The inventor of: The Nerf Raider CS-35 and Nerf Vortex Vigilon!

 The Toy Industry Association Facebook page posted a Flashback Friday about the Nerf N-Strike Raider CS-35, and the man behind it, Robert Victor (his company is named “Kite and Rocket”)

Saw this posted on the Toy Industry Association Facebook page…
Photo taken from the New York Daily News, 2011

Featured for a TAGIE (Toy and Game Inventor Expo) Award in 2011 for the Nerf Vortex Vigilon, Robert Victor’s Raider gave us the 35 round drums that gave us an out of the box ammo capacity that had been unheard of in recent years.  The rest of the info about him can be found in the New York Daily News Article here – but it sounds like he’s still busy at work, and hopefully working on Nerf blasters still! 

Thanks, Robert!

P.S. – My favorite part of this story is how he was inspired by spring-loaded grocery store racks that ultimately might have been the basis for the Raider’s drum design, as well as the other N-Strike mags (possibly?)

REVIEW: Nerf Vortex Pyragon

 Nerf Vortex Pyragon against the Lumitron and a Clear Raider

Ah, the Nerf Vortex Pyragon.  The Nerf Raider CS-35 ended up being one of my favorite blasters, I would decimate entire teams with the right timing to apply the slam-fire.  Would the Pyragon match it in utility, and even outdo it in range and reliability?

After the break-



A couple of outdoor games with this, and it is definitely worthy of standing next to the Raider, if not outright overshadowing it.  Even the Rampage pales in comparison to what the Nerf Vortex Pyragon brings to the table.  It was impressive enough to see in action at the Nerf Elite Hailfire release party earlier this summer, but of course there’s no substitute for having the blaster in-hand 🙂

So let’s get down to it!  The Nerf Vortex Pyragon comes with the Pyragon, a 40-disc capacity drum, manual, 40-discs, and your hopes and dreams.  No scopes, no stocks, no blast shields.  It’s $39.99 at most retailers.  Thanks to Nerf, I got a sample.  Would I get another one from the store?  Most likely 🙂

It’s comfy.  In particular with the lightningstorm stock, as pictured here:

And the foregrip fits nicely for adult hands.  Ergonomic is the Pyragon’s middle name, from what I can tell.

The Nerf Vortex Pyragon can be considered the Rampage/Raider/Alpha Trooper of the Vortex line, due to the slamfire capabilities.  Advantage to Vortex on this one though, because the slamfire on the Pyragon is smoother, more robust, and more reliable than the slamfire on the N-Strike blasters.  Just a cloud of discs all flying at you in a matter of seconds.  It’s firepower, it’s elegant, it’s reliable.  A winning combination.

The drum is piece of work as well.  There’s the stem which serves as the main chamber, but then 4 auxiliary chambers inside the drum.  And when one empties, it automatically rotates to the next chamber until empty.  That’s why you’ll run out really fast, but maybe not before you tag an entire team with just one drum. 

A lot of people liked the Praxis, but the Pyragon has it and the Lumitron beat in spades.  What it trades in a little bit of width is more than made up for in reliability and slamfire. Not to mention the drum serves as its own turret mount 🙂

Quick word of warning… use caution if you put the Pyragon drum into a Lumitron or Praxis.  I found the priming arm triggered the mag release mechanism and inadvertently dropped my drum a couple of times to the ground because of this.  I didn’t have an issue using the drum with a Nitron, but the Nitron does admittedly fire slower than the Pyragon.

Also, I tried attaching a sling to the Pyragon, but it looked a point of attachment was not available on the Nerf Vortex Pyragon.  With that much awesome, I’m thinking the design team figured no one would want to carry anything else if they had a Pyragon, hehe.

Range-wise, the Nerf Vortex Pyragon hits pretty much what you’d expect from the Vortex line.  I’ll let the video do the talking here.

Anywhere from 50-70’+ depending on angle.  I had a slight breeze, which could attribute to the slice my discs were experience.  That being said, I was very pleased taking it out onto the field a couple of times and taking care of business.  It is still small enough to be mobile even with the large disc drum.  I crawled and roadie-ran through a few jungle gyms with it during games and didn’t feel the pinch for mobility at all.  The thumb hole in the foregrip feels more secure when holding the blaster, especially when using slamfire.  And as proven, it’ll fit grown hands –

Thanks Rogue!

In any event, the Nerf Vortex Pyragon is a solid buy.  Between the drum and the improvements over the mechanisms introduced with the Praxis it’s a good upgrade/addition to your playstyle if you favor a heavier hitting kind of mentality with a shock and awe approach to unloading a swarm of discs, or just having a lot of ammo on-hand for surgical strikes.  The drum is designed with a lot of nice touches (etched numbers, a snazzy logo) and it’s just satisfying to keep hearing that click when you decide to unload the entire thing.  Cleanup is not as much fun, but when is it ever?

