Nerf ZombieStrike Sledgefire Review

io9 broke the news initially months ago, and now the samples are in!  Well, they’ve been in, as Basic Nerf has been doing his thing and after tooling around with these for a bit, I’ve got something to say.

F2A jersey not included 😛

Firing video:

Stats:

Nerf Zombie Strike Sledgefire
Approx. $27.99, available August 1, 2013
Target Exclusive
Includes:
9 darts (bright green, but like an Elite streamline)
3 shells (3 darts per shell)
1 ZombieStrike SledgeFire blaster

The Rundown:

When I first heard about it, I was intrigued.  It looked like a grenade launcher, but it fires a spread of darts like a shotgun effect.  I was also skeptical.  Shells.  The bane of my existence since the double shot.

I never liked the idea of shells.  They were necessary to fire the blaster (unless you retooled it), if you ran out of them you were in trouble, and it doubled the reload time (dart->shell, shell->blaster) for maybe 30′ of power.  Not worth the trouble, and good only if you liked the aesthetics, wanted to be a cowboy, or had a yen for shotguns without the shotgun spread.

BUT THIS BRINGS ME TO THE SLEDGEFIRE.

To fire it, you pull the hammer down to move the barrel and “break” the blaster in half.  You load the cartridge into the back of the barrel, and click it shut.  Pulling down the barrel is what primes the mech.  Pulling the trigger fires.  Lather, rinse, repeat for 2 more shells, then it is time to reload.

As a blaster, this is fun.  I loved the Nerf Barrel Break, and the whole motion of breaking the barrel here and loading the shells is very much a device to enhance the roleplay aspect of being a zombie hunter.  From the click of the barrel to feeding and locking the cartridge, it is a very satisfying experience to use it.  It also nice the shells don’t totally eject, that you have to pull them out to set them back in the stock to reload.

Range-wise, I got maybe a little over 50′ angled.  The video shows 30-40′ flat.  To be fair, the Triple Shot got 1 dart to shoot decently, and the other 2 fell way short.  Interesting bit, (confirmed with AFON via chat).  That the Sledgefire gets all 3 to fly relatively close to each other is a vast improvement.  Of note, in the description, it says –

“Zombie hunters fend off large hordes with ease using the ZOMBIE STRIKE SLEDGEFIRE
blaster. A new triple dart shell-system allows for simultaneous multi-shot blasting and quick
dart reloads on the run while extra storage space for darts keeps zombie invasions at bay. With
the SLEDGEFIRE blaster it won’t matter if the approaching undead are the fast kind or the
slow kind – they’ve met their match. Blaster comes with three NERF SHELLS and nine NERF
ZOMBIE STRIKE darts. Available exclusively at Target.”

but does not mention Elite-style ranges, as the Crossfire Crossbow description does.  So, don’t expect to get huge ranges with this, but enjoy the up close touch of a 3 dart blast 🙂

My fave part about this blaster is the spread is reminiscent (to me) of the old Blastfire, Hornet, and Lightnin’ Blitz blasters, but this one has a speedloader, which is very handy.

But, if I had to gripe, it’s that it seems to only shoot Elite-type streamlines.  As the video shows, original streamlines and dart tag darts would get stuck in the barrel or not launch at all.  Depending on your field of players and the variety of ammo, this could be a big deal to you about having to make sure all your streamlines are Elite styled.

Overall, is it worth the $30?  I’d say cautionary.  It would make for a good sidearm (although a bit long to holster, maybe a sling) but the shells, limited amount of them, and reloading doesn’t work well for a fast-moving, trigger happy play style.  If you find yourself in the thick of a horde rush or firefight, you might be better served with a turreted blaster or the something mag fed.  If the cartridges were/are going to be sold separately, I think I would change my tune. But having only 3 cartridges available right now is a big hindrance.

HOWEVER, the bright colors (I like the color scheme, it looks crazy), the comfortable stock, tactile feedback from loading the blaster, and having a slightly larger spread of darts per shot can mean millimeters between a miss and a tag.  For me, on the aesthetics alone, it is worth the purchase, and hitting the 40′ mark at a 3 dart spread is great for a last ditch shot.  It just might save you a respawn.  Just for the gimmickry of it though, this is totally a lot of fun and worth a go.

