Nerf Alien Menace Voidcaster in stores! Nerf Semiauto Goodness.
Hey all! Working from my phone, so I can’t embed the video at the moment, but just uploaded a video on the Nerf Alien Menace Voidcaster. Check the link below to visit my YouTube channel (if you like, please give a like and subscribe!)
Price: $19.99 Includes: 8 elite streamline darts Toys R Us exclusive Available now
Ranges: Approximately 40′-50′ flat, angled is a little more.
Thoughts: In a short list of non-battery powered semiauto blasters, the Voidcaster does lack ammo capacity (less shots than either the Snapfire 8 or DartFire) but makes up for that in aesthetics. If that’s how you want to see it. The Nerf Alien Menace Voidcaster is semiauto, primes and fires the blaster in one trigger pull, and gets about 40-50 feet in range. The above firing test was done one handed, so you can see blaster jump a bit with every shot. A two handed method definitely stabilize it.
I definitely like the slim profile of the blaster, but for 4 shots getting quick with the trigger is a problem. And like the other semiauto blasters you have to squeeze the trigger very distinctly each time to ensure a full firing cycle. Otherwise the blaster may misfire (as seen in my video). At $19.99 too you are really paying for the look, which is a major appeal for this. The deco has a scaled pattern on some sections, while the colors go well together.
With this blaster, Nerf continues its world building for the Alien Menace line. No claimed ranges on the box per usual, since performance isn’t the focus on this or Doomlands. Hence, I don’t expect a lot from the more story driven blaster lines. Still though, for a little more than $20 you can own a semiatuo blaster lines. Not a terrible purchase, but definitely a middle ground. Thanks so much for reading, and stay tuned for more content!
The Walking Dead Abraham’s M16 Zombie Blaster Clip-fed dart blaster
Includes: Blaster x 1, 12 Long Distance darts, 8 round magazine
Blasts Darts up to 72′
Carrying handle and extended stock
MSRP: $32.00 – Ages 6+
Abraham! A character from “The Walking Dead” but not quite the character you might be thinking of. There’s the Survivor played by Michael Cudlitz on the hugely popular TV show, and then the character on the hugely popular longrunning “The Walking Dead” comic. This blaster references the latter. Here’s a look at them both (images used from The Walking Dead wiki:
As played by Michael Cudlitz
The Buzz Bee blasters in general really stepped up in the last year. Revealed at New York Toy Fair last year, the new “The Walking Dead” was a real surprise to me in terms of licensed blasters to any degree. Up to this point, the only licensed weaponry was from Thinkgeek (non-projectile, non-foam) or a pretty poor performing Daryl crossbow that shot large foam darts.
BUT WAIT NO MORE.
These “Walking Dead” blasters are not only in a $30 and less price range, but they also are marketed at hitting 72′. Given the rising price of blasters, this adds some much needed relief for comic fans, collectors, and blaster enthusiasts.
Let’s talk colors.
Once again, the blasters draw inspiration from “The Walking Dead” comic book universe, in packaging and font, so if you’re a fan of just the AMC show the aesthetics might seem different to you. Also, Daryl wasn’t originally a character in the comic book, so no crossbow (yet…?)
The colors are a vibrant yellow/red/white, which is common to keeping cosplay enthusiasts and players from being identified as using anything dangerous. It’s not exactly some of the first colors you think of with a black and white comic or the zombie apocalypse but I like them and think they work in the space of making easily identifiable toys. (Yes, Toys! Remember, these are toys.)
