Monday, March 02, 2015

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





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