Wednesday, November 01, 2017

HasCon 2018: Dates Announced!

Hey readers (anyone still out there?)

The news came out last week, but ICYMI, HasCon 2018 dates are announced!

Second-Ever HASCON FANmily Event Scheduled for Sept. 6 - 8, 2019 in Providence, R.I.

PAWTUCKET, R.I. – Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) today announced that it will host its second-ever
HASCON event Sept. 6 - 8, 2019, in Providence, R.I. at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin’Donuts Center.

Hasbro hosted its inaugural HASCON event this past September, offering families and fans of all ages a completely new way to experience its brands, and a behind-the- scenes pass to the world of Hasbro. The event featured three days of hands-on brand experiences, meet-and- greets, sneak peeks, concerts, exclusive reveals, star-studded panels and fan-centric surprises.

“We couldn’t be happier with the feedback we’ve received from our inaugural HASCON event,” said
John Frascotti, president, Hasbro, Inc. “We’re looking forward to once again delivering immersive
entertainment experiences around our brands for fans and families in 2019.”

The 2017 event featured dozens of meet-and- greet opportunities with celebrities, athletes and
influencers, including Mark Wahlberg, Stan Lee, David Ortiz, James White, Dude Perfect, Maddie Ziegler, James Gunn, Zach King, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, and Isabela Moner, among others. Concerts by Flo Rida and Daya were included with the purchase of a general admission HASCON ticket. Guests were also invited to audition for a Hasbro video, and to select a toy or game to donate to the Marine Toys for Tots for children impacted by recent hurricanes.

More details about the 2019 HASCON event, including information about ticket packages, will be posted on http://hascon.hasbro.com.

Here's a video of last year's trailer:



I missed out on it this year, hopefully I will be in attendance for the 2nd one. The Kronos and a slew of other upcoming Nerf blasters were announced, so it's definitely a show to watch for! There's something to be said about the trade shows for sure, but it's a little different when the brand themselves put on their own show that gives you a direct line to the brand masterminds themselves.

Hope everyone had a great Halloween! I haven't been posting here as often as I would have liked, but you can still find me on social media!

Instagram: foamfromabove
Twitter: Blasterbot1984
Facebook: Foam From Above

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Nerf Spring 2018 prices and press information!

Nerf Spring 2018 - information and prices

NERF N-STRIKE ELITE SURGEFIRE Blaster
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99/Available: Spring 18)

Slam-fire the competition in a sea of foam darts with the NERF N-STRIKE ELITE SURGEFIRE blaster! With a rotating drum that holds up to 15 darts, this blaster has both slam-fire and pump action blasting. Fans can choose a target and blast one dart at a time, or slam-fire all 15 darts to pour on the firepower. Package includes blaster and 15 Elite darts. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.

NERF MEGA TRI-BREAK Blaster
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: Spring 18)

Break into battle with the NERF MEGA TRI-BREAK blaster! This blaster features a break-open barrel that holds up to three MEGA Whistler darts. Flip open the barrel, load your darts, prime, and unleash MEGA power. Package includes blaster and three MEGA Whistler darts. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.

NERF MODULUS MEDIATOR Blaster
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Spring 18)

Customization has met its match! The NERF MODULUS MEDIATOR blaster has numerous attachment points for accessories within the MODULUS system which features over 1,000 different combinations. The MEDIATOR offers pump-action and slam-fire blasting so battlers can be ready for anything that comes their way. Slide the clip into the side of the blaster and unleash fire! Attach the MEDIATOR barrel and MEDIATOR stock (each sold separately) to create the MEDIATOR XL blaster for ultimate fun. Package includes blaster, clip attachment, 6-dart clip and six Elite darts. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.

NERF MODULUS MEDIATOR STOCK Attachment
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: Spring 18)

Upgrade firepower with the MODULUS MEDIATOR stock attachment! Hidden inside the stock is a double-barrel blaster firing one dart at a time with hammer-action blasting power. Dart storage and convenient clip makes the MEDIATOR stock a must for the battlefield. Package includes stock, blaster, and four Elite darts. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.

