[REVIEW] Nerf Rival KNOCKOUT XX-100 (unreleased in the U.S. as of 2019/09/06

NERF RIVAL KNOCKOUT XX-100 Assortment

(HASBRO/Ages 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: October 1, 2019)

Available at most major toy retailers nationwide.

Basics:

– 2 x High-Impact Rounds included
– 1 x Nerf Rival Knockout
– Capacity: 1 round (technically, watch the video!)
– Jolt-style downward pull
– Fires one shot at a time
– Breech-loaded
– Tactical Rail
– FPS readings – approx. 90s
– Ranges: 40-50′ flat, can hit 80-90 angled

Mechanics:

– Flick release to spring barrel forward, revealing breech.
– Insert 1 round, slide barrel back into place.
– Pull priming handle down and push back into original position
– Fire

Pros:
+ Compact
+ Chrony shows it hits about 90 FPS
+ Undocumented (in instruction manual) ability to shotgun 2 rounds
+ Nice aesthetics/mechanics, the pop-release breech and priming mech work nicely for me

Cons:
– Other blasters available at similar price for higher ammo capacity
– Single shot, even against other pistols this is at a disadvantage head to head
– The jolt-style priming mech gets in the way of the grip to some degree, at least for my hands
– Shotgun loading is a happy side effect, not an explicit feature

Final Verdict:

Consider purchasing! It’s pretty good at the price and pretty simple to use. This blaster will be a good stocking stuffer/gift/intro blaster to the Rival line. The compact feel of the blaster is a trade-off with the ammo capacity, but may benefit some play styles and loadouts. Since it is so low profile finding a holster or pocket for it is highly probable.

Official Nerf Arenas to Open Late Next Year!Nerf Action Xperience!

Hasbro Confirms U.S. Nerf Arenas and Opening Date

Grabbed from the Toy Book! Follow the link to read more.

I will update this post with a bit more info later.

It’s later!

“KINGSMEN AND HASBRO BRING THE NERF ACTION EXPERIENCE TO THE UNITED STATES”

 

Singapore, June 4, 2019 – Kingsmen Creatives Ltd. (“Kingsmen”) (“金明创新”), and its subsidiaries (the “Group”), a leading communication design and production group, today announced that Kingsmen Xperience, Inc., its US-based subsidiary has entered into a licensing agreement with global play and entertainment company Hasbro, Inc. (“Hasbro”, NASDAQ: HAS) to expand its current licensing agreement to open NERF FEC attractions in the United States market (“US”).

Mr. Andrew Cheng, Group Chief Executive Officer of Kingsmen, said, “NERF is a well-established brand that commands a global following and has a strong presence in the US. Its appeal as a popular lifestyle brand that encourages social and outdoor play is inter-generational. The opening of NERF FEC’s in the US will redefine how fans can experience the brand as they find themselves immersed in exclusive NERF worlds. We look forward to breaking new ground as we engage audiences in a truly one of a kind experience.”

Expanding the licensing deal for NERF FEC attractions into the US market allows Kingsmen to increase the global reach of the attraction, which has garnered significant international interest. The world’s first NERF FEC will open in Singapore in 2019, with the first US location to open in late 2020.

“When we first announced that Kingsmen was bringing the NERF experience to Singapore, we heard from fans around the globe that they were excited about the possibility of more locations around the world,” said Casey Collins, SVP & GM Consumer Products, Hasbro. “The work Kingsmen has done with the upcoming opening of the NERF Action Xperience in Singapore is outstanding, and we cannot wait for fans and families from all over the US to have their own experience in their back yard, because for us and our fans, it’s NERF or Nothin’!”

My thoughts:

Considering this news from a few months ago, how does it all fit? Kilburn is already planning a Power Rangers Live Tour  with Hasbro and now Kingsman is involved with the Family Entertainment Centers along with Kilburn? None of this is in my realm of expertise but I can see a few different scenarios:

  1. Kilburn handles a lot of licensed/brand property for the centers, like gaming, Transformers related attractions, GI Joe, and other similar properties. Kingsman handles the Nerf arena build outs (unlikely, considering Kilburn has “Nerf” among their clients.
  2. Kilburn lost the license and Kingsman had to step in to take care of the Nerf part of the FECs.
  3. The Nerf arenas are separate from the Hasbro entertainment centers. Not too sure about this either considering Nerf also shows up in other Hasbro properties.