The blasters are also a bit on the larger side, some folks may say this has a lot of empty space in the shells. Personally, I like the dimensions of the Abraham blaster, as it feels the most comfortable of the bunch to me, even without the adjustable stock. The mag release button is in an intuitive location, and resistant enough that I won’t accidentally hit the release at some point and dump my ammo. The priming slide/carry handle is a familiar motion for me from past blasters, so it’s not a pain to use, and the handle actually helps keep my hand from sliding off for some reason, such as dirt, sweat, or rain. I haven’t had a horrible jamming problem at all, whether that’s to the design or the fact I use fresh darts regularly is anyone’s guess. But finding a comfortable hand position on the blaster is definitely not an issue, the only real problem for me is carrying enough magazines to keep myself blasting 🙂
The carrying handle did come in handy to use while running, oddly enough. It’s one of those neat touches to a blaster that while it doesn’t affect performance, it adds to the feel and look of it to a huge degree. Otherwise, the blaster’s length isn’t super problematic in close quarters either, and aiming at targets wasn’t obstructed (as you can see in the video). The Buzz Bee darts need some further testing, but I like where they’re going so far.
In all, I feel it’s a really solidly built toy. The cost is right, and the biggest boon for parents is the magazines and darts will work with Nerf branded toys. Through some alchemic reaction the Buzz Bee and Nerf mags and darts are cross-compatible from what I’ve seen so far, so having to reinvest in a new ammo type or mag type (while preferred) is not a necessity. Keep in mind that stock blasters are built for their own proprietary accessories, and while they work together it may not provide full range and may lead to jamming some of the time.
Whew! So is this on your to-buy list? Will you use it for a costume? I have more reviews on the way, if you have any questions make sure to comment below! The blaster is available now, at a suggested retail price of $32. Fight the dead, but fear the living!
Edit: Sample provided by Buzz Bee toys, opinions remain my own.
Scorpion Gatling Blaster: Dart Zone/Prime Time Toys By: Vas The Stampede
Size Comparison: Scorpion vs. Nerf Barrel Break and Zing Legends Bow
My firing video:
Price: $19.99 (Wal-Mart Exclusive) Range: Up to 70′ (angled) Includes: “Super Darts” x 20 20 Dart Ammo Belt x 1 Instructions Scorpion Gatling Blaster x 1
Prime Time Toys keeps the hits coming with one of their latest entries, the CovertOps Scorpion Gatling Blaster. A Wal-Mart Exclusive, this blaster is obviously inspired by some earlier similarly styled “gatling” blasters like the Punisherand Gatling Blaster. This fully automatic, 20 shot blaster proves itself a pretty good value for 20 bucks.
It requires 6 AA batteries, and that spins the barrel (purely cosmetic effect) and also powers the flywheels. There’s no accelerator trigger here, once you hit the “on” button the flywheels go and all you have to do is hold the trigger down. It’s pretty easy to shoot in bursts, or just empty the entire belt for maximum hilarity. The blaster is small, probably smaller than either of the earlier gatling blasters. This does make it a bit easier to carry and move quickly, although the chains do swing about, nothing new if you’ve ever run with a Nerf Vulcan. Unlike the Punisher, there is no ammo box, so there’s a loss in aesthetic as well. Oddly enough, while the line is called Covert Ops, once this blaster is on, there is nothing covert about it. If you didn’t like the noise level of a Barricade, you will definitely not like this blaster. As I suggest with any of those complaints, just wait until you’re about to shoot and flick the power switch then, don’t run around an entire game or scenario with your flywheels running (unless there’s a strategic reason for it, as I’ve done in the past).
The Covert Ops line is a green and orange mash of colors, crossing toy safety and a color scheme reminiscent of the movie, “Predator.” While this isn’t the total minigun that some folks may want, it does pretty well all the same. To me, the plastic and build feels pretty sturdy and that it might take a drop or 2. That is only descriptive of the blaster body, though. I can’t attest to the strength of the electronics and the motor if you dropped this blaster. Bottom line, it feels solid.
The amount of clearance to fit other brand darts through the Scorpion.
I repeat, the size proves deceptive as you might not expect the power you get out of this. I was able to hit almost 50′ flat and angled my shots hit about the advertised 70′ range. And this was with both the proprietary “super” darts and other leading brand darts. This blaster shot just about anything I put in the ammo belts. The accuracy did leave something to be desired, but with foam ammo that tends to just be the reality of the medium. And if you’re sending out about 20 shots at a time, maybe accuracy isn’t your main concern!
