Firing Demo: Adventure (Dart Zone) Zone Enforcer – 140′ angled?

Assembly/Firing video of the Adventure Zone (Dart Zone) Enforcer Blaster – it gets 140′ (angled)?

 

Thanks to Dart Zone for the sample! As always, my opinion remains my own.

STATS:
Enforcer: (Dart Zone/Adventure Zone) – Wal-Mart Exclusive!
MSRP: $29.99
Capacity: 40 Darts (belt-fed)
Includes: Blaster, belt, darts, instructions
Requires: 6 AA Batteries (not included)
Range claim: 80′ (box)

I want to get some game time with this blaster before coming up with a proper review, but right off the bat the Adventure Zone Enforcer belt-fed blaster from Dart Zone got AT LEAST 140′ right out of the box. That’s pretty impressive for a freshly opened blaster. That being said, reloading this beast would be a moderate pain since I don’t think there are plans to sell the ammo belts separately. And to head off another question, yes, this blaster is branded “Adventure Zone” but that’s to identify the Wal-Mart specific brand of action toys associated with this and other blasters undoubtedly coming out as Wal-Mart exclusives. It’s a Dart Zone blaster, same as the LegendFire and Magnum. It unloads its ammo payload pretty quickly, and should give any rushing team a reason to pause but the groupings are pretty wide the farther out you shoot. For $29.99 though you are getting good power, good ammo capacity, and a really satisfying shooting experience feeling the chains move and hearing the blaster chug through darts. Kids are gonna love the gatling feel of this blaster, and older users are going to like the power. And for $29.99, the price is just right compared to other blasters out there that shoot either less ammo or slightly shorter max ranges. I don’t say this often, but if you have to spend on any blaster, definitely give this a look. I’ll update this review with some gameplay thoughts once I actually field test it, but until then, color me impressed for now.

Nation Vs Zombies: The Pictures!

500 Players Descend on Missouri State University for Nation Vs Zombies: An Invitational
Vas The Stampede

https://photos.gstatic.com/media/slideshow.swf

THE GALLERY

600 Registered. Approximately 400-500 players. That was this past weekend at Nation Vs Zombies… the first (I think?) attempted event of this scale where players from all over North America (and beyond) were invited to come to Missouri State University and play a game of “Human Vs Zombies”, mixing roleplay gaming elements, tag, and Nerf/toy blaster games in a two-day test of survival, planning, and cardio. More on the game later, but for now enjoy the gallery posted above!

Weekend Update: Nation Vs Zombies

Heading to Nation Vs Zombies this weekend! Not as player, but in a press/media capacity, I leave tomorrow for what looks to be an HvZ of a different scale. They aim to have players from every corner of the United States (and what looks to be the continent, given players from Canada seem to be arriving as well) joining in the fight against the zombie infection. If you’re going, drop a comment! I’ll be doing interviews, taking pics, talking to players, and seeing how the action goes down.

Also make sure to check the action on my social:

Instagram
Facebook: #roadtoNvZ with the other players
Twitter
Periscope (hopefully, depends on the connection I have)

Also running for Open Play, The Thunderdome -I’ve checked out the arenas in Colorado and Detroit, this will be a little different, but all roads lead to flinging foam.

Nerf Mega Mastodon: Postgame Writeup/Review

Nerf Mega Mastodon Postgame Writeup
Vas The Stampede

Testing if the Mega Mastodon gets 100′ – 

Note: I will eventually add in-game footage using the Mastodon here. Watch this space for a future edit.

Basics:
Range: 80′-100′
MSRP: $79.99
Capacity: 24 Mega Darts
Includes: strap, blaster, ammo

Full Auto firing capability
 

 https://photos.gstatic.com/media/slideshow.swf

Took the Nerf Mega Mastodon out for some gameplay this past weekend, and had some thoughts:

Nerf went big with the Mega Mastodon, without a doubt. Pretty sure this is the highest capacity Mega blaster to date, full auto, and definitely the one of the biggest builds probably for any other Nerf blaster I’ve seen. It has a big handle to hold it on top, two tactical rails along the top as well, and one more under the muzzle. The 6 D batteries sit in the rear part of the blaster, with the trigger, the accelerator trigger, and the handle. There are a couple of obvious attach points for the strap, and the “cage” on the underside also doubles as a stand of sorts to help rest the Mastodon upright. The top handle moves back and forth, pivoting on the insertion point for the post it is attached to. It’s wide, mainly due to the drum. But the blaster itself doesn’t seem too unwieldy, all things considered. I had no problem transitioning from running/moving/to firing position, or even letting the blaster sit at my hip off the sling. It was surprisingly easy to conform to a comfortable position on my body.

