Images from Nerf this morning; high-res shots of the Nerf Vortex Diatron and Nerf N-Strike Elite Roughcut 2×4. There are already tons of videos out there from folks who got Roughcuts early due to stores putting them out ahead of release dates, so there’s plenty of info out there on that. The Nerf Diatron however, has maintained some semblance of secrecy. Who knows if it’ll pop ahead of Spring 2013, but I wouldn’t be surprised.
(BTW, for those who don’t know, my relationship with Nerf dictates that when it comes to early releases/info/mods/etc., I can’t post about it. In return, there are in fact some perks such as release event access and product samples.)
The Roughtcut for those who don’t know, is an eight-shot, slam-fire capable, pump-action blaster with Elite ranges. It also fires two darts at a time, making it the closest approximation to a shotgun-spread blaster that anyone has made in a long time (the Triple Shot DOES NOT COUNT. It was good modded, but the stock shotgun spread on that thing was terrible). Either way, it looks interesting and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. None of the stores in my area have it on shelves, so I would need to order via Amazon.
The Nerf Vortex Diatron, that’s a whole ‘nother story. It looks remarkably like a Plasma Cutter from Dead Space (bonus) and fires two discs at once (double-bonus!). It looks like a doubled up Nerf Vortex Vigilon, so I’m guessing the capacity is ten discs per reload. (11 or 12, depending on how you load it, amirite guys?) I do wonder if the discs will collide with each other at some point in mid-air during flight, so it’ll be interesting to see how this fires. Of all the recent blasters, this one is the only one not seen on shelves yet. Yet.
In any event, these two blasters have the “multishot madness” tagline on their boxes so Nerf is definitely leaning towards a different type of functionality, seeing as how they’ve increased ranges using Vortex and Elite styles. Make sure to check the Nerf Facebook page (linked at the beginning of this post) for further info such as pricing and alleged availability. And naturally, once I get my samples in I’ll have my reviews up as usual. Although at the rate things are going, who knows what’ll even be left by then!
Heads up! Finally feeling like a human again, I’m able to put together a more coherent post of everything that happened. Well, not EVERYTHING as some of what I heard was supa top-secret in specifics, but let’s get some business out of the way:
N-Strike Elite is going to become the standard of the N-Strike line. That means the new streamlines, the Elite branding, all of it is here to stay. The original streamlines and N-Strike brand as we know it are going to be replaced by N-Strike Elite.
N-Strike Elite is going to revisit previous N-Strike blasters and release Elite versions of them. CALM DOWN. Without going into specifics, not all blasters are going to get Elite ranges. More recent releases than what came out when N-Strike first appeared are more likely to become Elite.
I CAN’T TELL YOU WHICH BLASTERS ARE GETTING THE ELITE TREATMENT. The key phrase here is, “In the realm of possibility.” But a Longshot is NOT (I repeat, NOT) one of them.
The Nerf Firevision might have something for blaster fans 🙂 That’s about all I can say until Toy Fair 2013.
Elite is Elite, Dart Tag is Dart Tag, Vortex is Vortex. They like to keep the brands separated so I wouldn’t hold my breath for Dart Tag Elite and so on.
They aren’t done with Dart Tag yet! Just the NDTL had been around long enough, and it was time to move on for them. Dart Tag blasters are still going to be rolled out, but it’s up to the fans to run their own. From what I’ve heard, Australia’s doing a bang-up job of that:)
N-Force isn’t over with, they’re still going to support that. Just nothing new yet (understandable, with the N-Strike Elite and new Vortex blasters)
Clearly, the Nerf Vortex line is going to be supported still.
One Direction was NOT at the party. :*(
No oversized Vortex disc shooter anytime soon 😦
Nerf N-Strike Elite Darts will be the standard in the future. Micros and Sonic darts are going to be phased out, in order to make things easier for people. Elite darts will fit better in most blasters currently released. Dart Tag darts and Nerf Vortex discs will obviously still be available, as the lines are still supported.
SOME international markets (Australia, mainland China, Philippines, etc.) will have a range-reduced version due to the toy safety regulations of their governing bodies. This means the blasters will achieve somewhere around advertised 50-55′, down from the 75′ that everyone else gets.
Speaking of ranges, around a 35 degree angle is what the advertised ranges we see for darts, while Vortex is fired at 10-15 degrees to determine their range.
Back from Anime Central, what do I see? A new video from Nerf regarding the Hailfire!
So Elite ranges, 144 max capacity? Rotating ammo rack, flywheels, etc.
Interesting concept, but the real test is seeing how this plays in the field. The Vulcan suffered crap ranges, low reliability, and a decrease in mobility for the user. If the Hailfire addresses these issues in a huge blaster… See you in September!
Hey all! Back from the Nerf/Hasbro showroom, and while I have plenty of photos, wifi in the hotel = not so good.
