Nerf ProShop and Target Range: Images!

EDIT:  A far more comprehensive and informative piece (from an actual UK Nerf blogger) at My Last Dart!

Remember this article?

Thanks to the folks at Paragon, I have a couple of images to share!  I’ll update with more info, but don’t have that much time at the moment (remember, I do have a day job.)

I’m back!  Now I’m not too sure about how much I can say, but here’s the story so far:

  • No plans for this in the U.S. yet; only UK, Europe and South Africa.
  • 1st Nerf attraction of this sort opened up November 9, you can find it in Westfield Merry Hill.  Name of the thing is called “Quest”.  If you find pics, send’em!  Post on the Foam From Above Facebook page!
  • There will be any number of components; notably a Nerf-only toy store/Pro Shop, Shooting Range, and Arena (the arenas should start popping up around March 2013, again in the UK.
  • Definitely a “try before you buy” setup, and there is going to be something they’re doing to make visiting worth your while, and even more worth your while to keep coming back 🙂  Again, not sure what I can say about that at this point in time. 

The pics above show the shooting range (up to about 6 meters, about 20 feet).  No pics on what the arenas are going to look like, but I will say there are going to be a couple of versions, depending on what kind of location you’re in.

Either way, this is super exciting!  Official arenas, all-Nerf stores, target ranges, the works.  It just saddens me that much like the Stockade and Iron Man Firefly, this is going on overseas first.  Hopefully there’s a company out there willing to take this project on to bring it to the U.S., though maybe between having paintball and airsoft so readily available, maybe it was considered a tall order to start here?

Here’s the best part; all the material is official and Nerf-licensed, so if you’re looking for a true Nerf event/game, this is it.  I imagine it would only be Nerf products/ammo, but ultimately the quality of a dedicated field/play space just might outweigh the lack of modded blasters and other off-brand stuff, no?  The Nerf Dart Tag League seemed popular plenty, why not a store?  What’s to say a number of storefronts couldn’t band together in a proper Nerf League?  The potential seems strong here.  Nerf supporting the use of its brand in a competitive setting.  I remember countless posts on forums in the past about setting up a Nerf arena/proshop/whatever… and here we go.  It’s all set, and we just need to find it and hope it happens in our area.  Well played, Across the Pond.  Enjoy your jump on the U.S. in having this initiative there first.

Product Review: Bumpa’s Blowguns (Bumpa 2000)

EDIT:  Here’s the demo video, trying to shoot 50′ flat with a variety of darts.

So, I was at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTag)a couple of weeks ago working, and at some point during the show, I was struck by a Dart Tag dart.  Now last year, the only shooting toys I had seen were Vapor blasters, so I was a little confused.  Normally, ChiTag does not have a lot of shooting toys, instead having lots of board games, remote control cars, and things you can ride or drive.  I was a little confused.

Looking around the show floor, I found a vendor called “Bumpa’s Blowguns’ and solved the mystery.  They were selling, well, blowguns!  Let the pictures commence!  I also have a demo video, but while I wait for it to process, here you go :

The blowgun
Size compared to a Nerf Ballzooka and another brand of blowgun I had years ago.

Size comparison vs. a Nerf Nitron and the other blowgun

Simple enough design.  It’s a piece of PVC, painted, with an end cap at the muzzle, a mouth piece, and two foam hand grips.  Retails for 29.95$+tax for blow gun 5 (velcro) darts, glasses and vest. Comes in pink, and black.  (Check their website!)  $30 might seem a little steep, but each blowgun is assembled by hand, and the mouthpiece does have a little extra work to it-

The “Dart Stop”

 What you see in the pic is a little arm to keep darts from being sucked backward by a user, and to keep a dart from falling out of the barrel in general.  The mouth piece is pretty comfy, and the grips are solid.  It’s the details like that that show some definite thinking went into this blowgun, for sure.  And from what I heard, this was conceptualized by a grandfather looking for something cool to play with his grandkids.  And why not?

That being said, if you like blowguns this is not only made in the U.S.A, but it’s a new business that takes an old concept like the blowgun and adds just a little extra touch or two to it.  Even if blowguns aren’t your style, you’re getting a solid product with this.  There are other products out there for the same $$$ sure, but this you know someone directly took time to assemble and make sure every bit fits together.

