Marshmallow Shooters – Orbballistics, Varmint Series, and more! (Toy Fair 2015)

Orbballistics and more from Marshmallow Shooters at New York Toy Fair
Vas The Stampede

Find the picture gallery in full here: Marshmallow Shooters at New York Toy Fair 2015

Say what you want about Marshmallow Shooters, other blaster lines have come and gone but they are among one of the constants at New York Toy Fair year after year. Last year the biggest news from them (in my opinion) were the Ghostbuster-themed shooters, they looked great and while they were still functionally the same as previous releases, the line was just in time for the big anniversary of the release of the original film.

This year, it’s not a new paint job that piqued my interest, but this new line of blasters from Marshmallow Shooters, the “Orbballistics” as well as the “new” “FoamFury” line. Marshmallow Shooters is now in the business of making reusable foam ammo, as they did have some people who wondered about “wasting food” when it came to using Marshmallow ammo. While this is a concern for me as well, another problem with marshmallow ammo is degradation from heat or reuse. Squishy marshmallows loaded into barrels/hoppers usually meant residue on barrels and plunger heads. Foam ammo makes that less of a problem, thankfully. Based on the technology that they use for the “Orbball”, the ammo for the Orbballistics is a hollowed out foam tube that forms kind of a hollowed out oval, something like a grape, or a mini, teeny tiny hollowed out football. I’ve had some fun with the Classic, Crossbow, Bow, and a variety of other shooters in the past, but the ammo wasn’t optimal in the summer and I had to keep mindful about that. Also, never mind the constant consumption of my ammo from other players. Before the round, during the round, after the round, etc. Not entirely unexpected and it was all in good humor, it became the running gag any time one of us used a marshmallow shooter. Thankfully though that also gave me a lot of reasons to make s’mores and rice crispy treats as well!

Marshmallow Shooters is claiming 60′ flat on these things (and it might be possible, haven’t been able to do the video yet because of technical difficulties but there is one) so that’s pretty interesting stuff. Some of the initial comments I’ve gotten tell me these are similar to the Vortex Koosh blasters from way back, but these are definitely more compact. I didn’t have any prices at the time at New York Toy Fair, but they may be available as of 4th quarter, at least in time for the holidays.

As always, if I manage to get any samples I’ll be sure to do a review right at this blog. The model I handled was a prototype, so it’s way early for me to comment on handling and build strength. At most I can say that it looks sleek, and the ammo holders are always a nice touch. Past that, I am always looking forward to seeing new challengers to the foam arena.

Besides the Orbballistics, Marshmallow Shooters had “FoamFury” which is their classic shooter now firing foam “ear plug” like ammo. 20′ of range, so while made for a quick release definitely not what one can expect from the Orbballistics shooters. Also, there were “Varmint Series” blasters which look hilarious. Pics of these and more can be found in the gallery.

So, thoughts? Another (this time foam) solution from Marshmallow Shooters, with more range than the original shooters and with reusable ammo. Is this something you would try out? Would you qualify it as large ammo if your games use those rules? Comment below, and let me know!

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Toy Fair 2014 Two-Fer: Marshmallow Shooters & Geospace Rockets

So, there are some constants to New York Toy Fair, and Marshmallow Shooters is another one of those brands who keeps chugging along. Every year there’s something new, and this year they revealed a few things. Now, in my opinion they most famously have many repaints of existing models, but given the circumstances, I don’t mind in this case. They landed the Ghostbusters license, so the next round of Marshmallow Shooters are going to look fresh out of 1984 (Happy 30th Anniversary to “The Ghostbusters” and it’s a sad thing that Harold Ramis had to pass away this year. As a fan of his work, I couldn’t believe it when I first heard it. But that is a whole different blog post. If you missed out on the original Ghostbusters pop guns back in the day, maybe these will take the edge off. But at the very least, it’ll be for a new generation.

Ghostbusters paintjobs for Marshmallow Shooters

A concept image of an upcoming Marshmallow shooter. Think… scattergun. Scattermallows. Something like that.

A Beaver Blaster. Not only will it shoot Marshmallows, but it is supposed to also have a foam ball.

I’ll update this post with prices and info.


