New York Toy Fair 2015 in a Nutshell (The Good, the Not so Good, the…. What?) Vas The Stampede
‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.’ – Norman Vincent Peale And there was a lot of shooting (darts, rounds, water pellets, zartz) at this year’s North American International Toy Fair. This makes 5 years now I’ve gone to the show and as always, I come back saying, “wow.” So here’s a quick rundown on what I saw, and some initial impressions.
Quick note: As always, this trip is not sponsored by any of the companies. No one pays to fly me out. This is all out of pocket for me on this trip to ensure I am covering what I want and saying what I need to say. BRANDS: There were a LOT of blaster type/associated brands that caught my eye this year. The Story So Far (in no particular order), followed by a taste/preview of things I liked (+) and/or didn’t like (-). As I intend to give each brand their own post, these tidbits are shots from the hip, what I readily recall.
DOOMINATOR +++++++++ (the amount of +s are completely arbitrary, but may relay my sense of enthusiasm)
Modulus blaster by itself – (it’s a Stryfe, even if you can make additions)
Strike & Defend blaster (Literally, a “Stock Blaster”) +
Rival line ++++++++++++++++
Zombie Strike silly s Zombie Repellant +
Rebelle Codebreaker +
Tek Strike +
Rotofury doesn’t have a stock –
BOOMco Needler – Halo
Halo blasters ++++
One of the new blasters is another triggerless/slam-fire affair –
New airborne toys/planes +
Firetek Styled Zano Bows +
Some additional roleplay items to the “Legends” line +
Firetek Style Sky Ripperz+
XC Shot/Bug Attack (Zuru)
Bug Attack will have included targets for additional hilarity +
New blasters for XC Shot (the ones with clips) were prototypes and not firing –
Increased ranges for XC shot blasters +
Not much new there, as a lot is still in the works. I did get video of the Talon, but Primetime promises some new product in the next few months. They did address some reports about the dart adhesive being problematic, and insist they have since fixed the problem. Comment below if you still find Primetime Toys streamline darts to fall apart, I’m sure they’d be interested to know. The Scorpion was one of their first forays going out of the Airzone line, and they plan to do more.
I mean, seriously. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
With a little working knowledge, I’d be interested to see how the standing K’Nex community excels with these blasters. They’re built with “regular” blaster play patterns in mind, with the intent of being able to withstand a drop/fall/hit like any other blaster currently on the market. DROP TEST HERE.
What makes me a believer? That one of the folks that works for K’Nex made a multi-barreled blaster (that fired on a single trigger pull after priming each individual plunger tube) out of the available kits. It took some work he said, but it worked out.To me, that spoke volumes of the potential of builds in this line. With enough plungers, connectors, rods, who knows what is possible. Also, look forward to their promotion coming this spring, to really find the best K’Nex fans out there!
Marshmallow Shooters Orballistics ammo
ORBALLISTICS.Reportedly going to get 50′ flat, and straight no less.+++
Foam ammo finally. Apparently the feedback was a lot of people didn’t like wasting food, so this is now a thing for their line.
TBD: they had a number of blasters in boxes, nothing to demo. The designs looked like stuff we’ve seen, but if the price point is right (also, they might have some interesting licenses) I won’t discount them out right.
Moose Toys (From what they told me, they have a blaster in the works. Not your typical fare, but I’ll get more info on this later.)
NXT (Maya Group, from the way I see it, this is a reboot of the Xploderz line)
This iteration of water pellet shooters from Maya Group FINALLY HAZ A TRIGGER. After all this time, and the first run with BlasterPro, these blasters get a trigger. I will admit, I had misgivings about previous Maya Group blasters, but these seemed on point. Although, paintballers might see something very similar here (at least, the gravity fed hopper shape on top. +
NXT Generation (Bows, crossbows, etc)
Some of the most solidly-built blasters/shooters I’ve seen, but the ammo to me leaves something to be desired. They require a closer look from me for a determination on this next set.The shotgun I reviewed was a little expensive for what you got, but it’s a new year, with a new line of products. TBD
Ogo Sports (had a few interesting launchers, they might be good for objective-based gameplay) (N/A, as these are more for goals and objectives, and I see them as less for PvP.)
