Saturday, June 23, 2018

Zach King's NerfNation Show Goes live! (#NerfnationShow)



YouTuber/Magician Zach King announced some time ago that he would be producing "The Nerf Nation Show" and here it is:



And.... there you have it.

- This particular episode was a little over 4 mins. long.
- Covered Jared's Epic Nerf Battle
- Showed off the Judge and the Nerf N-Strike Elite Infinus
- Running. So much running.
- Preview of the set they'll be using.

In previous videos, eagle-eyed commenters noted the Delta Trooper was in the arsenal and he shows off other new blasters in the series preview. There were a few good shots, it was nice to see JT in there, and Zach King is good on camera (not surprising considering his own channel and history) so it's a decent start of sorts? I would have liked more of an idea of what they're going to do with each segment but at least the production values are there and as I caught myself watching his magic videos for extended time future videos could be just as compelling. I'm not quite sure what the format of the show is going to be, but there's only one way to find out! Are you going to tune in again for the next episode?

And some actual Nerf news:

Nerf Perks
·         Be one of the FIRST to get the Nerf brand’s newest blasters. Starting July 1st, Nerf Perks members can use their points to redeem for any of the Nerf brand’s NEW blasters. Go to NerfPerks.com to redeem! Not a member? No problem! Sign up for free at nerfperks.com and start earning points! Open to US Residents 18+.
·         Members and non-members can use code NERF18 to get an extra 200 points to help you on your way to earning some awesome rewards.
·         Eligible Blasters include: Modulus Evader, Mega Thunderhawk, Elite Infinus, Elite Delta Trooper, Zombie Ripchain, Zombie Scravenger, Rival Prometheus, and Rival Hades

Nerf Fest
·         Get ready, because Nerf Fest is coming! All of the fall Nerf products will be hitting shelves on Monday, July 16th!

Street date for the new blasters is July 16th. New releases been spotted in Mexico and elsewhere (and the Delta Trooper is in the hands of some people already) but the samples should be coming out soon.

The Prometheus and the Hades by far were favorites, but I am really curious how the Mega Thunderhawk is going to be. It underperformed in my opinion at New York Toy Fair, so hopefully they made some adjustments since then and it's going to fly! The harmonica clip on that blaster isn't my favorite feature but the build itself was super solid, and the sliding barrel sheath(?) feature was pretty neat.

Nerf Mega Thunderhawk

Nerf Rival Prometheus

Nerf Rival Hades


Make sure to keep tabs for the next entry! By then it should be something from Buzz Bee. Or Zuru. Or maybe Nerf! And don't forget to keep tabs on my social channels as well.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Zuru: Flying Bug Attack Review (Clipfed, target shooting goes insect)



Zuru Launches new Flying Bugs with Flying Bug Attack kit
(Samples provided, but opinions remain my own)

Flying Bug Attack Single Pack

X-Shot Flying Bugs
Take down REAL flying targets with the NEW X-Shot Flying Bugs range! The latest addition to
ZURU’s hugely successful dart blaster range X-Shot Bug Attack which takes the action to the next
level with real moving targets. To get your bugs flying, simply place the bugs onto the motorized
launcher, press the pedal down with your foot and release to see the bugs soar in the air as you try
and take them down before they land! Featuring the exclusive new X-Shot Swarm-Seeker blaster - a
rapid fire blaster that can shoot 10 darts in rapid succession with an innovative side-loading clip
system! The X-Shot Flying Bugs Single Pack includes 1 Swarm Seeker blaster, launcher, 2 flying
bugs, and 12 darts (SRP $19.99). The Double Pack includes 2 Swarm Seeker blasters, launcher,
3 flying bugs and 24 darts (SRP $29.99). Ages 8+, Available July 2018.

STATS:




Includes: 12 zuru darts, 1 clip, Swarm Seeker blaster (aka Predator, according to the Zuru site), 2 flying bug targets, and 1 launcher.
Batteries: Requires 4 AA batteries (for bug launcher)
Range Claims: 90 ft
Other notes: Clip is compatible with the Zuru XShot Regenerator blaster, and those clips work with this pistol.