NERF MODULUS MEDIATOR BARREL Attachment
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: Spring 18)

The MODULUS MEDIATOR barrel attachment is an epic upgrade to any battle! Convert the barrel into a blaster featuring pressurized 3-dart blasting power! Flip the handle to switch from barrel to blaster, pump, and fire to release a triple-dart burst. Package includes barrel attachment and three Elite darts. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.

NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE REVREAPER Blaster
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99/Available: Spring 18)

The zombies are getting stronger, but so are the survivors battling them. The NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE REVREAPER blaster has no trigger, just pump the handle once to fire a dart at the oncoming zombie herds with ease. With a visible gear mechanism, battlers can watch the gears turn as they launch the darts. The top-loading clip fires 10 ZOMBIE STRIKE darts to keep the zombies at bay. Package includes blaster, 10-dart clip, and 10 ZOMBIE STRIKE darts. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.

NERF RIVAL KRONOS XVII-500 Blaster
(Ages 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Spring 18)
Rival battle will never be the same now that the RIVAL PHANTOM CORPS line has arrived. Head into battle as a member of the Phantom Corps team with the RIVAL KRONOS XVIII-500 blster. Open the breach to load five high-impact rounds into the blaster, prime, aim, and fire! This spring-action blaster sends rounds flying at 90 feet per second. Attach a red or blue flag to choose between Team Red, Team Blue, or choose neither to stay with Team Phantom Corps. Package includes blaster, five high-impact rounds, and two team flags. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.

NERF RIVAL HELIOS XVIII-700 Blaster
(Ages 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $29.99/Available: Spring 18)

Experience the intensity of NERF RIVAL with the HELIOS XVII-700 blaster! Join the Phantom Corps with the HELIOS XVII-700 blaster and its 7-round magazine that sends high-impact rounds flying at 100 feet per second at the opposing team. Slide the bolt and pull the trigger to unleash unrivaled power! Change from the Phantom Corps Team to Team Red or Team Blue with the simple switch of the flag. Package includes blaster, magazine, seven high-impact rounds, and two team flags. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.

NERF MICROSHOTS SERIES Assortment
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $6.99/Available: Spring 18)

Blast into big fun with the NERF MICROSHOTS SERIES Collectible Assortment! MICROSHOTS blasters capture the iconic look of the original NERF blasters fans know and love, but in a micro, scrunched-down fun style all their own. Simply load, prime, and pull the trigger for big fun in a small package. This one-shot blaster is as fun to collect as it is to blast! Series includes one micro-sized version of the NERF N-STRIKE ELITE FIRESTRIKE blaster, NERF N-STRIKE ELITE STRONGARM blaster, and ZOMBIE STRIKE HAMMERSHOT blaster. Each package includes one blaster and two Elite darts. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.

Big thanks to Nerf for sending this along! Posting this from my phone, so images to follow later. In the meantime, enjoy the pricing information.

Not sure how I feel about the Mediator being pieced out separately, but given the pricing Hasbro had last year maybe that is a bit easier for people in the long run?

Thanks for coming by!

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Nerf Doomlands Judge! New Nerf Blaster that Needs a Bigger Gear Bag

Test Firing the Nerf "The Judge" for the Doomlands line... a huge blaster in its own right. Sample provided by Nerf, but thoughts and opinions remain my own!



NERF DOOMLANDS THE JUDGE Blaster
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $59.99/Available: Fall 2017)
Bring justice to a doomed land with the DOOMLANDS THE JUDGE blaster. With an impressive 30 dart capacity, THE JUDGE blaster can fire three darts at once! This massive blaster is ready for anything the post-apocalyptic wasteland can send its way. Includes 30 DOOMLANDS Elite darts. Available at most major retailers nationwide and HasbroToyshop.com.

Basic Statistics:

MSRP: $59.99
Available: Now
Capacity: 30 shots (3 shot bursts, shotgun style. No shells. Front-loading in 3 dart groupings)
Includes: Judge, 30 elite streamline darts, HUGE BOX

Test fired the Nerf Doomlands Judge in the above video. Watch the assembly below!



