Monday, February 20, 2017

Nerf News from TFNY: Jazwares Gains Agreement to Make Nerf Tactical Gear & Accessories

Jazwares to Make Nerf Gear and Accessories 
Update: this video has some of the accessories in the background at 5:06.


Jazwares Gears Up for NERF Battles!

SUNRISE, FL – February 16, 2017 – "Jazwares, a leader in the toy and entertainment
marketplace, is thrilled to announce that they will be gearing up the NERF Nation community! In
collaboration with Hasbro, Jazwares is introducing an innovative NERF Toy Adjacency line that
includes targets, tactical gear, storage, and more to take NERF battles to a new level of fun,
competition, and achievement!
From Hasbro, NERF is the leading brand in the blaster category. Since launching in 1969,
NERF has become a staple in every toy store and continues to the dominate the category with
new and unique designs. NERF empowers kids everywhere to feel the rush of fun, social, active
play, and to ultimately achieve the impossible!
Jazwares is excited to collaborate with Hasbro on one of the industry’s most iconic brands,
NERF,” said Laura Zebersky, Jazwares EVP and Chief Commercial Officer. "NERF has
consistently brought products that engage children of all ages and we’re ecstatic to bring our
innovative twist on product design to the NERF line."
Jazwares will offer a wide variety of products to enhance the NERF lifestyle and blaster play.
Products will embody functionality and capacity in a cool trendy fashion. In addition, Jazwares
will also be complimenting the Nerf Sports segment with indoor & outdoor sports and games.
“We’re always listening to fans and consumers to make sure we are providing high quality,
innovative products that enhance the users play experience,” says Michael Ritchie, VP, Global
Brand Marketing, NERF Franchise. “We’re excited to reimagine new ways for fans to engage
with NERF through our latest collaboration with Jazwares.”
NERF Nation! Get ready for new gear, new battles! The Jazwares Nerf Collection coming Fall
2017, at major retailers starting in North American and EMEA."
So, this is now a thing and I found out about it yesterday. Jazwares, action figure company extraordinaire (makers of RWBY toys, Minecraft, and so many more) is going to produce storage accessories and tactical gear for Nerf. Wow. Previously, Perpetual Play Group was making similar items for Nerf, but it looks like that's no longer the case. I was not allowed pictures in the showroom, but the press release is real and verified. As soon as I am allowed pictures, I will most certainly post them to show what is in store (and I liked what I saw).

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Nerf Toy Fair Showroom Info Inbound!

Video firing the Nerf Accustrike Raptorstrike is done! Enjoy this while I work on the rest. Updating this post as I finish each one, and a writeup to follow. Thanks!

Update: Let's do this.

No big surprises at the Nerf showroom today, but I finally got my hands on a number of the products revealed over the last few weeks.

First off, thanks again to Nerf for giving me the 9 AM slot, I always appreciate the timing. Second, thanks to Michael Ritchie (VP, Global Brand Strategy & Marketing) for stopping to take a few minutes to chat with me. I hadn't known I would run into him, otherwise I would have taken a few questions from you all!

Michael and I discussed the Nerf brand as it was and where things were going, and touched base about the specificity in certain lines. ICYMI, the Elite line is still seen as the "performance" level blasters and thus are denoted with the ranges and frequencies blasters hit that range. Nerf is still very much a storyteller brand as well to foster the "unstructured play" of its market (kids) so they can create their own stories within the blasters they use. Hence, forming organized games and leagues aren't something Nerf is really invested in, but they recognize these exist. If you remember the Nerf Dart Tag League, Nerf put on these tournaments once upon a time but stopped in order to allow the fans to create their own. Think of Nerf as a sandbox, and games, leagues, teams, clubs, etc., are all castles that get built within it. We spoke about the involvement of the community in creating content (that's YOU folks), from people who have maybe under a 100 views on their videos (me) to all the other channels with way bigger followings. Also, be ready for Hascon! It's coming.

Overture, curtain lights, let's talk about the blasters.