From Mega Mastodon

Mechanics:
 
The Mastodon is big, really big. So big in fact, I wonder how little kids may find using the blaster. From the bottom the cage on the underside of the blaster to the highest extension of the handle on top, the Mastodon measures at about 14″. For me at 5’7″ as an adult, I have no problem with that. The average US child maybe measures approximately 4′ (source), so I don’t know how easy a time they would have with this blaster, even with the strap (and factoring in the 6 D batteries). Having to hold the Mastodon at the hip also makes aiming challenging, if you are used to aiming down your sights or being able to angle a blaster down over cover trying to bunker someone, this takes some adjusting. Also, it goes without saying revving your motors before firing is a good practice to have, but the rev time seems a bit faster with the Mastodon. Also, with the nature of this blaster I didn’t work too much on trying to find a range with the Mastodon parallel to the ground (flat), most of the time I had the blaster angled in game so my ranges reflect as such. 

It’s also probably one of the more accurate Mega firing blasters I’ve used to date. The Mega Mastodon will hit close to 100′, but the accuracy at that range isn’t guaranteed (I say that with anything, and in the firing video above you can see the spread of the darts to the sides, in addition to the range.) Within 30-40, even 50′, I was able to get hits reliably though! It required a bit of leading my target and I did have to use a couple of shots to dial in, but a little practice can go a long way with this blaster both in firing mechanics and reloading.

Naturally, as a right-handed person, I hold the Mastodon in my right hand and the rotation mech goes to my right. As such, I needed to stop periodically to reload the Mastodon either by trying to cross my body with my left hand and reload that way into the empty chambers, orient the blaster vertically, or reload the empty chambers in from left to right, starting with the chambers feeding into the Mastodon first from the left side of the blaster and trying to get into the chambers on the right. One trick I want to work on with this blaster is reloading empty chambers as they cycle around (using the strap to act as the stabilizing hand while firing, and my free hand to reload.) Still a work in progress, to say the least. Also, make sure you have a large ammo pouch! Mega darts already are big, and with the 24 dart capacity you’ll eat through a lot of ammo using the Mastodon, for sure. Be prepared to carry enough to keep the Mastodon spitting.

With the strap, the Mastodon handles similarly to the RhinoFire and the Vulcan. The difference is the grip needed because of the accelerator trigger setup on the Mastodon versus the push button on the RhinoFire and the traditional trigger on the Vulcan. As a result, I found myself with my wrist on a weird angle sometimes while firing. I held the Mastodon typically at the waist, but with the handle and trigger a little past my back, which led to a touch of soreness after extended games. This was addressed by just keeping my handle hand in line with my torso. In a way, it reminded me of a Colonial Marine’s posture holding a smartgun, with some obvious differences. This might make a lot more sense after you hold one.

Stay frosty, Nerfers.

Needless to say, the Mastodon needs 6 D batteries to run so the strap and using the top handle might be a necessity. While trying to one hand it might be hilarious, it can also do a number on your wrist. Between rounds, everyone made attempts to hold the Mastodon like a pistol, to hilarious effect. Personally, I’m going to use two bandoliers if ever I want to dual wield. The Mastodon didn’t seem to eat batteries either, but my testing happened at a 4 hour Nerf war. The batteries I used were from the Dollar Store, and they held up fine during the day and even for my testing days before.