Range-wise, you’re going to get typical blowgun ranges.  Depending on your lung capacity, body mechanics and angle of aim, you could get upwards of 150′ easily.  But to get good Rate of Fire on this takes practice, and you’d have to make sure to keep extra darts handy.  Reaching for your pocket can mean the difference between extended play and getting tagged out.  As for any dart issues, Nerf Dart Tag darts flew the best out of it, but it would fire pretty much any other dart, except for the yellow buzz bee darts.  Possibly because the wider collar on those darts interferes with the dart stop.

But yeah, how can you argue with a company that self-produces their own videos, too?

In any event, yay for small business and the spirit of entrepreneurship!

Nerf N-Strike Elite – Hailfire video!

Some video on the Nerf N-Strike Elite Hailfire at its launch in NYC:


Price: $39.99
Propulsion:  Flywheel
Batteries: 4 AAs
Ammo:  Streamlines (original, or new “Elite” version)
Range: Up to 75′ (assuming usage of Elite streamlines)

  • 8 magwells on a rotating carousel, loaded with anything from 6-35 round drums (spacing of magwells limits amount of mags of what kind)
    • Suggested configuration is 8 x 18 round magazines for a total of 144 shots before having to reload.
  • Handle on the front muzzle that rotates the carousel when a mag runs empty
  • Tac rails
  • Accelerator trigger to start flywheels
  • Hooks for bandolier connection
  • Transparent jam door

My initial impressions is this thing is ridiculous.  It was pretty light for me to handle, and the possible amount of firepower before reloading is more than any other dart blaster I know of.  Even the Powerstrike 48 had…. well… 48 shots.  Additionally, the range it was getting angled or flat was close to the advertised range from what I could eyeball even though the way you hold the blaster naturally makes it point up.  In any event, I can’t wait to get my hands on it in the field and look forward to getting a closer look as the release date approaches.  See you all 09/09/12!

Nerf N-Strike Elite… Bottom line

As we close in this week on the Nerf launch party for the Nerf N-Strike Elite Hailfire, I figure it’s only fair to finally do some actual writing, this being a blog and all.

So the Nerf N-Strike Elite line.  Hit or miss?

I’ll give it a hit, but tentatively.  I really want to love it, I really do!  And I’m impressed, don’t get me wrong.  But until I have the actual Hailfire in my hands to test and check out, I’m going with reservations.  Mainly cause I don’t want to think the novelty and newness of everything is clouding my judgment.  These are some sweet new toys, and I think they’ll add a lot of value to Nerf games far and wide, but let’s still maintain a grain of salt.

What we’ve seen so far are UPGRADES to existing blasters.  Nerf’s already received some fire for reshells (Spectre was a five-shot Maverick, the Alpha Trooper was functionally a Raider, and nevermind the countless repaints.)  I like what I’m seeing, but slam-fire and a single-shot modular blaster are things we’ve seen already.  The Hailfire has a new loading mech, but functionally it’s a Barricade or a Nitron that it’s a flywheel blaster and shoots one dart at a time as opposed to say, a spread of darts/discs.  But it’s either of those blasters on steroids.  UP TO 75′, and 144 shots (at max capacity) before having to refill another magazine.  It looks small, which might defuse bulky arguments, but that remains to be seen on what magazines will actually fit and how many (the speculation leads to: 35 rnd drums).  In any event, what functional hilarity this adds to the battlefield remains to be seen, and I can’t wait to try dual-wielding it.

Thanks to SGNerf for the photo!

All the skepticism aside… let’s get to it.  The Nerf Vortex line big ranges flat, but the discs fell victim to crosswinds more severely than darts.  They were also green, which made it harder to find in well-grown grass.  The Elite darts hit 50+ flat, but the advertised 75′ comes at an angle which is to be expected.  Either way, whichever range you hit that’s more than 20-30’+ that we’ve come to expect out of recent Nerf blaster releases.  So whether you like discs or darts, anything you’ve bought previous to Vortex and Elite will find you at a slight disadvantage.  I’ve managed to shoot straight with a Nerf Nitron, and the Retaliator and Rampage are pretty accurate at 40′ and a bit more than that even.

Those of us that hold stock-ammo/blaster games are going to have some fun with this new stuff, for sure.  It changes the field a lot, having this kind of range and accuracy straight outta the box without any additional work.  Everything from the previous N-Strike line is compatible with the Elite and vice versa, so don’t fret about all the streamlines you’ve already bought!  Just use them until you can’t anymore, and go buy Elite streamlines.  They fly a tad better than the originals.