That being said, I can’t comment if chains from the earlier gatling blasters will work with the Scorpion, as I don’t have either. And if I had any real complaint about this blaster, it’s that additional chains aren’t available to use this as a proper defensive or offensive weapon. Extra chains and the fast reload (with some practice and preloaded chains) would make for a good time in a stock blaster game. As far as I know, separate chains are not sold anywhere so you have one 20 shot belt and that’s it with the Scorpion. Either check your fire or get ready to reload the same chain frequently. For $20 and only 6 AA batteries, I definitely think this blaster is worth the trip to a Wal-Mart (in the US) and adding to your inventory. It’s a great price for a 20 shot blaster that hits its range and fires pretty quickly.
Thanks so much to Prime Time Toys for the sample, and to you for reading! If there’s anything I missed feel free to use the contact form or make a comment below (comments are moderated, so they may not appear right away.
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Fact Sheet: NXT Tactical Shotgun: Price: $42.99 at Toys R Us Range: 20′ (flat, angled = approx. > 30′) Ages: 5+ Ammo: Foam darts (3 velcro/3 suction) – proprietary, does not match any other brand of dart. Additional ammo packs are available. Availability: Most major retailers. Includes: Tactical Shotgun x 1 Darts (3 suction type, 3 hook & loop) Target x 1 Sample was provided by the manufacturer, opinions are my own.
A look at the NXT darts – they’re shorter than most other brands.
The push-button breech, load the darts here.
NXT Generation Toys is a company I ran into at New York Toy Fair this year. I’ve seen their products at Toys R Us, but haven’t picked one up before. It was an unfamiliar brand, and I can only budget so much for blasters. But, they were kind enough to send along a sample, so let’s see what I’ve been missing out on.
FIRST OFF: I got a little background on the company, and their aim (is it were) is on target practice, giving parents another avenue to teach their child about hunting and marksmanship. They not only have shotguns, but crossbows, bows patterned after compound bows (a long bow too), and a bit of an old-time element with flintlock pistols and long rifles (see: Frontier Series).
BUT, the intended use for them is – target practice. The tactical shotgun came with a target of its own, but there are others available in the cartoon shape of animals and more traditional archery targets, reinforcing the hunting and outdoor sportsman theme.
One of the neatest features about the tactical shotgun was the popout chamber. You push a button, out pops the dart chamber, you put the dart in, prime the shotgun, pull the trigger. It is one of the more unique ways to load a toy. However, this means it is also a single shot, and the chamber is small to accommodate their own ammo, but no other brands.
The NXT Shotgun only hit about 30′ at most with the toy angled, and 20′ flat after a number of shots. Compared to other brands currently, this isn’t something we see nowadays, especially at their price. In this case it might be a question how much you like how it looks.
Tactical means tactical. The toy is a solid matte black, with the obligatory orange tip. It feels light, and built so that the intended market (5+) should be able to manipulate the pump, with a little help from an adult (also part of the experience of making target shooting a parent-child experience). The pump does feel pretty solid, though I have to admit the feel of the toy doesn’t seem to be as robust as more recent toys. Again though, this follows with being built so a small child can use it. There’s no questioning what type of firearm this is modeled after though, so yes it can shoot targets but it might also be a good purchase for cosplayers and around Halloween.
The darts – the foam doesn’t match the current feel of other current brands. The foam feels lighter than other dart types, and the tips felt like they could peel off, especially if the dart got caught while pushing the chamber back into the body.
Ultimately, is it a buy? If you really want that shotgun look and pump-action feel, then go nuts. But the ranges are low compared to what else you can get recently for a similar amount of money. In close quarters this could be fun, but you would be limited to the proprietary ammo which means you’re lacking a lot of flexibility if you intend to go player vs player. As a target shooting game alone, combined with the targets and 20′ of space it could be a fun experience for the young kids to learn how to aim and maybe begin familiarizing themselves with outdoor shooting. Hopefully this helps, and if I’ve missed anything feel free to submit a question or comment below.
