Nerf Holiday buying Guide Part 2: Nerf Vortex and Gear Up!!

The Nerf brand’s been busy this year, releasing a whole bunch of things.  The N-Strike line had a couple of repaint offerings, in the Gear Up and Whiteout series

along with additions to the transparent green Sonic Series (Barrel Break, Barricade, Longstrike, and Stampede)

Ultimately, if you know someone who HAS GOTTA catch’em all, then go nuts on the repaints.  Performance-wise I didn’t notice much difference from the original releases so there’s nothing new feature-wise here.  The real draw is following Nerf’s “it looks cool!” policy because I’ll admit, the neon green and whiteout paint jobs look pretty darn cool.

Main event:  the new Nerf Vortex line as the centerpiece! 
Find prices and more on my previous post here:  NERF VORTEX BREAKDOWN

“XLR” disc technology = increased ranges and a new clip system.  The discs are made of a plastic disc with a foam rim.  The discs fly pretty well, but they do carry in a high wind outside.  Honestly, so do darts.  How much of this is a problem for you is up to you.

Yes, this also means yet ANOTHER ammo type to start collecting in large quantities, but for what it’s worth the discs are not only soft, but they seem pretty durable.  The guys at Adult Fans of Nerf did an informal “stomp test” at the release party, and the discs did not squish very badly at all.  The clips with the Praxis and the tactical kit have a 10 round capacity, but the Nitron comes with a 20 shot clip (2 of them if you can find the special Wal-Mart only package.)

The increased ranges are pretty awesome considering previous Nerf offerings, albeit there have been reports of some user issues.  Some key points to keep in mind are to not be a spaz when using the blasters.  Make sure you perform a complete motion manipulating foregrips, triggers, slides, or other priming mechanisms when using the blasters.  Moving too fast is what causes mechanisms to grind.  It’s a new dimension to add to gameplay, and maybe worth your time this holiday season.  Aesthetically and ergonomically speaking, I really enjoy using the Praxis.  The stock is a little flimsy compared to the Raider’s, but the pump-action and general feel of the blaster is very comfy.  The pump-action makes aiming a little more consistent than with bolt-action or pull-back blasters for me, so this works for my playing style.  The only problem is what I have with N-Strike blasters, reloading the clips can slow down the action at a game when you run out.  Little details like the thumb-release on the Proton and the Praxis are those indicators that Nerf did go the extra mile in designing the blaster’s exterior.

Questions?  Comments?  Let me know, otherwise see you next time for my overview of the N-Force line!  Also find me on twitter: @vasthestampede!

Not at NYCC? Bring some of it home, N-Strike Barricade Bumblebee style!

Fresh from the inbox – wanted to give the Foam From Above fan community a heads-up on a limited opportunity to obtain the Nerf N-Strike Barricade RV-10 Special Edition Transformers Bumblebee blaster, which appeared at New York Comic Con earlier this month. Hasbro will be posting this item to for sale on the morning of October 19th, after 10am EST and we wanted to provide you with as much notice as possible!  Please keep in mind, remaining inventory is limited since the item was a hot commodity at the convention, but we’re glad we are able to make these remaining blasters available online.”

So to sum up:  Go to the hasbro toy shop starting tomorrow, and keep an eye out on the Nerf Facebook
page to see when the news goes live there, and you too can own your own Nerf N-Strike Bumblebee Edition barricade! Pair it up if you own the Optimus Prime Barricade, or mix and match if you own either the original, Sonic, or Gear Up editions!  Great collectors, intended for kids, loved by completionists.  Transform, and Roll Out!

Toy Fair Run-up: Review for the N-Strike Barricade!

(Thanks to Nerf’s youtube channel for the video! Inside blast!)

Nerf continues support of battery powered blasters with its latest entry, the N-Strike Barricade RV-10! It’s a 10-shot, rotating turret pistol looking blaster powered on 3 AA batteries, flywheel projectile system, and uh… a trigger. Yes, a trigger.

You load the darts into the turret and with each trigger pull the turret rotates and a pusher arm moves darts into flywheels which launch the darts, anywhere from 25-30’ (as with any fresh outta the box Nerf blaster).

