Whew! New York Toy Fair 2013 – Nerf Debrief (In case you didn’t want to click through my WHOLE album)

Nerf Revonix 360

Where you load the discs

Iron Man spring launcher (reminiscent of a small pistol)

Iron Man disc shooter (in the spirit of the foam disc captain America Shield)

Heartbreaker Bow (click for info)

Nerf Rebelle Alpha Girl Mission Kit (click for info)

Nerf Rebelle Sneak Attacker 2-pack (Click for info)

Nerf Rebelle PINK CRUSH mini crossbow (Click for info)

Nerf Rebelle Crossbow (Click for info)

Nerf Blazin’ Blitz Bow (Click for Info)

Nerf Vortex Firefly tech Glow in the Dark Mission Kit

Firevision Flyer

Angry Birds blaster (Koosh)

Angry Birds blaster

Nerf N-Strike Elite… Bottom line

As we close in this week on the Nerf launch party for the Nerf N-Strike Elite Hailfire, I figure it’s only fair to finally do some actual writing, this being a blog and all.

So the Nerf N-Strike Elite line.  Hit or miss?

I’ll give it a hit, but tentatively.  I really want to love it, I really do!  And I’m impressed, don’t get me wrong.  But until I have the actual Hailfire in my hands to test and check out, I’m going with reservations.  Mainly cause I don’t want to think the novelty and newness of everything is clouding my judgment.  These are some sweet new toys, and I think they’ll add a lot of value to Nerf games far and wide, but let’s still maintain a grain of salt.

What we’ve seen so far are UPGRADES to existing blasters.  Nerf’s already received some fire for reshells (Spectre was a five-shot Maverick, the Alpha Trooper was functionally a Raider, and nevermind the countless repaints.)  I like what I’m seeing, but slam-fire and a single-shot modular blaster are things we’ve seen already.  The Hailfire has a new loading mech, but functionally it’s a Barricade or a Nitron that it’s a flywheel blaster and shoots one dart at a time as opposed to say, a spread of darts/discs.  But it’s either of those blasters on steroids.  UP TO 75′, and 144 shots (at max capacity) before having to refill another magazine.  It looks small, which might defuse bulky arguments, but that remains to be seen on what magazines will actually fit and how many (the speculation leads to: 35 rnd drums).  In any event, what functional hilarity this adds to the battlefield remains to be seen, and I can’t wait to try dual-wielding it.

Thanks to SGNerf for the photo!

All the skepticism aside… let’s get to it.  The Nerf Vortex line big ranges flat, but the discs fell victim to crosswinds more severely than darts.  They were also green, which made it harder to find in well-grown grass.  The Elite darts hit 50+ flat, but the advertised 75′ comes at an angle which is to be expected.  Either way, whichever range you hit that’s more than 20-30’+ that we’ve come to expect out of recent Nerf blaster releases.  So whether you like discs or darts, anything you’ve bought previous to Vortex and Elite will find you at a slight disadvantage.  I’ve managed to shoot straight with a Nerf Nitron, and the Retaliator and Rampage are pretty accurate at 40′ and a bit more than that even.

Those of us that hold stock-ammo/blaster games are going to have some fun with this new stuff, for sure.  It changes the field a lot, having this kind of range and accuracy straight outta the box without any additional work.  Everything from the previous N-Strike line is compatible with the Elite and vice versa, so don’t fret about all the streamlines you’ve already bought!  Just use them until you can’t anymore, and go buy Elite streamlines.  They fly a tad better than the originals.

So the only real gripe is I’m still looking for something way out of left field from Nerf.  Everything here looks impressive and I am impressed with how things fire, but the functionality still feels similar.  Even their vaunted Pyragon is a disc-shooting Raider.  While things look cool, I want to see something blow my mind both in how it looks AND how it plays.  I think the last blaster to do that was the Nerf Unity Power  System because it had 3 different blasters, one of which was essentially a shotgun.  When I saw the Raider for the first time it was awesome, but then boiled down to still putting out one dart at a time, just faster.  The Deploy was hilarious in function, but past the transformation (and nobody was fooled) it was a pump-action single shot blaster, or a Furyfire.

Still though, one step at a time.  Nerf’s given us souped-up ranges, a sleek color scheme, and dark blue darts. (I hope they make the darts brighter though… given the issue with green discs, white elite darts would be easier to find than dark blue.)  The Hailfire is going to have a reloading mech that looks promising at adding new body mechanics (I will admit, I liked the thumb switch on a Proton.  Made it feel very tactile and was satisfying on some level; the little things that count) to handling a blaster, which might be enough to sell it.