And Zuru is hot off to the races with their newest addition to the Bug Attack line, this time incorporating a helicopter/flying bug target to use with their blasters. The target is easy enough to use; you step on the pedal (video is still being worked on, that will be added in later), rev the rotors on the bug, release, and it flies off so you can shoot it down. The bugs banged into walls and the flying pattern isn't the easiest to follow, so maybe this will be great fun for target shooting, and higher in difficulty level.



The blaster itself is called the Swarm Seeker. It's a 10 shot clipfed blaster, and the clip is a typewriter/harmonica sideways orientation. Not my favorite placement on a pistol (as I would want to holster it) but the grip is comfortable for me and I didn't have any jams after firing 3 clips full of ammo. I also launched a few proper Nerf Accustrike rounds from the blaster, and didn't experience any jams using another brand of ammo. Accuracy from the blaster was pretty decent too, and while some Zuru darts did veer off from a straight line that was the exception more than the rule. As with all Zuru/XShot darts, these are also shorter darts than Nerf or most other brands.

The range I got from the Swarm Seeker (video coming later) went anywhere from 40-60 feet. Some of my shots were angled as well, but for a pistol that's not too bad and for a stock blaster fresh out of the box that's about what you would expect. The most telling thing about the blaster was that it had some decent accuracy.

Zuru dart is second from the left.

If I had any strikes against this blaster it's about the choice to orient the clip sideways. As previously stated, holstering it with the clip loaded is tricky, and the other option is to keep them separated while running around and THEN loading the blaster when you use it (if you decide to keep it as a sidearm). That seems inefficient. I also didn't notice a slamfire feature on the blaster, and while that's not a dealbreaker, I wouldn't have minded having it there.

The clip does make loading faster though (as opposed to one chamber at a time on a front-loading blaster) but only as long as you have loaded clips. Currently the only way to get any additional clips is thrifting, trading, or buying a Regenerator/another Flying Bug Attack kit. Zuru currently does not sell these clips (or the magazines for the Bug Attack Crossbow) separately.

Considering Zuru's past prices, $19.99 for the single kit itself is a deal. If you consider that a Strongarm on Amazon or most other pistols are about $12 for something that has less shots on a turret, that's an even better price. If you want to consider the Nerf Recon Mk II, which is a small (when no attachments used) clipfed blaster, it is certainly a lower price but you don't get the additional value of the launchpad and target, especially if you lack Nerf wars near you regularly. This is certainly a good set for a parent to get their kid(s) with the additional targets, which may keep the darts from flying at siblings and/or furniture. Even more intense players may dig the pistol, which I found comfortable to grip and fire, if not keep as a sidearm. Definitely worth a look once these are widely available later this Fall. Big thanks to Zuru for getting me these samples, and looking forward to more!


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Overwatch X Nerf press release! Nerf this, #Nerfnation

Everyone loving the Nerf Vortex releases? How about this news?




HASBRO JOINS BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT’S OVERWATCH® IN THE FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE AS MASTER TOY LICENSEE

Hasbro to Create Wide Range of Overwatch®Play Experiences

PAWTUCKET, R.I. & SANTA MONICA, CA – MAY 21, 2018 – Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) today announced that they have signed a licensing agreement with Blizzard Entertainment to become the global master toy licensee for the Overwatch® franchise. Hasbro will create a wide range of play experiences including NERF products, games and more, based on the growing Overwatch® universe and its characters. 

Overwatch is a highly-stylized team-based action game set in Earth’s near future. Featuring 27 playable heroes with unique powers and abilities, Overwatch immerses players in intense multiplayer showdowns where they must band together to keep the world safe from rising conflict. Overwatch is also the basis for the Overwatch League®, the first major global city-based esports league, featuring teams from Asia, Europe, and North America.

“We are thrilled to announce this partnership with Blizzard for the Overwatch franchise,” said Samantha Lomow, senior vice president, Hasbro. “The roster of bold, diverse characters, and a passionate following of more than 40 million players have inspired our teams to create an amazing product line that will not only appeal to the passionate Overwatch fan base, but also attract new fans into the Overwatch universe.”


The fight for the future will reach a new stage in January 2019, when Hasbro releases Overwatch® blasters in its NERF Rival line. Additional product categories will be launched Fall 2019 in the US and international markets. 