ACCUSTRIKE. Currently, the Alphahawk and FalconFire are available, but coming in hot is the Raptorstrike, shown above. It has 1 tactical rail that the bipod is mounted on, a flip-up sight, extendable legs in the bipod, a 6 shot magazine, additional magazine storage in the stock, and a solid bolt priming handle. Unlike the Alphahawk, the Raptorstrike's bolt handle looks like the metal pin version of old. I hope to still see that on the final release. The blaster itself is LONG... so long that there's a good distance between the magazine and the trigger. But in that space there's an additional spot on the body to use as a carrying handle. Another neat feature is the placement of the mag release, it's right on the inside of the trigger guard across from the trigger but accessible to both left and right-handed users. Kudos to that, Nerf.



The Mega Twinshock is ANOTHER big blaster. 10 shots, single fire (with a staged trigger, pull it slow enough and it will shoot one dart at a time), two shots at once, or slam-fire, you have choices! There isn't much else to say, and I really enjoyed using it. Vicious simplicity.



The Regulator. Burst fire. Full Auto. Single Fire. Flywheels. An oddly included carrying handle. "Ammo Out" warning light. The Nerf Modulus Regulator has so many features integrated into it, there might be a kitchen sink Modulus accessory in the works at this point. I didn't experience any skip or interruption holding the accelerator trigger down while switching firing modes and it seemed like a seamless transition for the blaster. It runs on 6 "C" batteries, which leads me to believe it fires as fast as a Hyperfire and its sounds that way from when I tested this blaster. Again, this is a prototype and as such I can't get too excited until the final product is in hands. Was I impressed? Yes. Cautious optimism? Always.



Ok, THIS blaster caught me off guard. THE DREADBOLT IS HUGE. I thought it would be a reshelled cousin of the  Courage Crossbow, but nope. It's the same principle (bowstring power, arrows, etc.) but the Dreadbolt is a much bigger design, with a bigger shell and more comfortable stock. It has a lever action priming arm that pulls the bowstring back for each shot before you nock in the arrow, and you fire. While I can't totally get behind any blaster that uses an additional type of ammo (it makes reloading during organized games more difficult if everyone is using darts) but as a standalone toy for hilarity and mirth? Sold. I look forward to this at final release as well.



The Judge was still a little finicky at the show, but it made it through all 30 darts (in varying distances) during my firing test. The blaster is RIDICULOUSLY huge, wider than my torso (at least my head) but leaves too much of an impression to not be curious about it. The darts are going to fly different distances each burst, but hopefully this will be improved even a little bit at final release. Big cartoonish blasters like this are perfect to "build your own story" in imaginative role play, as opposed to being considered a "war worthy" blaster. It's oversized, it's silly, but I can't help wanting one based on the shock value of how massive this blaster is. Performance wise, I can't get too harsh on it as the blaster's still in prototype form.



100 shots! Hopper fed! Rival velocities! The Nerf Nemesis is huge. It's battery powered with full auto, and there's not much to say except announce how much I want one. I can't imagine how this might change the game for some groups and people who are way below the output on this blaster. The only trouble I ran into needed me to shake the blaster a bit to get the rounds to load into the feed, but that's minimal. Otherwise, the accuracy, rate of fire, and sheer madness of the blaster make it worth a buy but the price is a bit up there too ($99). As a paintball player, this blaster definitely blends worlds together, and I look forward to seeing much more of it at final release.

Questions? Comments? Let me know!



Saturday, February 18, 2017

Toy Fair 2017 - Day 1! Schedule and Preview (Buzz Bee, Dart Zone, Zuru, Precision RBS)

Toy Fair 2017 - What's to Come for 2017

UPDATE:

Here's the Rail Blaster from Buzz Bee. Inline clip, clear door to see your ammo, and rear-loading!


 


The above shows a hint of things to come for this year's Toy Fair, like that new prototype from Zuru. Also on the schedule today I have meetings with:

- Precision RBS (Rubber band shooting launchers from Super Impulse)
- Buzz Bee Toys (With word on new Walking Dead blasters)
- Zuru
- K'Nex (and maybe some new KForce builds) - it's the 25th anniversary for K'Nex today so who knows what they have in store?
- Dart Zone this afternoon - they typically don't have functional prototypes yet at Toy Fair (they save the big news for the summer reveal) but maybe they'll bring something extra this time.
- World Tech Toys  - they make some new blasters to hit the market.
- Factory Entertainment - Soft Weapons and Tactics!
- And a special event for bloggers with Playmates Toys, home of the T-Blasts 

I'll be checking in on Instagram and Facebook, don't forget to get connected!