Speaking of selling – here we go once more with the pricing:

Nothing outrageous, and honestly I thought the Hailfire was going to cost more.  But that’s enough talk.  Time to get back to blasting, and shooting foam at anything that moves.  The Elite line shows a lot of promise, and I would definitely suggest picking them up and giving them a go.  The darts are new, the blasters are new (on the inside), and it looks like Nerf’s paying attention to what you, the fans want.  Better ranges and accuracy.  So show your support for what you wanted, and make sure Nerf knows this line is going to sell!  The blasters should start popping up around 8/1/12, and the Hailfire around 9/9/12.  Get on it, it’s time to upgrade.

Quick edit: I was asked if the Recon barrel changed in diameter for the Retaliator, but found this instead.  When pics first surfaced people speculated but I took a pic of my clear Recon for confirmation.

Nerf N-Strike Retaliator barrel extension

Nerf N-Strike Clear Recon barrel extension

I do declare, is that rifling I see?

Walk the ladder, compadres.

P.S. – This Thursday I’ll be back here posting LIVE from the Nerf Hailfire Launch in NYC (New York City!)  Posting – Youtube:  http://youtube.com/foamfromabove
Twitter: @vasthestampede
aaaaaand this very blog!

New York Toy Fair 2012 – highlights! Facts! Toys! (1st up… Nerf/Hasbro stuff)

Wowsers!  Amazingly enough, I can now say I’ve been to the New York International Toy Fair 2 years going.  Insane.  I’ve taken this little blog o’mine and managed to rub shoulders with people from the New York Times, Wired magazine, and The Toy Spy.  Not too bad.

In any event, you’re not here to read me wax philosophic.  You want to read about toys, all the cool things I saw, and what to expect in cool ways to play from 2012.  There was a lot, so over the next few days this week I’ll be putting up showroom summaries and galleries, and we’ll go from there, yeah?

First up, HASBRO.  Nerf.  One of my favorite companies, and why wouldn’t they be?  My blog is based on Nerf primarily but with other companies with similar products thrown in to keep things fresh (and for mad toy street cred.  Not those kinds of toys, and this isn’t that kind of street.)  Hasbro also has Transformers, Star Wars, and a myriad of other great licenses.  Their showroom certainly didn’t disappoint.

Nerf!  Of course, Nerf.  They had on-hand the Lumitron and Rayven, which should be out in stores, as well as the Speedswarm.  Basically, if it’s out now, they had it there.  The Lightningstorm and Electrostorm were available as well, but being indoors and water+electronics being a bad idea, no test firing of the Super Soakers. 

 As you can see, the newest offering we COULD see (besides video showing the Elite line) was the Snapfire 8.  8 shots, turreted blaster for the Dart Tag line, with an adjustable power setting between range or rate of fire.  Best thing about it was the blaster was primed by pulling the trigger, so it was the truest semiauto from Nerf without use of flywheels.  it was a prototype though, so we’re hoping to get another look later on.

Nerf did in fact release the Nerf Elite (complete with obscured silhouettes!) sizzle video from Toy Fair – here it is fresh from their youtube:


(HASBRO/Ages 8 & up/Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: Fall 2012)
The NERF DART TAG SNAPFIRE 8 blaster features one-hand firing, an essential element when players are on the move during competition battle.  This semi-automatic blaster allows competitors to load darts into the front and then cock and fire darts as the front barrel revolves with each trigger pull.  The DART TAG SNAPFIRE 8 blaster also enables players to adjust the tension level for increased speed and distance.  Includes 8 Velcro tipped DART TAG darts.  Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com. 

 Nerf did show some of the licensed products like shirts, bags, notebooks, etc.  I even spotted a pair of Pumas!  But blaster-wise, the coolest thing was this bike with a blaster holder:

I say blaster wise because Nerf sports is coming back with a vengeance… FIREVISION.  The press kit tidbit:


The NERF brand brings fans a completely new way to play with its sports gear in 2012 with the introduction of FIREVISION technology, an innovative enhancement featured in the debut FIREVISION SPORTS collection which allows for play in both daytime and dusk. To turn up the heat on throws, catches, and dunks, users simply put on the FIREVISION SPORTS FRAMES eyewear and flip the switch on the bridge to see reflective graphics and skins on the FIREVISION SPORTS products. Only those wearing NERF FIREVISION SPORTS FRAMES eyewear will be able to see the action once the lights are out, so whether fans want to enter into casual games with friends or test their skills in competitive challenges one thing is for certain: You don’t want to get left in the dark.

(HASBRO/Ages 6 years & up/Approximate Retail Price: $19.99/Available: August 1, 2012)
No sunlight? No problem. Put on the FIREVISION SPORTS FRAMES eyewear and turn on the switch to see this awesome football soar. Set includes one FIREVISION SPORTS football and two pairs of FIRE FRAMES eyewear. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.

