Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

From me, to you.  Fly that foam and pretty much whatever else you play, dear friends.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Nerf Mission AppUpdate: Battle Holiday Zombies with the Nerf Zombie Strike Tactical App

Looks about time to release this.... news on the Nerf Zombie strike theme to upgrade your Nerf Mission app!

No mention of a droid version (this is all Apple/app store info) but I will have to follow up and see what they say. 

Williamsburg, Virginia - Hunter Research and Technology is pleased to announce a new Zombie Strike theme for the Nerf Mission App, developed in partnership with Hasbro. Featuring great artwork by UI designers at Manifest Digital, the Zombie Strike theme features a zombie-inspired heads up display, Zombie Strike blaster arsenal, and all new Zombie Strike missions. This update of the Nerf Mission app also include a special long range heads up display for the new Nerf Centurion MEGA blaster.

The Nerf Mission App works with the new Nerf N-Strike Elite Tactical Rail Mount Accessory and turns any rail-equipped Nerf blaster into a full battle cam with heads up display, compass, inclinometer, and rangefinder. The app lets users record photos and videos, track their arsenal, learn about hand signals used to communicate with a squad, and plan out different missions for multiplayer Nerf battles.

The Nerf Mission App is based on the Theodolite Augmented Reality Navigation app developed by Hunter Research and Technology. This game-changing app defined a new standard for augmented reality navigation when it debuted in 2009, and has been a #1 selling navigation app in iTunes stores around the world. Theodolite works as a heads up display with compass, GPS, map, zoom photo/movie camera, rangefinder, tracker, and two-axis inclinometer.

Theodolite is great for outdoor sports, hiking, boating, hunting, golf, sightseeing, photography, and navigation. The app is used in the field every day by surveyors, geologists, architects, engineers, military personnel, competitive sportsmen, and search and rescue workers. And in October, Apple featured Theodolite being used at the Great Wall of China during a special event.

The Nerf Mission App with Zombie Strike theme is available for free from the iTunes App Store, just in time to battle zombies during the holiday season. The app works with most iPhone and iPod touch devices running iOS 6.0 or later. The Nerf N-Strike Elite Tactical Rail Mount Accessory is for ages 8 and up, and sold separately. See Nerf online for more information and a list of retailers.

Theodolite is available on the iTunes App Store for a 50%-off 4-year anniversary sale price of $3.99 USD, and is the perfect holiday gift or purchase for outdoor enthusiasts, professionals, students, teachers, and high-tech gadget lovers (it's also great for battling zombies). Theodolite runs on any camera-equipped iPhone or iPod touch. Theodolite HD runs on any camera-equipped iPad or iPad Mini. More information, including screenshots, is available on the Hunter Research and Technology website. Media professionals interested in reviewing Theodolite can request a promotional code to download the apps from iTunes at no cost.

Nerf
http://www.nerf.com/

Theodolite
http://hrtapps.com/theodolite/

NERF Mission App 1.1
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nerf-mission-app/id664942608

Theodolite 3.2 iTunes Link (iPhone and iPod touch)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/theodolite/id339393884

Theodolite HD 3.2 iTunes Link (iPad and iPad mini)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/theodolite-hd/id425456242

Hunter Research and Technology is run by Dr. Craig Hunter, a practicing engineer with over 20 years of experience in engineering and software development. Dr. Hunter received the 2004 NASA Software of the Year Award and a 2004 Apple Design Award (Best Scientific Computing Solution on Mac OS X) for his work in software development. He founded Hunter Research and Technology in 2008 to create innovative apps that leverage the advanced hardware and software capabilities of iOS devices and Macs. The company has numerous apps available on the iTunes App Store, and develops apps for a range of clients worldwide. Copyright (C) 2013 Hunter Research and Technology. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, Macintosh, iTunes, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and iPad mini are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Nerf, N-Strike Elite, Zombie Strike, Centurion, and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro, Inc.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Chicago Toy And Game Fair 2013, the pics!

Back the weekened before Thanksgiving, the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTag) rocked the city with a weekend of toys, games, gift ideas, innovation, invention, and creativity.  This year was no exception with a bigger feeling to it, and some of the best brands I've come to know and enjoy seeing year after year. 