I have a slew of questions out to Nerf, stay tuned! 

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Adventure Force 200 Dart Pack - Walmart Exclusive, Quality Blasting on a Budget!

Adventure Force from Walmart $9.97 USD 200 round dart refill pack, "waffle darts" compatible with Nerf and other brand, available August 2018

Walmart steps up HUGE for the coming year, offering up a 200 dart pack under their "Adventure Force" brand, already filled to the brim with dart blasters. The darts take cues from the K'Nex K-Force blasters, and compare in shape to other "waffle" style darts available on Amazon. This is only the first product of the blaster related items for 2018 from Adventure Force, and if last year was any indicator there are big things coming for this year. Dart Zone, through Walmart's Adventure Force label look to push a quality blasting experience without the premium cost. And with the incoming prices for the next year in other brands, a little relief on the wallet might be just what parents are going to want when it comes time for gift-giving. Big thanks to Dart Zone for sending along a sample of the ammo, really looking forward to using these in play! My judgments are based on cursory testing of the darts from a few shots, naturally as I get to use these more I'll have a stronger opinion (opinions also remain my own, even with a provided sample). From what I've seen so far though, it's good, it's pretty good.



The Adventure Force waffle darts are in the center, green with blue tip. Zuru darts, while slightly cheaper, are still shorter than most darts.

A closer look to compare the dart heads: the KForce is on the left, EKind (I think), Dart Zone, and Ekind)

A quick search on Amazon.com shows some of the first results are 200 darts of various 3rd parties for $10+, Walmart will sell these 200 dart packs for less at the $9.97 USD mark they set. The Dart Zone Sureshot package for sale on Amazon is 100 darts for $14.99, not the same value as the Walmart pack. Make sure to shop "Adventure Force" at Walmart and you can be confident that you are buying darts safe from an established company that will ship appropriately and promptly for one of the best prices out there. Zuru makes a slightly cheaper 500 pack for $24.99, but those darts are shorter (shown in the first pic above) which can be a problem for some players (depending on the type of blaster they're using). So yes, the value is close but the dart length makes it a gamble on whether your blasters will work (if your blasters use magazines, this could affect reliability feeding. Front-loaded blasters obviously are less troubled by dart length than blasters that use magazines.

As I stated before, the bonus of buying through Adventure Force is that one of the companies making the products for the Adventure Force line, Dart Zone, is an experienced and established blaster/toy company, not just a listing on the internet. You know the BallistixOps line, the Dart Zone chain blasters (Enforcer, Dart Storm, Light Command) in recent history, and their dart making has hit some leaps and bounds since they first appeared. Some people know the third party brands they trust but this pack remains competitive even with some of those. If you need to make a run on ammo in a pinch, just run out to the store and not have to worry about waiting for shipping.

The foam of the Adventure Zone waffle darts are on par with anything else I've used as far as foam dart ammo is concerned. It did feel a bit too squishy trying out the front loading of a Tri-Fire, but ultimately the darts fired just fine, they loaded well. Durability will really test during summer play, or hopefully in an arena somewhere. Definitely no complaints from me regarding the shape, the feel, or the flight path of the darts. The video above illustrates some of my findings firing these out of stock blasters.
The darts were impressive! I had maybe one ricochet off a wall, but for the most part the darts all stayed within the center and grouped in the middle of the hallway. That's a far cry from some other darts that fly every which way; maybe far distances but definitely nowhere near what you want to tag sometimes. It's a promising start for the first item of Adventure Force for 2018, coming from Dart Zone. Looking forward to what the summer reveals will bring!

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Thursday, May 03, 2018

Nerf VORTEX New (Again?) For 2018! - Nerf News


Nerf Vortex Returns in Fall 2018
Vas The Stampede

UPDATED: Unboxing video posted 5/8/2018 and Nerf Vortex Vigilon 2011 vs Nerf Vortex Vigilon 2018






And my old firing video of the original release of the Pyragon - 



NERF VORTEX VTX PYRAGON Blaster
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $59.99/Available: Fall 2018)
Take battling to the next level with the NERF VORTEX VTX PYRAGON blaster! With a 40-disc drum, this blaster is the highest-capacity VORTEX blaster yet. Battlers can take aim to swamp the competition with a fast-flying barrage of discs. Fire one disc at a time or fire all 40 darts rapidly with slam-fire action. With discs that can bank, curve, and ricochet, the competition will have to stay alert to keep track of their trajectory. Package includes blaster and 40 discs. Available exclusively at Target.



