Friday, October 31, 2014

Marshmallow Shooters Dressed up as the Ghostbusters - Happy Halloween!

Marshmallow Shooters and the Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary - in Time for Halloween!
Vas The Stampede

Happy Halloween! Back at Toy Fair I saw that Marshmallow Shooters had managed to get the Ghostbusters license, and while I normally don't like repaints, I thought the Ghostbusters scheme (Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and all) looked pretty great. It fit, with the lines and the shapes of the Shooters being very reminiscent of the Ghostbusters own proton pack.



As it so happens, 2014 is also the 30th Anniversary of the original Ghostbusters film franchise, starring Bill Murray, Harold Ramis (rest in peace), Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson. Thirty years, a sequel, a cartoon series, a comic book, and many other forms of media later, the franchise still has a huge following and is even in talks to get a reboot for a new generation of Ghostbusters.

Marshmallow Blaster - MSRP: $28.00 (final price depends on vendor)



Marshmallow Shooters was kind enough to send along some samples of their "Stay Puft" Ghostbusters Shooters, and they look just as good as I remember. The Shooters are functionally the same, as they tend to be with every new skin. Same ranges anywhere between 30'-40' depending on the shooter you have, whether it is classic, or the blaster. I've always enjoyed the satisfying "POP!" from shooting the blaster, personally.

Some new products are the orb "Slimeball" and the "Snap Dragon"

Orb "Slime Ball"- MSRP: $16.00

Snap Dragon (note, the ammo holder in the handle) - MSRP: $11.00


And I don't remember seeing Straight Shooters before, but they're blow gun type shooters -


Not pictured in Ghostbusters colors:

the Mini Bow, the Bow & Mallow, and the Double Shooter (I have a firing video of the original Double Shooter here).

Gameplay wise, I've used Marshmallow Shooters to great hilarity during games, usually resulting in someone running up and stealing my ammo for a snack or trying to catch my ammo mid-air (NOT RECOMMENDED.) And while I've found a lack of separately available hoppers/inline cartridges affecting my reload time (as I have to stop, detach, reload, and then keep firing) the Marshmallow blaster is probably my favorite (followed by the Snap Dragon) because it doesn't require a tube to to load and fires pretty well. The Snap Dragon is not vulnerable to marshmallow build up (as happens with the breech loading shooters) interfering with the functioning of the blaster and the ammo holder is a really nice touch.

All the same, a great look from Marshmallow Shooters for the Ghostbusters. If you're a fan of the movies (and even if you're not and want Marshmallow Shooters) these would be a fun buy... now who ya gonna call?


Monday, October 13, 2014

ICYMI Monday - Wal Mart Rhino-Fire Exclusive

ICYMI (In case you missed it) Rhino-Fire Available for Preorder at Walmart!
Vas The Stampede


Post by Nerf.



As previously reported the Nerf Elite Rhino-Fire is on its way to the U.S. as a Walmart exclusive. If you happened to miss the news, it is now AVAILABLE for Preorder at Walmart, and ships out NOVEMBER 15, 2014. Click HERE to get to the Walmart site if you are interested at owning this piece of heavy foam artillery.

The price seems to be down from the originally reported $99.99, now priced at $89.97. And knowing how some things work in some areas, these might even show up on some shelves before the street date.

As far as I know, the exclusivity might only pertain to the U.S. I don't have any solid information about any other countries. Also, yes there are a number of firing videos out there, but I prefer to have the product myself. Also, those are/should be preliminary videos, and may not reflect the performance of the on-shelf toys.

Anyway, who is excited about this blaster? Gizmodo got a look at it for themselves, and now the rest of us have to wait for now. Personally, I'd like to see how 35 round drums perform in the blaster, and I hope the drums make it a little easier to run with than the chains did on a Vulcan.


Have a great week! I've got a few more posts to put up this week as well, so stay tuned :)

- Stampede

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review: BOOMco Stealth Ambush

 BOOMco Stealth Ambush product review - 
Vas The Stampede



Basic Stats:

Stealth Ambush by BOOMco

MSRP: $39.99
Range: approx. 60'
Includes: 17 Darts,10 round clip, blaster, shield, stickers, and BOOMco Smart Stick target
Available Now



The BOOMco Stealth Ambush is a different type of blaster for a couple of reasons. First, it is solely slam-fire, there is no trigger. Also, it has a "hidden" turret that launches three darts, and flips out 2 wings that act as ammo holders. The turret is primed with a handle on the back (don't prime it with the turret extended, only when concealed). There is a lock on the back that also supposedly locks the turret in until you need it, but more on that later.

The blaster:

The main barrel and the turret seemed to get 30'-40' flat, but definitely around the 50' mark and beyond with an angle to the blaster. It felt a little heavy on the back handle, but still a mobile blaster to swing around quickly if you need to adjust your aim elsewhere.