I can do a few photos at a time, and for now here’s some of the good stuff. Most notably, the only new blaster on hand was the Snapfire 8. 8 shots, Dart tag line, and a trigger pull primes the blaster, rotates the turret, and there is a bottom dial on the handle to determine range vs. rate of fire. Videos to follow, once I get a better connection!
In the meantime enjoy some of the new photos. Also notable, a new Snake Eyes foam sword, The Furyfire GI Joe redo, and the BBB and Captain America blaster for The Avengers. We also saw new Hulk hands, that had no sound, but were foam, not the pillow versions previously out there.
Hmmm.. holy crap. 2011 was not just a huge year for Nerf, but for toy blasters in general. Why all the popularity? I really couldn’t tell you. Maybe Hasbro’s N-Strike line proved that kids still like to play soldier, and the creation of pseudo-military looking toy blasters like the Maverick and Longshot showed there was some money to be made. The Maverick is one of the best selling Nerf blasters ever, and with the revolver look and feel Hasbro did good, and they looked to do good again (proven in the amount of cosplay photos I’ve seen). Success breeds competition though, and boy oh boy, were there a lot of newcomers this year. This blog entry is by no means all-inclusive, and I know I’m going to miss a lot, but dangit I’m going to try!
One could say a large bit of news came from the New York Toy Fair , where both old guard and new competitors rose to visibility. Prime Time Toys stepped out from the Air Zone shadow, showing off past creations like the Powerstrike 48. Toy Fair showed their new version of the Gatling Punisher and a new take on the revolver, a Quickfire 12. This was just the start! Since then they’ve released a Quickfire rifle and a new belt-fed rifle. Their ammo is a different take on streamline ammo as well, unlike Buzz Bee darts that still fit most Nerf blasters. I would expect more from this company in 2012, as it looks like they’re not done yet by a long shot. Keep your eyes peeled here for more info coming soon.:)
Buzz Bee released a lot of new items as well, notably the Rad 12. Honestly, they released so much I’m not sure I can list everything. The Double Shot got a new look, and a four-shot turreted blaster called the Rogue came out as well. It looked like the Ultimate System they put out didn’t do so well, as I don’t really see many more Sniper Blasts and Ultimate Missile Blasts on shelves.
The Air Zone line out of Toys R Us, combined with the Humans Vs. Zombies game to produce blasters emblazoned with their logo, an eight-shot pistol and a new version of the triple shot. The triple shot also saw a red repaint, sans HvZ flair. Far as I can tell, this is a coup that a gametype involving foam blasters actually gained notice from a mass retailer. So, congrats to the HvZ team for their success, and here’s to more zombie-fighting gear in 2012. I’ve always said “throw your wars how you want to throw them, and let the attendees sort ’em out.” People spoke loud and clear in this case:)
I didn’t see too much of the “XC” blasters, which I first saw at Toy Fair; but then not much in retailers:
The dark horse of the whole foam weapon business? Zing Toys, with their Zcurve bow and arrow and other rubber band-powered weapons! The Zcurve bow was by far my fave toy of their line, and I hope to see more out of them in 2012:
Some other companies attempted to pull people away from foam shooters. Jakks Pacific came out with a line of spitwad shooters called “Max Force” urging people to “graduate from foam” with their paperwad shooters. The blasters didn’t have a trigger, but they did have a bit of power in them, getting upwards of 80′. Sadly, the accuracy left something to be desired and reloading clips was a pain in the rear end. Aesthetically, they looked really cool, but the functionality was a real task to get used to.
Speaking of functionality if I had to give a goose egg this year to blaster design I would give it to Xploderz, one of the new lines that fires evaporating “gel pellets.” Nevermind that their commercials are misleading in how the blasters function, they’re just poor blasters. Unreliable loading mechansim, poor accuracy, bad placement of hand grips and components, limited allowance of motion, and delayed gratification with a toy right out of the box. And these things are pricey, upwards of $50 for the longer range models. Seriously, buyer beware.
Razor, of all companies, jumped into the blaster game this year just as 2011 comes to a close. Their Vapor line fires gel pellets as well, but I think they do it better. For instance, their first blaster, the Atlas 250 (first seen at this here blog) has a 50 round capacity per reload for a PISTOL, but also goes with a more traditional (and comfy!) trigger design. Definitely worth watching, make sure to check Amazon.com and Zappos for products! Of the newcomers in new projectiles, I think Razor might have the better of the products.