Razor, Spin Master Toys (seriously, the Tenkai Knights building sets they brought were amazing innovations in construction sets), Mayfair Games, Bananagrams, and local favorites like Floppets were all on the show floor, bringing the humor for everyone.  That being said, here are my galleries from the weekend.


PlayChic - The fashion show for the weekend, that combines a famous fashion designer's touch with the inspiration of a toy or game at the show.  Joan Severance, inventor of the txTylz game, was on hand even to lend her talent to the show.

 Full album is here!









Aaaaaaand pictures from the ChiTag Show floor :)















Thursday, December 12, 2013

Nerf Elite Suction Cup darts from Nerf2Me2

Nerf2Me2 managed to get Nerf Elite suction cup darts.

This is their story. (Will embed when I get home)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uU7nKxp70k&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Nerf Sidestrike/Rebelle Sweet Revenge/Dart Diva

Pics up at www.facebook.com/foamfromabove with some initial shots of the Nerf Zombiestrike Sidestrike blaster versus the Rebelle Sweet Revenge, the compared holsters, and that N-Strike 6 dart magazines fit in the Dart Diva.

Magfed Rebelle Blasters?  Maybe!

- Stampede



Wednesday, December 04, 2013

ChiTag 2014 - aftermath!

Chicago Toy & Game Fair Announces Best Toys & Games in Show for 2013

CHICAGO, Ill. (November 2013) – The third weekend in November marked the 11th annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG), held at the historic Navy Pier and hosted by the Chicago Toy & Game Group. ChiTAG returned to Chicago, the leading city for toy and game invention in the U.S., to celebrate the power of play and creativity. The two-day extravaganza offered more than 20,000 attendees a multitude of interactive exhibits, engaging events, contests, tournaments, and more.

Thousands of fair attendees cast their votes for the best new toys and games showcased during the weekend as they sought gift ideas and got a jump on their holiday shopping. The winners of this year’s ChiTAG “Best in Show” are listed in order based on number of votes:

Best Toy:

Winner:

Crazy Cart (Razor) 
Runners Up:

Maxi Micro Kickboard Scooter (Kickboard USA)
Cuboro Marble Track System (Cuboro)
Tenkai Knights by IONIX (Spin Master)
Marusenko Sphere (Lion Rampant imports) and Shoulder Buddies (Shoulder Buddies)

Best Game:

Winner:

Settlers of Catan (Mayfair Games)
Runners Up:

Jumbo Bananagrams® (Bananagrams®)
Squashed (PlaSmart)
Top Trumps (Top Trumps)
Schmovie (Galactic Sneeze) and Daytrader (Lyon Works)
ChiTAG kicked off with a blogger breakfast, hosted by Alison Ray of “Sassy Moms in the City” and sponsored by Mayfair Games, Razor USA and Spin Master. After fueling up for the fair, the bloggers and their families began the festivities with an impressive “bang!” courtesy of Goliath Games, who set off an oversized version of “Stick Storm,” its exploding art game that uses kinetic energy to detonate a domino-like display.

The seventh annual Young Inventors Challenge participants exhibited more than 100 toy and game prototypes, conceptualized and invented by kids between the ages of six and 18, with top toy and game industry representatives serving as judges.

PlayDate Planet attempted the Guinness World Record for the largest number of participants in a clapping game and is awaiting confirmation from Guinness.

Star Wars fans dined with Chewbacca, the Storm Troopers and other costumed characters during the annual Star Wars luncheon, hosted by Hasbro and Top Trumps. Guests took part in game tournaments and had photos taken with members of Star Wars 501st Legion.

ABOUT THE CHICAGO TOY & GAME FAIR
Founded in 2003, ChiTAG returned as the global toy and game hub for consumers, inventors, trade, and media. In celebration of the power of play and creativity, the two-day extravaganza, taking place at Navy Pier, offered interactive exhibits, contests, live stage entertainment, tournaments, and more. For $10 per adult ticket and $5 per children’s ticket, attendees previewed, played, and purchased the hottest toys and games, rediscovered classics, and met the inventors behind the ingenuity. For more information, visit www.ChiTAGFair.com.