Running and gunning isn’t incredibly easy with the this blaster, if that’s surprising (which it shouldn’t be) not like with more rifle and pistol oriented blasters like the Rapidstrike or Firestrike, for obvious reasons. I found myself doing more of the “stalk and shoot” approach, dodging darts as I could or crouching. Trying to aim the Mastodon well while in full sprint was not the particularly efficient I thought or effective. The volley of darts was usually enough to make folks hide and move, but I always had to keep in mind to keep cover in mind and run for a teammate if I needed to reload, assuming I even had a team. Otherwise, I’d run and hope no one noticed while I fed darts back into this monster. If I needed to move faster, I stopped aiming and just picked up the blaster and ran, it was just more efficient that way.

Left-handed? I went with the righty oriented handle placement with the pivot on the left side of the blaster, and I’m not sure if the peg to the top handle fits in the other way. It looks like it might be able to accommodate lefties in the other direction, but I don’t guarantee that. If I get another Mastodon, I’ll see if that works, or hopefully I can get an answer out of the design team. My left-handed friend didn’t find it supremely comfortable trying to use the Mastodon the right-hand oriented way, though. I thought maybe since the rotation mech goes to the right while shooting then reloading might be easier, but she didn’t find it that way. And yes, reloadi

Don’t misunderstand me though! This is a SOLID build of a blaster. The raised “Mega” lettering, the top handle, the trigger, everything about it feels pretty strong. The rotation mech for the drum spins pretty easily too, but there are some caveats.

The most common issue I had with the Mastodon was trying to shoot in controlled bursts. If you go for a full 24 dart shower, the Mastodon functions wonderfully. But if you try to do groups of 3-4 shots, you might run into some jamming. What happens is the firing action, the rotation, and the feed gets out of sync if you try to group your shots and don’t time a stop right, you will stop the cycle mid-feed of a dart, or in between the chambers of the blaster, so you’ll suffer a misfire. I ended up having double feeds a few times trying to shoot a few darts at a time, and had to dig through the jam door to rip out a dart or push it back into the chamber. Other times, the rotation mech would be in mid-reset and would get stuck, I could not manually rotate it to load until after I resumed firing the blaster and heard it “click”. With a little practice I could see this becoming less of a problem, the more someone learns about the firing cycle of the Mastodon. These instances of locking and dart jamming were on the minimal end of the scale too, not to the point where using the blaster was frustrating. But like I said, this blaster is full auto and truly excels when you rock and roll with that 24 dart payload.

All that being said, is it worth the $80? A lot will be said of its “war practicality” and “usefulness” in a stock Nerf war, but I liked it just fine. It turned me into a big(ger) moving target, cut my mobility a bit, and made aiming a bit of a challenge, but the range, the capacity, the full auto, and the aggro (people made sure to keep an eye on where I was, or if they heard my motors whirring to make sure I wasn’t near them) was worth the tradeoff for me, and gosh darnit I just had a lot of fun with it! Of all the high-end items I saw at Toy Fair, this was definitely a “buzz-worthy” blaster in my book, and the one I came away wanting the most of the whole lineup from that trip. At this price it might make you cringe, but in this case I’d endorse the cost as being worth it for this foam launching monstrosity.

Questions? Comments? Did I miss something you’d want feedback on? Leave me a comment!

And don’t forget to check out my social media:
Instagram: blasterbot1984
Twitter: @VasTheStampede
Facebook: “Foam From Above”
YouTube: “FoamFromAbove”

Nerf Mega Mastodon – Firing video from New York Toy Fair

Nerf Mega Mastodon Firing Video from New York Toy Fair
VasTheStampede

Took me wayyy too long to get this edit done! But, here it is, hope you still garner some enjoyment from it. The upcoming Nerf Mega Mastodon, and my firing it during New York Toy Fair 2016. I’ll have more to say when I get the final production samples later this year, but for the moment I’m going to reserve my judgment. It’s a HUGE blaster, though! I’ll have a few more older Nerf videos to post, so there’s more on the way!

