Got word of this from the fine folks at Tek Reconthey’re launching a little early, and ON KICKSTARTER.  I’ll let them explain in the press release below.

One of the most anticipated product launches of 2013 hits KICKSTARTER on May 9th

TORONTO, May 8, 2013 – TEK RECON, one of the most anticipated new product launches of 2013 will be available for the first time through KICKSTARTER.COM on May 9th @ 8am eastern standard time.

The goal of the KICKSTARTER campaign is designed to further enhance the development of the TEK RECON blaster and free app, and to get the product into the hands of early adopters and key influencers helping to create the first real life online video game. Through the course of 31 days fans will be able to fund the project through purchasing product, exclusive rewards, and bid on great prizes that include appearances in the television commercial and an all expense paid trip to present at E3; all contributing towards our KICKSTARTER funding goal of raising $50,000.

“Bringing TEK RECON to market through this KICKSTARTER project is the most ambitious and exciting launch in our company history,” stated Brad Pedersen President and CEO of TEK RECON Inc. “Two years ago we set out on a mission to bring video games, online connectivity and social interactive play together through innovation and great product design. The outcome, TEK RECON has come to life and created a phenomenal play experience that has exceeded our expectations.”

Gamers, adventure seekers and fans of technology, we need your help to create a revolutionary new way to connect and play video games with your friends IN REAL LIFE! Get off the couch and into the game with the newest and most realistic way to blast away on the field or anywhere. TEK RECON Blasters feature a first of its kind design with real trigger action and specially designed reusable “NRG Rounds” that blast up to 75 feet.

To optimize the battle and team experience TEK RECON developed a free “Real-Life Online Gaming” app to enhance blaster battles. Simply connect your mobile device to the blaster to bring video game styled play to life through mobile and GPS technology.  The free TEK RECON App will be available for iOS and Android devices, enhancing real battle experience through an interactive heads up display, live chat, vision modes, and more.

The time is now to be one of the first to experience Real Life Online Gaming and change the way you play. For more information on this product and KICKSTARTER campaign please visit TekRecon.com.”

A look at the OS of the Tek Recon app
The Tek Recon Hammer Head. Approx. $19.99, 30 round capacity in a mag in the handle.

The Tek Recon Havok blaster, pump-action.  Approx. $34.99 as of the listing I saw at Toy Fair.  90 round capacity last I saw.

So there you have it.  On May 9th Tech4Kids (makers of Tek Recon) is willing to let fans endorse the product, assist in the development, and in return you can get the blaster early, or any number of other bonuses, including possibly a trip to E3?  Interesting, indeed!

Tek Recon wants to make sure they get the blasters done properly, so here they are opening up to the wonderful world of crowdfunding.  Their kickstarter page launches May 9th, so if you’ve been yelling “TAKE MY MONEY” since news on Tek Recon first came out, here’s your chance. 

Between the interactivity of the mobile app, the new ammo type, and some of the neatest touches when it comes to aesthetics and user experience, I’m intrigued to try it out and see how it all works.  I’ve been itching to get a more in-depth look at this since New York Toy Fair, and it looks close, so, so close. 

I’ll post the link once the kickstarter goes live and definitely keep an eye on Tek Recon’s Facebook Page.

Onward, to May 9th!  And good luck to Tek Recon in making this work!

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!