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:

New York Toy Fair 2015 – Nerf Showroom Breakdown

New York Toy Fair Nerf Showroom Breakdown
Vas The Stampede


Nerf Rivals

The Nerf Rival Apollo & Zeus


The big news of the show for me out of the Nerf room was this line. I have my rundown of the Zeus and the Apollo (and a firing video of the Zeus) here.

 
Accessories for sale (Available Fall 2015):

50 round ammo pack – $17.99
25 round ammo pack – $9.99
12 round magazine w/16 rounds – $11.99
Face mask (red or blue) – $14.99

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was excited for this line. Supposedly 100 fps, Nerf aiming for a larger audience (given the success of Nerf Rebelle), and increased accuracy. The accuracy alone has me piqued, with Elite darts (including suction cup) and Mega darts lacking in that department (in my opinion.) I still hold Dart Tag velcro darts as some of the most accurate darts I’ve ever had the pleasure to use. The price is agreeable too, given Nerf’s recent high value items (Terradrone, Rhino-Fire, Cam-ECS). I look forward to more on these blasters, and welcome the new tech. Although, yet another ammo type to stock up on.

Zombie Strike:

New firing modes! DOOM. DOOM. DOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!

NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE BIOSQUAD ZR-800 ABOLISHER Blaster 
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $29.99/Available: Fall 2015)

Beat back the zombie hordes using three kinds of ammo with the ZOMBIE STRIKE BIOSQUAD ZR-800 ABOLISHER blaster. This epic blaster allows fans to fight back using ZOMBIE STRIKE darts, ZOMBIE STRIKE BIOSQUAD zombie repellent or water. No matter where or how the zombies attack, NERF fans are ready to take them down with the ABOLISHER blaster. Simply attach the ZOMBIE STRIKE BIOSQUAD zombie repellent canister to the blaster and pull the trigger. Repellent canister can also be replaced with the included refillable water canister. Available at most major retailers and HasbroToyShop.com.

Abolisher on top, Eraser lower

 NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE BIOSQUAD ZR-100 ERASER Blaster 
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available:Fall 2015)

Take down zombies two ways with the ZOMBIE STRIKE BIOSQUAD ZR-100 ERASER blaster! Blast away the undead with ZOMBIE STRIKE darts, or unleash a steady stream of BIOSQUAD zombie repellent to keep them at bay. Simply attach the ZOMBIE STRIKE BIOSQUAD zombie repellent canister to the blaster and pull the trigger. Includes 3 ZOMBIE STRIKE darts and 1 can of ZOMBIE STRIKE BIOSQUAD zombie repellent. Available at most major retailers and HasbroToyShop.com.

As a side note, additional cans of Zombie Repellent will be available in 3.8 oz cans for $5.99
 

The addition of silly stri ZOMBIE REPELLENT is a new feature for Zombie Strike. Two blasters, the ZR-800 Abolisher and ZR-100 Eraser both use this new feature, fired by the trigger on the blaster. Each blaster fires darts much like the Demolisher launches rockets, by using a pump as the firing mechanism. While that isn’t my favorite thing to hear (I find mechanisms like that throw off my aim), I’ll give these blasters a chance all the same before I make a final decision. The repellent is an interesting idea, and I’m all about seeing a brand try new things, especially when it’s Nerf.

That being said about the new feature, my favorite thing out of Zombie Strike this year is THE DOOMINATOR. Sure, it’s yet another single shot blaster and yes it shares a similar feature as the Flipfury, but it’s bigger and the design has enough of a twist that I can forgive the repetition.

“Doom”

THE DOOMINATOR. $39.99, 4 rotating drums, 6 darts apiece = 24 rounds of pump-action fury. Additionally, the foregrip handle can be relocated in different positions on the pump, if you are so inclined.

Modulus:

A quick quote on how Modulus relates to the existing Nerf N-Strike/Elite lines: 

We have many exciting new innovations on the Nerf brand in 2015, introducing new segments and differentiated play patterns that deliver the same quality and performance consumers love. With this rapid product innovation and taking consumer feedback like more open packaging into consideration, we recognize that there is some confusion between our many segments.   We are working to enhance and evolve our branding and packaging to help minimize consumer confusion.” – Nerf, in an email to me asking about why the Modulus is being labeled separately from the Elite line (but the ranges remain similar!)

The Modulus is Nerf’s focused attempt at cashing in on one of the biggest trends this year (if you believe the Toy Fair chatter); customization. While past blasters in the N-Strike and N-Strke Elite lines offered tactical rails/stocks/sights for players, Modulus takes that concept and offers customization as the main focus. You start with one main blaster and add the parts on, as opposed to having the customization be secondary (and somewhat lost) in the myriad of N-Strike blasters. Modulus branding seems to draw the focus to the customizing aspect of playing with blasters. To me, that explains why the blaster itself is very similar to the Nerf Stryfe, being semiautomatic and a flywheel blaster as opposed to something with a different functionality that might minimize the impact of the custom aspect of the line.

The shield and in-stock blaster of the “Strike & Defend” pack is very nicely done (and my favorite of them all), although to some degree I think I liked the placement on the Longshot’s infamous front blaster. There’s just one less step in firing that shot than having to remove the stock to fire the backup in the Strike & Defend. Each of the “upgrade kits” (Flip Clip, Stealth Ops, Strike & Defend, Long Range) will be about $14.99, and the cost of the base Modulus blaster (includes scope, stock w/additional clip storage like a Recon, drop-down grip, and 10-dart banana clip) is supposed to be $49.99. All in all, that’s a pretty hefty price tag if you want the complete set, even for the numerous configurations available. But the amount of custom options is now increasing for those who like their Nerf with a side order of accessories.

