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)

http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

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

Hunter

The Powerstrike

And most recently, the Hawk. (Check out http://nerfornothing.blogspot.com 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.

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.

Quick bit: The Nerf N-Strike Alpha Trooper CS-18!

From FFA_Alpha Trooper

We’re looking at the Alpha Trooper CS-18 from Nerf’s N-Strike line. It can be yours for $20, and is a Target-only exclusive (at least US-wise as far as I know.) Info on this was released months ago, and only recently has the blaster finally hit stores.

Stats:
– Slam-fire mode, like the Raider CS-35
– No stock, but stock from other N-strike blasters (the Raider, for instance) can work.
– Comes with an 18 round drum magazine

Some shots:

From FFA_Alpha Trooper
From FFA_Alpha Trooper
From FFA_Alpha Trooper

My Take:

I will admit, I knew it was going to be similar to the Raider, but this was ridiculous. The shell, with the exception of the pumphandle and the magazine location, were too close for my tastes. It felt like I spent $20 for the same blaster. Even with the (IMO) better underside location of the magazine it really did feel like another Raider.

Now now, don’t worry, some members of EPICNERF looked, altered, and battle-tested Troopers and told me there are some other notable differences. The performance right out of the box rivaled and possibly surpassed the ranges of a stock Raider. After some alterations, it was even better. The jamming wasn’t a problem, and the new pumphandle allowed for a Recon-style priming motion, in addition to the pump-action if that was your preferred motion. Not to mention the one-handed priming action, a la Linda Hamilton in “T2”.

Now, if you don’t own a Raider already, or are a collection completionist and have to have the 18 round drum, then this is for you. If you’re left-handed, you too will benefit from this blaster as the magazine release button is on both sides of the blaster. The lower cost, the 18 round drum is certainly less bulkier to handle than the 35 round drum, and holstering this blaster may be easier for you without the front grip that the Raider has. Dare I say it, this might even outrange a Raider so ultimately the decision’s up to you, foam fighter.

PHOTO GALLERY:
http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

Feedback? Questions? Comment below, or shoot me an email! FoamFromAbove@gmail.com

-VasTheStampede

P.S. – Yes, it came with ammo ;P

Another video from Merzlin!

Just because we’re (and by that I mean “I”) all about fostering future Nerfers here at FFA, Merzlin’s put up another vid he’d like to share. The kid paints, mods, and makes breeches. Check out his youtube page if you have a chance and get to know him. I actually admittedly still feel bad for shooting him in the face at one of the first Nerf skirmishes we were at. Luckily, I was using a stock blastfire and I think stock darts.

– Stampede

WHEN DOES THE (NERF) RAID BEGIN? 09-09-09

A quick teaser of an ad from Hasbro for the upcoming Raider. I don’t have one yet, but as soon as I can get my hands on it I’ll be sure to put my own spin on it. Yes, I know that some people have already got their resourceful hands on them so there is already plenty of info out there. Should you feel so inclined, go crazy to search it out!

-VasTheStampede

Chicago Showdown… DOS (Two)!

From Nerf-CS2

August 22nd was witness to a day of Showdowns. In Chicago. Hence, CHICAGO SHOWDOWN hath come! Seriously, some familiar faces and some new ones showed to once again take shots and kick ass in Oak Lawn, IL. Already, I knew the day was off to a good start when I was in the parking lot unloading my gear. I had my BBBB (featured in “Blaster of the Moment” slung over my shoulder, when a police car rode up. The officer inside was cool guy, and simply asked “So where are you paintballing?”

I showed him my blaster. “Foam! Nerf, definitely not painball, sir.” He only wanted to know what was going on, and he went on his way. A sigh of relief later, I made my way to the field. I had already dropped off barricades and obstacles, so what was left was getting locked and loaded.

It was most of the usual suspects from the Nerf Internet Community but there were a whole bunch of fresh faces, too. Not to take anything away from any of them these kids brought their game. It’s made me start to think though about ways to get people to be better informed about events so they know what to expect. In any event, the games of the day were Team Deathmatch, Team CTF, Defend the Core (IN A PLAYGROUND, terrain = ftw), and even a bit of Team Powerball. Team Powerball was new to me, but it essentially followed in the spirit of Powerball from American Gladiators, only with nerf blasters.

Defend the Core took place on a playground, which was a lot of fun to watch. I videotaped and the footage will follow, but I’m a big fan of terrain that changes levels. High ground, cover, it’s all a factor and it was just cool to see. Eventually though a lot of younger kids with their parents came by so a good half hour later we were done and had to relocated back to the field.

Our events now have street cred too! A cop actually came by to watch. It was in fact, the same officer from earlier. He was just interested and according to some of the other nerfer parents there, said we could be doing worse things. Hear, hear.

Probably the coolest thing I can think of was the new people from NHQ and the people who just jumped in with us near the end of the day. This is what I dig, playing a pickup game of sorts, and drawing people in to play. I think we all had a decent time, even though there was an imbalance of modded vs. stock blasters. But running and gunning all day with random strangers brought together to have fun? I dig it. Big props to the Des Plaines kids and those new kids we played against for jumping in with us.

Now for the PSA portion of our presentation:

1) If you’re going to test fire a blaster, by all rights MAKE SURE THE AREA YOU ARE FIRING INTO IS CLEAR. This avoids shooting someone in the face when they’re not expecting it. It’s one thing to pop someone in the heat of battle, it’s another when you’re standing around talking and get whapped out of nowhere.

2) Shooting someone from behind when they’re clearly not paying attention to anything and watching the flag go is considered UNSPORTING. Especially when it’s from 10′ away with a modded 2k.

3) This goes without saying, but definitely take care of taking shots in a playground. On at least one occasion a parent came over a little concerned their kid was going to get pegged. We’re good about taking our shots, but all it takes is one accident.

4) I hate to say it, but if you’re playing out in the open you’re going to lose ammo. That’s why a lot of the NIC makes their own darts, it’s cheaper that way in the long run than buying even BuzzBee stock ammo. Not to mention even removing an AR means you can load other ammo down the barrel of your blaster and it makes an easier time of reloading.

Video soon, gallery now!

http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

Playing Rock… BERSERKER!!!!

Hey hey folks! A bit early from my usually intended Thursday updates, so here you go. A vid on the Berserker from Buzz Bee. The only other one I’ve found was by TheNerfAngel on youtube, and honestly it was kind of difficult to see anything.

Any questions? Leave a comment!

Stampede