Well, if you’ve coasted the net and this blog chances are you’ve seen Hasbro/Nerf threw a shindig at Stout’s in New York City to celebrate not only the past 40+ years of Nerf products but to herald the coming of the much-speculated 09/09/10 blaster – the “Big Blast” which is now officially called the “Stampede ECS-50”.
I could tell you about the trip; from the hotel, to the transportation, or whatever but you want to know about the blaster.
Let’s answer some quick questions:
Ever since the NDTL last year, I’ve been in touch with people who handle PR for Nerf. This resulted in an invitation to this media-only event. Media-only meant the attendees were adults, so the location of the bar (Stout’s) was fine. Were this the NDTL, a bar would be… odd.
The Stampede! Older Nerf products from the last 40 years (including Super Soaker that is now a brand of Nerf) like the Blast-A-Matic, Nerfuls, and even the Brainball (it was a brain-shaped football).
Shoot, pictures tell the tale:
Anyway. Ok, I posted some initial impressions of the Stampede before but let me expand a bit.
NERF N-STRIKE STAMPEDE
– The first fully automatic NERF Clip System blaster to date (the vulcan was EBF, Magstrike was AS, and RF-20 doesn’t use clips).
– Pop-out bipod, which doubles as a handle
– Removable shield
– The NERF N-STRIKE STAMPEDE ECS blaster also comes complete with one six dart Clip and three extended Clips which hold 18 darts each
Available at most major retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com beginning 9.9.10.
(Thanks to Nerf for the run-down!)
There are multiple tactical rails along the top and around the muzzle for your other n-strike accessories. Personally, for laughs I like to use the tactical red dot sight.
You can expect 25-30 feet range-wise for any Nerf blaster right out of the box, and the accuracy’s going to hurt a little bit based on the usage of streamlines (you can see a video of how the Stampede fires here:. Then again, are you really looking for something to shoot laser straight with the inherent nature of using a Nerf blaster? And hopefully out of 18 shots SOMETHING’ll work. It felt a bit faster than the vulcan too, but when I can test one more thoroughly I’ll make sure to check that.
The blaster holds comfortably size-wise but as you’d expect with something that uses six “D” batteries has a noticeable heft after holding it up at shoulder-height for a few minutes, bipod or no bipod. Also, don’t expect to use the bipod laying prone using the 18 round magazine; it juts out further than the bipod extends.
The N-strike blasters are notorious for stuff slipping loose (sights on the rails, the flip clips) while running, but I don’t think this is the case with the bipod and shield. Dare I say it I tested them thoroughly during the event, and everything held together pretty solidly.
Reloading was easy as pie this time around; previous blasters like the longshot, longstrike, deploy, raider, and vulcan all had a manual action in their reload cycle. The Stampede lets you drop a magazine and throw in a fresh one, no manual mechanism involved. This significantly decreased the reload time between magazines and the user error that would happen sliding a bolt or priming arm back and forth.
I’ll revisit some of these points when I have a unit at-home; but these are my initial impressions. I understand that $50 is a lot, but hopefully the points I’ve provided make a good case. I personally look forward to swinging around with two of them at the same time each with a 35 round drum magazine. Also, remember what it sounds like each Stampede is coming with:
-3 18 round magazines & 1 6 round magazine (probably looking at 54 darts)
So it’s still a pretty sizable bunch of items you’re getting.
Anyway, if you have any questions feel free to comment. Whew!
P.S. – THANK YOU HASBRO AND NERF FOR HAVING ME THERE AND TO THE STAFF ON ALL FRONTS FOR ANSWERING MY QUESTIONS!