Wowwee, of Paper Jamz fame, released a new version of laser tag, called “Light Strike”. A little pricey to start, but once you get going it’s a lot of fun. With different modular accessories and other battle field items like the Intelligent Targeting System and target vests, there are a lot of ways to play, you just have to figure out how for yourself 🙂 Full link (including pricing) to the proper review: http://foamfromabove.blogspot.com/2011/10/light-strike-heres-go.html
HYDRO CANNON . NERF SUPER SOAKER TORNADO STRIKE NERF SUPER SOAKER SCATTER BLAST . NERF SUPER SOAKER POINT BREAK NERF SUPER SOAKER CLIP SYSTEM Refills
Even having something for collectors, two different versions of the Barricade Rev-10, one with an Optimus Prime paintjob, and another with Bumblebee. So, lots going on with the worker elves at Hasbro this year! Nothing new on the lazer tag front yet, but 2012 is well on its way now. Not to mention licensed material, like this Transformers: Dark of the Moon blaster, as well as some of the toys from this year’s big Marvel movie blockbusters like Thor and Captain America.
WHEW! So. Much. What does this mean for 2012? The market for toy blasters and other foam weaponry just might get a bit more competitive! What I hope to see? Blasters that have a VARIETY of functions, not just the same ol’ one dart, one pull kinda deal. Much as I loved the Nerf line, they all fire a dart 25-30 feet, or a disc up to 60. But functionally they tend to feel the same. Pump-action, priming slide, it’s all too familiar territory. Semi-auto, single-action, or full-auto. The pistols fire within the same range as the “higher powered” blasters. I understand that there are regulations, but give us something to work with. I will say there’s at least one contender out to try this out, but I can’t say much more than that. I hope to see a revisit to blasters more Blastfire and Lightning Blitz, and less like the Hornet. Nerf’s still top of the game, but I hope there will be less repaints and reshells for 2012. Wow me again, Hasbro. Before one of the other companies beats you to the punch!
I’ll be back for 2012, and even more importantly, I’ll be back at Toy Fair this year in February. I’ve got some more news to put out, but that will wait after the Mayan Spaceship invasion 🙂 Take care everyone, be safe, and weather allowing, get out and play!
Ok, so I’ve managed to put a few discs through the Vigilon and now for some quick thoughts:
– Range/ammo flight path: Surprising! Like anything of this medium (foam) the accuracy dips the higher distance they travel. I had a bit of a breeze behind me and you the discs kind of glide up and down with the wind current. If you throw frisbees ever you know what I’m talking about. The discs never floated to the ground from what I could tell, though. They would slice left or right to the ground. Interesting though, I can only really comment once I get them to a stock game. I imagine aiming’ll be interesting using this.
– The blaster: The Vigilon is pretty comfy. I’d liken the size of it to a Recon, but it’s a bit wider obviously for the discs. The internal magazine opens up at the touch of a switch (positioned on both sides of the blaster)by the grip; so it’s easy to reach with the thumb. I wouldn’t expect to holster this… but there is a loop for a carabiner or something at the bottom of the handle. Tac-rail on top, and a wide muzzle for the disc makes for an almost cartoony-sized blaster but it pulls it off. Should a disc jam in the muzzle, there’s a release switch on the right. Didn’t have a jammed disc yet so haven’t had to use it yet.
No need to worry about the disc falling out if you face it downward after priming; the disc stayed put while running around after it was ready to fire.
The Vigilon is a little short on capacty (5 shots at a time) but the reload mechanism is pretty slick. It’s handy to just have to grab five discs, stack them, and put them in the internal clip at one time than reload each individual chamber or one after the other (as with the Specter, Maverick, or Speedload-6).
Price is $15.99 and considering the alternatives out there is not too much considering the range you’re also getting. While I’m hesitant about the discs, I’ll definitely be able to say more as I have more time with it. Worth a look for a midrange blaster to try out this new ammo type, for sure. It’s easy to carry and doesn’t require extra clips to carry around (like the nitron and praxis) so if you like to pack only a blaster and ammo, this’ll be the choice for you.
What at year. So much has changed and happened this year, both in regards to this blog, other blogs, and playing with Foam Blasters. Nerf, Lanard, and BuzzBee remain major players but when there’s this kind of buzz the true winners are the end users, you and me that head to the stores to see what’s new.
For at least the last 2 years, FoamFromAbove (and other sites, as I’m sure you’ve heard) started working with Nerf, releasing official press releases and information as it comes down the pipe. What this means though is you won’t catch rumors, pictures, and vids of stuff that has not officially come from those we work with, or even mods to said blasters. That’s why I was able to put out pics of the original clear series last year before they fully hit stores(
And what about 2011? See me again in January, and we’ll talk then! Some pretty big news in the works, and hopefully some tweaks to the site itself. In the meantime, thank you so much for your patronage, and visiting this little blog about silly toys and blasters.
Oh, and my fave blaster of 2010? The Stampede was close, but I think the barricade might have stolen the year for me. Anyone who has seen “Hard-Boiled” with Chow-Yun Fat knows exactly what I’m talking about.
‘Til next time, remember to throw your blaster games how you wanna throw’em, and let the attendees sort it out.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
P.S. I ignored commenting at length on the lawsuit Hasbro/Nerf filed on competitors BuzzBee and Lanard, as I’m really not qualified to do so. Hasbro won, and I’ll leave it at that.