Run out and get one, seriously.  You’ll feel better about yourself. 🙂

Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator and Rampage Range/Demo follow up videos

Thanks for stopping by!  I had some more time, so I took the Nerf N-Strike Retaliator and Rampage out for some additional testing.  I wanted to look at performance depending on using original streamlines vs. Elite, original Nerf N-strike blasters vs. Elite, and so on.  I decided to just make one gigantic video, but have no fear!  The link to each pertinent section follows.  And yeah, I kept the Retaliator barrel on for its firing.  I’ll do another vid without it soon, but in the meantime:

Handy dandy timing break down for the video-

  • Rampage w/Elite darts and 12 round magazine – 1:33
  • Rampage w/original streamlines and 12 round mag – 2:09 
  • Nerf Raider w/12 round mag and original streamlines – 2:51 
  • Nerf Rampage w/12 round mag and Firefly Tech darts – 3:02 
  • Nerf Dart Tag Quick 16 w/Dart tag darts – 3:23 
  • Nerf Clear Recon (stock) w/Elite darts and 6 round magazine: 3:46
  • Nerf Elite Retaliator w/6 round mag, Elite darts – 4:21 
  • Retaliator w/18 round magazine (Nerf Stampede’s), Elite darts – 4:36
  • Nerf Elite Retaliator w/35 round drum mag and Elite darts – 4:51

There’s still more to do, such as checking the ranges and accuracy without the barrel (personally, I like the looks so I kept it on) and a general opinion on the Elite line.  But, that’s another blog post.  As for today, enjoy seeing what the blasters shoot like 🙂

Now that the video is done, I’ll be updating this post in a few minutes with pictures as well.  Stay tuned!


Well, by the grace of Nerf I had the fortunate opportunity to attend a media event party that you’ve probably seen publicized all over the place by now. (Nerfhaven, gizmodo, nerfhq, the list goes on). I could prattle on about the showcase of 40 years of products Nerf put on display (no crossbows, calm down), I could tell you about the unveiling of the Stampede ECS and it’s rate of fire and decent range (more to come when I actually get my hands on it), the camo ammo, the vest, or the N-Force Battlemaster Mace… but I have…


Enjoy! If you have questions, please comment below or fire off an email at:


Chicago Beatdown: Third Time’s the Charm

I think I forgot to grab a nerf BLASTER.

Clearly, it had been long enough. A few weeks later, we were back in Oak Lawn. Third in the series of Snake hosted events and it was game time. Once more we reported out to Centennial Park for a day of foam, fun, and most importantly, the Fight.

It was a turnout of maybe 9-10 rotating people we had ourselves set for the day. Games included Team Deathmatch, wingman, CTF, Defend the Core, and Team Powerball. Come to think of it, spanning that out from 10-4 or 5 really explains why I pass out for 11 hours afterward. But more on that later.

What this day saw was the birth of a +bow vs. all round, the strength of the marauder, and awesome of dart blocks. Minimal injuries, give or take a nutshot or two, but no one bled and no one had to be carted off to an ER… this time. Some random people even joined in from watching us, and they knew what was up. Stefans, Captain Slug, they knew the talk. Walking was a whole ‘nother matter, but we all start somewhere.

Learning my lesson from the freak accident at the last game, I had to pack a paintball mask. It protected the temple and considering I got hit in the face at one point during the day, it was worth it. It really is a bit extreme, but for my own peace of mind I’m ok with that. As for the rest of my equipment I was packing a magstrike, my bbb, a crossfire buckler, and the “Wicked MC” (see previous blog) to rotate in and out over the course of the day. The bbb was inconsequential though, because truth be told I had more fun running around with a high ROF blaster and melee weapon all day. Reports say I took out an entire team. Dare I say it, the first round where I ran straight at the other team and jumped in the middle of them swinging, tagging at least two of them before getting hit totally made the day for me….

…UNTIL I started getting dart blocks here and there. The wider surface area of the marauder definitely helps if you can guess near where the dart’s going to fly, and on at least a couple of occasions I managed to block a wayward shot, to follow up with a charge. If not the Wicked MC, my buckler picked up the slack. It was almost as if there was nothing the marauder couldn’t do. During Team Powerball someone tried to drop a point into the bucket and I swatted it out. If they tried to outrun me, the marauder had enough length to compensate and I still got a hit. It was a good day for the N-Force.

While defend the core with my “Decoy” play style was a lot of fun, Team Powerball was pretty much how we closed out the day. An epic struggle of sorts between two +bow’d and sprightly teams. Running and dodging, getting out of the way of melee weapons, being thankful the other team didn’t know the “Flying V”, and getting a “300” style sword hit was a nice capper.

For future reference, 15 mins. may be a bit too long for DTC rounds. Depending on the # of people maybe, but for our size events 5 minutes may be just as good.

Just some quick etiquette notes to anyone who sees us on location:

1) DO NOT start grabbing at stuff if you don’t know whose it is. That’s just being a douche. And you may be unlucky and not know where it’s been. I’m talking to you, random passersby!

2) DO NOT shoot at other people between rounds. Be nice.

3) Might wanna recheck your strategy if you’re yelling “FALL BACK!” all day long.

4) Why, oh why do you charge at me with swords when I have a pistol? Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one that ever watched “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

That’s it for now!



A quick teaser of an ad from Hasbro for the upcoming Raider. I don’t have one yet, but as soon as I can get my hands on it I’ll be sure to put my own spin on it. Yes, I know that some people have already got their resourceful hands on them so there is already plenty of info out there. Should you feel so inclined, go crazy to search it out!