ABOUT THE CHICAGO TOY & GAME GROUP
The Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc. is a family of toy industry initiatives designed to encourage and promote the power of play and invention in social, educational, and professional environments. The Chicago Toy & Game Group consists of the Chicago Toy & Game Fair, International Toy & Game Inventor and Industry Conference, International Summit for Professional Inventors, Toy & Game Inventor Awards, playCHIC Fashion Show Event, Games for Educators, and Discover Games. For more information, visit www.ChiTAG.com, become a fan on Facebook or follow the fun on Twitter @ChicagoToyNGame and @ChitagFair.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Nerf Zombiestrike Sidestrike Spotted!

In Arizona, TRU.




And my own, found at the Schaumburg Toys R Us on Golf Road in Illinois!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Zing Toys - Huntress, Zombie Slayerz, Sky Ripperz, Zomp Rocketz, and more!

Overview of Zing Toys
Vas The Stampede

Zing Toys - Reviewing and taking a closer look at the Zing zCurve Huntress Bow, the Zombie Slayerz Bow, Air Storm Z-Tek Bow, Legends Longbow, Zoom (Zomp) Rocketz, and Sky Ripperz.  Thank you to Zing for all the samples!

This is probably going to be a HUGE post, so how about some pictures?
zCurve bow: Zombie Slayerz, Huntress, Air Storm, and the original green.

Zoom (zomp) rocket

Zartz of various types.


Zing Sky Ripperz
HUNTRESS & ZOMBIE SLAYERZ (zCURVE BOW VARIANTS)



Zing Huntress



STATS:
Price: $24.99
Includes: zCurve Bow, 3 Zartz (the arrows; 2 long range and 1 suction cup type)
Range: 100+




The Huntress and Zombie Slayerz are new skins for the old zCurve, and that's that.  Still the same great bow, but but with a new look.  Regrettably, no included arrow holder like they used to years ago.

Next, the zTek bow/Legends Longbow



The zTek bow is a bit smaller and doesn't feel as powerful as the zCurve, but the ammo holders and overall feel of its own merit work pretty well.  I t doesn't feel like the bow has the same pull as the zCurve, but it is still pretty powerful and feels very sturdy and durable, what I've come to expect from Zing.

STATS:

Price: Approximately $29.99 (estimate, prices were all over the place online)
Includes: zTek Bow, 3 Zartz (the arrows; 2 long range and 1 suction cup type, compatible with zCurve Bow and variants)
Range: 100+

Interestingly, the zTek and Legends Longbow have the same feel.  They also both have ammo holders in the same spots on either bow, the same enclosure for the rubber bands (the zCurve bands are exposed), and all fire the same ammo.  The Legends Longbow seems to be a variant on the zTek bow.  Either way, the ammo holders on the bow arms are nice to have.







Also, this part gets missed with the Zing bows I think - while you have the ability to pull back as far as you can (to hit upwards of 200+' with zCurve bows) some caution must be recognized in the operation of the zing bows.  Recommended directions state to NOT pull the bow all the way back, even for target practice.  But people will want to anyway, and shoot at each other/targets with full strength.  Use caution and be responsible.


 Next, there are the Zomp (Zoom) Rocketz - Zimple enough.





STATS:
Price:  Approx. 19.99
Contains:
1 Launcher (some assembly required)
3 Zoom (Zomp) Rockets - I have versions that use either name, so that's why I'm using both.

Air bladder connected via hose to a tube where a rocket is slid on and then propelled via air when the bladder is stomped on.  They say 200'+ is possible, but I had a hard time getting to even 170'.  I would like to try having 30or 40 of them, and seeing what happens when everyone stomps at once. Being able to have different angles to aim the rocket is a neat little feature, and some kids would especially get a kick out of this, I think.  Nerf game wise, this might make for a good objective with the right rules set.

SKY RIPPERZ 




And one of my favorites from the Zing line, the Sky Ripperz.  Possibly upwards of 200' with these, and so simple yet so powerful.  A handle with a rubber loop is all that's used in launching these, and hooking the rocket onto the tubing. 



In the end, the Zing Toys may seem a bit pricey initially, but definitely well worth it for the quality construction and time you'll spend perfecting your technique and your aim (hopefully outdoors when possible!)  Also, with the Hunger Games "Catching Fire" in theaters, wouldn't you want to tap into your inner Katniss?  In Nerf games we count these as large ammo rounds to eliminate/break shields, so implementation is what you make of it.  I personally am a big fan of Zing's products and whether I would use these on the field or not, target practice is always fun.  In the end, the choice is yours but whatever color your bow, may the odds be ever in your favor.