Zing – Air Storm Firetek Bow By: Vas The Stampede Foam From Above
Price: $29.97 – Wal-Mart Exclusive Range: Up to 145′ Includes: Firetek Bow x 1 “Zonic” Blaze Arrows x 3 Available now: Red & Green colors (Red sample provided by Zing Toys) Ages: 8+
A design similar to the Z-Tek Air Storm Bow, the Firetek Bow is another entry from Zing Toys into archery and outdoor play. Like the Z-Tek, this bow is a bit smaller than the popular Zcurve bow and may not have as much range. I could hit upwards of 200’+ with the right angle and draw on a Zcurve, the Z-Tek came close but not quite. From some of the first shots I took, it is definitely look
Just like most other Zing arrow products, the arrows hook into the rubber loops at the center of the bow, aim, pull back, and release. There is a ridged rubbery grip at near the back of the arrow that helps with the pull, but sweaty fingers may make getting full power difficult. If you have tried a zing bow before, this shouldn’t be too different.
The big feature here is unlike the Z-Tek bow, the Firetek bow has a button in the grip that turns on lights in the colored portions of the bow arms; similarly the “Zonic” arrows have a switch just under the arrowhead that turns on a light inside the arrow shaft. So these arrows are a bit thicker feeling than past arrows; and the plastic shaft may feel a bit fragile.
However, the arrow tips are a thick foam again as with most Zing products so the arrows should definitely be able to take a beating. I haven’t performed a stomp test on these arrows though as I don’t know if they will have separate ammo packs available. Therefore, I want to keep my Zonic arrows mostly in good condition.
The effect is pretty neat, and watching your arrow zip through a darkened sky is a different kind of experience. The lights even help see where the arrow loops are in the dark, making night shooting a little easier. The lights on the arrows also obviously made finding my shots in the dark a snap. Dare I say it was easier to find these than green colored Zartz in grass. One other feature is I was able to reach my thumb from the grip to the switch on the arrows as the arrow was hooked in, which was nice if I needed stealth. I don’t know if smaller hands could do the same, but I don’t see it as being impossible. Unlike the z-Tek, this now doesn’t have arrow holders, users are going to have to use pockets or something else to carry around extra rounds.
In a pinch, the Zonic blaze arrows and even the bow could be used as a flashlight, but I wouldn’t recommend counting on either as a replacement flashlight. They illumination is impressive, but definitely not advisable if you have other sources of light available.
I do see some great possibilities for using this particular gimmick, too. Say in a specific scenario you had to fire a signal flare in an evening gametype, or in another you had to hit a target from a distance in low light. In the right gametype this would be a fun accessory to spice things up.
As this is a Zing bow product, the real fun of this product is outside where high power and ranges are better suited to cut loose. I wouldn’t recommend using this in a house or in close quarters – if you can control your draw power well enough then I leave that decision up to the player. This is definitely more for the wide open spaces, though.
So yes, the Firetek Bow has a very familiar feel to it, but the ability to test your aim in low light conditions with only these as your only light source may be enough to pique the interest of the archer in your family. I hope extra arrow packs become available as well, the idea of more than a few “flares” is something I would like to play around with and what game types may come out from that. The price is a bit high, but considering the electronics and the solid construction that isn’t entirely unexpected.
I have said from the start Zing products are a solid buy and while they may not always be perfect for blaster battles they are fun to shoot targets with anyway. I consider them the “dark horse” of the projectile market, chugging along with good products while eyes are on Nerf and Mattel most of the time, Zing continues to put out something fun and tactile with impressive range. If you haven’t tried out their products yet definitely consider this your introduction to their lineup, even if all you want is something to shoot targets.
Hope this helps! I will update this post with some video as well, so make sure to check back later!
(Recorded this late last night while I was putting together the review – I picked the blaster up late at Target, it was a surprise to see it, will update with a better video once I am rested and have better light. In the meantime, here are some pictures:
Hey everyone! So I picked up the BoomCo Rapid Madness last night. Enjoy the gallery –
The BoomCo shield is removable, and the pump is double action!
