Vas The Stampede
'Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.' - Norman Vincent Peale
And there was a lot of shooting (darts, rounds, water pellets, zartz) at this year's North American International Toy Fair. This makes 5 years now I've gone to the show and as always, I come back saying, "wow." So here's a quick rundown on what I saw, and some initial impressions.
Quick note: As always, this trip is not sponsored by any of the companies. No one pays to fly me out. This is all out of pocket for me on this trip to ensure I am covering what I want and saying what I need to say.
There were a LOT of blaster type/associated brands that caught my eye this year. The Story So Far (in no particular order), followed by a taste/preview of things I liked (+) and/or didn't like (-). As I intend to give each brand their own post, these tidbits are shots from the hip, what I readily recall.
- Nerf (Hasbro)
- DOOMINATOR +++++++++ (the amount of +s are completely arbitrary, but may relay my sense of enthusiasm)
- Modulus blaster by itself - (it's a Stryfe, even if you can make additions)
- Strike & Defend blaster (Literally, a "Stock Blaster") +
- Rival line ++++++++++++++++
- Zombie Strike
silly sZombie Repellant +
- Rebelle Codebreaker +
- Tek Strike +
- Rotofury doesn't have a stock -
|BOOMco Needler - Halo|
- BOOMco (Mattel)
- Halo blasters ++++
- Spinsanity +
- One of the new blasters is another triggerless/slam-fire affair -
- New airborne toys/planes +
- Firetek Styled Zano Bows +
- Some additional roleplay items to the "Legends" line +
- Firetek Style Sky Ripperz+
- XC Shot/Bug Attack (Zuru)
- Bug Attack will have included targets for additional hilarity +
- New blasters for XC Shot (the ones with clips) were prototypes and not firing -
- Increased ranges for XC shot blasters +
- Primetime Toys
- Not much new there, as a lot is still in the works. I did get video of the Talon, but Primetime promises some new product in the next few months. They did address some reports about the dart adhesive being problematic, and insist they have since fixed the problem. Comment below if you still find Primetime Toys streamline darts to fall apart, I'm sure they'd be interested to know. The Scorpion was one of their first forays going out of the Airzone line, and they plan to do more.
- K'Nex +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
|A springer styled shotgun of their own.|
- I mean, seriously. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
- With a little working knowledge, I'd be interested to see how the standing K'Nex community excels with these blasters. They're built with "regular" blaster play patterns in mind, with the intent of being able to withstand a drop/fall/hit like any other blaster currently on the market. DROP TEST HERE.
- What makes me a believer? That one of the folks that works for K'Nex made a multi-barreled blaster (that fired on a single trigger pull after priming each individual plunger tube) out of the available kits. It took some work he said, but it worked out. To me, that spoke volumes of the potential of builds in this line. With enough plungers, connectors, rods, who knows what is possible. Also, look forward to their promotion coming this spring, to really find the best K'Nex fans out there!
- Marshmallow Shooters
- ORBALLISTICS. Reportedly going to get 50' flat, and straight no less.+++
- Foam ammo finally. Apparently the feedback was a lot of people didn't like wasting food, so this is now a thing for their line.
- Discovery Kids
- TBD: they had a number of blasters in boxes, nothing to demo. The designs looked like stuff we've seen, but if the price point is right (also, they might have some interesting licenses) I won't discount them out right.
- Moose Toys (From what they told me, they have a blaster in the works. Not your typical fare, but I'll get more info on this later.)
- NXT (Maya Group, from the way I see it, this is a reboot of the Xploderz line)
- This iteration of water pellet shooters from Maya Group FINALLY HAZ A TRIGGER. After all this time, and the first run with BlasterPro, these blasters get a trigger. I will admit, I had misgivings about previous Maya Group blasters, but these seemed on point. Although, paintballers might see something very similar here (at least, the gravity fed hopper shape on top. +
|Marshmallow Shooters Orballistics ammo|
- NXT Generation (Bows, crossbows, etc)
- Some of the most solidly-built blasters/shooters I've seen, but the ammo to me leaves something to be desired. They require a closer look from me for a determination on this next set. The shotgun I reviewed was a little expensive for what you got, but it's a new year, with a new line of products. TBD
- Ogo Sports (had a few interesting launchers, they might be good for objective-based gameplay) (N/A, as these are more for goals and objectives, and I see them as less for PvP.)
- Hog Wild Toys (Power Poppers)
There's a LOT of press release info to go through, photos, and videos but I'll release them all here! Stay tuned, as I will be releasing more galleries and videos this week (piece by piece, so as to not overwhelm you:) and if you have any questions please leave in the (moderated) comments below!