One nugget of info I didn’t really expand on is that the Kilburn attractions have a “multiple-location rollout across North America” planned. Whether this is an all-encompassing Hasbro location or Nerf arenas separated from Hasbro brands, that remains to be seen.

The Kingsman Xperience project is slated for late next year in the U.S., and Singapore’s location opens in 2019, with no mention of multiple locations. At the very least when we see the Singapore location open, that might give us an idea of what to expect. Considering the accessibility they will need and the nature of the target audiences, I urge folks to keep an open mind.

I do have questions:

  • How will these impact the existing arena/mobile party market? Nerf knows about them, it’s a growing market that’s hard to miss.
  • Will these be glorified demo showrooms, or will players be allowed to bring their own blasters (I expect a safety check for that).
  • Multiple locations? Who gets the first wave?

There are others, but I won’t bore you with that. Got a question of your own? Post in the comments!

Fortnite TS Shotgun announced!

NERF FORTNITE TS BLASTER

(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $39.99/Available: June 1, 2019)

Take your FORTNITE battles into real life with this NERF MEGA blaster that features pump-action blasting! The NERF FORTNITE TS blaster is inspired by the blaster used in the popular FORTNITE video game, replicating the look and colors from inside the game. Load 4 darts into the internal clip, prime, and pull the trigger to fire a dart. It comes with 8 Official NERF MEGA darts. The stock has dart storage, so you can keep 4 backup darts within reach for fast reloading. Official NERF darts are designed for distance, tested and approved for performance and quality, and constructed of foam with flexible, hollow tips. Drop into indoor and outdoor FORTNITE action with this pump-action, dart-firing NERF FORTNITE blaster that’s powered by you — no batteries required. Includes blaster, accessory (2 pieces), 8 darts, and instructions. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide. Available for pre-sale at Amazon and other major retailers.

Thanks Nerf for the info!

Confirmed early yesterday: also has slamfire!

Nerf Fortnite SP-L Pistol Demo!

Brought my chronobarrel with me to New York Toy Fair, and I got this reading off the Fortnite SP-L. Enjoy!

(Product info taken from Target.com) – DART-BLASTING FORTNITE BLASTER REPLICA: This SP-L blaster is inspired by the blaster used in Fortnite, capturing the look and colors of the one in the popular video game DETACHABLE BARREL: Comes with a detachable barrel so you can customize the Fortnite SP-L blaster INTERNAL 3-DART CLIP: The blaster has an internal clip with a 3-dart capacity so you can fire 3 darts in a row INCLUDES 6 DARTS: Includes 6 Official Nerf Elite darts OFFICIAL NERF ELITE DARTS: Official Nerf Elite darts are designed for distance, tested and approved for performance and quality, and constructed of foam with flexible, hollow tips The Nerf Fortnite SP-L blaster is inspired by the blaster used in Fortnite, replicating the look and colors of the one from the popular video game! Play Fortnite in real life with this Nerf Elite blaster that has a detachable barrel to customize for different ways to play. Attach the barrel for distance targeting; remove the barrel when you need a more compact look for smaller play areas or when you need to move fast and stay mobile. The Fortnite SP-L blaster has an internal clip with a 3-dart capacity, so you can load 3 darts in a row before it’s time to reload. Insert 3 darts, prime, and pull the trigger to fire. It comes with 6 Official Nerf Darts that are designed for distance, tested and approved for performance and quality, and constructed of foam with flexible, hollow tips. Drop into indoor and outdoor Fortnite action with this dart-firing Nerf Elite Fortnite blaster! Hand-powered — no batteries needed. Includes: blaster, 6 darts, and instructions. Ages 8 and up CAUTION: Do not aim at eyes or face. TO AVOID INJURY: Use only with official NERF darts. Other darts may not meet safety standards. Do not modify darts or dart blaster. WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD – Small parts may be generated. Not for children under 3 years. Copyright Epic Games. Hasbro and all related terms are trademarks of Hasbro. © 2019 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.

Enjoy the data! My full opinion to come after full release this month!

 

 

Toy Fair 2019 Aftershock (the Livestream)

Original live broadcast on 2/19/2019, after New York Toy Fair. Panelists include Vas from FoamFromaAbove.com, Nerfers101 from Instagram, and Nikki from NY Dart Zone. Producer is Gabe E. of NY Dart Zone.

