Thursday, March 28, 2013

Nerf Arena - It LIVES! (Quest, in the UK)

So way back in October, I ran across the story about Paragon Entertainment striking a deal with Hasbro/Nerf to create Nerf Arenas.  Well, the project came to fruition in a Place Called Quest:

Merryhill, I am jealous.

So the arena opens this Friday, but a pro shop of sorts and target range started up a few months ago.  So, what does this mean?  The UK's planning to have a bunch more locations like this set up, and anyone who might remember 2009-2011 might remember the Nerf Dart Tag League.

Old video of mine (before I had my current cameras, obviously)

Quick history lesson - from 2009-2010 the Nerf Dart Tag League was an event that ran/traveled alongside the Dew Tour Action Sport Tour, going to a number of cities and holding events in BMX, Skateboarding, whatever.  I was fortunate enough the BMX tournament stopped in Chicago, so of course I went (it was actually going to this event that got me on Nerf's radar, and the rest is history.)

A pro video of the event:

So this format carried on for 2 years, and then in 2011 the format changed to a one-day tourney in Florida, separate from the Dew Tour and the gigantic inflatable arena was replaced by a more traditional field.  Louie C3 was there, and I believe Rogue paid him a visit in that final year of the NDTL.

Some of the stats on the original battledome (the original NDTL was run by a different company, and the stats of their battledome follow):

"...100-square-foot inflatable dome for the NERF Dart Tag Tournament games. Measuring a monstrous 40 feet wide by 20 feet high by 76 feet long, the dome featured an interior maze of obstacles, home bases, and recharge centers."

The Quest version looks WAY BIGGER, judging by the relative size of the people inside vs. where the walls, doors, obstacles, and so on.  Count on it, I studied as much of the original dome as I could back then and burned it to memory.

EDIT:  The new arena is "...25m x 10m.  That’s 250 sqm or 2500 square feet!" (quoted directly from Paragon Entertainment)

Quick aside:  Visit Quest's Facebook page so you can have a chance to be one of the first to play in the arena, win passes, or qualify as the Biggest Nerf Fan they're looking for!  Good luck to all of you!

Games inside the dome were fast-paced, frantic, and awesome.  Darts bounced off walls, people vaulted (and often crashed) into cover, and lord knows I hurdled a step or two in order to cap the flag.  However, this was also with Nerf Furyfires, and the tech has changed a lot since then.  The larger dome helps with the longer ranges, but I also wonder... in the promo shots those are clearly Dart Tag blasters, but I imagine Nerf Elite and other non-velcro ammo might be allowed? (Going to necessitate a follow up here, will update on my Facebook page.)  While Capture the Flag and Elimination might be the order of the day, I am curious as to what other game types might evolve from this whole setup.

EDIT :  Vortex, Elite, Dart Tag, all will be available for use at the arena!  (Which they will provide on loan, you don't have to bring anything they have it all for you.  Try before you buy!)

While venue sizes might differ, the UK is going to see a few more of these pop up, and then hit other markets from there.  As for the U.S. goes, no word on that yet but bet I'm following that news very carefully. But I think it's safe to say that Nerf's going international in a big consistent way.  And if that happens, then the possibilities are endless!

In any event, enjoy the arena, England.  Make it successful, that way they see there's a proper market out there just waiting for this. 


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Morning Nerf search reveals... A Fable

Found on Twitter; @Billwillingham of "Fables" & Vertigo comics fame might enjoy Nerf blasters.  The company we keep, community!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Guten (Dart) Tag - sends a video

I learn a few new things every day thanks to this hobby.  The German Nerf scene is alive and well, and Klotzi over at sent over this video of tuning up his personal Retaliator.  In order to assist with comparison, they even put up a graph showing the difference in sound levels between a stock and modded Retaliator.  Nice attention to detail! 

And this video looked pretty cool too.  :)  Keep it going, Germany!

Disclaimer:  Mod at your own responsibility!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mega Bloks Skylanders - Trigger Happy's Blaster and Ignitor's Sword!

Spotted these at Meijer, saw them first at Toy Fair, and now they're out!  Fresh from Skylanders (and Mega Bloks) - roleplay items!  Trigger Happy's Blaster and Ignitor's sword.  No sign of anything else yet, but you can see the photos :)

Going to hopefully have some samples in, and will let you know how these are!  There were some claws, and at least one more blaster expected from this line.  And kids love Skylanders.  The sword is foam, and it was confirmed the darts are compatible with Nerf darts when I was at Toy Fair.  Of course, I will REconfirm this when they come in.  Thanks!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Product Demo/Review: Foam Strike Pocket Shots - Monkey Business Sports!

Monkey Business Sports was awesome enough to send over some of their Foam Strike line, in this case Pocket Shots, their take on the slingshot. 

Monkey Business Sport Pocket Shot - what it includes!