5 Tips to be a Gracious Nerf Game Host (Friday 5, well, it’s Friday somewhere still)

5 Tips to Being a Good Nerf Game Host
Vas The Stampede

Once again, I asked Hummer from the M.A.N.O (Milwaukee Area Wisconsin Nerf Out) Group for his thoughts on what it takes to be a good Nerf game host. A lot of games I’ve attended all started (for better or worse) from someone saying, “This day, this time, here are the rules…” and so on. Hummer’s held and attended his own fair share of Nerf blaster/Dart Tag games in a variety of settings, so if I have to bounce ideas off anyone, it’s him. The events he runs keep blasters minimally modded (if at all), using a community bin of store bought elite darts (no one really has to bring any, and a few other aspects that make the game accessible for first timers and folks who don’t heavily mod their blasters.
His system works for me, and the group he runs with.Whether you agree with his tips or not, that’s up to you.

  1. Have fun. You are playing with toy blasters, act like it.
  2. Don’t have a schedule. Play what your group wants to play.
  3. Don’t be afraid to try out new gametypes or variants of ones you already play.
  4. Downtime/resting is good to keep your players socialized and keeping their energy up throughout the day, but have the next game announced during that downtime & be ready to kick your players into action.
  5. Be the first one there/last one gone. Get there about 15 minutes early to get yourself setup/take a glance at the field for anything you don’t want to be there while you’re playing (Broken glass, sticks, Squirrels, ect.) And leave last and cleanup trash around the field, even if it isn’t yours. 

 #1 is my favorite out of this list, because at the end of the day we want to go to a Nerf enthusiast meetup and have fun, make some friends, and toss some foam around. It’s too easy to get caught up in group politics, ego, and competition (just like in anything) and forget why we picked up blasters in the first place. I will add a few other tips out of my own experience as well:

F2Addendums:

  • While you don’t want a schedule, a written list of gametypes to select from doesn’t hurt.
  • Duct tape. This rule should also apply to life.
  • Have a tool kit and extra batteries handy.
  • A method to divide people into teams quickly (a deck of cards, a handful of darts, flagging tape, whatever).
  • DO NOT FORGET TO HYDRATE.

Now get out there and Rule #1!

Friday 5: Five Must-See Places Outside the U.S. for Nerf Enthusiasts

Friday 5: Five Must-See Toy Blaster Hot Spots Outside the U.S.
Vas The Stampede

Early on in my blogging life, I quickly learned that Nerf games are not just for U.S. backgrounds, but organized games are an international phenomena. Nerf/Hasbro being a worldwide brand and a top toy maker, that should not have surprised me. Thanks to the advent of the internet and social media though, I see posts from communities abroad and it is a pretty amazing thing to think about. Taken from my analytics and personal observations, let’s look at 5 places outside the U.S. where Nerf blasters have very active player communities and play their games regularly.

Keep in mind, this list is in no particular order! The 5 selected are taken mainly from my own experiences and the amount of activity I see on my website analytics.

SINGAPORE

Some basics about Singapore (info taken from Google’s search engine entry:

“Singapore, an island city-state off southern Malaysia, is a global financial centre with a tropical climate and multicultural population. In circa-1820 Chinatown stands the red-and-gold Buddha’s Tooth Relic Temple, Little India offers colorful souvenirs and Arab Street is lined with fabric shops. Singapore is also known for eclectic street fare, served in hawker centres such as Tiong Bahru and Maxwell Road.
Currency: Singapore dollar
Population: 5.399 million (2013) World Bank
Official languages: English, Tamil, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, Standard Mandarin”
The Singapore community is one of the first international Nerf communities I encountered. Once upon a time, there was a blog, SGNerf, and he was one of the first other bloggers I ever communicated with. Other bloggers/YouTubers from there, including Psyk from PWND, Blaster Shogun, the modder Ahtanie, and so many others. I used to frequent their forums, and had many a good conversation with this group. From what I’ve seen, this group has regularly scheduled games and even larger events. I think the group’s been running for at least 6-7 years (2015 was their 6th anniversary, I believe) and is definitely one of the more active communities out there anywhere. Without getting bogged down in details, they do have some very strict gun laws which extends to paintball/airsoft as well, so Nerf blaster games seem to serve as an alternative. I’ve seen a LOT of different events come out of Singapore, from tournaments held in malls, to games in a variety of environments – woods, suburban areas, numerous historical military spots, and parks like this:


Obviously, one of these days I have to go visit. Somehow. But between the locations and the consistency of the players, Singapore definitely seems a must-see place if you’re interested in Nerf/toy blasters on an international scale.