Price: $49.99 (!?) Includes: Rapid Madness x 1 Darts x 30 Throwable “Round” x 1 Shield x 1 Target board x 1; Instructions x 1
Impressions! BoomCo is Mattel’s foray into toy blasters. They don’t use foam darts, and the big gimmick is this “sticky technology” on the dart tipsthat are specially formulated to react and stick to specifically developed targets. It’s a huge line, and coming from one of the top toy makers in the world, is it enough to challenge Nerf, a brand that has become eponymous with toys that shoot darts and other projectiles?
In the past, many other brands have come and go – Light Strike, Max Force, gel shooters, and so on. The difference here is Mattel is much bigger than the other companies trying to broach the blaster market in the past. They have deep pockets for R&D and Marketing which really help getting your brand and toy noticed.
“Sticky” technology, you say? According to Mattel’s techs, they formulated the rubber/polymer/whatever on the darts to only react/stick to the specially designed targets. And they do! It’s amazing! It could theoretically make hit-tracking and scorekeeping much easier depending on what rules/gametype you, the player, devise. And it’s a strong grip, too. Any other surface/material and the darts just bounce.HOWEVER – CAVEAT – the stickiness will fade if not maintained; you have to rinse the darts regularly or use tape to remove debris. Have no fear, the instructions have…. instructions on how to do this. The Round included is entirely composed of the sticky material, which…. gives me some scenario-style ideas. But more on that as the line develops.
The darts themselves are constructed of a thick straw-like plastic, topped with the sticky material. I don’t have a scale to tell you a difference in the weight of these darts vs. foam. If I had to attest to durability, I’d rather take the darts out to a game rather than hypothesize, and see the attrition that way. The foam darts are definitely thicker, and you can find a pretty good overview at UKNERF..
The dart was fine!
Let’s look at the BoomCo Rapid Madness. At $49.99 + tax, I was a little leery about buying it. There are/were numerous blasters of similar function in the past (Magstrike, Powerclip for starters) but they were also pre-Elite and at most were hitting 20-30′, probably. The Rapid Madness outdoes that with 50′ in range (see the video above!). It also comes with a shield, a target, and a throwable projectile (see previous paragraph).
The Rapid Madness! (Shield is attached and closed up)
The “Round” – both halves stick together when they are pressed, they separate for easy cleaning.
Functionally speaking, we’ve been there, done that. Pump the blaster (at most) 18 times (a double-action pump no less), pull the trigger, and point where you want to unleash your straw/rubber-sticky doom. The only difference in this instance is the 50′ in range vs. maybe 30′ in earlier blasters. It’s this similarity though that makes me question the price, even with the extras included.
The blaster is fully automatic, so it is definitely a spray and pray kind of experience. I found myself wanting to use a grip with my offhand besides the pump, but there really isn’t another place on the barrel that seemed like a good fit. Aiming from the shoulder also seemed improper because of the nature of the blaster, so I actually found shooting from the waist better, again with the spray and pray idea. The double action nature of the blaster’s pump might make it feel slower to refill with air, and depending on your play style this may or may not be your cup of tea. Once your first salvo is out…. MOVE. However, as you can see in the (newly added) video, doing bursts of darts isn’t too hard with the Rapid Madness.
The shield mounts on the barrel and deploys at the press of a button. Even though there is a sort of iron sight on it I felt like the shield made aiming a bit more difficult, which made shooting from the hip even more preferable. In fact, like the Nerf Stampede shield I felt better just having it off. I also don’t think the blaster is for lefties, since the clip loads from the left of the barrel and has to be inserted that way due to the arrow guides. There was a bit of the blaster near the grip that would dig into my hand as well, whether that is because of the design for kids or a flaw in construction I am not sure.
The blaster itself had a separation in the shell already as well –
The shell seemed a bit opened here.