Geospace Rockets:

A commonly seen push-pull style of rocket, but they also have a few other tricks up their sleeve:

These rockets glow in the dark.

Some of the smaller handheld launchers.

2 for 1 PRODUCT REVIEW – Marshmallow Shooters! (Blaster, Double Shooter)

Before I begin – thanks to Spin Master for taking a chance on me by letting me review something a little different – Review of “My Scare Pal Sulley – Monsters University Toy”

Alright!  I’ve known about Marshmallow Shooters for awhile, and they have some great people working for them there.  They’ve been awesome enough to provide samples to review, so let’s first go to the videos –


STATISTICS (Marshmallow Blaster):

  • Range: Approx 30′ (angled, also depending on condition of marshmallows used.  The marshmallows in the video above were a bit stale)
  • Cost: $23.95
  • Available: Now (various retailers)
  • Capacity: Single (medium sized, NOT JUMBO) Marshmallow (breech loading)
  • Propulsion: Pump  – Trigger action


STATISTICS (Marshmallow Double Barreled Shooter):

    * Range: Approx 30′ – 40′ (flat, depending on condition of marshmallows used)
    * Cost: $31.95
    * Available: Now (various retailers)
    * Capacity: 50 mini Marshmallows (includes 2 tubes, 25 marshmallows each)
    * Propulsion: Pump – Push/pull


Now right off probably, you’re thinking the cost is pretty steep.  And it is, for these blasters.  BUT, I’ll say it’s still not a bad buy because of the simplicity and hilarity you’ll have out of these.  Honestly, the big appeal for me out of the whole line is hitting someone with MARSHMALLOWS.  Firing darts/arrows/ballistic balls has a different mindset for me, but marshmallows seem even more ridiculous to shoot at someone.  Think, Ghostbusters –

Is the price worth the hijinks and the look on someone’s face when you tag them with something better suited for s’mores?  I leave that to you to decide.  The Blaster and the Double Shooter both are pretty tough, resilient, reliable blasters (as of this writing, they actually went back and improved some design elements, so you know the Marshmallowville people are always working to bring better products).  I have had some issues in the past, but a lot of the new samples I’ve been receiving definitely function and hold together much better.  I’ve had the occasional broken string or had a plunger tube slide out after pulling on it, but like I said it was some time ago, and the newer models are improved.  And customer service is responsive via email AND social media; they won’t leave you unattended if you have a problem (at least not in my experience.)  Not to mention, the price I am giving is the MSRP.  You do some searching, you’ll probably find a competitive price to own one.

So, the Marshmallow Blaster  – trigger, breech-loaded, and a pump on the back.  When you fire it, there’s an audible and satisfying “POP!”.  Again, use fresh marshmallows for best  performance.  If you’re used to using a stock Ultimate Missile Blast, Blast Bazooka, or some other related type of air blaster, then this isn’t too far from that.  Personally, I use it as a shield buster if a game I am at allows shields and large ammo with special rules.  I find the lack of ready sling points a bit problematic when I use it for that purpose, but I make do if I just feel like playing with marshmallows that day.  Simple, elegant, and effective (with fresh ‘mallows.)

Next – the Marshmallow Double Shooter!

It’s a push-pull shooter, and you load each of the clear plastic tubes with up to 25 MINI marshmallows (no large ammo here).  To load, the tubes pull out of the blaster, and you can position them back in.  However, this is TIME consuming on the field, especially if the marshmallows load odd into the tube.  While the shooter still has enough air moving to push a marshmallow out if it isn’t perfectly lined up, that reduces the range a bit.  Although, shooting anywhere from 3 to 5 marshmallows at time in a spread one odd marshmallow might not make a lot of difference.

If you’re wondering a bit more about how it works, there’s a little door that repositions itself with every pump of the handle, and the air goes into that tube.  So it switches from one to the other.  Just remember to make the motion fast, otherwise it won’t fire.  But it’ll fire as fast as you can go.  This one IS a bit pricier (at least MSRP, again shop the prices if that’s a concern) than the Marshmallow Blaster but for about as proper a shotgun effect as you’ll get out of anything out there even now this might be more your speed, but again you give up quite a bit on the reload time.  Like the Blaster, the Double Shooter doesn’t have a proper sling point.  You’d have to work out some kind of holster/sling system.


