, there were "Varmint Series" blasters which look hilarious. Pics of these and more can be found in the gallery.



So, thoughts? Another (this time foam) solution from Marshmallow Shooters, with more range than the original shooters and with reusable ammo. Is this something you would try out? Would you qualify it as large ammo if your games use those rules? Comment below, and let me know!

Don't forget to check me out along the social circles:

Twitter: @VasTheStampede

Instagram: Blasterbot1984
Facebook: Foam From Above


Friday, March 06, 2015

K'Nex K-Force - Overview from Toy Fair 2015

K'Nex K-Force, a new blaster approaches!
Vas The Stampede  

Don't forget, the contest to join the K-Force Squad is happening now! Only the first 1,000 submissions will be accepted!

Here are some photos from the showroom:



K'Nex's K-Force is an interesting spin on the blaster scene. I will admit, when I first heard about it I was skeptical. I had never used K'Nex construction kits before, being more a brick user. K'Nex sets seemed a little overwhelming, and I wasn't sure what to expect.

Then this happened:


That is a multi-barreled springer blaster this employee built on their own time. Each barrel has to be primed individually, but they are rigged up to fire under one trigger. It hit me. I got it.

If you can figure it out, you can build it. For years, apparently the K'Nex community has already been at work on rubber band/various other models of shooters (a quick search on YouTube will prove that) and in the interest of giving their own fans what they want, that brings us to K-Force.

The line launches with 6 blasters to start, with more on the way if the line does well.


The initial launch line for K-Force.
My main concerns with K-Force were-

1. Durability. Could the blasters withstand a drop/fall/getting banged around?

This video says yes. And the folks at the K'Nex booth couldn't be more eager to show me all the ins and outs of the blaster, what you can build, and so on. One key point to holding all the K'Nex rods and gears together is using a special fastening piece that goes over connecting points. One thing they assured me about was that they tested fully built blasters so you didn't have to move any differently than if you are using more popular blasters.


2. Could leading brand ammo be used in the blasters, and vice versa? 

Word has it K'Nex darts work in other brand blasters and vice versa. I will have to test this out after launch.

3. Accessibility how hard will it be to build a blaster right out of the box, at the loss of some instant gratification? Again, as I never used K'Nex before, this was a major concern for me spending an hour getting a blaster together.

K'Nex instructions are easy to use apparently, and color coded. While I intend to get a box of K'Nex of my own, the sets may take anywhere from 20-25 minutes to build. Even less for the smaller kits.
  
I like that the kits provide their own plunger tubes, allowing you to come up with your own trigger set ups which can lead to monsters like the blaster above. The locking mechanism for stress points is smart, and really accentuate how far into thinking the designers worked on this brand to make the initial launch easy for new users but some new parts and mechanics for veteran builders. I look forward to trying more and more of the set out just to see where this line goes.

K-FORCE Build and Blast: Mega Boom Building Set
Build 5 different blaster models and a buildable target in one set, including the double chamber Mega Boom blaster that fires up to 75 feet! The K-FORCE Build and Blast Mega Boom Building Set comes with over 300 pieces including, K'NEX rods and connectors, 2 blaster chambers, 3 skull dart holders, 2 quick fit grips, 2 preload rings that can be used to create customized blasters, 7 foam darts, and an instruction sheet to build the Mega Boom blaster. Customize and create your own K- FORCE blaster or log on to knex.com and download instructions for 4 alternate blaster builds. Most models can be built one at a time. Compatible with the entire K-FORCE Build and Blast line. All K'NEX rods and connectors are made in the USA. Suggested retail price is $44.99. Ages 8+. Available Fall 2015 on knex.com and at toy retailers nationwide.

K-FORCE Build and Blast: Dual Cross Building Set
Build 5 different blaster models and a buildable target in one set, including the double chamber Dual Cross blaster that fires up to 75 feet! Set features over 330 pieces including K'NEX rods and connectors, 2 blaster chambers, 3 skull dart holders, 2 quick fit grips, 2 preload rings that allow you to create customized blasters, 7 foam darts, and an instruction sheet to build the Dual Cross blaster. Customize and create your own K-FORCE blaster or log on to knex.com and download instructions for 4 alternate blaster builds. Most models can be built one at a time. Compatible with the entire K-FORCE Build and Blast line. All K'NEX rods and connectors are made in the USA. Suggested retail price is $44.99. Ages 8+. Available Fall 2015 on knex.com and at toy retailers nationwide.