But it worked and as the video shows, the volley needed some dialing in but otherwise it worked pretty well. When I have some time (and daylight) to update the video outside to check max range, I will. The pump felt durable and sturdy, as did the rest of the blaster (something you can expect when a company like Mattel is doing the building.) My nephew (he’s 11) thought it looked pretty cool, and got a kick out of shooting it.
When it boils down to it, what are we looking at? The Rapid Madness is expensive for a mechanic we’ve already seen elsewhere. It requires stocking up on Yet Another Ammo Type, and even then the BoomCo ammo gimmick may fade out over time and leave you with darts that do little else but bounce like any other darts but at a premium price (for the blasters that launch them, if not the darts themselves.) However the range is on par with the current market of available blasters (at least, until certain 90-100′ blasters hit shelves later this year) and honestly they do look pretty slick and futuristic. The sticky tech sounds like it’ll be a lot of fun to play around with and I’m willing to give the line a chance and see where they go. If you want to try something new maybe give this a look. But with its price maybe check out some of the lower priced blasters before you go with the Rapid Madness. Honestly, of all the blasters in the line, I wish I had found the Twisted Spinner first, based on the uniqueness of the blaster alone.
Thoughts? Questions? Let me know in the comments! NOTE: I moderate comments, so if they don’t show up right away, don’t worry about resubmitting! I will get there and read them. 🙂
Requires 6 x AA batteries for tank, 1 x 9v for remote (batteries not included).
Available now at major retailers.
Range: 50 max. at lowest angle, 20′-30′ at highest
Fired Nerf brand streamlines (elite, suction cup, zombiestrike) as well as included darts. Did NOT launch Buzz Bee or “extreme air zone” darts.
Includes: Remote, darts, Cannon Commando, and tailpiece for stability. (GoPro Mount is my own)
The turret raises/lowers manually.
Dart comparison between VMD darts (far left) and other brands.
Tail piece to prevent the VMD from tipping backward (optional).
Tank treads made driving through gravel and some grass ok, directions note DO NOT drive through heavily loose ground, as this may interfere with motorized internals.
Thanks to Skyrocket Toys for the sample! (All opinions are my own.) So I’ve seen the Cannon Commando before, but this is the first time I’ve actually been able to check it out for myself. Click Click BAMF did a review of their own, so feel free to check that out. As for my my own thoughts, they follow below.
FIRST: The VMD is obviously remote controlled. There are 3 frequencies (A, B, and C) that it uses to sync a VMD Tank unit with the control. There is a switch on the control, and a similar switch on the underside of the tank. This is to help 3 people each with a Cannon Commando each use theirs to shoot independently. I am not sure if more than 3 at one time is possible, though. And you set the frequency when you turn on the Cannon Commando, so it is not possible to hijack another player’s tank mid-game by flipping the switch on your controller.
You fire the VMD by flipping the “armed” switch cover to reveal the “arm” switch underneath, and flip that to light up the red skull on the control. Press down the top right bumper switch on the control, and you can fire away. Firing AND moving isn’t built in the functions though, one function or the other at a time.
The VMD also has to be aimed manually. You set the angle you want to fire, and then drive around. the lowest angle would hit around 50′ (the video above is set in a high wind, fair warning) while the highest elevation reduced range to about 20′-30′. Also, this is a flywheel blaster (see the above breakdown at the beginning of the article for what darts did/did not work) so launching a variety of darts is a bit easier than with a blaster that uses a magazine. They market this as one of the hardest firing launchers out there, and it’s true (stock). There is definitely some pop in the flywheel launcher, more than I initially expected when I first saw this. Definitely a lot of surprise in such a little package.
Reloading the VMD is a bit tricky, from what I could tell the dart cylinder doesn’t pop out, so you have to manually (and somewhat gently) rotate the chambers if you choose to reload darts that way. Besides the rotation mechanism though, the rest of the tank feels pretty solid in construction. It’s hefty, and the treads are a decent rubber. As you can see it rolled along on pavement pretty quickly, and low grass wasn’t a problem. I really wish it could aim with the remote, but chances are that would have taken it above the attractive $40 price tag.
