Monday, February 23, 2015

New York Toy Fair 2015 - In A Nutshell

New York Toy Fair 2015 in a Nutshell (The Good, the Not so Good, the.... What?)
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.

BRANDS:
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 s Zombie 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
  • Zing 
    • 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

  • Marshmallow Shooters Orballistics ammo
    • 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.)  
    • TBD
  •  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. +


  • 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)
    • What is becoming a yearly standard, while these blasters are simplistic but freakin' hilarious. +
      Honorable mention, right here! Made me think of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit".

    By my count, that's about 13 different brands that made something blaster/launcher-related.
    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!

    Let's connect:
    Instagram: Blasterbot1984
    Twitter: @VasTheStampede
    YouTube
    Google+
     


    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

    Nerf Rival Firing/Demo Video! Fresh from New York Toy Fair!

    Nerf Rival Firing and Demo video from New York Toy Fair
     Vas The Stampede

    Here's what you're here for:



    Nerf Rival Zeus and Apollo
     Blasters for the line:


    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 Zeus in Red
    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:
     
    Word has it these blasters will hit 100 fps, and up the accuracy in ways not seen before with Nerf blasters. While we won't know for sure 'til these are released, I'm very intrigued with the intention and design of these blasters. Additional ammo, ammo tubes, and colored masks will be available when the line is launched.
    I'll continue to update with more Toy Fair reviews and thoughts as I get them done. You can imagine, there are a lot of pictures and videos to go through! Thanks!
    Questions? Concerns? Leave them in the comments below!



    Saturday, February 14, 2015

    Toy Fair 2015 - There, and Back Again. (Nerf and More Round up!)

    Toy Fair 2015 Preview - Expectations and a look back at Blasters in 2014
    Vas The Stampede

    Sorry it's been awhile, you all! Just a heads up, while I maintain here, I am also posting content at the following:

    Instagram: Blasterbot1984
    Facebook: Foam From Above

    Just like the title says, I am here in New York City, and ready to go for another round at the New York Toy Fair. The blaster scene is a little different from last year, but there's a lot of buzz surrounding this year's show. Dare I say it, possibly even more than last year.

    NERF:

    Nerf had a hit on their hand it seems with the Rebelle line, expanding on the roleplay/bow and arrow aspect of the blasters to appeal to young girls. While I have my own opinions about gender specific toys, the line is still around, and going strong. So strong in fact, there will be a whole slew of new blasters to check out at this year's show, including the Revolution Bow:

    Image taken from Toyqueen, writing for about.com

     
    Nerf's largest release (literally) was something not on display last year, the Nerf Rhinofire. After the initial releases of the Slingfire, the Mega Thunderbow, and the Nerf Cam ECS-12, Nerf crashed through with one of the biggest, full auto blasters to date. While pricey and even a pain to reload, the blaster was a lot of fun to use.


    There is already a large amount of buzz for Nerf in 2015 as well, starting with info about the Rotofury, The Doominator, the Nerf Modulus, and most recently today, NERF RIVALS.


    The Rotofury
    Nerf Rival blaster (this is the Zeus MVX-1200)
    Nerf Zombie Strike DOOMINATOR
    Needless to say, that's a lot of blaster to look at over the weekend. I'll be back Sunday with the report on Nerf, after my visit to their showroom that morning.

    Other Brands:
     
    Tomorrow is the actual Day 1 of Toy Fair, but the Hasbro Showroom isn't open to tours yet, just a special event. That being the case, I'm going to spend time checking out the other brands such as Zing Toys, Primetime Toys (makers of the Scorpion Gatling Gun), Hogwild Toys (the Power Poppers makers), Marshmallow Shooters, Maya Group (whose offering this year might be something different, the branding doesn't seem Xploderz related but you never know), Zuru (if you bought the Vigilante), and of course, K'Nex and their K-Force. BOOMco will also be on hand at Mattel's showroom, but I won't get a look at their new stuff until Monday, during one of their media events.

    That being said, you never can be too sure what else might be on that show floor. I've seen push rockets, something called a "Titan Torpedo" (which looked a lot like the throwable Uberdart), and maybe there will be some new vehicle blasters like the VMD cars and Attacknid. But that's part of the fun of the show for me, that extra sense of discovery!

    The big release from Zing last year, the Firetek Bow
    Ghostbusters Marshmallow Shooters first seen last year, just in time for the new film!

    It's going to be a busy few days, make sure to check the social links above for live-updates, but come back here for the full writeups. Thanks for your time!


    FOAMME FATALES

    RSS FEED - READ AS IT POSTS!