K-FORCE Build and Blast: Battle Bow Building Set
Build 3 different blaster models that fire up to 75 feet and a buildable target in one set with the K-FORCE Build and Blast Battle Bow Building Set! Set features over 150 pieces including K'NEX rods and connectors, 1 blaster chamber, 2 skull dart holders, 1 quick fit grip, 1 preload ring to create different blasters, 5 foam darts, and an instruction sheet to build the Battle Bow blaster. Customize and create your own K-FORCE blaster or log on to knex.com and download instructions for 2 alternate blaster builds.. Compatible with the entire K-FORCE Build and Blast line. All K'NEX rods and connectors are made in the USA. Suggested retail price is $24.99. Ages 8+. Available Fall 2015 on knex.com and at toy retailers nationwide.

K-FORCE Build and Blast: K-20X Building Set
Build 3 different blaster models and a buildable target in one set with the K-FORCE Build and Blast K-20X Building Set! Set features over 140 pieces including K'NEX rods and connectors, 1 blaster chamber, 2 skull dart holders, 1 quick fit grip, 1 preload ring to create different blasters that fire up to 75 feet, 5 foam darts, and an instruction sheet to build the K-20K blaster. Customize and create your own K-FORCE blaster or log on to knex.com and download instructions for 2 alternate blaster builds. Compatible with the entire K-FORCE Build and Blast line. All K'NEX rods and connectors are made in the USA. Suggested retail price is $24.99. Ages 8+. Available Fall 2015 on knex.com and at toy retailers nationwide.

K-FORCE Build and Blast: K-10X Building Set
Build your own K-10X blaster that fires up to 75 feet! Set features over 75 pieces including, K'NEX rods and connectors, 1 blaster chamber, 1 quick fit grip, 1 preload ring and 5 foam darts. Customize and create your own K-FORCE blaster or combine with the K-FORCE Build and Blast Mini Cross Building Set for an awesome downloadable combo build! All K'NEX rods and connectors are made in the USA. Suggested retail price is $14.99. Ages 8+. Available Fall 2015 on knex.com and at toy retailers nationwide.

K-FORCE Build and Blast: Mini Cross Building Set 
Build your own Mini Cross blaster that fires up to 75 feet! Set features over 60 pieces including, K'NEX® rods and connectors, 1 blaster chamber, 1 quick fit grip, 1 preload ring and 5 foam darts. Customize and create your own K-FORCE blaster or combine with the K-FORCE Build and Blast K-10X Building Set for an awesome downloadable combo build! All K'NEX rods and connectors are made in the USA. Suggested retail price is $14.99. Ages 8+. Available Fall 2015 on knex.com and at toy retailers nationwide.

 K-FORCE Build and Blast: 30 Dart Pack and Target Building Set
This 58 piece set comes with 30 foam darts and enough K’NEX rods and connectors for you to create a buildable target. All K'NEX rods and connectors are made in the USA. Suggested retail price is $9.99. Ages 8+. Available Fall 2015 on knex.com and at toy retailers nationwide.

K-FORCE Build and Blast: 10 Dart Pack and Target Building Set
This 26 piece set comes with 10 foam darts and enough K’NEX rods and connectors for you to create a buildable target. All K'NEX rods and connectors are made in the USA. Suggested retail price is $6.99. Ages 8+. Available Fall 2015 on knex.com and at toy retailers nationwide.

Questions? Comments? Anything I Missed? Comment below!



Monday, March 02, 2015

K'Nex wants YOU for the K-Force Squad! See how you can win your spot!

Fresh from the folks at K'Nex, they're looking for members of the K-Force! Do you have what it takes? See the announcement below:

K’NEX Seeks Members To Join The K-FORCE(TM) Squad

Nationwide Search Will Reward 20 Enthusiastic Blaster Fans! 

Hatfield, PA March, 2015 K'NEX, the only US construction toy company focused on Building Worlds Kids Love®, is seeking 20 enthusiastic blaster fans to join its K-FORCE Squad! The members of the squad will be the first to get their hands on the new K- FORCE Build and Blast(TM) line; the only line of blasters that you build then blast! 