NERF VORTEX VTX PRAXIS Blaster
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $34.99/Available: Fall 2018)
Get ready for awesome free-style blasting with the NERF VORTEX VTX PRAXIS blaster! Pump-action power and removable clips allow battlers go the distance, keeping the competition on their toes.Load one clip into the blaster and keep the second nearby for quick reloading. Blast fast and create trick shots with discs that can bank, curve, and ricochet. The competition will never see them coming! Package includes blaster, two 10-disc clips and 20 discs. Available exclusively at Target.

And the first shot I fired out of the Vigilon as soon as I received samples way back when.


NERF VORTEX VTX VIGILON Blaster
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99/Available: Fall 2018)
Bend the rules of battle to create all kinds of trick shots with the NERF VORTEX VTX VILIGON blaster! The VORTEX VTX VIGILON blaster sends discs soaring through the air for rule bending bombardment. Open the drop-down door to access the internal clip, load five discs inside, then take aim and send one disc at a time. Re-load the clip for minimum reloading time and maximum blasting. The battle is on! Package includes blaster and 10 discs. Available exclusively at Target.

NERF VORTEX VTX DISC REFILL
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: Fall 2018)
Blast discs that soar and ricochet with the NERF VORTEX VTX blasters! Create all kinds of trick shots with these soft, flexible discs. Stock up for rule-bending battles with this refill pack that includes 20 NERF VORTEX VTX discs! Includes: 20 discs. Available exclusively at Target.

The initial leaked images were true! Nerf Vortex, after a few years of non-releases and hearing that lessons were learned from the line, is back! Coming out this fall (in addition to all the other huge releases) Nerf Vortex blasters are going to be exclusive to Target and having new colors with some of the old blasters of yore. No Nitron or Proton so far, but everything old is new again. The ranges were ok when compared to Nerf blasters pre-Elite but the real bonus (to some folks) was that the discs could be fired just right to  hook around an obstacle someone may be hiding behind. Mr. S at Nerd Drop figured it was Nerf's "trick shot" line, and that was pretty true considering some of the marketing that followed after. Another story that came out was that it was going to be a whole "Vortex Vs Elite" theme between the two lines, but was deemed too aggressive for the 8+ crowd (so I heard).

Most of the feedback from other players were the discs were too expensive considering the disposable nature of Nerf wars, or the discs were inaccurate. Some players loved it but sales didn't seem to translate well, especially after the Elite line was released. It was another ammo type to buy and when you combine the cost of ammo, that's not a good mix. But the line is back (and for a more expensive price, but that's the cost of inflation over years, maybe.) 

Either way, looking forward to the samples, and now it looks like the Vortex side of my collection gets new life breathed into it! Lock and Load, Nerf Nation.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

"GIANT NERF BATTLE" - Illinois -The Write Up

Giant Nerf Battle takes place in Illinois - Around 200 Fling Foam in the Avanti's Dome in Pekin, IL
A look at the field they set up for this event

With Click Click BAMF and some of his Iowa crew
I heard about the "Giant Nerf Battle" in Pekin, IL from the Internet (maybe CJ from ClickClickBamf tipped me off...) about a month ago, so naturally I kept tabs on it. I reached out to the host, followed the Facebook event, CJ was coming in with a few people from his crew out there so naturally, I made preparations to attend.

There's an event in Dallas called "Jared's Epic Nerf Battle" and it just wrapped up its 3rd year. I haven't made it there, so given the proximity (2.5 hours) to go to Pekin vs. the much larger (and costly) trip of going to Dallas, I at least had to try to go to the Giant Nerf Battle.