Ok, so while the blasters are pretty decent, these do fire marshmallows.  In hot/rainy weather, they get soft.  In winter, they might freeze (and FROZEN MARSHMALLOWS ARE A NO NO).  They tend to degrade a bit, and in some cases the marshmallows get a bit chopped in the breech and leave marshmallow residue all over the inside of the barrel, which can reduce performance.  While you can leave the marshmallows on the ground as they are perishable food, I would NOT RECOMMEND THAT.  Pick up your marshmallows when you’re done.  If anything, just to keep any wildlife safe if you are in a park and to not litter anywhere else.  At home, definitely clean up after yourself as well, as you’d hate to attract mice or something related.  Their digestive systems might not appreciate marshmallows.  One other side effect I’ve run into is folks like to eat my extra ammo when I’m not looking 🙂  In one case, I’ve actually had a player run up and yank the tubes of marshmallows out of my blaster (he was trolling me) cause he needed a snack.

Bonus:  If you have any marshmallows left, make s’mores!  Have hot chocolate!  Rice Krispie treats, maybe?  So there’s always a case for you to get fresh marshmallows and you won’t have to worry about ammo sitting around waiting to be used.  Granted, there IS a part of me thinking I hate to waste food, but there is something strangely comedic to me about tagging a friend with an air propelled marshmallow. 

So there you have it.  I know it’s been awhile, but I’ve got more on the way and hopefully you found this helpful!  Questions?  Comments?  Either leave’em below or use the submission form on the right.

New York Toy Fair – Nerf, Zing, Katniss, oh my! Possible trending for 2013

New York Toy Fair ended and that leaves a hole in my schedule and a LOT of material to run through.  But as always, I’ll do my best.

Nerf-wise, the biggest news to come out of the showroom this year wasn’t some super secret video with a mysterious silhouette.  This year Nerf was upfront about where they’re going by revealing their new line with girls in mind, the Nerf Rebelle.

For years, I’ve been running the “Foamme Fatale” gallery on my blog to show that in fact, girls are interested in and play with Nerf toys too.  This isn’t, nor should it be a new or surprising development.  From Amazons to Samus Aran, females are into the action toys as well.  It’s good to see that for a couple of years, Nerf did the research and is now getting this initiative in gear.  1200 girls surveyed to see what it is they wanted out of Nerf blasters, and the Nerf Rebelle line is evidence of that.

Now, I don’t remember, but did anyone see girls in the running for the last user-submitted NDTL?  Just putting that out there.

First off, I’m a big fan of the line.  I love the functionality, the streamlined feel of the blasters, and the call back to older weaponry (Nerf Crossbow, Bow N Arrow) with some of them.  The “Rebelle” (and I think even that’s a bit smart, I believe playing off “reveille”) line will get the same performance as the Elite blasters, and the only difference then is the outside aesthetics, kinda like how boys and girls are different on the outside, but on the inside we’re all able to reach 75′. (Or something like that).

Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow
Nerf N-Strike Blazin’ Bow

The performance is there for the Rebelles, for sure.  And handling the blasters I can tell you the function matches the form.  They are sleek, streamlined, feel pretty mobile, and are very eye-catching.  All good ingredients for success.  Now, at first I was wondering about the pink trim, and “why does the girls stuff have to be pink?” but… it’s what my niece has been looking for.  And this is why I say it will sort of challenge gender stereotypes.  Sure, pink is a stereotypically feminine color, but remember the original Bow And Arrow(s?)  And as cool as some of these blasters are (I refer to the Nerf Alpha Girl) the boys are going to HAVE to get used to a pink blaster.

So, failed argument bemoaning the coloring.  Nerf researched high and low for 2 years figuring out what girls wanted, and they wanted pink blasters, accessories, social interaction, the works.

One more note on the pink… the packaging and everything is going to stand out on the shelves.  Think about it.  You walk down the toy blaster aisle, as a young girl you see aisles and aisles of shooting toys in a sea of blues, greens, yellows, oranges, and all with serious-faced boys firing blasters…. and there it is:

Something different.  A pink box, a couple of girls looking like they’re ready to have some fun with blasters.  And not just blasters where it’s “oh, these are for boys, but hey girls can play too” it’s FOR you, a female, speaking TO you in the advertising.  Images mean everything, and this might be what it will take to get most (remember, research of over 1200 girls for 2 years) girls to give the blaster aisle a 2nd look for something directed at them.