 

 Rebelle:

The highlight of the Nerf Rebelle showroom for me wasn’t the Arrow Revolution, but the Codebreaker, seen here:

Trigger lock


 Aside from the aesthetics (another crossbow, yes, but a fine looking one) the lock on the Codebreaker is pretty smart thinking. Too often in the past I’ve left blasters out on my wall, table, desk, only for some cheeky guest to grab hold of it, load it up, and open fire on unsuspecting victims (me). With the Codebreaker, that ends! Or at least, it should make it less likely to happen. While I love random acts of Nerf, sometimes you just don’t want people grabbing all your blasters and opening fire. Other blasters such as the Secret Shot, Tri Threat (a Super Soaker blaster), and Dolphina were on display, but those are all readily available in stores currently (if you don’t see them yet, give it time, they’re on the way). In short, Nerf Rebelle has really stuck with the intended audience and made an impression, so look for more blasters in the future. Whatever your feelings may be on the heavy influence of bows or the colors, the line works for Nerf and serves to expand their brand into other audiences. Other blasters such as the Courage were not on display at Toy Fair, so I can’t comment on how they performed or how much I like them.

Mega:

The Nerf Mega line had a few new additions, such as the BigShock and Cycloneshock (both available now), and the Rotofury complete with slam-fire capability is due out later this year. Look for the full reveal I previously released here:


Elite:

Yes, the Crossbolt was a nice blaster, but Elite has my attention because of this – 

The dedicated “Rocket Launcher” in the Nerf N-Strike Elite Thunderblast. MSRP: $24.99, available this Fall. Shoots rockets up to 60′ with a quick pump from the undermounted handle. Simple and ridiculous size ammo, which for me is a winning formula. While not quite the Titan I hoped for, the emergence of new rockets for the Nerf line (starting with the Demolisher) has added a new element to some special gametypes, and just got a little more fun in general. I loved shooting people with Titan rockets, and the new smaller rockets are a lot of fun as well. I indeed plan to support this blaster, as if it succeeds then more blasters that utilize this ammo are sure to follow.

NERF N-STRIKE ELITE CROSSBOLT Blaster

(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99/Available: Fall 2015) 
Real crossbow action meets N-STRIKE ELITE performance with the first-ever clip-fed NERF crossbow. The N-STRIKE ELITE CROSSBOLT blaster features a 12-dart clip and fires up to an impressive 90 feet! 
Opponents won’t stand a chance with this high capacity multi-firing blaster that sends darts flying into action!
Comes with 12 N-STRIKE ELITE darts. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and at HasbroToyShop.com.

NERF N-STRIKE SnapFire Blaster (not shown at Toy Fair)
 

(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $4.99/Available:Spring 2015)
Catch the competition off guard with the N-STRIKE SnapFire blaster! This stealth blaster comes with 2 N-STRIKE ELITEdarts that can be quickly loaded, or stored on the blaster for easy access while sneaking into position. The SnapFireblaster is made for mobile, fast-moving missions! Available at select toy retailers nationwide and at HasbroToyShop.com.



NERF N-STRIKE DOUBLEDOWN Blaster (not shown at Toy Fair, though I believe it is available already in places) 
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available:Spring 2015)

When battles heat up, fans can rely on the one-handed design of the N- STRIKE DOUBLEDOWN blaster. This compact blaster allows for quick reloads with one hand and will fire 2 N-STRIKE ELITE darts in a row thanks to its double tap action. Blaster includes 4 N-STRIKE ELITE darts. Available at select toy retailers and at HasbroToyShop.com. 

Most notably in these last two descriptions is the pricing, outside of the Jolt, a Reflex, or a Triad, or Doublestrike I can’t recall many blasters that don’t break into the $10 range, at least for Nerf. Yes, they exist but are often very small blasters. These look to be along the same lines size wise (note the Jolt-like handle on the Snapfire) but it’s a bit newish, and for the right price for someone looking to buy a lot of blasters for a party or some other mass quantity reason.


To sum it all up, Nerf has been busy! Busy innovating and getting some new spins on old tricks (Flipfury on steroids in the Doominator, “repellent”/water in blasters, single shot blasters galore with new gimmicks, an easier to load Agent Bow in the Arrow Revolution, etc.) but still providing a lot of options on how to play and now along a varied range of prices. No remote controlled beasts this year or integrated tech (like the Cam-ECS), but the Rivals line is a pretty big jump, FPS wise compared to past years and a gamble at trying to attract older folks more than the current blasters already do. And nope, no new Vortex blasters along any of the lines this year (including Zombie Strike), not even a new paintjob or anything like that. Nerf hasn’t said one way or another whether the Vortex line is being worked on any longer, so it’s one of those “wait and see” moments; if more blasters are made for Vortex, awesome. If not, well, it was fun while it lasted (I do love dual wielding Nitrons, after all.)

Whew! Thanks for hanging in there, if you have questions on anything I mentioned here, be sure to leave it in the comments. I’ve got videos to work on, and an announcement later today, so be sure to come back soon, y’hear?

-Stampede

This isn’t the end, not by a longshot. I’ve got plenty more showrooms to go through (K’Nex, Zing, Marshmallow Shooters, etc.) and will post as I get them done. Thanks again! More pictures are available in my gallery –Nerf New York Toy Fair 2015



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 🙂