EDIT: (forgot to mention these earlier)

Stencils!  Zombie-themed stencils were included with the blaster to decorate appropriate targets:)

Nerf Zombie Strike Stencils!

P.S. – It’s been a crazy week, but don’t worry I’ll update this review with pics of attachments/stocks ASAP.

Nerf Fall 2013 AND Nerf Spring 2014 – Nerf ZombieStrike Revealed!

Geek website io9 has the inside track on the Nerf Zombie Strike releases! –

Here’s the info from io9 (and the press release myself and the other bloggers received) so enjoy!  I’ll have to get back and do some proper analysis a little later today.

The first wave of the Zombie Strike blasters are to be Target exclusives; the 2014 releases will be available in Spring 2014.

NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE SLEDGEFIRE Blaster
(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $27.99/Available: August 1, 2013)
Zombie hunters fend off large hordes with ease using the ZOMBIE STRIKE SLEDGEFIRE
blaster. A new triple dart shell-system allows for simultaneous multi-shot blasting and quick
dart reloads on the run while extra storage space for darts keeps zombie invasions at bay. With
the SLEDGEFIRE blaster it won’t matter if the approaching undead are the fast kind or the
slow kind – they’ve met their match. Blaster comes with three NERF SHELLS and nine NERF
ZOMBIE STRIKE darts. Available exclusively at Target.

NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE HAMMERSHOT Blaster
(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $15.99/Available: August 1, 2013)
One way to survive the zombie apocalypse: Keep moving. The compact ZOMBIE STRIKE
HAMMERSHOT blaster is designed for defeating the living dead on the run! Featuring
a five dart, front loading rotating barrel and a unique pull-back hammer mechanism, the
HAMMERSHOT blaster is the go-to for sudden zombie attacks. Includes five NERF ZOMBIE
STRIKE darts. Available exclusively at Target.

NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE 30 DART Refill
(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: August 1, 2013)Ensure that the undead won’t walk the Earth for long by stocking up on extra NERF ammo. Zombie hunters
carrying the ZOMBIE STRIKE 30 DART refill won’t be caught with an empty blaster in battle. ZOMBIE
STRIKE foam darts feature cool green deco with signature ZOMBIE STRIKE “Z” logo. Available exclusively

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SPRING 2014 ZOMBIE STRIKE LINEUP

After launching as a Target exclusive in late 2013, the NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE line will expand in 2014 to a full line of blasters, bows and foam swords designed for epic battles against undead and available at most major retailers nationwide! Additions include the FUSEFIRE blaster, which blasts zombies with glowing VORTEX discs day or night, and the authentic CROSSFIRE bow with 75 foot N-STRIKE ELITE distance. With the 2014 ZOMBIE STRIKE line-up, NERF NATION zombie hunters are ready for anything.

The 2014 ZOMBIE STRIKE line includes:

NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE CROSSFIRE Bow
(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Spring 2014)
Protect your human allies with the ZOMBIE STRIKE CROSSFIRE bow, which brings iconic
crossbow action to the NERF line for the first time in almost twenty years!
Boasting 75 foot
ELITE distance and authentic pull-back firing action, the CROSSFIRE bow is a great asset in the
human zombie struggle. Crossbow comes complete with four NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE darts.
Available at most major retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.



NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE FUSEFIRE Blaster
(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Spring 2014)
Lesson one: the living dead don’t take naps. Be ready any time of day for a zombie attack with
the ZOMBIE STRIKE FUSEFIRE blaster at your side. Firing glowing NERF VORTEX discs,
this blaster features a continuous loading system for blasting zombies with a foam barrage. The
curving and ricocheting discs allow zombie hunters to battle their undead opponents in an all
new way. Blaster comes with five ZOMBIE STRIKE VORTEX discs and storage space for five
additional discs. Available at most major retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.

NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE SIDESTRIKE Blaster
(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: Spring 2014)
The ZOMBIE STRIKE SIDESTRIKE blaster is the first NERF blaster with a holster for both
dart and blaster storage, leaving hands free to carry supplies and post-apocalyptic gear.
The
quick-draw blaster possesses ELITE performance, firing ZOMBIE STRIKE darts up to 75 feet.
The included holster is also compatible with the NERF FIRESTRIKE blaster, sold separately.
Comes with six ZOMBIE STRIKE darts. Available at most major retailers nationwide and
HasbroToyShop.com.


NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE BLADE Toy
(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $12.99/Available: Spring 2014)
When it comes to hand to hand battle against zombies, losing is not an option. At 30” long,
the durable foam ZOMBIE STRIKE BLADE sword is built to defend humanity at close range.
Available at most major retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.

NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE  RIPSHOT Blaster
(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: Spring 2014)
Plan a sneak attack against zombie foes with the aid of the stealthy ZOMBIE STRIKE
RIPSHOT disc blaster, featuring integrated three disc storage. Comes complete with three
ZOMBIE STRIKE VORTEX discs. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on
HasbroToyShop.com

NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE  RICOCHET Blaster
(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $7.99/Available: Spring 2014)
When it all comes down to one shot, make it count. The single shot ZOMBIE STRIKE
RICOCHET disc blaster is the ultimate tool for mounting sneak attacks on the living dead.
Pocket-sized but powerful, the RICOCHET blaster comes with two discs. Available at most
major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.

 (NO IMAGE AVAILABLE)

NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE  TARGET Set
(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: Spring 2014)
Keep your zombie hunting skills sharp between attacks with the ZOMBIE STRIKE TARGET set. The set
comes complete with one small ZOMBIE STRIKE blaster, three ZOMBIE STRIKE darts and a ZOMBIE
STRIKE target. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.

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!

Nerf "Bash at the Beach!" – Nerf Centurion, Nerf Rapidstrike, Nerf Revonix 360, AND the Nerf Rebelle!

Well, it is now the Day After the annual  release/Media Big Bash for Nerf.  Starting in 2009 with the release of the Nerf Stampede, myself and a number of other U.S. bloggers are lucky enough to be invited to this event.

PIC HEAVY UPDATE AFTER THE BREAK:

Members of the Hasbro/Nerf design team and marketing chain of command are on hand for us to discuss/inquire about the products on display as well as some elements of the design process.  It is s usually pretty eye opening affair, and this year was pretty fantastic as well.

The focus this year was a “Bash at the Beach” themed event where some major releases such as the Nerf N- Strike Elite Mega Centurion, Nerf N- Strike Elite Rapidstrike, Nerf Vortex Revonix 360, the Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow, Nerf Rebelle Guardian Crossbow, and Nerf Cybershot Hoop were alll on hand to play and get a first-hand feel for them.  Also a prime moment to give some feedback before the blasters go into full production if necessary.

ALL THE NERF BLASTERS.

Super Soakers and the Nerf Firevision Disc Flyer

The Nerf Sweet Revenge blaster with the holster attached. Sadly, not up for demonstration.

The crown jewel of all the blasters for me over the evening was the Nerf Rapidstrike.  It definitely felt lighter and overall more maneuverable than the Nerf Stampede.  It fired faster and found it very easy to either do 3 round bursts or rock and roll at full auto.  Dual wielding did not feel cumbersome either, so I am definitely looking forward to getting these on the field.  It had the clear 18 round magazines and an adjustable stock.  There’s also a flip-up iron sight, multiple tac rails, and a good amount of sling points. 

The Nerf Rapidstrike – yes, it’s awesome.
Fall 2013, $39.99
THE ORANGE MAGS WERE ONLY THERE FOR DEMO PURPOSES.  THE RELEASE OF THE RAPIDSTRIKE WILL HAVE FULLY CLEAR MAGAZINES.

One interesting bit: there was some kind of thin rubber piece leading into the barrel and flywheels.  I do not believe I have seen this before, so I am intrigued what it purpose it serves. Guide?  Stabilizer?  I have to check my Stampede to be sure.