Unlike other slamfire-style blasters I've used in the past, the back handle moves to engage the firing mechanism, including the release for the hidden turret. What I've found with this style is it threw my aim off just a bit, and might take some getting used to. Also, the lack of a stock means I can't brace the blaster against my arm with the inherent shaking and moving that happens when using slam fire. Now, it is possible to not rapid fire the darts and be more controlled (especially with a 10 round clip) but in the heat of a game that sometimes just isn't possible. Be prepared to spam, and spam often, which seems to be the role of the blaster in the lineup.

That being said, the blaster also comes with a 10 round clip. That may be a low amount for folks who like to shoot more per reload, but it also accepts the 20 round clips sold separately (and with the Rapid Madness). So you can definitely expand your loadout for more ammo. While it means you have to carry clips in addition to darts, the BOOMco clips are pretty small to begin with, and if you use the BOOMco bandolier that's at least one not carried in your pocket. But, that's a play style question better answered by the player.

The Stealth Ambush also comes with a Smart Stick target shield, as most BOOMco blasters do. It mounts to the top rail on the front barrel, releases via a push-button, but ultimately I preferred my sights open and clear, and removed it as I do with other shield attachments. I will admit though, the blaster almost lends itself to being fired from the hip as opposed to at shoulder level with the sight, so some users may find the shield useful.
 
Troubleshooting (yup, a pun) -

The lock switch in question. In "locked" position here, flipping down is "open" position

I admit there was trouble with the hidden turret. The locking mechanism wasn't 100%, and the turret would pop up unexpectedly after a few shots. It happened almost after 3 or 5 shots from the main blaster, but sometimes it would stay in place firing an entire 10-shot clip. For $39.99, if a blaster has a feature, I would expect it to work properly and consistently. I hope that the one I received was the exception in that regard, and other Stealth Ambush blasters on the shelves are in fact locking and releasing as they should. The main barrel fired great though, no jams, misfires, or anything else. And while yes I lost accuracy going full blast with the slamfire, it still fired reliably.

Wrapping it up, is this worth the $40? If you are loving the BOOMco line so far, then you may like the extra fire control afforded in this semiauto blaster as opposed to the Rapid Madness. However, be aware that I can't vouch for the reliability of the turret or how accurate the blaster will be (though with more practice, that may work itself out). But the slamfire feature is fast, smooth, and does not jam. The darts and the clip design seem to reinforce that. Universal clips are always a good thing, even though they incur an additional cost and gear to carry than just packing darts and a front loading blaster. Ultimately though, that is a call the buyer has to make, and hopefully this review has been helpful! Questions? Comments? Let me know below (with comment approval) or shoot me an email via the contact form.







Thanks again to BOOMco for the sample, I continue to look forward to what they have coming next!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

ICMYI: Nerf Perfect trick shots is live!



Grabbed from the SI-exclusive post, Nerf  & Dude Perfect crowdsourced a bunch of trick shots from Nerf Nation to compile into the above video. It released on Sept. 15th, featuring the Demolisher, the Mega Thunderbow, and a lot of Coke & Mentos. Did it cut the mustard? Was this truly #nerfperfect?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Nerf Fall 2014 Kit Arrives!

Thanks Nerf for the new supplies, expect some new reviews coming soon. Check the full gallery here.



Friday, September 12, 2014

REVIEW: Scorpion Gatling Blaster: Dart Zone/Prime Time Toys

Scorpion Gatling Blaster: Dart Zone/Prime Time Toys
By: Vas The Stampede

Size Comparison: Scorpion vs. Nerf Barrel Break and Zing Legends Bow



My firing video:
 




Basic Info:

Price: $19.99 (Wal-Mart Exclusive)
Range: Up to 70' (angled)
Includes:
"Super Darts" x 20

20 Dart Ammo Belt x 1
Instructions
Scorpion Gatling Blaster x 1




Prime Time Toys keeps the hits coming with one of their latest entries, the CovertOps Scorpion Gatling Blaster. A Wal-Mart Exclusive, this blaster is obviously inspired by some earlier similarly styled "gatling" blasters like the Punisher and Gatling Blaster. This fully automatic, 20 shot blaster proves itself a pretty good value for 20 bucks.

It requires 6 AA batteries, and that spins the barrel (purely cosmetic effect) and also powers the flywheels. There's no accelerator trigger here, once you hit the "on" button the flywheels go and all you have to do is hold the trigger down. It's pretty easy to shoot in bursts, or just empty the entire belt for maximum hilarity. The blaster is small, probably smaller than either of the earlier gatling blasters. This does make it a bit easier to carry and move quickly, although the chains do swing about, nothing new if you've ever run with a Nerf Vulcan. Unlike the Punisher, there is no ammo box, so there's a loss in aesthetic as well. Oddly enough, while the line is called Covert Ops, once this blaster is on, there is nothing covert about it. If you didn't like the noise level of a Barricade, you will definitely not like this blaster. As I suggest with any of those complaints, just wait until you're about to shoot and flick the power switch then, don't run around an entire game or scenario with your flywheels running (unless there's a strategic reason for it, as I've done in the past).