While this isn’t the normal type of dart shooter and maybe not one I’d use for a normal running around type of dart blaster game, I still found it a lot of fun to play with and there are some interesting ideas I have to use this for in the coming weeks. For a motorized dart launcher with a lot of replay value, I think this is worth the $40. In the office, at home, or just because, definitely worth a look!
There have been plenty of reviews already on this book, but what’s one more? Licensed by Nerf and developed/researched for some time by Mr. Marunas (note the shoutout to the collectors/other sites out there, which includesAdult Fans of Nerf) he went to Hasbro HQ and the internet to gather what info he could and consolidate the information as best he can. But with as many companies that owned the Nerf brand (Larami, Park Brothers, and so on) over the years, that’s 40+ years of history in foam.
Now right off, this is a kid’s book. It’s intended audience is for the 8+ crowd and even though there are mch older players everywhere, this book is for kids! There’s a brief history of the brand from the beginning, but this is in no way an omnibus of the entire armory of Nerf blasters from day 1. He mentions the early days, the creation of the foam ball which led to the development of the first blaster and some of the various types of ammo (including the first mega darts) from over the years,but the majority of the book’s blaster listings are for N-Strike blasters from 2004 to the present.
The book does include six exclusive N-Strike Elite camo darts in the cover as well, in case you need to protect yourself while reading. 🙂
The book explains different types of Nerf ammo, both discontinued and current. Mega Darts to Vortex discs, and everything in between. Each chapter separates the blasters by “classes” such as Light, Medium, Heavy, accessories, each page giving the technical specs of some blasters. It doesn’t go into exhaustive detail about different paintjobs/schemes (unless you count the Lumitron vs the Praxis, which is listed here, and the red strike series gets a shoutout next to the Longshot.) It also introduces common lingo/terms to someone who may not be familiar with blasters, explaining direct plungers, priming a blaster, and so on.
Either way, this technical info is good for the kids and their parents to help them understand the different types of blasters and why a dart tag dart won’t work inside an N-Strike magazine. Ranges don’t differentiate angled/flat, but the release date info and measurements are nice little touches and trivia.
The best part for ME, as an older Nerf enthusiast, is the timeline and design process pages.
The above page even explains the “Javelin” hullabaloo. These pages are by far the most intriguing thing about the book for me, having met designers and wondering about just how they conceive the ideas and test these blasters, and how long it takes to hit production. To know where we’re going, I like to see where we’ve been.
The book carries on its “intro to Nerf” feel by also including a few pages of gametypes –
And yes, you may play differently. These are guidelines, by no means are they law. Enjoy your games as you want to play, and let those who like what you do join in. BUT, it helps to also have some rules you may not have considered before!
OVERALL, is this worth the $20? part of me says the older fans have nothing to get out of it besides a couple of pages. BUT for the kids, the future of the hobby, this is a good buy for them. Big bold pictures, easy to follow, and darts. It’d be a great gift for the upcoming Easter baskets (if you celebrate) or just because they are all about their new active way to play. Also, the book sells, it’d show there’s a market for it, and there could be more like this in the future!
Either way, borrow your friend’s, have a quick look at the book store (they still have those, right?) and give this at least a glance. If you get it for your younger relatives, you can always borrow it.
Review: TMNT Foam Dojo Training Weapons! Leonardo’s Katana, Donatello’s Bo Staff/spear, Raphael’s Sai, Michelangelo’s Nunchaku
By: Vas The Stampede
Thanks to Playmates for the samples to review, all opinions are my own
MSRP: Approx. $17.99 (what I saw on some Target listings) Material: EVA foam Raph’s sai are the only 2 pack; all others are single
Raphael’s Sai (Not entirely sure why each only has one prong, looks a bit more like a jitte. Uh, thanks Google!
