Nerf Recon Mk II 2.0 addresses compatibility issues, releasing soon!

Quick update: got info from the #Nerf team that a “new” version of the Modulus Recon Mk II is coming out, that will not have the same clip compatibility issues as the earlier release. I don’t have one (yet) so this wasn’t a big deal for me, but if you did buy one already, contact Hasbro Customer service as they should be ready to help you out in resolving any questions. 

Nerf Rival Zeus Blaster Claims 100 FPS when it shoots

Nerf Rival Zeus Claims to Hit 100 FPS
Vas The Stampede

Back in February at Toy Fair, I checked out the Nerf Rival Zeus blaster in prototype form! Thanks to Nerf for sending along the full production model. Check the video below, and I’ll update with my thoughts later today.

Check out the photo album in the meantime!

About the Zeus:

NERF RIVAL ZEUS MXV-1200 Blaster

(Ages 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $49.99/Available: Fall 2015)
Bring NERF battles to the next level with the mighty NERF RIVAL ZEUS MXV-1200 blaster. Simply push the power-up button, then take aim and unleash motorized blasting power on the opposing team. The powerful, precise RIVAL ZEUS MXV-1200 blaster gives fans and their allies an edge in battle and features an ambidextrous  clip loading and release button, safety switch, and fold-up sight. The included NERF RIVAL 12-round magazine is also compatible for use with the NERF RIVAL APOLLO XV-700 blaster, sold separately. Blaster is available in both red and blue and includes 12 NERF RIVAL Foam rounds. Six C batteries required, not included.
Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and at HasbroToyShop.com.
Nerf Rival Apollo:
Nerf RIVAL APOLLO XV-700 Blaster
(Ages 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99/Available: Fall 2015) 
Perfect for the heat of the competition, the NERF RIVAL APOLLO XV-700 blaster sends NERF RIVAL foam rounds soaring in the air with extraordinary velocity. To defend themselves and teammates against the opposition, pull the lever to move the RIVAL foam round into place, then take aim and launch! Blaster is available in both red and blue includes seven NERF RIVAL foam rounds. 
Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and at HasbroToyShop.com.
Additional photos in the gallery:

Nerf Rebelle Arrow Revolution Demo (Toy Fair 2015)

Test-firing video from New York Toy Fair featuring the Nerf Rebelle Arrow Revolution blaster – as seen at about.com with the ToyQueen.

The arrow loading mech seemed a little clunky, so here’s hoping it’s refined by release. As for the draw on the bow, it’s still designed with 8+ in mind (more on the 8 than the “+”) but fans of the Rebelle bows so far might enjoy the new reloading cylinder, as well as an additional use for any arrows they already own. Coming this Fall 2015!

Toy Fair 2015 – There, and Back Again. (Nerf and More Round up!)

Toy Fair 2015 Preview – Expectations and a look back at Blasters in 2014
Vas The Stampede

Sorry it’s been awhile, you all! Just a heads up, while I maintain here, I am also posting content at the following:

Instagram: Blasterbot1984
Facebook: Foam From Above

Just like the title says, I am here in New York City, and ready to go for another round at the New York Toy Fair. The blaster scene is a little different from last year, but there’s a lot of buzz surrounding this year’s show. Dare I say it, possibly even more than last year.

NERF:

Nerf had a hit on their hand it seems with the Rebelle line, expanding on the roleplay/bow and arrow aspect of the blasters to appeal to young girls. While I have my own opinions about gender specific toys, the line is still around, and going strong. So strong in fact, there will be a whole slew of new blasters to check out at this year’s show, including the Revolution Bow:

Image taken from Toyqueen, writing for about.com

 
Nerf’s largest release (literally) was something not on display last year, the Nerf Rhinofire. After the initial releases of the Slingfire, the Mega Thunderbow, and the Nerf Cam ECS-12, Nerf crashed through with one of the biggest, full auto blasters to date. While pricey and even a pain to reload, the blaster was a lot of fun to use.

There is already a large amount of buzz for Nerf in 2015 as well, starting with info about the Rotofury, The Doominator, the Nerf Modulus, and most recently today, NERF RIVALS.

The Rotofury
Nerf Rival blaster (this is the Zeus MVX-1200)
Nerf Zombie Strike DOOMINATOR

Needless to say, that’s a lot of blaster to look at over the weekend. I’ll be back Sunday with the report on Nerf, after my visit to their showroom that morning.

Other Brands:
 
Tomorrow is the actual Day 1 of Toy Fair, but the Hasbro Showroom isn’t open to tours yet, just a special event. That being the case, I’m going to spend time checking out the other brands such as Zing Toys, Primetime Toys (makers of the Scorpion Gatling Gun), Hogwild Toys (the Power Poppers makers), Marshmallow Shooters, Maya Group (whose offering this year might be something different, the branding doesn’t seem Xploderz related but you never know), Zuru (if you bought the Vigilante), and of course, K’Nex and their K-Force. BOOMco will also be on hand at Mattel’s showroom, but I won’t get a look at their new stuff until Monday, during one of their media events.