We talk about EVERYTHING we saw! HUGE THANKS (in no particular order) to Nerf, Dart Zone Blasters, Buzz Bee Toys, Top Secret Toys, Zing, Marshmallow Fun, Far Out Toys, and Paper Shooters (Spitball Blasterz)! Appreciate the samples provided!

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2017 Year in Review – Nerf, Buzz Bee, Zuru, and more – The Blasters, the Fails, the Wins, the Ugly

YEAR IN REVIEW: BLASTERS AND MOAR BLASTERS
Vas The Stampede

Blogger note: Each section will not encompass ALL releases for each brand. I am choosing highlights for each.

Nerf Nemesis. One highlight from 2017

NERF CONTINUES TO INNOVATE FOR 2017, BUT ALSO BLASTS YOUR WALLET.

2017. Probably one of the craziest years for blasters thus far. Nerf continues to hit some really high notes with their Rival line, continued world-building with Alien Menace, Doomlands, and hitting stride with continued products for Zombie Strike. However, they also continue to push the envelope when it comes to prices. While they are establishing themselves as the de facto blaster brand (so much that the brand has become eponymous with blaster battle play and games) they also establish with Nerf you get a premium product but also at a premium price.

The Nemesis, Regulator, Judge, Twinshock and even Dreadbolt were all 2017 releases and while impressive big blasters, the lowest of the bunch was $39.99 approximately. The Voidcaster, a semiauto spring pistol also released at around the $19.99 mark. The Raptorstrike looked great but it was another bolt-action rifle and while impressive aesthetically wasn’t functionality we hadn’t seen in previous blasters (bolt-action, magfed, accustrike ammo, etc.) The new blasters for the most part were cool in their own right –

Nerf Mega Twinshock
  • Nemesis – gravity fed hopper, 100 rounds before empty, usable with the Nerf Battery pack, overall just a great addition and a huge step for toy blaster play, although at $99.99
  • The Judge – a multishot functionality (3 dart bursts) but HUGE, and expensive.
  • Regulator – a blaster that introduced 3 dart bursts (a function also used in the Nerf Wii game a few years ago) but also a select-fire switch, a huge feature to go from burst, single, and full auto in a blaster. Bonus points for Modulus functionality to add more accessories. If the Nemesis hadn’t released this might have been my favorite from Nerf this year.
  • Voidcaster – Another semiauto blaster. Just a lot of fun and a function that needs to be used more often.
The jewel of the Nerf releases I think was clearly the continued monster offering from Nerf Rival. Higher fps, higher capacity, even at the prices it’s what the community was doing and Nerf made an offer for folks to step up their experience right out of the box. The Nemesis is costly, but that just makes blasters like the Hera, Kronos, even Khaos (with mags now sold separately) a bit more accessible and reasonable by comparison. And the Hera and Kronos were sleeper releases that weren’t a Toy Fair but were a huge hit when they came out, adding functionality to the Rival line of a semiauto flywheel Rival blaster and a 5 shot pistol with an internal magazine.
Not to even begin on the licensing for Deadpool, and Star Wars blasters that are perform pretty well (though I’ll say I wasn’t excited to see the Boba Fett Apollo kit), Nerf continues to keep the market stocked with a good amount of product for shelves. It’ll be interesting to see where Nerf goes next (and a leaked video earlier this year hinted at Bigger than a Nemesis, maybe even a Rival rifle…. a Rivle?) and with all the sub brands they have you can only expet more Nerf on the shelves for the coming year (some of which has already leaked onto shelves early, including the Mediator and Tri-Break.) If I had to nitpick anywhere, I wish there was more range out of the Judge, and maybe something new besides another rifle for Accustrike. Impressive as the lineup was in places, there is still some room for improvement and maybe some concepts I would like to see revisited. The Signature Bow was another great item, albeit not your usual blaster fare.
Toss in the additional licensed products from Sakar and Jazwares, there will be a full array of toys, accessories, and items to choose from to add on this year. Nerf continues to pave the way for other brands. And yes, there were also a bunch of smaller releases, repaints, exclusives, but these are the highlights that stuck out most for me. Dare I say it Nerf continues to set a gold standard for blasters in mass market, and whatever innovations they make definitely find their market amongst hardcore fans and casual players alike.
Don’t sleep on the competition – “Nerf or Nothin'” =/=…. Buzz Bee, Dart Zone, Zuru….

Competition is healthy! It’s so good. And when the competition is like this, the real winners are the players.