Marketing theories aside, the Nerf Rebelle line is only one hint of a trend to bridge a gap between boys and girls in the active toy department.  Not just Nerf, but Zing Toys made a pink bow called the Huntress:

As well as included some female characters into their marketing collateral.

What does this mean?  Attempts to appeal to the association to characters such as “Katniss Everdeen” from The Hunger Games and “Merida” from Disney’s Brave.  No joke, a number of the pitches I heard during Toy Fair drew correlations to creating strong female empowerment imagery to associate to one’s toys.  Or it was applying technology for existing “Boys'” toys to “Girls'” toys.

What does this mean for our blasters?  Nothing alarming, don’t get me wrong.  What this means is that girls have been recognized as a missed opportunity in the action toy department, and Nerf’s Rebelle and Zing’s Huntress are the start.  We might see more of this female-oriented development from other companies in the future should these particular initiatives succeed.

The OTHER point, is with the social climate being what it is right now in regards to firearms, bows and arrows and weaponry of that category are the 2nd trend I’m wondering about.  That’s why you see a Blazin’ Bow after a series of triggered blasters from Nerf, the Rebelle line is bows and crossbows (for the most part), and why Zing is what I believe is the dark horse of the category with their bow-centric toys.  Sure Rebelle has the revolver, but unlike the Nerf Elite series, between the aesthetics and the color scheme, Rebelle seems like it is trying really hard to shake the image of a modern firearm, with all the smooth aesthetics and bow-type functions in spite of the triggered system (that’s why the Heartbreaker is the big item from the Nerf Rebelle line; it’s a non-triggered toy I think and thus less of a firearm.  And Katniss.)


My Last Dart has already spread the news that Nerf is going to make discs that serve different functions, one of which is to get the discs to fly faster and farther.  Knowing that they are already pushing the envelope with the blasters themselves, this makes sense that they decided a back door way to try and get higher performance with the ammo.  The Elite darts were only the start (essentially modified stock streamlines). Now you have what could be a precedent for different dart types as well.

Other companies do this now.  Zing has two versions of arrows; the long-range version and a suction cup version.  Each gives a player a choice on how they want to play, so I would not be surprised to see more of this, with different types of ammo that might fall within safety regs but are different from foam darts.  See: the TekRecon, Vapor blasters, and Xploderz ammo.  Heck, Marshmallowville is out there with Marshmallow shooters too.  Rubber bands, water pellets, marshmallows… smaller ammo than darts, flying farther, and higher ammo capacity than Nerf. (TekRecon’s Havok is going to boast 90 shots per reload, and similar with Vapor and Xploderz.)

Head spinning yet?  Girls are a new market, look for new innovations in ammo types more than the blasters, Max Force and the first round of water pellet blasters was the start.  Possibly blasters are going to start looking crazier and crazier, so they look less like real firearms.  Ultimately though, Nerf still has one more (or 3) trick up its sleeve…. the as-yet unrevealed blasters that are under NDA right now, but being hinted at.  Nerf’s still THE brand to contend with, and we’ll just have to see what happens next.  Lock and load.

Marshmallow Shooters
PrimteTime Toys (more foam dart shooters, but they’re revealing more later this year)
Splatmaster (though that’s paintball)

MANO 8.5! – Milwaukee, WI Nerf meetup!

Good times up in Wisconsin this weekend with the MANO crew!  The Wisconsin scene is alive and well, and it looks like there’s still people interested in running around with toy blasters in parks.  It had it all- melee, marshmallows, Vapor, Nerf, and… more marshmallows.  Seriously kids, remember to always keep some large ammo in your loadouts if the war allows huge shields.

In any event, big thanks to the WI crew for letting us know about it and putting it on.  Wouldn’t be here to prove there’s an audience without guys like this.  I’ve got some POV footage coming up, so keep an eye for it a little later!

For now… the gallery’s posted above but let’s check some highlights –

From MANO 8.5 2012
From MANO 8.5 2012
From MANO 8.5 2012