Donatello’s Staff/Spear; Leonardo’s Katana
Mikey’s Nunchaku – Zing bow used for size comparison
I’ll be honest, I’m a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and it gladdens my heart to see the Turtles back in all their resplendent, pizza eating glory. When I was around for the 90s run, we didn’t have the foam weapons like the above; our toy TMNT weapons were made of hard plastic. While it built character, it also wasn’t particularly safe for household items or limbs.
Nowadays though, the TMNT Dojo sets are made of soft foam, on par with any Nerf N-Force weapons and I think they’re a bit tougher against scuffing/gouges/odd bruises. NOW THEY SAY ON THE TOY TO NOT STRIKE AT PEOPLE/ANIMALS/OBJECTS but things happen, and when they do your TMNT weapon should be ok taking incidental contact. Don’t actually go fighting ninjas with these. Zombies maybe, but that depends on who is calling the shots. 🙂
Little touches like bandages, chips in the blade to show battle-damage, add to the look of the toy. And, hey, branding.
One thing I really like about the weapons are the little details and definitely cartoony nature of their look. I would have liked to see Donatello’s staff a little longer to differentiate itself from Leonardo’s Katana, but hey, it’s built for a kid. Raphael’s sai handles are a good size for even adult hands, and I had no trouble whipping Michelangelo’s Nunchaku around like a proud amateur who watched the original movie plenty of times. Fellow ‘chucker, indeed (for the record I’m 5’7″)
Again, these weapons are constructed from a soft foam, but that’s no reason to start wailing away on anyone with these. Pretend you’re a ninja sure, but leave the vigilante justice to the pros.
While in the store, I did test out Donatello’s staff with the Deluxe Turtle Shell; it held in the holster quite nicely and was a good fit. I did have some difficulty getting it back out and I’m not sure the other weapons would holster as nicely. Also, while I said the foam is durable I think the plastic from the latch in the Deluxe Shell would wear away the handle on the Dojo sets. The plastic versions would probably be a wiser decision to pair with the Deluxe Shell for the mutant on the go.
The weapons might be considered expensive, at almost $20 you’re looking at a bit of an investment to recreate your favorite Ninja Teens but you are getting a quality toy roleplay product. I wouldn’t take these to a LARP but to raid the Technodrome or infiltrate the Kraang, you’re in good shape. The decision to change the shape of Raphael’s sai was an odd one for me, but maybe that was in the ability to package 2 together, unlike that Wolverine claw nonsense which was ONE PER PACKAGE.
Overall though, I really like these and for your up and coming Ninja Turtle fan these are good for costuming and playing pretend. If you are in that older market, You may get a good kick of nostalgia or jealousy because you wish you had these when you were bruising yourself and your friends with this. Questions? Comments? Let me know!
GEAR REVIEW: Spy Gear Sonic Distractors – Thanks to Spin Master Toys for the sample! The opinions and thoughts are my own, however.
MSRP: $9.99 Available: Now Range: As far as you can throw it
Includes: 2 x Sonic Distractor spheres (1 black, 1 grey – 4 different sounds apiece. See the video for the different sounds) 1 x belt clip/holder
This is an interesting little gadget from Spy Gear. Relatively inexpensive (some stores have them on clearance), and in the right scenario/gametype, maybe these would be of some use if you have a particularly sneaky style of play.
2 spheres, and you hold the button down to trigger a timer, and after a few seconds the distractor makes 1 of 4 noises. If you can remember the sequence of the noises on each sphere, you can readily select which one you’re using (birds cawing, a cat yeowling, laser blasts) but in some instances maybe just a sudden noise of any kind would be enough).
Maybe even a game like this:
I didn’t whip these around on concrete (also I would NOT suggest throwing these at people) so I couldn’t tell you how durable they are from a dropped height. I believe ideally you would roll these into position to use them, though rather than throw them around. They are of a hard plastic construction so they would definitely bounce around. Still, the amount of sound effects available, the compact build, included holster, and easy to use button are nice little touches.
You might even find these on clearance at the moment, so if you have the right group and location, these could be a handy fun roleplay (spy vs counterspy, thief vs guard) element for your game types. What do you think? Would you try them?