The blaster itself is incredibly.... ridiculous. It's HUGE. The box itself has an "actual size" photo to shock and awe parents and kids alike in the toy aisle. And with good reason, as an adult the blaster is about the diameter of my torso and definitely eclipses my head when I place it in front of me. On pure aesthetics, this blaster is already quite an imposing image, or maybe a cartoon, depending on your point of view.

Gargantuan in dimension, the blaster is ungainly to wield. Pump-action makes dual-wielding nigh impossible, and and the surface area of the muzzle ensures that going around corners and finding good hiding spots in stealth are not a real consideration. Not when your blaster is the size of a small shrub. Does that make it a scrub, oh no, it makes it visible, and aggrolicious (I find big blasters tend to attract fire and attention from opposing teams and players in a casual game; this can be exploited in the hands of a knowledgeable player.) That being said, the blaster comes off initially as intimidating and with a three round burst is pretty effective in close quarters once it can be brought around to bear.

Performance wise, the blaster can be said to have more bark than bite. The ranges don't seem much different from the initial product I saw at New York Toy Fair, and that was around 30'-50'. Angled or not, that was the most definite range. Not terribly different from the Sledgefire, but at least it had A WAY LARGER PAYLOAD (30 darts vs. 3+shell) and could be used as a shield (within certain gametypes). The spread wasn't anything particularly astounding considering the 3 dart burst, and there was some loss of range on at least one dart in those bursts. The loss is usually where the 30' mark came from. The key point is to consider this a truly close quarters blaster, and use it as such. If rules allow, use it as a shield. If they don't, then be smart about aiming and when you try to run and gun with this blaster. The pump action is smooth, but the lack of a slamfire feature and again, the size for a short range blaster gives a player some extra tactical considerations.

Ultimately, if you're let down by the range, then make sure to keep your focus in the Nerf Elite, Nerf Mega, and Nerf Rival areas of consideration. Unless otherwise stated, the thematic lines focus more on roleplay and fantasy/imagination play with blasters than outright performance. And The Judge, as a member of the Doomlands 2169, is highly indicative of that. You're getting a relatively high capacity "shotgunned" blaster for close quarters and a lot of people as casual Nerf blaster users would love that. Who wouldn't want to bust this out for some mischief on coworkers, classmates, and possibly unsuspecting family members? The Nerf Doomlands Judge makes an over the top statement about what it does as a blaster, and works the immersive angle of being some wasteland superhero with a large inventory of weapons of even larger construction. That's the focus, and not squeezing out an extra 10' on minimizing dead space or barrel fit. Doomlands is how some people play, and it gives them just the fantasy weapon to express themselves with.

The Judge is $60 roughly, available now. Is it worth it? If you can spring it and don't mind the difference in range to most other blasters, then yes. Heck yes. It's ridiculous, and that's enough for me. If you want your accuracy and range a little higher, then it's better to pass on this for a Rival (like the newly available Hera) or Nerf Elite (the Regulator is a good fun blaster out now as well.)

Hope this review helps, feel free to sound off in the comments! 'Til next time.


Tuesday, September 05, 2017

RECOIL: THE WORLD IS NOW (available at Target and other retailers!) Game

Nerdist/Geek & Sundry just did such a great job with an overview:


Sponsored content brought to you by Recoil!


RECOIL PHOTO GALLERY

RECOIL: The World is Now Game - a new and really intriguing take on Augmented Reality, mixing it with laser tag, implementing perks/power ups from video games, a heads up display (HUD), mobile gaming, scorekeeping, a life bar, and just a whole lot of features other systems have tried before and didn't excel in. Recoil though, is a little different!

I haven't tried the game play yet (that's coming in a future installment, the game doesn't have a single player feature and I need to wrangle some willing victims) so let's talk about what each kit in the line comes with. For now that entails the Starter Kit with Game/Wi-Fi Hub, The Recoil RK-45 Spitfire, the Recoil SR-12 Rogue, and the Recoil Frag Grenade.

FIRST - The Starter Kit.

