New York Toy Fair 2015 – In A Nutshell

New York Toy Fair 2015 in a Nutshell (The Good, the Not so Good, the…. What?)
Vas The Stampede

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.’ – Norman Vincent Peale

And there was a lot of shooting (darts, rounds, water pellets, zartz) at this year’s North American International Toy Fair. This makes 5 years now I’ve gone to the show and as always, I come back saying, “wow.” So here’s a quick rundown on what I saw, and some initial impressions.

Quick note: As always, this trip is not sponsored by any of the companies. No one pays to fly me out. This is all out of pocket for me on this trip to ensure I am covering what I want and saying what I need to say.

There were a LOT of blaster type/associated brands that caught my eye this year. The Story So Far (in no particular order), followed by a taste/preview of things I liked (+) and/or didn’t like (-). As I intend to give each brand their own post, these tidbits are shots from the hip, what I readily recall.

  • Nerf (Hasbro)
    • DOOMINATOR +++++++++ (the amount of +s are completely arbitrary, but may relay my sense of enthusiasm) 
    •  Modulus blaster by itself (it’s a Stryfe, even if you can make additions)
    • Strike & Defend blaster (Literally, a “Stock Blaster”) +
    • Rival line ++++++++++++++++
    • Zombie Strike silly s Zombie Repellant + 
    • Rebelle Codebreaker + 
    • Tek Strike +
    • Rotofury doesn’t have a stock


BOOMco Needler – Halo

  • BOOMco (Mattel)
    • Halo blasters ++++
    • Spinsanity +
    • One of the new blasters is another triggerless/slam-fire affair – 
  • Zing 
    • New airborne toys/planes +
    • Firetek Styled Zano Bows +
    • Some additional roleplay items to the “Legends” line +
    • Firetek Style Sky Ripperz+
  • XC Shot/Bug Attack (Zuru)
    • Bug Attack will have included targets for additional hilarity +
    • New blasters for XC Shot (the ones with clips) were prototypes and not firing
    • Increased ranges for XC shot blasters + 
  • Primetime Toys
    • Not much new there, as a lot is still in the works. I did get video of the Talon, but Primetime promises some new product in the next few months. They did address some reports about the dart adhesive being problematic, and insist they have since fixed the problem. Comment below if you still find Primetime Toys streamline darts to fall apart, I’m sure they’d be interested to know. The Scorpion was one of their first forays going out of the Airzone line, and they plan to do more.
  • K’Nex +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A springer styled shotgun of their own.

    • I mean, seriously. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 
      • With a little working knowledge, I’d be interested to see how the standing K’Nex community excels with these blasters. They’re built with “regular” blaster play patterns in mind, with the intent of being able to withstand a drop/fall/hit like any other blaster currently on the market. DROP TEST HERE.
      • What makes me a believer? That one of the folks that works for K’Nex made a multi-barreled blaster (that fired on a single trigger pull after priming each individual plunger tube) out of the available kits. It took some work he said, but it worked out. To me, that spoke volumes of the potential of builds in this line. With enough plungers, connectors, rods, who knows what is possible. Also, look forward to their promotion coming this spring, to really find the best K’Nex fans out there! 
  • Marshmallow Shooters
  • Marshmallow Shooters Orballistics ammo
    • ORBALLISTICS. Reportedly going to get 50′ flat, and straight no less.+++
    • Foam ammo finally. Apparently the feedback was a lot of people didn’t like wasting food, so this is now a thing for their line. 
  • Discovery Kids
    • TBD: they had a number of blasters in boxes, nothing to demo. The designs looked like stuff we’ve seen, but if the price point is right (also, they might have some interesting licenses) I won’t discount them out right.
  • Moose Toys (From what they told me, they have a blaster in the works. Not your typical fare, but I’ll get more info on this later.)  
    • TBD
  •  NXT (Maya Group, from the way I see it, this is a reboot of the Xploderz line)
    • This iteration of water pellet shooters from Maya Group FINALLY HAZ A TRIGGER. After all this time, and the first run with BlasterPro, these blasters get a trigger. I will admit, I had misgivings about previous Maya Group blasters, but these seemed on point. Although, paintballers might see something very similar here (at least, the gravity fed hopper shape on top. +

  • NXT Generation (Bows, crossbows, etc)
    • Some of the most solidly-built blasters/shooters I’ve seen, but the ammo to me leaves something to be desired. They require a closer look from me for a determination on this next set. The shotgun I reviewed was a little expensive for what you got, but it’s a new year, with a new line of products. TBD

  • Ogo Sports (had a few interesting launchers, they might be good for objective-based gameplay) (N/A, as these are more for goals and objectives, and I see them as less for PvP.)
  • Hog Wild Toys (Power Poppers)
    • What is becoming a yearly standard, while these blasters are simplistic but freakin’ hilarious. +
      Honorable mention, right here! Made me think of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”.