GERMANY

Country in Europe
Germany is a Western European country with a terrain of vast forests, rivers and mountain ranges, and 2 millennia of history. Berlin, its capital, is home to thriving art and nightlife scenes, iconic Brandenburg Gate and many sites relating to WWII. Munich is known for its Oktoberfest and cavernous beer halls, including 16th-century Hofbräuhaus. Frankfurt, with its skyscrapers, houses the European Central Bank.
Population: 80.62 million (2013) World Bank

Admittedly, there’s very little I know about Germany’s Nerf/toy enthusiast community, but I see enough posts on the net to make me notice! Between the number of hits I get from there and the posts I see crop up, along with news from the Nuremberg International Toy Fair, AND home to both dartblaster.de and the OWL Community. (whew!) I see a number of LARP related posts on modifications/blaster paintjobs from German hobbyists as well, of astounding work. All that leads me to qualify Germany on this list.

ENGLAND (UK)

Country in Europe
The U.K., made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, is an island nation in northwestern Europe. England – birthplace of Shakespeare and The Beatles – is home to the capital, London, a globally influential centre of finance and culture. England is also site of neolithic Stonehenge, Bath’s Roman spa and centuries-old universities at Oxford and Cambridge.
Population: 64.1 million (2013) World Bank
Currency: Pound sterling


The UK also showed a strong level of activity on my site hits, and with good reason. The BritNerf forums are pretty active still from the looks of things, along with various other social media outlets out there. Let’s also not forget that one of the first Nerf-sponsored/branded arenas anywhere popped up here:

AUSTRALIA

“Australia is a country, and continent, surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Its major cities – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide – are coastal, but its capital, Canberra, is inland and nicknamed the “Bush Capital.” The country is known for its Sydney Opera House, Great Barrier Reef, the vast Outback (interior desert wilderness) and unique animal species including kangaroos and duck-billed platypuses.
Population: 23.13 million (2013) World Bank
Currency: Australian dollar

The land down under, home of the kangaroo, Australian Outback, Aborigines, Dream Time, and another of the biggest (and I believe oldest) consistent Nerf communities I’ve seen. The other places I’ve mentioned you can say are countries… Australia however is a Nerf-heavy CONTINENT that stands alone. I’ve heard of groups in Canberra, Wagga Wagga, Riverina, and so many more on their forums. New Zealand is off the southeast coast and has a steady group in Canterbury. In the past, I’ve heard that toy blaster interest really takes off in Australia (especially when the Nerf Dart Tag blasters released in their black and yellow colors. Needless to say, the place is not lacking for active players, albeit they may be spread out.

CANADA

“Country in North America
Canada, stretching from the U.S. in the south to the Arctic Circle in the north, is filled with vibrant cities including massive, multicultural Toronto; predominantly French-speaking Montréal and Québec City; Vancouver and Halifax on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, respectively; and Ottawa, the capital. It’s also crossed by the Rocky Mountains and home to vast swaths of protected wilderness.
Population: 35.16 million (2013) World Bank
 
 Canada! Oh, I heard about Canada. There is a pretty strong group (groups?) up there from what I remember, and used to hold some pretty massive events (I think they still do) like Massacre. The groups I do remember were heavy into modifying blasters, but they got together to fling darts as much as anyone. I believe most of the connecting is done over Facebook, but chances are if you wanted to get in with the Canadian toy blaster scene, by the time you’ve read this you’re already in it.
 
 
 
And that’s all, folks! As I stated before, I looked at my site data for my spotlights. If you want me to revisit or think I overlooked your country/continent, let me know! And abundant apologies to the countries I did name if I got anything wrong about your fair landmass – again just let me know so I may make the appropriate corrections. Hope this info was useful to you, and see you next time! 
I’ll have another post up this weekend, “Super” related (and not a blaster product, but a fun toy all the same.)