What I knew was it was going to be in the Avantis Dome (pictured above), an inflatable dome somewhere in near Morton, IL. This was a first year event (the host, Mike, had held paintball events before, but this was the first time he was running a "Nerf" type event.) Knowing it was a first time thing, my expectations were low. With any convention, fan event, anything, if it's a year One, I don't expect much. Also, the rules, some promo material, were strangely reminiscent of the materials/videos/rules affiliated with Jared's Epic Nerf Battle. Keeping all this in mind, I didn't really know what to expect but any expectations had to be realistic.

There were a few rules right off the bat -

The main theme for the games were "Cubs vs Cards" which was basically Red vs Blue... if you showed up with Cubs gear/blue clothing you were assigned to the Cubs side of the field, Red/Cards gear meant the opposite side. A winner was declared at the end of each game, a point given to the Cubs or Cards accordingly. For those who may be scratching your head, Cubs is for "Chicago Cubs" and "Cards" is "St. Louis Cardinals", eternal enemies in Major League Baseball's National League.

Each game was going to be 6:00 - the first 3 minutes allowed respawning (run back to your "base" and tag in) and the last 3 minutes meant no more respawns. You couldn't cross the midfield line until the last 1-2 minutes of each game. What that meant to me was to sit in the back until the last 3 minutes, and start then. There was no real incentive/rule to do anything before elimination. People would shoot at me, but all that meant was more ammo on our side of the field.

Games would be different themes, different age groups, different blaster types (all Rival, all Dart, I heard there was an HvZ round too) but same time limits each time, with a 10 minute or so break to collect ammo/reload.

The crowd looked just under 200 to me, (maybe close to 120 or so, including staff) and games had maybe upwards of 80 people on the field at one time. Final estimates look to be closer to 200 according to the field employees.

THE RUNDOWN:

Having been at the game, I have thoughts/opinions. I drove my own way there, I paid my own ticket in, if I got anything out of it it was CJ covering my food (thanks, man!)

The Field:

- Getting inside, the Avantis Dome was a single field with a few bleachers on the side for staging. It was nice enough and the field was big enough to accommodate the crowd. No real complaints there. I'm fielding opinions still on the field itself though... there was turf I think but the ground wasn't very forgiving. I avoided sliding too much or doing any rolling as I had a near 3 hour drive back and didn't want to increase chances of bringing an injury home. According to some folks, turf is supposed to be a bit squishy and soft, definitely not what I think I felt in this case.

- There were bunkers, and a lot of them! There was still a lot of space and lines to get your foam through, but the fun part happened when you could finally cross over to the other side. Otherwise I saw people finding favorite obstacles to stay behind or just standing in the open if they were farther back. I think I would have preferred having things a little tighter considering the size of the crowd. It did get intense the closer you got to midfield but the back rows were safe havens practically.

- Because it was in a stadium, the "rules" to the event included using only clear/transparent bags on the field. I had reached out to Mike (the host) if this meant we could bring in tubs or other lockable storage so long as we used transparent bags during play, but probably due to the hectic run-up to the event he hadn't responded. I ended up purchasing new transparent bags to bring, but after arriving there it looked like that didn't matter. I saw players showing up in military harnesses and running onto the field and no officials said anything. People were staging out of opaque tubs and no one got stopped there either. I ended up switching out for my usual belt/pouch combo and carried on in spite of the posted rules. 18 under had to keep eye protection on when on the field, and 18+ had it optional. For the most part, I didn't hear about any serious eye injuries.

- Side note, they had various blasters and ammo for purchase as I found out, and along with that some ammo. I did find full vinyl jacket (FVJ) darts on those tables, as well as on the field. Not my favorite decision to sell that ammo as it's banned at numerous meetups I know of, but I wonder if they researched ammo types available. (Again, this was a first time Nerf-style event for Mike.)

The Crowd:

- Lots of families (not surprising) and thus the younger side of 8+, unsurprising for an event like this. Parents would sometimes just be there to help their kid reload or track down ammo, but weren't shooting blasters themselves. Props to them for bringing their kid to something unique like this.