    By my count, that’s about 13 different brands that made something blaster/launcher-related.
    There’s a LOT of press release info to go through, photos, and videos but I’ll release them all here! Stay tuned, as I will be releasing more galleries and videos this week (piece by piece, so as to not overwhelm you:)  and if you have any questions please leave in the (moderated) comments below!

    Let’s connect:
    Instagram: Blasterbot1984
    Twitter: @VasTheStampede



    Got word of this from the fine folks at Tek Reconthey’re launching a little early, and ON KICKSTARTER.  I’ll let them explain in the press release below.

    One of the most anticipated product launches of 2013 hits KICKSTARTER on May 9th

    TORONTO, May 8, 2013 – TEK RECON, one of the most anticipated new product launches of 2013 will be available for the first time through KICKSTARTER.COM on May 9th @ 8am eastern standard time.

    The goal of the KICKSTARTER campaign is designed to further enhance the development of the TEK RECON blaster and free app, and to get the product into the hands of early adopters and key influencers helping to create the first real life online video game. Through the course of 31 days fans will be able to fund the project through purchasing product, exclusive rewards, and bid on great prizes that include appearances in the television commercial and an all expense paid trip to present at E3; all contributing towards our KICKSTARTER funding goal of raising $50,000.

    “Bringing TEK RECON to market through this KICKSTARTER project is the most ambitious and exciting launch in our company history,” stated Brad Pedersen President and CEO of TEK RECON Inc. “Two years ago we set out on a mission to bring video games, online connectivity and social interactive play together through innovation and great product design. The outcome, TEK RECON has come to life and created a phenomenal play experience that has exceeded our expectations.”

    Gamers, adventure seekers and fans of technology, we need your help to create a revolutionary new way to connect and play video games with your friends IN REAL LIFE! Get off the couch and into the game with the newest and most realistic way to blast away on the field or anywhere. TEK RECON Blasters feature a first of its kind design with real trigger action and specially designed reusable “NRG Rounds” that blast up to 75 feet.

    To optimize the battle and team experience TEK RECON developed a free “Real-Life Online Gaming” app to enhance blaster battles. Simply connect your mobile device to the blaster to bring video game styled play to life through mobile and GPS technology.  The free TEK RECON App will be available for iOS and Android devices, enhancing real battle experience through an interactive heads up display, live chat, vision modes, and more.

    The time is now to be one of the first to experience Real Life Online Gaming and change the way you play. For more information on this product and KICKSTARTER campaign please visit”

    A look at the OS of the Tek Recon app
    The Tek Recon Hammer Head. Approx. $19.99, 30 round capacity in a mag in the handle.

    The Tek Recon Havok blaster, pump-action.  Approx. $34.99 as of the listing I saw at Toy Fair.  90 round capacity last I saw.

    So there you have it.  On May 9th Tech4Kids (makers of Tek Recon) is willing to let fans endorse the product, assist in the development, and in return you can get the blaster early, or any number of other bonuses, including possibly a trip to E3?  Interesting, indeed!

    Tek Recon wants to make sure they get the blasters done properly, so here they are opening up to the wonderful world of crowdfunding.  Their kickstarter page launches May 9th, so if you’ve been yelling “TAKE MY MONEY” since news on Tek Recon first came out, here’s your chance. 

    Between the interactivity of the mobile app, the new ammo type, and some of the neatest touches when it comes to aesthetics and user experience, I’m intrigued to try it out and see how it all works.  I’ve been itching to get a more in-depth look at this since New York Toy Fair, and it looks close, so, so close. 

    I’ll post the link once the kickstarter goes live and definitely keep an eye on Tek Recon’s Facebook Page.

    Onward, to May 9th!  And good luck to Tek Recon in making this work!

    New York Toy Fair – TekRecon Debrief

    The “flag” QR code scanned with app.

    Havok and the Hammer Head

    Hammer Head

    Havok and Magazine

    How the magazine comes out of the Hammer Head

    From the press release:

    Tech 4 Kids To Revolutionize Boys Action Experience with Tek Recon!