Thanks for the package, Monkey Business Sports!
Pocket Shot -
MSRP: $6.00
Includes:  Pocket Shot x 1, Ball ammo x 3
Range: Just under 30'


Ammo comparison
Pocket Shot ammo (center) vs. Nerf ballistic balls

Size comparison vs a Nerf Eliminator
In order to load it, you wedge a ball between the uprights of the Pocket Shot, pull back the "hammer" and release, striking the ball forward. 

As you can see, it took some adjusting to get the shot to go straight but it flew well once I had the mechanics dialed in.  The table was set up around 30' away, and the ball dropped a little short so there's your range there.

The Pocket Shot strikes me as a blaster that truly can get played indoors or out.  The ammo flies softly enough that I don't think it could knock over a vase or anything breakable.  It is also small enough to pocket, even if you are carrying additional ammo which is a good characteristic for a sidearm.  The only shortcoming is that unless you are carrying additional ammo, you're stuck with 3 shots before you have to retrieve.

The action of pulling back the bungee cord (as all Foam Strike shooters use; compared to the rubber tubing Zing Toys uses) is a very satisfying and tactile sensation, so while this won't set any range records it is still a bit of fun to play with.  Definitely leave a group of them on a table at a party and see what happens:)

The shape makes these shooters very low profile and unassuming, as opposed to some typical gun shapes that might scare administrators or parents.  Coupled with the softness of the ammo and the low velocity rate, if my nephew were still 5 years old, I'd feel safe letting him play with this under supervision (he's 10 now).  The Pocket Shot is pretty quick to load and a convenient sidearm if you're in the market for one.  At the very least, having a slew of them around and random shootouts with friends is a great way to even trigger interest in the hobby at large.  Pretty good offering from Foam Strike with this mini shooter, and after seeing their own bow and arrow hit 200'+, I look forward to seeing more from Monkey Business Sports, for sure.

Action Figures!

Entertainment Earth Exclusive Star Wars Action Fig

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Nerf Elite Alpha Trooper Video - Germany Nerf

Thanks to Extreme Nerf for the heads up on these videos - a couple of them about the Nerf N-Strike Elite Alpha Trooper!  Recently posted, and it's in German, but the posts are out there.


Demo Range-testing/Firing of sorts:  (angled a bit, some wind, but pretty cool all the same)


And again, thanks to Extreme Nerf for finding and sharing.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It came from twitter! Nerf at the office

Ha, gotta love knowing that some day, you might find a job that encourages Nerf as a way for employees to reduce stress.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Review: Xploderz Xgrenades

Little video review of the Xploderz Xgrenades.

Besides actually hitting your target with the sphere itself, I think qualifying a tag with this thing is going to be tough.  Grass, concrete (that's why I put the posterboard down, to show the spread a little better) is tough with this style of ammo.  A grenade the way I see it is dynamic, and... well... explosive.  This isn't.  People throw ballistic balls and socks during Humans Vs. Zombies games, but for $7.99 even that's a little pricey to act as a replacement for much cheaper alternatives (hell, one game I used large marshmallows.)

In any event, buyer beware on this one.... maybe use them as tossable large ammo, but if you're looking for a grenade type device this isn't it.

Store purchased: Meijer (a big box store like Target)
Cost: $7.99
Included: 3 "grenades" and 750 rounds of dry ammo (no container, have a bowl handy.  Obviously, if you use the xploderz ammo depots you won't be able to get the ammo back out).


Friday, March 08, 2013

Toys R Us Visit - New stuff? (Nerf, Xploderz, new brand)

Just some shots of new things I found at Toys R Us and Target recently.  Highlights?

Nerf Double Dart/Disc Packs

Some new line called "NXT Tactical"

A pull-release blaster game system called "SlugTerra" (apparently a cartoon)

SpyNet wrist shooter

Don't remember seeing this when I first spotted Launch N Attack, could be wrong tho.

A faux hammer pistol from Air Zone!
Oh right!  Found THIS, too:

After last year's Toy Fair, FINALLY SNAPFIRE 8 in the U.S.! (Well, at least near me)

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Nerf Rapid Rundown - New York Toy Fair 2013

A quick video of demoing a few of the blasters a New York Toy Fair before getting to the Nerf Rebelle side.  There was some Nerf Vortex, but nothing new except the Revonix.  Unfortunately the Nerf Revonix360 was a prototype that did not fire, so the only video I have of that is this:

From Nerf showroom Toy Fair 2013

Hollaback Tuesday: Nerf on Design Squad Nation (PBS)

A peek inside Hasbro HQ (and Nerf) with members of the design team (some familiar faces if you watch enough Nerf videos).  To know where you're going, it helps to know where you've been.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Toy blasters - I have a few

So, after blogging for a few years, I've picked up a few blasters:

Basically, my "office".  Storage, testing, and note taking on blasters all happens here.  Samples collected from various companies (Nerf, Vapor, Xploderz, Zing) over the years, some I've bought myself.  Gotta love blogging. :)

Sunday, March 03, 2013

News Rundown - TekRecon

And, got a new video up today on the TekRecon for my own channel -

Whew!  Busy morning. (at least, it's morning here)