FULL PICTURE GALLERY IS HERE:


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Chicago Toy & Game Fair - today!

Good morning, Chicago!  Headed to the Chicago Toy & Game Fair this weekend, see you there?  Follow the action on twitter: @vasthestampede and #chitagfair.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Nerf Tournament in Des Plaines, IL!

Wow, I really let this one get away from me!  A few months ago I helped out the Des Plaines Park District (thanks for the referral, Basic Nerf) by providing them prizes (directly from NERF, thanks for the support!) and an extra pair of hands at their tournament back in July.  It was just myself and TrekkieB47 but it was a great time and a lot of fun was had by all.  Given the community, it gets tough to remember that these are still kids' toys, but something like this is a nice reminder about where we all may have started when we first picked up a blaster.  Thanks to the park district for putting on the event!

See some of the fun here, but I can provide some pics too -










Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Nerf Black Friday Deals - (for Toys R Us)

SOURCE: - http://www.debtfreespending.com/toys-r-us-black-friday-ad-2013/
&
CINCY SHOPPER

 The above sites provide a proper listing of all the Black Friday deals to expect at Toys R Us!  I consolidated the Nerf deals here, but the articles have a bunch of other great offers on Transformers, Skylanders, Kids electronics, and so much more.  I am assuming these deals apply in-store only and in the U.S. but if I find any Cyber Monday deals I'll be sure to post those as well.  Take note, and happy hunting!

Toys R Us Black Friday Nerf Deals - wanna see? (All deals are limit 2 per guest)


THURSDAY 5PM - SATURDAY CLOSE (WHILE SUPPLIES LAST)

Nerf Rebelle Guardian Crossbow - $11.99 (40% off)

Nerf Rapidstrike CS-18 - $27.99 (20% off)

Nerf, Hello Kitty, or My Little Pony Walkie Talkies - $9.99 (50% off)

Nerf Rebelle Sweet Revenge - $9.99 (50% off)

Nerf Vortex Pyragon or Praxis Blaster - $14.99-$19.99 (Save $20)

Nerf Dart Tag - $24.99 (doesn't specify much more than that...?)

FREE Dart Tag Jersey when you buy any exclusive Nerf Dart Tag Item (save $20)
- See more at: http://www.debtfreespending.com/toys-r-us-black-friday-ad-2013/#sthash.HfcV7RdY.dpuf
- See more at: http://www.debtfreespending.com/toys-r-us-black-friday-ad-2013/#sthash.HfcV7RdY.dpuf

Batman, Hello Kitty, My Little Pony, or NERF clock radio: $19.99


NERF Rebelle Guardian Crossbow: $11.99 (40% off)
Vas The Stampede

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Review: Skylanders Giants - Tree Rex Smash Hands (of Foam!)

How was your Halloween?  As you hopefully spent it in costume, let's look at a toy out there for the costuming/role play/imagination bunch, Skylanders Giants Tree Rex Smash Hands from Mega Bloks!

Based on this guy:


Come these hands (sample provided by Mega Bloks) intended to protect the world.

Approx. $24.99 (based on the availability)
Range:  Uhm... what?
Comfy: Totally.  Though obviously built for a kid, these will fit on adult hands too.


Thanks for the sample, Mega Bloks!

Image originally from Megabloks.com
You use them as such:

and first things first, they protect your hands! Dress like Tree Rex, minus a lot more external bark on you.

The foam of the hands is thickest and at least a couple of inches thick at the knuckles, so while I don't recommend using these as boxing gloves or striking people, animals, household plants, or sparring in a mixed martial arts class, they are pretty soft.  There is a small strap on the inside to hold onto while wearing the fists.  The box is open, so when you see these on shelves you can check for yourself just how soft these hands are.

Skylanders Giants and Mega Bloks offer up a way for youngsters to role play as Trigger Happy and now Tree Rex, taking the action from the video game/construction sets to getting up and imagining themselves as their fave characters.  Maybe a play group out there utilizes a melee weapon ruleset, and need something past the Hulk hands of the past.  Either way, I do like the look of these toys and hopefully we'll see more of Skylanders Giants and their role play toys as the franchise continues.

Like it?  This is also out - Ignitor's Flame Sword

FOAMME FATALES

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