- Honor system was... a guideline at best. I recall at least one moment that I had to stare at a kid to get him to respawn after tagging him out. Other players were crossing the 50 yard line before we were "allowed" to do so, referees were apparently not enforcing hits/rules too well (according to the folks I spoke with) and if you tried to tell people yourself I know at least one instance someone got a rude hand gesture for it. Nevermind some of the profanity I heard from adults yelling at kids, or other people just looking to talk garbage to others. Sure, it happens in large crowds but still doesn't make it right.

- For the most part the attendees were there to play and burn off some energy/have a good time. Hits weren't super serious to count, and the only real detractor was any rude/off color behavior. We're already getting together to shoot Nerf toys, that's inherently silly as it is. Let's not be jerks while we're at it. I suppose the issue I have with some of lack of enforcement is that there was an actual exchange of money involved here, a ticket purchased. If I wanted to horse around with blasters in a freeform scenario for a few hours I didn't have to drive almost 3 hours to get there and pony up the money for a ticket. I could have gotten some friends together and did that closer to home.

The Game:

- As I mentioned, the rules were loosely enforced so with that in mind it was a loose gameplay experience. The uncrossable line seemed to catch some people off-guard and it didn't matter to other players anyway, as I saw. The problem here seemed to be communication before the event in order to give players ample notice. Again, not that serious to keep to a strict play pattern but if you're going in and paying money you almost want some structured game types to differentiate from what you can do at home.
- There was only elimination played, really. I would not have minded an attempt at few different game types like capture the flag or attack and defend variants. Again, this is where communication ahead of time would have been good. At a paintball event, Living Legends, the midfield area has scoring pods (on a hill) and people have to run foam bricks from their side into these pods. I don't know how it would have worked here but something like that might have been a lot of fun with that much foam flying through the air. In a way to just have one game type (and maybe there was a zombies round) constantly played for 3 hours smacks of lack of planning and insight. Sure, it works for the majority of the crowd to have elimination but there is more out there to try out just for fun as well.
- No water fountains or stations available. Maybe I can be corrected in the comments, and yes there were in/out privileges for the arena, but if you weren't buying water/refreshments at the concession stand. I think you just had to go thirsty. A concession stand was made available and I appreciate that food and drinks were there, but it seemed off to not even have the option to take a quick drink if you needed it, you had to leave and wait in line. Just seemed odd to me if that was the case.

ClickClickBAMF has a whole video on our chat after the event, keep an eye out for that! While it was great that a stadium game happened in Illinois, we weren't sure this was the best foot forward. It was a first year event and had some definite issues, but maybe if they do more events they'll put on a better show. I would like to say I am all ready to get back onto their field for the next game in June, but to be honest, I am neutral to going again. I wish them well on future games though, and hope to see more from Pekin Paintball in the future. For now though, it's just not a good fit for what I want out of paying money to Nerf vs what was presented.

Monday, April 09, 2018

REVIEW: Mukikim X Roll-In Voice Bomb Recorder with Motion Alarm Toy

REVIEW: Mukikim X Roll-In Voice Bomb Recorder with Motion Alarm Toy



BUY YOURS ($16.99 at Amazon.com, not an affiliate link)

Big thanks to Mukikim for the sample! Super fun toy to distract your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of the opposition. Takes 2 AA batteries to get moving, and the super effective microphone is great for picking up your voice. Plastic construction means no throwing and I wouldn't advise dropping it into position, but like the name says, "Roll" is recommended.

It's motion-activated, so whether you roll it in place or position it, push red to record, speak, and place, and watch shenanigans happen. It's a robust build of a toy, and could find a home in many blaster games or just for some good old wacky hijinks. Definitely a recommend, fun for all ages and not a bad cost either (and for just under $20 definitely worth it for the amount of jokes you can pull off, just ask my wife and coworkers).


  • Collect all SpyX toys for the ultimate spy play experience.
  • Voice Recording Ball with Motion Alarm to Alert any Intruders of Your Spy Message. Fun for unlimited play situations and hours of laughs!
  • 360 Degree Automatic Motion Alarm Activation, so Intruders Won't Make it Through Unseen.
  • Record up to 10 seconds - this ball has a loudspeaker with a protective speaker grill to Play Back Your Recorded Message.
  • Innovative Ball Design Helps You Easily Roll-in Your Secret Spy Message.



FOAMME FATALES

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