Buzz Bee came out swinging, releasing the Thermal Hunter, Zenith, Barbarian, Tactical Storm, Dwight’s Crossbow (for “The Walking Dead”)…. all for lower prices than Nerf blasters. The highlights were not only the number of pump-action blasters they made, but some accessory innovation with the Thermal Sensor (shown below!)

Buzz Bee also made magazines that were cross-compatible with Nerf blasters, new ammo types (Precision, Long Distance, in addition to sucker darts) that were compatible with Nerf blasters, even an adapter to make the Thermal Sensor usable on Nerf Tactical rails.

The Thermal Hunter was by and large the most comfortable blaster from this line for me, and the pump-action gave it the advantage over the Tactical Storm. I also have the Monorail (thanks for the sample, Buzz Bee!) but man…. the issues about it loading are pretty apparent. It does jam on me quite a bit from just the initial testings I’ve done, and considering how excited I was at Toy Fair I was a bit frustrated with the final product. Great idea, great look, but I wish the experience with the Monorail so far hadn’t left me wanting.

All the same, heck of a year for Buzz Bee releases. They really stepped up to provide an alternative dart flinger for Nerf, and at the prices they have the offerings are pretty good! If you’re a blaster player on a budget, don’t sleep on Buzz Bee toys. You definitely get what you pay for and a lot extra, I think. They still haven’t made their comparable Nerf Rival blaster, but that brings me to…
With the Thermal Hunter
Dart Zone (Covert Ops!) I used to dub Zing Toys the Dark Horse of the blaster/launcher category.
As Zing hasn’t had a new release in some time (that I’ve heard about) besides some Costco gift packs… I pass that onto Dart Zone. It wasn’t enough that they released the Enforcer, Light Command, Dartstorm, but they made a real splash this year with…. 
Much like what happened with Buzz Bee, Dart Zone has made a comparable product to Nerf Rival, but cheaper than any other offering from Nerf. $20 for the Powerball, and it’s cross-compatible with Nerf Rival ammo and magazines. The performance is comparable, in range and accuracy. No slam-fire still from these blasters but that’s not a big deal at all considering what you are getting. On top of the ability to use Nerf mags, the BallistixOps blaster comes with a gravity fed hopper, so depending on your style of play you can use either. You have choices. And buying this blaster won’t put you out against anything else except maybe the battery operated Rival blasters. And even then, there are plans for a new blaster called “The Accelerator”.
Dart Zone again makes the case for a budget buy that offers near-premium performance. You won’t go wrong giving this brand a second look in 2018. Their dart blasters are fantastically strong out of the box as well, but the BallistixOps definitely made their mark this year.
Welcome to the…. ZU (Zuru/Xshot)

Zuru by and large may arguably have the BEST value of blasters and darts. Knowing some of their manufacturing methods, their darts come in crazy packages of refills, but there is a caveat with that. While their blasters accommodate nerf darts, the darts are a little shorter than Nerf darts. In early Zuru mags, Nerf darts were way too long and weren’t cross-compatible. The Bug Attack Crossbow fixed that, but it made the magazine and Crossbow unusable with earlier smaller Xshot magazines, a huge oversight on their part in my opinion. Zuru darts however might hiccup in a Nerf magazine but they work a large part of the time. 
This year, Zuru put out the much lauded Turbo Advance and the Regenerator…. both really decent blasters. The Turbo Advance may have the advantage in my opinion though, as the blaster only needs to be reloaded via the drum while the Regenerator has two new clip styles and you have to refill those as you go. But the blasters are pump-action which I like, and in addition to the cost Zuru continues to chug along cranking out low cost products for good ranges and decent quality. Another brand that undercuts the premium pricing you find at Nerf with good options that don’t have the spectacle and aggressiveness of Nerf, but fire almost as well as anything else. Again, another brand you won’t regret saving a few bucks on.
The E-thir (Third Party companies/products)