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RECOIL Multiplayer Starter Set
·       Real-time player tracking up to 16 players
·       Location based gameplay powered by GPS
·       3D positional audio for ultimate battle awareness
·       Real time voice chat between players
·       Unique gameplay modes for outdoor & indoor play
·       Add-on mobile players
·       Location-based pick-ups and virtual weapons
·       Height: 7.75” Length: 11” Width: 1.7”  
·       Ages 12+, SRP $129.99
Requires 12 AA batteries (4 for the Spitfire x 2, 4 for the wi-fi hub)

The largest investment you're going to have in the system, both in cash and batteries. BUT, the wi-fi hub has a range of 250 feet in any direction (500 both ways!), and a whole new Augmented Reality system to play. The game involves air strikes, land mines, actual respawn points and bases via the app, which leaves a whole slew of new avenues to raise your laser tag game. You get a lot of bang for your buck in experience, not to say about the robust build of the toy blasters themselves. Batteries are not included with any Recoil game kit and this requires 12, so rechargeable batteries could be a good idea.

The Game Hub is a neat piece of technology. You fire it up and use your mobile device to connect to the wi-fi signal generated by the hub (no internet, obviously. It's just enough to allow the mobile phones to run the app and interact.) A hub can support up to 16 people to play at one time and generates the game, maps, etc. to get set up and play. One tip Skyrocket offers is that you hit airplane mode on your device first, THEN activate wi-fi (and connect to the obvious Recoil network), followed by bluetooth and location services. That will make connecting to just the hub and blaster units easier as it eliminates any rival device signals. 16 people only! Stacking Game Hubs does not equal a larger field (but man, that would be cool.)

The Recoil App is free to download (and you don't need the blasters to play, you can just connect to the hub and game with your phone if you are the odd person out from the starter kit) and you can still play in the game.  Setting out mines is an option as is supplying teammates with ammo. Skyrocket really made sure to make the game highly inclusive if you just get the starter pack.

The app uses GPS signals (at least for outdoor play; at the time of this article an inside version of the skirmish game had not been released yet but was in the works) that show up mapped during gameplay on the app. From there players can locate each other, bases, see the results of damage from airstrikes, grenades, see the time left in a round, scoreboard, and life bars. The game also comes with scannable AR tags that you can use during gameplay for powerups. This will all be displayed in an upcoming gameplay video ;) The following are some screencaps from the app itself. It's really interesting to see just how much you actually have to offer once you get a game going.


Max game settings - they weren't playing that long

Perks!

Find your respawn.



To my knowledge you can't expand a game past 16 people and I am not sure how well this would operate from an elevated position (say in a park with some staircases or on a jungle gym) but I am still very taken with the promises this toy line is making, and just from the little testing I've done outside of a full game there is a lot of good stuff here to take away after that initial buy. There's just so much you can do that relies on the "honor system" anywhere else. Another note, it looks like you can only connect one bluetooth blaster to your phone at a time, so no complicated loadouts. With the easy reloading though, that makes sense to not have to carry a primary and sidearm, I think.

Another feature is the environmental sound of the game; as gunfire sounds off around you in-game, you hear it directionally through your head phones based on your position vs the position of other players. It's recommended you wear headphones when playing in order to achieve the full surround sound effect. Also, the push to talk buttons make sure that when you tag/get tagged, you can communicate your enthusiasm or lack thereof to your victims/enemies. Also, makes sure you know who to get revenge on later.

Then comes your pistol - 
Recoil RK-45 Spitfire


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RECOIL RK-45 Spitfire
·       Compact, versatile and effective in all battle types
·       Fully automatic with quick ammo reload
·       Push-to-talk button for real-time player chat
·       Dynamic force feedback
·       High-powered IR transmitters
·       Manual reload mechanism
·       Camera mount
·       BLE enabled for smart phone connection
·       Body-mounted sensor for full coverage
·       Includes: Direct Bluetooth connect and downloadable mobile game app
                 Ages 12+, SRP $49.99 