The K-FORCE Build and Blast line invites kids ages 8+ to construct customized blasters, big or small, single or multi-shot, with endless possibilities the only limit is your imagination! The introductory line includes 8 different kinds of blasters, buildable targets, and foam dart packs. 
 
The nationwide search runs through March 22, 2015 and challenges blaster fans ages 13+ to submit a video, up to 60 seconds in length, explaining why they deserve to be chosen as a member of the K-FORCE Squad. The first 1,000 video entries received will be reviewed by a panel of K’NEX judges, and 20 K-FORCE Squad members will be chosen from among those entries. 
Upon confirmation of eligibility, the 20 K-FORCE Squad members will each receive exclusive access to the K-FORCE Build and Blast product line before it hits store shelves, and a chance to become the Grand Prize winner. All the Squad members have to do is build one or more K-FORCE blasters using the K-FORCE products they receive (and any other genuine K’NEX parts they may already have at home), and then create a short video that shows the Squad member using the blaster(s) he or she created to execute his or her best “trick shot”. 
K-FORCE Squad members will be required to submit their video to K’NEX by May 8, 2015 and, upon review and confirmation of qualification, will be asked to post their Best Trick Shot Video to YouTube by May 15, 2015. These videos will then be featured on the K’NEX Facebook page, and the public will be given the opportunity to vote for their favorite video. The K-FORCE Squad member whose video receives the most votes will be awarded the Grand Prize, a $500 shopping spree on knex.com, and a GoPro HERO4 Camera. 
The K-FORCE Squad contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada, except those of Puerto Rico, U.S. territories or possessions, the Province of Quebec, and where
prohibited, who are 13 years or older at the time of entry, and no purchase is necessary. For more information on K’NEX, K-FORCE, or the contest, visit http://www.knex.com/photos-and-videos/kforce-squad/.

Look for my take on the K-Force brand later this week. In the meantime, don't forget to check out my GALLERY!

New York Toy Fair 2015 - Nerf Showroom Breakdown

New York Toy Fair Nerf Showroom Breakdown
Vas The Stampede


Nerf Rivals

The Nerf Rival Apollo & Zeus

The big news of the show for me out of the Nerf room was this line. I have my rundown of the Zeus and the Apollo (and a firing video of the Zeus) here.

 
Accessories for sale (Available Fall 2015):

50 round ammo pack - $17.99
25 round ammo pack - $9.99
12 round magazine w/16 rounds - $11.99
Face mask (red or blue) - $14.99

I'd be lying if I didn't say I was excited for this line. Supposedly 100 fps, Nerf aiming for a larger audience (given the success of Nerf Rebelle), and increased accuracy. The accuracy alone has me piqued, with Elite darts (including suction cup) and Mega darts lacking in that department (in my opinion.) I still hold Dart Tag velcro darts as some of the most accurate darts I've ever had the pleasure to use. The price is agreeable too, given Nerf's recent high value items (Terradrone, Rhino-Fire, Cam-ECS). I look forward to more on these blasters, and welcome the new tech. Although, yet another ammo type to stock up on.

Zombie Strike:

New firing modes! DOOM. DOOM. DOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!

NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE BIOSQUAD ZR-800 ABOLISHER Blaster 
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $29.99/Available: Fall 2015)

Beat back the zombie hordes using three kinds of ammo with the ZOMBIE STRIKE BIOSQUAD ZR-800 ABOLISHER blaster. This epic blaster allows fans to fight back using ZOMBIE STRIKE darts, ZOMBIE STRIKE BIOSQUAD zombie repellent or water. No matter where or how the zombies attack, NERF fans are ready to take them down with the ABOLISHER blaster. Simply attach the ZOMBIE STRIKE BIOSQUAD zombie repellent canister to the blaster and pull the trigger. Repellent canister can also be replaced with the included refillable water canister. Available at most major retailers and HasbroToyShop.com.

Abolisher on top, Eraser lower

 NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE BIOSQUAD ZR-100 ERASER Blaster 
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available:Fall 2015)

Take down zombies two ways with the ZOMBIE STRIKE BIOSQUAD ZR-100 ERASER blaster! Blast away the undead with ZOMBIE STRIKE darts, or unleash a steady stream of BIOSQUAD zombie repellent to keep them at bay. Simply attach the ZOMBIE STRIKE BIOSQUAD zombie repellent canister to the blaster and pull the trigger. Includes 3 ZOMBIE STRIKE darts and 1 can of ZOMBIE STRIKE BIOSQUAD zombie repellent. Available at most major retailers and HasbroToyShop.com.