Nerf says to use only products with the Nerf seal of approval, and there’s a litany of legal reasons they have to say that to people. Nerf’s brand has become synonymous with toy projectile play – practically anything that shoots a foam dart, arrow, ball, etc. gets referred to as a Nerf toy. Something goes wrong, like a third party dart injures a kid (anyone who used FVJs and found those uncomfortable to get hit with for instance) or some other product breaks and damages a kid’s toy, it’s Nerf who initially may get put on the hook for it. To my experience, the third party products I’ve used (Headshot ammo, shout out to them for providing a pretty decent Rival alternative) have so far been ok, but that doesn’t necessarily mean all of them will be. With the advent of 3D printing, information exchanges on the internet, and Amazon availability, the third party products available now is at a crazy level. That being said, yes, you may find some products perform better than Nerf products and that’s great. Common sense, not all Nerf products are created equal and not everything “for use with” Nerf is Nerf made nor may it be as safe as a product made by Nerf, or any other retailer that makes their products compatible for Nerf but also make their products for mass market (that means Dart Zone, Zuru, Buzz Bee). Just use common sense, read reviews, ask for recommendations, and happy hunting.
Bring me that horizon:

They’re still out there, and I hope to follow up on them at Toy Fair 2018, but Marshmallow Shooters, Paper Shooters, and Precision RBS are still out there and making products! Alternammo from foam darts are still around, so make sure to stay tuned here to find out more as I get info from them. 
Accessories! Modular battlefields!

Earlier I touched on licensed products by Jazwares, utilizing the Nerf brand (those are ok!)
Get familiar with these brands, as they offer ways to create your own adventures and battlefields in two very different ways. Battle Bunkerz offers inflatable barrels, drums, boxes, etc. that you can set up for your own purposes, like they do on Battle Universe. They look really cool aesthetically, and I do need to get these out in the field to try out for myself (it’s winter, and going outside is tough right now in Illinois! Indoor places by me are also few and far between. :P)
Fort Boards (and their sister product, Blaster Boards) are a bit costly to make a HUGE fort, but even the starter kits available can help make some decent panel obstacles for a small battlefield. The blaster board targets make for good objective and target shooting game play, while you also have the added benefit of a construction and fort building kit to add just a little more panache to your battlefield, whether indoor or out. It’s the first year I’ve seen other companies try to market directly to blaster play communities, and it’s interesting to see how everything plays out. The fact that these products exist and have an audience in this manner show that blaster play patterns are really coming to light. Yes, couches, chairs, and tables may still rule the field, but they don’t have to be the only things at risk (and these may save a lamp or two!)
WHEW! What did I miss? 2017 was a big year for blasters and associated products, feel free to sound off and let me know what you want to see in 2018! Happy new year, everyone!

GET CONNECTED!

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HasCon 2018: Dates Announced!

Hey readers (anyone still out there?)

The news came out last week, but ICYMI, HasCon 2018 dates are announced!

Second-Ever HASCON FANmily Event Scheduled for Sept. 6 – 8, 2019 in Providence, R.I.

PAWTUCKET, R.I. – Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) today announced that it will host its second-ever
HASCON event Sept. 6 – 8, 2019, in Providence, R.I. at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin’Donuts Center.

Hasbro hosted its inaugural HASCON event this past September, offering families and fans of all ages a completely new way to experience its brands, and a behind-the- scenes pass to the world of Hasbro. The event featured three days of hands-on brand experiences, meet-and- greets, sneak peeks, concerts, exclusive reveals, star-studded panels and fan-centric surprises.

“We couldn’t be happier with the feedback we’ve received from our inaugural HASCON event,” said
John Frascotti, president, Hasbro, Inc. “We’re looking forward to once again delivering immersive
entertainment experiences around our brands for fans and families in 2019.”

The 2017 event featured dozens of meet-and- greet opportunities with celebrities, athletes and
influencers, including Mark Wahlberg, Stan Lee, David Ortiz, James White, Dude Perfect, Maddie Ziegler, James Gunn, Zach King, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, and Isabela Moner, among others. Concerts by Flo Rida and Daya were included with the purchase of a general admission HASCON ticket. Guests were also invited to audition for a Hasbro video, and to select a toy or game to donate to the Marine Toys for Tots for children impacted by recent hurricanes.

More details about the 2019 HASCON event, including information about ticket packages, will be posted on http://hascon.hasbro.com.

Here’s a video of last year’s trailer:

I missed out on it this year, hopefully I will be in attendance for the 2nd one. The Kronos and a slew of other upcoming Nerf blasters were announced, so it’s definitely a show to watch for! There’s something to be said about the trade shows for sure, but it’s a little different when the brand themselves put on their own show that gives you a direct line to the brand masterminds themselves.

Hope everyone had a great Halloween! I haven’t been posting here as often as I would have liked, but you can still find me on social media!

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