What's really cool about the Recoil blaster units is not the bluetooth connectivity to your mobile device, or interfacing with the game, but the tactile feedback from the tagger units! I didn't realize this when I first learned about the Recoil game, but the blasters flash red and make firing noises like some old school toys I had that did the same thing. That right there can be a lot of fun, but given the price you do need a little more, which Recoil definitely promises and delivers. ;)

The Spitfire requires 4 AA batteries, has a push to talk button on the back of the blaster, and three hit sensors on three different sections of the front of the blaster. A fourth sensor is plugged into the bottom handle and placed in your back pocked or the back of your shirt collar in order to set you up to be shot from behind. Less scrupulous individuals need not apply that won't use the 4th sensor. Still though, it's a very solid toy, good plastic and has some heft. The futuristic styling is cool and reminiscent to me of some video games. The phone mount is on the side, so it doesn't obstruct my natural tendency to aim down the sight of a blaster. As far as intro weapons go, this is a winner on aesthetics and feel. 

A little bit louder now with a rifle (higher ranges than the Spitfire supposedly, requires further testing)!

Recoil SR-12 Rogue

Battery compartment

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RECOIL SR-12 Rogue
·       High fire-rate, magazine capacity and damage output
·       Fully automatic with quick ammo reload
·       Push-to-talk button for real-time player chat
·       Dynamic Force Feedback
·       Improved rate of fire and range
·       High-powered IR transmitters
·       Manual reload mechanism
·       Camera mount
·       BLE enabled for smart phone connection
·       Body-mounted sensor for full coverage
·       Includes: Direct Bluetooth connect and downloadable mobile game app
·       Height: 9” Length: 26.875” Width: 3” 
·       Ages 12+, SRP $79.99

For a few dollars more, you get a higher ammo capacity and range in the Recoil SR-12 Rogue, moreso than you get out of the Spitfire. No mods to do here either, what you see is what you get. It requires 6 AA batteries as opposed to the 4 the Spitfire demands, but you get the added boosts as well. The Rogue feels solidly built as well, and features a phone mount spot on both sides of the blaster (depending on your dominant hand). More of the same with three hit sensors and a wearable fourth, good weight distribution, and sleek look. The tactical rails make me wonder if any future plans are in motion but that's a post for another day. If I had any nitpicks (and this is a minor one) it's that the push to talk button is only on one side of the blaster. But even with that, the button is easily reached with whatever hand is not on the trigger. Given the added firepower you get from the Rogue that's definitely not a deal breaker.

And now, A GRENADE. Again, similar technology in past products from other companies but this syncs up with your weapon as well in order to give you credit for your kills! 

Frag Grenade

I appreciate the detail at having a little clip to attach.


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RECOIL Frag Grenade
·       An explosive addition to your arsenal
·       High damage output
·       Large blast radius
·       Simple 1 button design
·       Time-delay explosion
·       Includes: (1) Frag Grenade
·       Height: 3.7” Length: 2.6” Width: 2.6” 
·       Ages 12+, SRP $14.99


The Recoil Frag Grenade is pretty cool because it has a couple of ways it works- you can sync it up with your blaster  to identify to anyone you used it if it took them out or give it a quick prime and throw for anonymous damage. The housing has some rubber on it to cushion it from impact, but definitely don't throw it directly at someone, it's still a hunk of plastic and electronics! This toy provides a radius of damage to opposing Recoil players, there's no need to hit someone directly with it. Just need to lob it in the general area and let the timer do the rest. I don't know how well the frag grenade takes impact against grass or hard surface from a high height or concrete but it definitely feels and looks like it can take a beating. It's a very good mechanic that has been missing in a lot of blaster games, and this just might be one of the better ways to implement a splash damage mechanic, one I am really looking forward to exhaustively experiment.

And that's the Recoil line for now! It's a really exciting line, and I can't wait to see what they might have planned for the future. There's a lot to do between up to 16 people and with Recoil The World is Game for as long as people want to make their backyards, parks, parking lots, garages, and offices (in the future) into competition areas. Available now, The World is Now Game. Make sure to try this out and see what the future of laser tag holds!


FOAMME FATALES

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