As a side note, additional cans of Zombie Repellent will be available in 3.8 oz cans for $5.99
 
The addition of silly stri ZOMBIE REPELLENT is a new feature for Zombie Strike. Two blasters, the ZR-800 Abolisher and ZR-100 Eraser both use this new feature, fired by the trigger on the blaster. Each blaster fires darts much like the Demolisher launches rockets, by using a pump as the firing mechanism. While that isn't my favorite thing to hear (I find mechanisms like that throw off my aim), I'll give these blasters a chance all the same before I make a final decision. The repellent is an interesting idea, and I'm all about seeing a brand try new things, especially when it's Nerf.

That being said about the new feature, my favorite thing out of Zombie Strike this year is THE DOOMINATOR. Sure, it's yet another single shot blaster and yes it shares a similar feature as the Flipfury, but it's bigger and the design has enough of a twist that I can forgive the repetition.



"Doom"
THE DOOMINATOR. $39.99, 4 rotating drums, 6 darts apiece = 24 rounds of pump-action fury. Additionally, the foregrip handle can be relocated in different positions on the pump, if you are so inclined.

Modulus:

A quick quote on how Modulus relates to the existing Nerf N-Strike/Elite lines: 

"We have many exciting new innovations on the Nerf brand in 2015, introducing new segments and differentiated play patterns that deliver the same quality and performance consumers love. With this rapid product innovation and taking consumer feedback like more open packaging into consideration, we recognize that there is some confusion between our many segments.   We are working to enhance and evolve our branding and packaging to help minimize consumer confusion." - Nerf, in an email to me asking about why the Modulus is being labeled separately from the Elite line (but the ranges remain similar!)

The Modulus is Nerf's focused attempt at cashing in on one of the biggest trends this year (if you believe the Toy Fair chatter); customization. While past blasters in the N-Strike and N-Strke Elite lines offered tactical rails/stocks/sights for players, Modulus takes that concept and offers customization as the main focus. You start with one main blaster and add the parts on, as opposed to having the customization be secondary (and somewhat lost) in the myriad of N-Strike blasters. Modulus branding seems to draw the focus to the customizing aspect of playing with blasters. To me, that explains why the blaster itself is very similar to the Nerf Stryfe, being semiautomatic and a flywheel blaster as opposed to something with a different functionality that might minimize the impact of the custom aspect of the line.

The shield and in-stock blaster of the "Strike & Defend" pack is very nicely done (and my favorite of them all), although to some degree I think I liked the placement on the Longshot's infamous front blaster. There's just one less step in firing that shot than having to remove the stock to fire the backup in the Strike & Defend. Each of the "upgrade kits" (Flip Clip, Stealth Ops, Strike & Defend, Long Range) will be about $14.99, and the cost of the base Modulus blaster (includes scope, stock w/additional clip storage like a Recon, drop-down grip, and 10-dart banana clip) is supposed to be $49.99. All in all, that's a pretty hefty price tag if you want the complete set, even for the numerous configurations available. But the amount of custom options is now increasing for those who like their Nerf with a side order of accessories.


 

 Rebelle:

The highlight of the Nerf Rebelle showroom for me wasn't the Arrow Revolution, but the Codebreaker, seen here:

Trigger lock


 Aside from the aesthetics (another crossbow, yes, but a fine looking one) the lock on the Codebreaker is pretty smart thinking. Too often in the past I've left blasters out on my wall, table, desk, only for some cheeky guest to grab hold of it, load it up, and open fire on unsuspecting victims (me). With the Codebreaker, that ends! Or at least, it should make it less likely to happen. While I love random acts of Nerf, sometimes you just don't want people grabbing all your blasters and opening fire. Other blasters such as the Secret Shot, Tri Threat (a Super Soaker blaster), and Dolphina were on display, but those are all readily available in stores currently (if you don't see them yet, give it time, they're on the way). In short, Nerf Rebelle has really stuck with the intended audience and made an impression, so look for more blasters in the future. Whatever your feelings may be on the heavy influence of bows or the colors, the line works for Nerf and serves to expand their brand into other audiences. Other blasters such as the Courage were not on display at Toy Fair, so I can't comment on how they performed or how much I like them.