So the only real gripe is I’m still looking for something way out of left field from Nerf.  Everything here looks impressive and I am impressed with how things fire, but the functionality still feels similar.  Even their vaunted Pyragon is a disc-shooting Raider.  While things look cool, I want to see something blow my mind both in how it looks AND how it plays.  I think the last blaster to do that was the Nerf Unity Power  System because it had 3 different blasters, one of which was essentially a shotgun.  When I saw the Raider for the first time it was awesome, but then boiled down to still putting out one dart at a time, just faster.  The Deploy was hilarious in function, but past the transformation (and nobody was fooled) it was a pump-action single shot blaster, or a Furyfire.

Still though, one step at a time.  Nerf’s given us souped-up ranges, a sleek color scheme, and dark blue darts. (I hope they make the darts brighter though… given the issue with green discs, white elite darts would be easier to find than dark blue.)  The Hailfire is going to have a reloading mech that looks promising at adding new body mechanics (I will admit, I liked the thumb switch on a Proton.  Made it feel very tactile and was satisfying on some level; the little things that count) to handling a blaster, which might be enough to sell it.

Speaking of selling – here we go once more with the pricing:

Nothing outrageous, and honestly I thought the Hailfire was going to cost more.  But that’s enough talk.  Time to get back to blasting, and shooting foam at anything that moves.  The Elite line shows a lot of promise, and I would definitely suggest picking them up and giving them a go.  The darts are new, the blasters are new (on the inside), and it looks like Nerf’s paying attention to what you, the fans want.  Better ranges and accuracy.  So show your support for what you wanted, and make sure Nerf knows this line is going to sell!  The blasters should start popping up around 8/1/12, and the Hailfire around 9/9/12.  Get on it, it’s time to upgrade.

Quick edit: I was asked if the Recon barrel changed in diameter for the Retaliator, but found this instead.  When pics first surfaced people speculated but I took a pic of my clear Recon for confirmation.

Nerf N-Strike Retaliator barrel extension

Nerf N-Strike Clear Recon barrel extension

I do declare, is that rifling I see?

Walk the ladder, compadres.

P.S. – This Thursday I’ll be back here posting LIVE from the Nerf Hailfire Launch in NYC (New York City!)  Posting – Youtube:
Twitter: @vasthestampede
aaaaaand this very blog!

Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator and Rampage Range/Demo follow up videos

Thanks for stopping by!  I had some more time, so I took the Nerf N-Strike Retaliator and Rampage out for some additional testing.  I wanted to look at performance depending on using original streamlines vs. Elite, original Nerf N-strike blasters vs. Elite, and so on.  I decided to just make one gigantic video, but have no fear!  The link to each pertinent section follows.  And yeah, I kept the Retaliator barrel on for its firing.  I’ll do another vid without it soon, but in the meantime:

Handy dandy timing break down for the video-

  • Rampage w/Elite darts and 12 round magazine – 1:33
  • Rampage w/original streamlines and 12 round mag – 2:09 
  • Nerf Raider w/12 round mag and original streamlines – 2:51 
  • Nerf Rampage w/12 round mag and Firefly Tech darts – 3:02 
  • Nerf Dart Tag Quick 16 w/Dart tag darts – 3:23 
  • Nerf Clear Recon (stock) w/Elite darts and 6 round magazine: 3:46
  • Nerf Elite Retaliator w/6 round mag, Elite darts – 4:21 
  • Retaliator w/18 round magazine (Nerf Stampede’s), Elite darts – 4:36
  • Nerf Elite Retaliator w/35 round drum mag and Elite darts – 4:51

There’s still more to do, such as checking the ranges and accuracy without the barrel (personally, I like the looks so I kept it on) and a general opinion on the Elite line.  But, that’s another blog post.  As for today, enjoy seeing what the blasters shoot like 🙂

Now that the video is done, I’ll be updating this post in a few minutes with pictures as well.  Stay tuned!

Game day: Justplay! Sports and Rec Festival – Complete with Dart Tag!

Helped the Tacticool Tag and Gaming Society of Chicagoland (TTAGS) run some capture the flag minigames at the Justplay! Sports and Rec Festival in Carol Stream, IL!  We had giveaways, awards, and a great number of people, hopefully getting them interested in the hobby and showing a new way to play.  Also, that you don’t have to be 8 years or under to enjoy toy blasters.  Nerf and other foam shooters were represented of course, but we also put our Vapor Atlas 250s and the Vapor Delta 500 to good use.

Thanks to all who showed up!  And with any luck, we’ll be in Carol Stream doing meetups on a more regular basis 🙂

Big thank you to the Carol Stream Park District for setting us up, and letting us use your fair grounds!  Hope to be back next year, bigger and better!