 

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

New Nerf Blasters for 2017 - the story continues! The Road To Toy Fair.

Nerf Blaster releases for 2017 - The Story So Far
Vas The Stampede




The road to Toy Fair continues! Nerf let loose a slew of information on new releases, from Geek.Com and Popular Mechanics say hello to the newest upcoming additions to the Nerf Arsenal. Don't forget to check some of the previous release info Here and Here (some items were scheduled for 2017, but are readily available. It happens, certain areas are subject to availability.

NERF MODULUS REGULATOR Blaster
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $59.99/Available: Fall 2017)
Bring the power of three firing modes with one epic blaster! The NERF MODULUS REGULATOR blaster features single-fire, burst-fire, and fully motorized blasting power. The REGULATOR blaster is customizable and compatible with accessories within the MODULUS system, sold separately, so fans can build their blasters and have the ultimate blasting experience. Includes two 12-dart clips and 24 MODULUS darts. Requires 4 C batteries, not included. Available at most major retailers nationwide and HasbroToyshop.com.





NERF MEGA TWINSHOCK Blaster
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $39.99/Available: Fall 2017)
Experience double-barrel MEGA blasting power with the NERF MEGA TWINSHOCK blaster! The pump-action blaster shoots two MEGA darts at a time, sending darts flying up to 90 feet! Want to shoot one dart at a time? The TWINSHOCK blaster has a single-fire option. Includes 10 MEGA whistler darts. Available at most major retailers nationwide and HasbroToyshop.com.



NERF N-STRIKE ELITE ACCUSTRIKE RAPTORSTRIKE Blaster
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $49.99/Available: Fall 2017)
Hone your skills and hit your mark with the NERF N-STRIKE ELITE ACCUSTRIKE RAPTORSTRIKE blaster. This clip-fed blaster with pop-up sight, adjustable stock and bipod helps players line up their shot and to aim with precision and confidence. Includes two six-dart clips and 18 ACCUSTRIKE series NERF darts. Available at most major toy retailers and at HasbroToyShop.com.




NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE DREADBOLT Blaster
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $49.99/Available: Fall 2017)
Outsmart and dominate the zombie hordes with the ZOMBIE STRIKE DREADBOLT blaster. The first-ever arrow-firing ZOMBIE STRIKE crossbow, the DREADBOLT blaster can take down zombies like never before. Use the detachable scope to line up the target, aim, and fire! Includes five arrows and detachable scope. Available at most major retailers nationwide and HasbroToyshop.com.





NERF ALIEN MENACE VOIDCASTER Blaster
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Fall 2017)
Fight off aliens with the new ALIEN MENACE VOIDCASTER blaster! The blaster’s unique styling and pump action power gives NERF fans an edge against the intergalactic foe. The VOIDCASTER blaster fires four darts in a row without reloading and has storage for an extra four darts for easy reloading. Includes 8 ALIEN MENACE Elite darts. Available at most major retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.





Still no press release that's been sent to me on the Nemesis - but it'll be $100 in the U.S. when available. As soon as I get one, it'll get posted!

I have some opinions to post on these blasters too, they're coming up later this week.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

[Build Video] - K'Nex KForce Rotoshot 25x

K'Nex KForce Build video - Rotoshot K25x blaster

Product provided! Opinions remain my own, thanks K'Nex!




Ultimately, the blaster took me over an hour to build, from dumping out the contents to the first shot. I did make some mistakes during the build, but unfortunately I didn't catch them until well after they happened which meant backtracking and dismantling parts of the build to go back. As someone unfamiliar with using K'Nex construction kits, maybe this is growing pains at learning a different medium. The build isn't even entirely like the one on the box because I messed something up and would have had to flip pieces that I installed at the beginning. But that's the point of the line, right? Making your own blaster ultimately, after building the one shown?