(HASBRO/Ages 6 years & up/Approximate Retail Price: $14.99/Available: August 1, 2012)
Convert your room into the coolest court with the NERF FIREVISION SPORTS NERFOOP basketball set.  Hang the set’s oversized backboard over almost any door, put on the FIREVISION SPORTS FRAMES eyewear, and turn down the lights. The darker the room, the brighter the reflective graphics on both the backboard and basketball glow, setting you up for a serious slam-dunk! Set includes one mini NERF FIREVISION SPORTS basketball and one pair of FIREVISION SPORTS FRAMES eyewear. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.

(HASBRO/Ages 6 years & up/Approximate Retail Price: $9.99/Available: August 1, 2012)
The NERF FIREVISIONL SPORTS HYPER BOUNCE BALL ball shines new light on the game of catch. Wear the FIREVISION SPORTS FRAMES eyewear to see the ball’s reflective skin glow in green or red and track how far and fast throws fly when the sun goes down. Includes one HYPER BOUNCE  ball and one set of FIRE FRAMES eyewear. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.

(HASBRO/Ages 6 years & up/Approximate Retail Price: $5.99/Available: August 1, 2012)
Give everyone a chance to get in your FIREVISION SPORTS game and stock up on FIREVISION SPORTS FRAMES eyewear. The new assortment includes one pair of FRAMES eyewear (choose from green or red). Players place on the FRAMES eyewear and flip the switch on the bridge to see FIREVISION gear in a whole new light. Each sold separately. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.

Essentially, you wear some sweet frames (either green or red lights) and they illuminate a sport ball that has been given a reflective treatment.  The tape then glows whatever color shines on it, allowing the person wearing the frames to see it.  Sadly, this didn’t translate well to film or photography, but the effect was astounding.  Supposedly you have visibility up to 100′, and this kinda tech makes me think of limitless alternative applications.  If only Nerf would put the same reflective bit on their darts, or on the Nerf jerseys.  Think, a bunch of zombies wearing red light sets, seeking out humans wearing the reflective tape?  Night missions would finally be proper… and go!

Unfortunately, there was no Vortex Pyragon to look at and demo, but hopefully later this year we’ll get a crack at that, too.

And that was just Nerf.  Kreo, G.I. Joe, Transformers, KOOSH, Lazer Tag, and even the Hasbro board games are getting a new look.  Clue: Elimination implements the Nerf Jolt into gameplay, mimicking the “Assassin” gametype that has been on college campuses for year.

CLUE Elimination Game
Age: 9+; Players: 2-4; Available: Fall 2012; Approximate Retail Price: $19.99
Get out of your seat and up on your feet for an active game of CLUE that sends players on a mission to seek and eliminate their opponents using CLUE blasters in a thrilling showdown to become the last player standing. Elimination takes CLUE gaming to a whole new level by marrying the thrill and adrenaline rush of blaster play with the intrigue of the CLUE brand. The game comes with 4 uniquely designed blasters, 8 darts and a deck of mission cards. CLUE Elimination: Will you be the last one standing?

Available: Fall 2012; Approximate Retail Price: $7.99
Each refill pack includes 16 colored darts and additional mission cards.

Yep, nunchuks just to the right of the GI Joe shirt.  Foam!

G.I. Joe got a redux of the Furyfire,  and it looks like a new katana is going to come out to coincide with the movie.  There was a foam and an electronic version, so people can choose their poison when it comes to how they fight.  The above figure has a “quick-draw action” where you put the pistols on magnetic mounts on the back, hit a button, and the figure’s hands swing backward and magnets in the hands pull the guns out.  In Snake-Eyes’s case, he draws swords.

The Transformers toys didn’t have any new blasters, but here are some highlights of the coolest of the cool from the Robot in Disguise:

Battleship is going to be a big push, with a KREO line and some new editions of the classic board game.  New features (like air strikes and recon planes) and some wicked KREO sets.  Here’s a few looks at those as well:

Please check out the rest of the pics here! Shots from the Marvel products, Star Wars, and more!  Sadly, there weren’t any new Star Wars foam shooters, or anything for Transformers like the Cyber Blaster from last year.


 HOWEVER – there was some new stuff for the Avengers movie out later this year.  And by new, I mean everything old is new again (kinda).

Big Bad… I mean… Hawkeye’s Bow

Nerf N-strike Mav… I mean… Brigade Blaster

Hulk hands again… this time no sound!

I’ll never get used to this though… meeting someone who actually reads this blog!

Please come back, more galleries to post in the coming days!