Mega:

The Nerf Mega line had a few new additions, such as the BigShock and Cycloneshock (both available now), and the Rotofury complete with slam-fire capability is due out later this year. Look for the full reveal I previously released here:



Elite:


Yes, the Crossbolt was a nice blaster, but Elite has my attention because of this - 


The dedicated "Rocket Launcher" in the Nerf N-Strike Elite Thunderblast. MSRP: $24.99, available this Fall. Shoots rockets up to 60' with a quick pump from the undermounted handle. Simple and ridiculous size ammo, which for me is a winning formula. While not quite the Titan I hoped for, the emergence of new rockets for the Nerf line (starting with the Demolisher) has added a new element to some special gametypes, and just got a little more fun in general. I loved shooting people with Titan rockets, and the new smaller rockets are a lot of fun as well. I indeed plan to support this blaster, as if it succeeds then more blasters that utilize this ammo are sure to follow.


NERF N-STRIKE ELITE CROSSBOLT Blaster
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99/Available: Fall 2015) 
Real crossbow action meets N-STRIKE ELITE performance with the first-ever clip-fed NERF crossbow. The N-STRIKE ELITE CROSSBOLT blaster features a 12-dart clip and fires up to an impressive 90 feet! 
Opponents won’t stand a chance with this high capacity multi-firing blaster that sends darts flying into action!
Comes with 12 N-STRIKE ELITE darts. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and at HasbroToyShop.com.


NERF N-STRIKE SnapFire Blaster (not shown at Toy Fair)
 
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $4.99/Available:Spring 2015)
Catch the competition off guard with the N-STRIKE SnapFire blaster! This stealth blaster comes with 2 N-STRIKE ELITEdarts that can be quickly loaded, or stored on the blaster for easy access while sneaking into position. The SnapFireblaster is made for mobile, fast-moving missions! Available at select toy retailers nationwide and at HasbroToyShop.com.



NERF N-STRIKE DOUBLEDOWN Blaster (not shown at Toy Fair, though I believe it is available already in places) 
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available:Spring 2015)

When battles heat up, fans can rely on the one-handed design of the N- STRIKE DOUBLEDOWN blaster. This compact blaster allows for quick reloads with one hand and will fire 2 N-STRIKE ELITE darts in a row thanks to its double tap action. Blaster includes 4 N-STRIKE ELITE darts. Available at select toy retailers and at HasbroToyShop.com. 

Most notably in these last two descriptions is the pricing, outside of the Jolt, a Reflex, or a Triad, or Doublestrike I can't recall many blasters that don't break into the $10 range, at least for Nerf. Yes, they exist but are often very small blasters. These look to be along the same lines size wise (note the Jolt-like handle on the Snapfire) but it's a bit newish, and for the right price for someone looking to buy a lot of blasters for a party or some other mass quantity reason.


To sum it all up, Nerf has been busy! Busy innovating and getting some new spins on old tricks (Flipfury on steroids in the Doominator, "repellent"/water in blasters, single shot blasters galore with new gimmicks, an easier to load Agent Bow in the Arrow Revolution, etc.) but still providing a lot of options on how to play and now along a varied range of prices. No remote controlled beasts this year or integrated tech (like the Cam-ECS), but the Rivals line is a pretty big jump, FPS wise compared to past years and a gamble at trying to attract older folks more than the current blasters already do. And nope, no new Vortex blasters along any of the lines this year (including Zombie Strike), not even a new paintjob or anything like that. Nerf hasn't said one way or another whether the Vortex line is being worked on any longer, so it's one of those "wait and see" moments; if more blasters are made for Vortex, awesome. If not, well, it was fun while it lasted (I do love dual wielding Nitrons, after all.)

Whew! Thanks for hanging in there, if you have questions on anything I mentioned here, be sure to leave it in the comments. I've got videos to work on, and an announcement later today, so be sure to come back soon, y'hear?

-Stampede

This isn't the end, not by a longshot. I've got plenty more showrooms to go through (K'Nex, Zing, Marshmallow Shooters, etc.) and will post as I get them done. Thanks again! More pictures are available in my gallery -Nerf New York Toy Fair 2015





FOAMME FATALES

RSS FEED - READ AS IT POSTS!