The Covert Ops line is a green and orange mash of colors, crossing toy safety and a color scheme reminiscent of the movie, "Predator." While this isn't the total minigun that some folks may want, it does pretty well all the same. To me, the plastic and build feels pretty sturdy and that it might take a drop or 2. That is only descriptive of the blaster body, though. I can't attest to the strength of the electronics and the motor if you dropped this blaster. Bottom line, it feels solid.

The amount of clearance to fit other brand darts through the Scorpion.
 I repeat, the size proves deceptive as you might not expect the power you get out of this. I was able to hit almost 50' flat and angled my shots hit about the advertised 70' range. And this was with both the proprietary "super" darts and other leading brand darts. This blaster shot just about anything I put in the ammo belts. The accuracy did leave something to be desired, but with foam ammo that tends to just be the reality of the medium. And if you're sending out about 20 shots at a time, maybe accuracy isn't your main concern!

That being said, I can't comment if chains from the earlier gatling blasters will work with the Scorpion, as I don't have either. And if I had any real complaint about this blaster, it's that additional chains aren't available to use this as a proper defensive or offensive weapon. Extra chains and the fast reload (with some practice and preloaded chains) would make for a good time in a stock blaster game. As far as I know, separate chains are not sold anywhere so you have one 20 shot belt and that's it with the Scorpion. Either check your fire or get ready to reload the same chain frequently. For $20 and only 6 AA batteries, I definitely think this blaster is worth the trip to a Wal-Mart (in the US) and adding to your inventory. It's a great price for a 20 shot blaster that hits its range and fires pretty quickly.

Thanks so much to Prime Time Toys for the sample, and to you for reading! If there's anything I missed feel free to use the contact form or make a comment below (comments are moderated, so they may not appear right away.

Don't forget to check out "Foam From Above" on Facebook. and I am also on Twitter (@vasthestampede) & Instagram (@blasterbot1984)!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

NXT Tactical Shotgun - Review!

NXT Tactical Shotgun Review
Vas The Stampede




Fact Sheet:
NXT Tactical Shotgun:
Price: $42.99 at Toys R Us
Range: 20' (flat, angled = approx. > 30')
Ages: 5+
Ammo: Foam darts (3 velcro/3 suction) - proprietary, does not match any other brand of dart. Additional ammo packs are available.
Availability: Most major retailers.
Includes: 
Tactical Shotgun x 1
Darts (3 suction type, 3 hook & loop)
Target x 1
 

Sample was provided by the manufacturer, opinions are my own.

A look at the NXT darts - they're shorter than most other brands.

The push-button breech, load the darts here.
NXT Generation Toys is a company I ran into at New York Toy Fair this year. I've seen their products at Toys R Us, but haven't picked one up before. It was an unfamiliar brand, and I can only budget so much for blasters. But, they were kind enough to send along a sample, so let's see what I've been missing out on.

FIRST OFF: I got a little background on the company, and their aim (is it were) is on target practice, giving parents another avenue to teach their child about hunting and marksmanship. They not only have shotguns, but crossbows, bows patterned after compound bows (a long bow too), and a bit of an old-time element with flintlock pistols and long rifles (see: Frontier Series).

BUT, the intended use for them is - target practice. The tactical shotgun came with a target of its own, but there are others available in the cartoon shape of animals and more traditional archery targets, reinforcing the hunting and outdoor sportsman theme.

Performance:

One of the neatest features about the tactical shotgun was the popout chamber. You push a button, out pops the dart chamber, you put the dart in, prime the shotgun, pull the trigger. It is one of the more unique ways to load a toy. However, this means it is also a single shot, and the chamber is small to accommodate their own ammo, but no other brands.

The NXT Shotgun only hit about 30' at most with the toy angled, and 20' flat after a number of shots. Compared to other brands currently, this isn't something we see nowadays, especially at their price. In this case it might be a question how much you like how it looks.

Aesthetics:

Tactical means tactical. The toy is a solid matte black, with the obligatory orange tip. It feels light, and built so that the intended market (5+) should be able to manipulate the pump, with a little help from an adult (also part of the experience of making target shooting a parent-child experience). The pump does feel pretty solid, though I have to admit the feel of the toy doesn't seem to be as robust as more recent toys. Again though, this follows with being built so a small child can use it. There's no questioning what type of firearm this is modeled after though, so yes it can shoot targets but it might also be a good purchase for cosplayers and around Halloween.

The darts - the foam doesn't match the current feel of other current brands. The foam feels lighter than other dart types, and the tips felt like they could peel off, especially if the dart got caught while pushing the chamber back into the body. 


Ultimately, is it a buy? If you really want that shotgun look and pump-action feel, then go nuts. But the ranges are low compared to what else you can get recently for a similar amount of money. In close quarters this could be fun, but you would be limited to the proprietary ammo which means you're lacking a lot of flexibility if you intend to go player vs player. As a target shooting game alone, combined with the targets and 20' of space it could be a fun experience for the young kids to learn how to aim and maybe begin familiarizing themselves with outdoor shooting. Hopefully this helps, and if I've missed anything feel free to submit a question or comment below.

FOAMME FATALES

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