For a blaster that reports 75' on the box for 5 shots, at approximately $25 for the whole thing the replay value is potentially endless for a kit you can build and rebuild, with additional shots and turrets if you have the other kits. Is it worth it? If you aren't heavily modding your blasters already, and do enjoy the satisfaction that comes from completing puzzles and building kits, this could be a neat addition for your collection. The colors are eye-catching for sure, and there are some spots on the blaster body I naturally found to be good for gripping, I didn't stab my hands on any corners. Minus anything that resembled a stock, holding the blaster seemed pretty intuitive.

Battle-tested, I have tried some k'nex blasters at games before and maybe it's just me but I definitely worry about losing the odd connector or slamming the blaster unexpectedly and spraying pieces everywhere. It hasn't happened yet, but I have lost the odd piece from the body... maybe 2 at this point on other kits. Not a terribly bad ratio I guess but that's not something you worry about right off the bat from other blasters.

K'Nex is planning on being at New York Toy Fair again, and so will I! Don't forget to tune in here please and see what I find. (Full schedule posted shortly before the trip)

Amazon Associate notice:

Thanks for reading! Like what you see? Interested in the product? Get your own at Amazon.com (Associate links help me keep the site open and allow me more time to do this!)



Wednesday, January 04, 2017

New Nerf Rival Artemis and 2017 Gear and Accessories!

New Nerf Rival accessories and the Artemis for 2017

The Nerf Rival Artemis is already out in some areas and online (for a hefty price judging by what I saw on Amazon) but the official press release and info finally came in from Nerf. Check out below for the Artemis, as well as some new accessories (finally!) for your Nerf Rival blasters.

I think I saw the battery pack myself out at a Toys R Us recently, but originally I had thought that the battery pack only saved you from buying batteries, I had not realized it also promised improved rate of fire. I do believe there's already video out there, but as always I want to see things for myself whenever I can. Anyway, samples from Nerf are promised, so stay tuned! (And thanks, if you're reading!)

 NERF RIVAL ARTEMIS XVII-3000 Blaster
(Ages 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $44.99/Available: Spring 2017)
Experience ultimate precision and power in battle with the NERF RIVAL ARTEMIS XVII-3000 blaster! Available in red or blue (each sold separately), the ARTEMIS XVII-3000 blaster features a spring-action cocking mechanism, easy-load internal magazine, and boasts slam-fire capability firing NERF RIVAL foam rounds at a velocity of up to 100 fps.  Compatible with NERF RIVAL tactical rail accessories (sold separately). Includes 30 NERF RIVAL foam rounds. Available at most major toy retailers and at HasbroToyShop.com.


NERF RIVAL Red Dot Sight Accessory
(Ages 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: Spring 2017)
In the heat of battle, take aim with the NERF RIVAL Red Dot Sight accessory. Players simply look through the lens and align the red dot with their target for precision battling. The sight features die cast details, is adjustable and is held securely in place with a quick-release camlock mechanism. Compatible with NERF RIVAL blasters, sold separately. Requires 2 AAA batteries, not included. Available at most major toy retailers and at HasbroToyShop.com.

NERF RIVAL Flashlight Grip Accessory
(Ages 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $29.99/Available: Spring 2017)
Illuminate NERF RIVAL blaster battle with the LED Flashlight Grip accessory. The light features die cast details, a removable grip, and quick-release camlock that holds it in place. Attach the Flashlight Grip accessory to any compatible NERF RIVAL blaster (sold separately) and light up the action! Requires 3 AAA batteries, not included. Available at most major toy retailers and at HasbroToyShop.com.

NERF RIVAL Rechargeable Battery Pack
(Ages 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $29.99/Available: Fall 2016)
Amp up your battle with the NERF RIVAL Rechargeable Battery Pack! The first rechargeable battery in the NERF RIVAL line, fans can use this lightweight battery pack with the NERF RIVAL KHAOS MXVI-4000 blaster (sold separately) instead of batteries to increase the blaster’s rate of fire. Includes wall charger. For use with NERF RIVAL products only; not compatible with the NERF RIVAL ZEUS MXV-1200 blaster. Includes rechargeable battery and wall charger. Available at most major toy retailers and at HasbroToyShop.com.