That being said, you never can be too sure what else might be on that show floor. I’ve seen push rockets, something called a “Titan Torpedo” (which looked a lot like the throwable Uberdart), and maybe there will be some new vehicle blasters like the VMD cars and Attacknid. But that’s part of the fun of the show for me, that extra sense of discovery!

The big release from Zing last year, the Firetek Bow
Ghostbusters Marshmallow Shooters first seen last year, just in time for the new film!

It’s going to be a busy few days, make sure to check the social links above for live-updates, but come back here for the full writeups. Thanks for your time!

Navigate the Holidays! Nerf Goes Big: RhinoFire & Cam ECS-12

Nerf Big Ticket Items for the Holidays:
Vas The Stampede

There are 2 big items out there for Nerf enthusiasts and those that love them this holiday season. If you haven’t finished your shopping yet and have a big Nerf fan on your list, let’s look at the two biggest options Nerf gives you this year. “Nerf or nothin’!”

Both Nerf blasters are at a premium price, which is a lot to ask for when it comes to selecting a toy. What exactly are you getting into?

Nerf Elite RhinoFire:

Price: Approximately $89.97 (Wal-Mart Exclusive)
RhinoFire blaster x 1
Tripod x 1
25 round ammo drums x 2
Darts x 50
90′ Claimed Range
Batteries not included (6 “D” batteries)

Nerf Elite Cam ECS-12
List Price: $79.99 (currently $67.99 at Amazon.com)

Nerf Cam ECS-12 blaster x 1
18 round dart magazine x 1 (orange, not the blue as seen at Toy Fair)
Darts x 18
4 GB SD card
Alleged 90′ ranges
Batteries not included (8 “AA” batteries)

How are they?

Say hello to the 2 big ticket items from Nerf this year. Let’s start with the Nerf RhinoFire. A descendant of the Nerf Vulcan, the Rhino is a big blaster compared to the other recent releases. Here is your new heavy weapons turret.

Nerf Rhino Fire with some… extras.

The RhinoFire has 2 mag wells, multiple tactical rails (for accessories), and a few attach points for a sling. There is a tripod that sits on the underside of the blaster. The RhinoFire tripod fits on the older Vulcan, so it is safe to assume the opposite holds true as well. Unlike the Vulcan, the front grip handle is a bit more in line with the form of the blaster, it doesn’t jut out and swivel.

The blaster is a big, double-barreled unit – the barrels alternatively pump when firing, and as some folks commented reminiscent of a turret. As such, there is a roleplay aspect to this blaster that in my opinion dictates the best practices when using the blaster.

Usage:
 
Firing the blaster is a little different from a traditional setup, there is an orange tab on the back handle that does all the work – a little pressure to start revving up the flywheels, then fully press the tab down to engage the pusher arm…. and unleash foam. It is ESSENTIAL to rev the flywheels first, otherwise your first shot is going to dribble out of the barrel.
 

So yes, the RhinoFire is essentially triggerless, but that works because of the way the grip is styled. Going back to the “turret” look of the Rhino, the grip is styled for two-hand usage but also incorporates a t-style handle for quick carrying.

Peek at the underside

Suggested Best Practices:

That’s right, carrying. When I used the Nerf Vulcan during games, I wouldn’t “run and gun” with it. As it was a “heavy” blaster, running with it felt awkward while trying to shoot. I would pick a spot, shoot, then pick up and relocate. Lather, rinse, repeat. I would avoid firing on the run due to the chains, and size. I was also firing from the hip, as the design of the blaster lent itself to that position. If I had to reload, it was a task switching out chains by myself and maintaining a stream of darts.

With a “turret” like the RhinoFire, it is important to separate shooting and running into separate actions. Run, pick a spot, provide fire, relocate. Lather, rinse, repeat. Additionally, firing from the hip makes accessing the firing button faster, just drop your hand onto it when you wanna shoot. A sling on the RhinoFire makes this firing technique quite easy, at least for me. One other caveat is… you’re going to want to carry a lot of mags. Either conscript a friend into caddying your ammo to make a 2-person team, be ready to lug around a bag and/or pouch to dump empty mags into (unless you’ve formed a zen-like mentality with your gear and don’t mind losing stuff.)