When I first got word of this thing, my heart skipped a beat. Up until now, running with a Nerf blaster in each hand meant having to get creative about how you were going to reprime each blaster between shots, and shooting both at once required some pretty deft evading and manual dexterity to get the blasters reloaded and reprimed. So much for hilariously fun John Woo-style shootouts.

The Barricade is a true semiautomatic. It has a ten shot revolving chamber, and each trigger pull fires a single dart without having to reprime any firing mechanism, as once the switch turns on the flywheels keep spinning. It works, and the vertical orientation of the flywheels aids in the accuracy of fire, as opposed to previously released flywheel blasters that had horizontal-oriented flywheels.

I recently took the Barricade to an indoor Nerf fight, and I found if you try to fire it too fast it might cause the blaster to jam. You have to be mindful and make sure that each trigger pull you make is a full motion. Probably some practice under quick trigger pulls is asked for here just to make sure you know how touchy your Barricade is. It was able to fire anything I loaded in there, from streamlines to off-brand micro darts. The trick was to take my time with each trigger pull.

Size wise, the barricade is not much bigger than a stripped-down recon. It’s big enough that you can use the underside of the muzzle for a handgrip, but the bread and butter of it is using the barricade like a pistol. The back part of the shell can accomodate a stock as well. Getting to and rotating the chambers to reload is pretty easy, and clearing jams on the top of the barricade isn’t difficult as well. Probably the trickiest thing is remembering to check your jam door is closed, the switch is on, and your batteries are charged if you have problems turning the blaster on.

No bones about it though, this blaster is fun. I had a bit of time trying to call hits on people, due to reliability issues firing darts when things got hectic. It was even more difficult trying to use two blasters. I hate to draw comparisons to video games, but using two barricades drastically reduced my field of vision, and also hampered my ability to reload the turrets. A trick I like to do is palm a few darts in my free hand when using a front-loading pistol, but with two blasters at a total of 20 shots that method didn’t work and when it was time to reload there was no Zombieland slam reloading motion I could use… I had to rely on teammates for cover while I stuffed shots back in to each turret. Even reloading on the run was near impossible without a proper way to holster a blaster. Probably would be better and more efficient to use the barricades alternatingly as opposed to both at once. Then… where’s the fun in that though? I did manage to do a knee slide coming around a corner as I lit someone up with both barricades at least once, though! Using these in stock dart matches in the summer will be the next test.

Overall, was it worth it? Yes! For two? I leave that up to you, the buyer. The RoF does feel faster than a lot of the other blasters I use (including the Stampede, without having to wait for the spring to wind up and all that) and maybe even beats my speed on emptying a 35 drum with my Raider. But this is definitely a nice innovation to see from Nerf, and whatever your feelings are about their direction using battery-powered blasters, you’d be missing out to not give this a try. Not having to use that extra second to manipulate a priming mech and THEN pull the trigger is really handy in a pinch!

I’ve found them at Target for just under $20, and TRU for over $20. Now grab your ammo!

A Year Under the Barrel II: Nerf and other related foam blasters in 2010

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(

From Recently Updated


and the initial US shots of the Stampede back in July at a media-only release event: (FFA IZ MEDIA)

Two years running now, and the champs from last year repeated! Who’da thunk? Here’s hoping there’s a year 3, and good luck to NARF at getting another shot! (I’m from IL, I support the hometown guys!)

Not to say BuzzBee’s been quiet on their end, either! Some of the more notable releases this year had to be the


The Powerstrike

And most recently, the Hawk. (Check out for images!)

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.


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.


Word from Nerf finally happened, and although SG and Kevinericon broke the news months ago, I’m finally allowed to discuss and comment on the NEW NERF BARRICADE REV-10 BLASTER!


· Motorized, semi-automatic Nerf blaster

· Revolving barrel

· Holds up to 10 sonic whistle darts

· Compatible with the Tactical Rail System and alternate N-Strike stocks.

· Will be available at most major retailers nationwide and

So the word is it’s flywheel, but suprisingly good for a flywheel! I’m going to reserve judgment on it until I have one in each hand (yes, I’m going to dual-wield) but until I have one that’s all I can do. I’m excited for this blaster, as it enables me to not need both hands to operate the blaster. More when I finally get one!