Hog Wild Toys (Power Poppers)
What is becoming a yearly standard, while these blasters are simplistic but freakin’ hilarious. +
Honorable mention, right here! Made me think of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”.
By my count, that’s about 13 different brands that made something blaster/launcher-related. There’s a LOT of press release info to go through, photos, and videos but I’ll release them all here! Stay tuned, as I will be releasing more galleries and videos this week (piece by piece, so as to not overwhelm you:) and if you have any questions please leave in the (moderated) comments below!
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 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:
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.
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!
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $34.99/Available: Fall 2015)
By: Vas The Stampede
“Supersize your NERF battles and dominate the field with the highest capacity MEGA blaster ever! The MEGA RotoFury blaster gives you the option of firing one MEGA Whistler Dart at a time, or slam firing a steady stream of ten darts in a row. Hear the darts whistle as they fly through the air and hit targets up to 90 feet away. Includes 10 MEGA Whistler Darts. Available at most major retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.”
Thanks to Nerf for the image! There you have it, their Raider/Rampage gone MEGA. 10 shots. Single fire or slam. I don’t see a way to attach a stock, (which I liked using on a Rampage) buuuut as always, I need to see this blaster in person before I can really comment on it. But I can admit I’m a bit excited to shoot that much Mega ammo with slamfire. 2015 is looking pretty good!
What this tells me is that large ammo rules in my game groups are getting more and more interesting with every extension of the Mega line. What I wouldn’t give though to see something like this that shoots Demolisher missiles.
Or, can I just hope that a big release this year is going to be a full auto Mega blaster? A guy can dream.
Still working on my 2014 roundup, stay tuned! It’ll coincide with the roundup of brands I’ll be visiting with at New York Toy Fair this year.
Nerf 2015 Blasters – Zombie Strike FlipFury & Mega CycloneShock.
By: Vas The Stampede
2015 is coming! Nerf provided the following images on the Zombie Strike FlipFury and Mega CycloneShock, and more importantly, the “ok” to publish!
The full details are out on Amazon, and following soon on the Nerf social spots – keep your eyes open!
Much as I would love to comment on the pictures, I am going to relent. I prefer to save my observations for a blaster I actually own and judge by my own experience with it. But, enjoy the pics and see you again soon!
Confirms the barrels “pump” and alternate firing, a bit tough to see the trigger setup but looks like there is one, but two handles. That is possibly the accelerator trigger on top. Hopefully we can get a better look in the coming weeks!
(Recorded this late last night while I was putting together the review – I picked the blaster up late at Target, it was a surprise to see it, will update with a better video once I am rested and have better light. In the meantime, here are some pictures:
Hey everyone! So I picked up the BoomCo Rapid Madness last night. Enjoy the gallery –
The BoomCo shield is removable, and the pump is double action!
Price: $49.99 (!?) Includes: Rapid Madness x 1 Darts x 30 Throwable “Round” x 1 Shield x 1 Target board x 1; Instructions x 1
Impressions! BoomCo is Mattel’s foray into toy blasters. They don’t use foam darts, and the big gimmick is this “sticky technology” on the dart tipsthat are specially formulated to react and stick to specifically developed targets. It’s a huge line, and coming from one of the top toy makers in the world, is it enough to challenge Nerf, a brand that has become eponymous with toys that shoot darts and other projectiles?
In the past, many other brands have come and go – Light Strike, Max Force, gel shooters, and so on. The difference here is Mattel is much bigger than the other companies trying to broach the blaster market in the past. They have deep pockets for R&D and Marketing which really help getting your brand and toy noticed.
“Sticky” technology, you say? According to Mattel’s techs, they formulated the rubber/polymer/whatever on the darts to only react/stick to the specially designed targets. And they do! It’s amazing! It could theoretically make hit-tracking and scorekeeping much easier depending on what rules/gametype you, the player, devise. And it’s a strong grip, too. Any other surface/material and the darts just bounce.HOWEVER – CAVEAT – the stickiness will fade if not maintained; you have to rinse the darts regularly or use tape to remove debris. Have no fear, the instructions have…. instructions on how to do this. The Round included is entirely composed of the sticky material, which…. gives me some scenario-style ideas. But more on that as the line develops.