Monday, November 07, 2016

The Walking Dead Abraham's M16 Zombie Blaster

The Walking Dead Abraham's M16 Zombie Blaster Clip-fed dart blaster




Basics:
  • Includes: Blaster x 1, 12 Long Distance darts, 8 round magazine
  • Blasts Darts up to 72'
  • Carrying handle and extended stock
  • MSRP: $32.00 - Ages 6+ 



Abraham! A character from "The Walking Dead" but not quite the character you might be thinking of. There's the Survivor played by Michael Cudlitz on the hugely popular TV show, and then the character on the hugely popular longrunning "The Walking Dead" comic. This blaster references the latter. Here's a look at them both (images used from The Walking Dead wiki:    


As played by Michael Cudlitz

The Buzz Bee blasters in general really stepped up in the last year. Revealed at New York Toy Fair last year, the new "The Walking Dead" was a real surprise to me in terms of licensed blasters to any degree. Up to this point, the only licensed weaponry was from Thinkgeek (non-projectile, non-foam) or a pretty poor performing Daryl crossbow that shot large foam darts.

BUT WAIT NO MORE.

These "Walking Dead" blasters are not only in a $30 and less price range, but they also are marketed at hitting 72'. Given the rising price of blasters, this adds some much needed relief for comic fans, collectors, and blaster enthusiasts.

Let's talk colors.

Once again, the blasters draw inspiration from "The Walking Dead" comic book universe, in packaging and font, so if you're a fan of just the AMC show the aesthetics might seem different to you. Also, Daryl wasn't originally a character in the comic book, so no crossbow (yet...?)

The colors are a vibrant yellow/red/white, which is common to keeping cosplay enthusiasts and players from being identified as using anything dangerous. It's not exactly some of the first colors you think of with a black and white comic or the zombie apocalypse but I like them and think they work in the space of making easily identifiable toys. (Yes, Toys! Remember, these are toys.)

The blasters are also a bit on the larger side, some folks may say this has a lot of empty space in the shells. Personally, I like the dimensions of the Abraham blaster, as it feels the most comfortable of the bunch to me, even without the adjustable stock. The mag release button is in an intuitive location, and resistant enough that I won't accidentally hit the release at some point and dump my ammo. The priming slide/carry handle is a familiar motion for me from past blasters, so it's not a pain to use, and the handle actually helps keep my hand from sliding off for some reason, such as dirt, sweat, or rain. I haven't had a horrible jamming problem at all, whether that's to the design or the fact I use fresh darts regularly is anyone's guess. But finding a comfortable hand position on the blaster is definitely not an issue, the only real problem for me is carrying enough magazines to keep myself blasting :)

The carrying handle did come in handy to use while running, oddly enough. It's one of those neat touches to a blaster that while it doesn't affect performance, it adds to the feel and look of it to a huge degree. Otherwise, the blaster's length isn't super problematic in close quarters either, and aiming at targets wasn't obstructed (as you can see in the video). The Buzz Bee darts need some further testing, but I like where they're going so far.

In all, I feel it's a really solidly built toy. The cost is right, and the biggest boon for parents is the magazines and darts will work with Nerf branded toys. Through some alchemic reaction the Buzz Bee and Nerf mags and darts are cross-compatible from what I've seen so far, so having to reinvest in a new ammo type or mag type (while preferred) is not a necessity. Keep in mind that stock blasters are built for their own proprietary accessories, and while they work together it may not provide full range and may lead to jamming some of the time.

Whew! So is this on your to-buy list? Will you use it for a costume? I have more reviews on the way, if you have any questions make sure to comment below! The blaster is available now, at a suggested retail price of $32. Fight the dead, but fear the living!



Edit: Sample provided by Buzz Bee toys, opinions remain my own.



SPOILER:



RIP Abraham, in both comic and tv show universes.

FOAMME FATALES

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