Ammo/magazine compatibility:
 
As far as what magazines to use… I had best luck with straight 18-round N-strike magazines. While the firepower behind two 35 round drums is impressive, the reliability just wasn’t there, darts would jam or dribble out of the blaster when using those types of magazines. Jamming was much more prevalent with larger capacity/rounded mags (including the included 25 round magazines, and the 18 round drum mag from an Alpha Trooper). The reliability issues could be due to age/lack of maintenance on the older, larger drum mags, but even the 18 round straight mags from the same time frame worked no problem. Ammo wise, I checked Elite Streamline darts and Elite Suction Cup Streamline darts in straight 18 round magazines and experienced no jamming issues.

 NEXT!

The Nerf Cam ECS-12 is a bit more straightforward than the RhinoFire. As a semiautomatic blaster, there’s already a myriad of similar magfed blasters out there in the Stryfe and the Rayven. The Rapidstrike is a full auto “rifle” that is still available, which makes the Cam ECS-12 a tough sell, especially at that price.

So what are you paying for? 90′ range, and a 0.3 megapixel camera? The awesome aesthetics?

Let’s talk about the camera. It’s low-res, and if you don’t already own the Nerf cradle for a mobile device, a GoPro, or some other action cam with a mount (such as the Nerf branded ones from Sakar), then this is an option. But realize there are other, less costly blasters out there.

Here are some samples of the Cam’s still shots –

Inside

Outside

The camera’s not the best quality. But then again, given the blaster’s target audience (not including this blogger) the quality of the camera isn’t so much the concern of someone looking for a gift for the Nerfer in their family. And when I discussed the camera quality with Hasbro at #NerfAllAccess this past summer, in order to keep the Cam under $100 it was necessary to use something so low in megapixels. And again, if you have a camera already, this probably isn’t for you. But someone out there may get a kick out of this because it’s a 2 for 1 unit. Requires no additional screws, mounts, or similar extras. And it doesn’t interfere with using the sights on your blaster, as mounts tend to (unless you mount your camera under the muzzle.) This offers a streamlined camera to make recording unobtrusive.

Eeeeeexcept when it comes to noise. Unfortunately, the camera picks up a LOT of the whine from the flywheels when the Cam revs up, which can be distracting when reviewing footage and trying to edit any footage. Caveat emptor.

The range is questionable on the Cam as well. And yes, the box does detail in a handy graph on the package just how often the 90′ range occurs, but I saw most of my flat/angled shots hit around the 50′ mark, well below the advertised ranges. To me, it looks like it rarely hits 90′ but since I Nerf stock anyway, that’s not a big deal to me. If anything, I have more issues with the camera image quality and the audio pickup.

What I do like about this blaster is that while the stock isn’t modular, it is definitely one of the more comfortable blasters I’ve used in recent history. I prefer using a foregrip on it, and it is a comfortable hold. However, I can only speak for myself. Ultimately though, I see this being more of a gift for Nerf enthusiasts just getting started in the hobby, or from relatives getting their family Nerfer a present. More hardcore enthusiasts might not find much interesting or useful, given they already own a camera or have a less expensive blaster that performs similarly.

Final verdict: If I had to choose between either blaster, I’d select the RhinoFire. It’s arguably the more diverse of the two, and offers more bang for the buck. More shots per reload (depending on your loadout), different feel from a lot of the rifle/pistol variants out now, and it’s overkill. While you’re not as mobile with it, I see a lot more people having a lot of fun with this blaster later on long after the wrapping is tossed and the boxes are broken down.

Hope this was helpful! Enjoy the remaining days of your shopping window 🙂

Nerf new blaster release list (the story so far, via Reddit)

 A PRETTY COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF THE NEW BLASTER RELEASES UP TO ZOMBIESTRIKE (click this link).

Compiled by a few redditors, including Bobololo from the HvZ Forums & Mr. K of AFON this is a pretty good list of what’s coming out and how much it will cost.  They’re planning to update as necessary, but if you’re going to start setting aside $$$ or making a list to give to pertinent family members… this gives you an idea of what the amount you’re looking at is.

The comprehensive total?

Elite & Zombiestrike                   $276.89 
Rebelle Only $129.92
All Blasters & Accessories $406.81
All Blasters $322.87

(In USD) 
 
Go check the link at the beginning of the article for the full 
breakdown.  I will say, keep in mind this doesn't total in the new 
paintjob Vortex blasters or any other redone color schemes, 
just new blasters. Enjoy!

REMINDER: Big Announcement this week! (Centurion?)

Don’t forget to check Nerf’s Facebook this week, most likely tomorrow.  They have a big announcement coming!  
Speculation out there says it is most likely the Centurion finally getting the “official announcement” treatment and confirming just what it does.
What else does this mean?  Hopefully, should Nerf do another release party, myself and the other blogs such as Adult Fans of Nerf, Basic Nerf, and NerfRevolution (most in attendance last year, with the exception of Basic) might finally get their turn at it!
Keep your fingers crossed, Nation.

Edit: My mistake, Basic Nerf did not make it last year; hopefully he will be able to this year, if it happens.