The darts themselves are constructed of a thick straw-like plastic, topped with the sticky material. I don’t have a scale to tell you a difference in the weight of these darts vs. foam. If I had to attest to durability, I’d rather take the darts out to a game rather than hypothesize, and see the attrition that way. The foam darts are definitely thicker, and you can find a pretty good overview at UKNERF..
The dart was fine!
Let’s look at the BoomCo Rapid Madness. At $49.99 + tax, I was a little leery about buying it. There are/were numerous blasters of similar function in the past (Magstrike, Powerclip for starters) but they were also pre-Elite and at most were hitting 20-30′, probably. The Rapid Madness outdoes that with 50′ in range (see the video above!). It also comes with a shield, a target, and a throwable projectile (see previous paragraph).
The Rapid Madness! (Shield is attached and closed up)
The “Round” – both halves stick together when they are pressed, they separate for easy cleaning.
Functionally speaking, we’ve been there, done that. Pump the blaster (at most) 18 times (a double-action pump no less), pull the trigger, and point where you want to unleash your straw/rubber-sticky doom. The only difference in this instance is the 50′ in range vs. maybe 30′ in earlier blasters. It’s this similarity though that makes me question the price, even with the extras included.
The blaster is fully automatic, so it is definitely a spray and pray kind of experience. I found myself wanting to use a grip with my offhand besides the pump, but there really isn’t another place on the barrel that seemed like a good fit. Aiming from the shoulder also seemed improper because of the nature of the blaster, so I actually found shooting from the waist better, again with the spray and pray idea. The double action nature of the blaster’s pump might make it feel slower to refill with air, and depending on your play style this may or may not be your cup of tea. Once your first salvo is out…. MOVE. However, as you can see in the (newly added) video, doing bursts of darts isn’t too hard with the Rapid Madness.
The shield mounts on the barrel and deploys at the press of a button. Even though there is a sort of iron sight on it I felt like the shield made aiming a bit more difficult, which made shooting from the hip even more preferable. In fact, like the Nerf Stampede shield I felt better just having it off. I also don’t think the blaster is for lefties, since the clip loads from the left of the barrel and has to be inserted that way due to the arrow guides. There was a bit of the blaster near the grip that would dig into my hand as well, whether that is because of the design for kids or a flaw in construction I am not sure.
The blaster itself had a separation in the shell already as well –
The shell seemed a bit opened here.
But it worked and as the video shows, the volley needed some dialing in but otherwise it worked pretty well. When I have some time (and daylight) to update the video outside to check max range, I will. The pump felt durable and sturdy, as did the rest of the blaster (something you can expect when a company like Mattel is doing the building.) My nephew (he’s 11) thought it looked pretty cool, and got a kick out of shooting it.
When it boils down to it, what are we looking at? The Rapid Madness is expensive for a mechanic we’ve already seen elsewhere. It requires stocking up on Yet Another Ammo Type, and even then the BoomCo ammo gimmick may fade out over time and leave you with darts that do little else but bounce like any other darts but at a premium price (for the blasters that launch them, if not the darts themselves.) However the range is on par with the current market of available blasters (at least, until certain 90-100′ blasters hit shelves later this year) and honestly they do look pretty slick and futuristic. The sticky tech sounds like it’ll be a lot of fun to play around with and I’m willing to give the line a chance and see where they go. If you want to try something new maybe give this a look. But with its price maybe check out some of the lower priced blasters before you go with the Rapid Madness. Honestly, of all the blasters in the line, I wish I had found the Twisted Spinner first, based on the uniqueness of the blaster alone.
Thoughts? Questions? Let me know in the comments! NOTE: I moderate comments, so if they don’t show up right away, don’t worry about resubmitting! I will get there and read them. 🙂
Just a heads up! The Nerf Spring 2014 line arrived (some of it, you will see the other bloggers posting their reviews), VMD Cannon Commando, and Attacknid are being worked on, as well as Tek Recon and some randoms. Thanks for hanging in there, and be back with the word on them soon!