    With innovations never seen before, Tech 4 Kids is set to revolutionize the action blaster category with
    Tek Recon! Tek Recon is a new line of blasters that integrate cutting edge design and the latest in
    gaming technology to provide the ultimate targeting and boys action experience. By bringing blasting
    capabilities to new heights, and by adding revolutionary app-enhanced gameplay features comparable to
    those of sophisticated video games, Tek Recon truly takes the category to the next level. Simply attach
    your smartphone to the blaster’s mount and you’re ready for Tek Recon Advanced Battle Systems that
    include GPS radar, voice communication capabilities and tons more gaming features!

    Tek Recon blasters are the ONLY in their category to feature:

    • App-enhanced video game quality multi-player battles and team play, in REAL LIFE!
    • High performance rapid fire blasting (rubber rounds) with real recoil kickback

    Additional features include:

    • Futuristic blaster design
    • Massive capacity of rounds (30 with Hammer Head, 90 with Havok), reusable with no mess
    • Long blasting distance with modifiable blasting modes
    • Fast trigger blasting with quick clip reload

    Advanced Battle Systems:

    The optional smart phone enhanced features are industry leading in bringing video game like experiences
    into real world play and include:

    • Reality /Digital Convergence (RDC) to capture real world actions through the lens of a smart
      device jam packed with popular, in demand gameplay features
    • Heads-up Display (HUD) with customizable vision modes, sound effects, and scopes for
      enhanced scouting of targets and objectives
    • Massive closed circuit gaming experience where players can use GPS to track the movement of
      teammates and opponents through Tek Recon Radar
    • Downloadable upgrades and links to a global social community, where screen captures can be
      shared, personal stats can be tracked, and team leader boards populated
    • Flashlight for night vision, surveillance video and camera, inter-team walkie talkie features

    3 Popular, Familiar, and Exciting Game Modes:

    • Isolation: every person for themself tagging battle – last person standing
    • Team supremacy: team battle, eliminate opponent team through tactical maneuvers and tagging
    • Intel recovery: team reconnaissance mission – locate and scan all flags before

    The app works with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPod Touch devices as well as select Android

    Available Fall 2013
    Suggested retail price: $19.99 (Hammer Head), $34.99 (Havok)
    Ages 8+

    Please visit

    TOY FAIR 2012 – (it never ends!) Construction stuff? (Lego, Mega Bloks,

    So, today’s update of more awesome stuff from Toy Fair 2012 – 

    LEGO –  (Some highlights)

    From “Monster Fighters”

    DC Universe!  (Notice Superman needs the rescuing?  Go Wonder Woman!)

    Star Wars, a redux of the TIE Fighter
    Helm’s Deep!


    Thanks for this to the Mega Bloks FB page –


    THE BIG SHOW – Welcome to Toy Fair 2011

    Wow. So, I went to Toy Fair. My story is a blog entry in and of itself, but you’re probably not here for pages of witty observation. The saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words… so let me tell by show.

    Some initial pictures!

    Now for the bread and butter of this site: Foam shooters and other fun projectile toys!

    The Hasbro/Nerf Showroom: New NERF DART TAG, a teaser for the NERF VORTEX line, and Nerf apparel were in the Nerf portion, while I saw everything from RC to BEYBLADES, GI JOE, TRANSFORMERS, STAR WARS and more!)

    Prime Time Toys: (POWERSTRIKE 48, QUICKFIRE 12)


    and an honorable mention to TOOBERS AND ZOTS, while not a foam dart shooter/projectile brand, definitely have a product worth looking into if you have a lot of roleplaying/cosplay elements in your games. They’re a construction set of foam pieces that interlock and wrap around together to make fun shapes like hats and swords and in one case, even wings 🙂

    Also, some interesting roleplay/game type stuff at BACKYARD SAFARI/ZILLIONS I took a look there and have some ideas 🙂

    RAZOR SCOOTERS (@RAZORUSA) – c’mon, they’re action sport toys. I had a lot of fun with their stuff!

    Someone new to me, MOBO CRUISERS. Basically I saw this and went, “OMG OMG A BIG WHEEL FOR ADULTS”






    I have a soft spot in my heart for seeing “The Maxx”





    GUND (soft plushie toys, awesome watch for their GRIDIRON FANATIC)

    OHIO ART (AIR PICKS – seriously these things are pretty cool)