Nerf Vortex’s Revonix 360 was on-hand, and while I have to wait to see the full range (the target walls were maybe up to 40′ away) the blaster is just crying for a stock on it.  The on-the-fly reload is pretty awesome and smooth.  What you give up for 10 shots (the Vortex Pyragon drum has 40) you gain in mobility by not having to carry extra magazines with you.  The slam fire was a bit herky-jerky but there are still some tweaks to make between now and this Fall.  Still though, I loved the Pyragon so I’m wondering how the full production model of this will be (and I feel it will be FANTASTIC.)
 
I forget who photobombed me.
Nerf Vortex Revonix 360
Fall 2013, $39.99
The Nerf Rebelle blasters had the Guardian Crossbow and Heartbreaker bow next.  Functionally, they didn’t feel much different from New York Toy Fair, but the pink was a much deeper hue on these.  I will admit, the Guardian feels pretty comfortable, and my niece should get a kick out of them when they’re out.  Some interesting notes on the Rebelle:
 
– A LOT of research went into the development.  More than some people on the team had ever seen before.
– There’s a woman who worked on the blaster designs as well, so I wouldn’t say that it’s just men thinking what girls want.
– Rebelle is a long-term investment, this is no trial, it’s in for a penny, in for a pound with this line.
– One of the bits of commentary from tests groups was, they wanted pink, but only as an accent color or trim, not the majority of the blaster.
– The Sneak Attackers were a favorite of the initial test groups, due to compactness and relative power. 
– Their test groups (girls) found a better experience at trying to develop skill in using the bow (form, pulling the string back, aiming, etc.) more than the outright shooting targets aspect, which might be why the Heartbreaker Bow is the big item in this line.  
– Sadly, the Sweet Revenge (pistol) could not be demonstrated.  It was zip-tied down and still in box.  The focus was on the Guardian and Heartbreaker (the big ticket end of the release)
– Should start popping up around the 1st week of September, hopefully earlier.
 

In case you don’t like the pink of the Heartbreaker, have a different version!

A familiar face, the Rebelle spokesperson still hard at work!

The Nerf Mega Centurion was there as well, but my review of that is already HERE:

The most info I did get was about the incoming app(s):
There will be TWO separate ones, one for Nerf Rebelle and the other for the Nerf N-Strike Elite blasters.  I’ll have to make a follow up inquiry to see if there’s any interaction between the two apps.  Functionally, they will be similar.

The App Cradle

With the app, players can (at least for now):

  • Record & Share video
  • Add to social media
  • Send media to friends
  • Learn how to play CTF, last man standing, etc.
  • Rangefinder
  • HUD

They recognized all the duct tape magic going on out there mounting cameras, so they finally decided to provide a product (and no, the EPPS was not there.  Basic Nerf brought one, but that’s the only one there.)  Also, Droid fans… don’t worry.  They’re working on it but just want to get it right.

Word has it the N-Force and Nerf Dart Tag lines are currently not the focus of the team, so nothing new to report on that front right now (thanks, AFON)

We couldn’t really get a lot of answers about stuff NOT on the show floor (though AFON got some info on the Elite Spectre, go check!) and that makes sense to focus on the here and now.  If you’re in the woods, you’re worried about the bear 2′ away, not the bear that’s on the next mountain.  So, let’s embrace the 2013 bear for what it is, and I’ll be back to revisit these blasters once they hit shelves.

And let’s not forget about Click Click BAMF who has now made 2 shows, and Shining Foam in his rookie year (along with Basic Nerf) at this event.  Nice putting faces to the pages, always.  Class acts from these guys this year, and hopefully get to see them again at the next event! 

That’s about all I can think of for now… if I find I forgot anything I’ll update the post later.  Until then, I still have plenty of more reviews to do, so check in later this week!  Thanks all for traveling with me, keep on Nerfin’!

Questions?  Comments?  Let me know!

Nerf Centurion – Fall 2013! $49.99!

So after a few months of hubbub, here we are with the Nerf Centurion. (Popular Science got the exclusive “official” post on this, here’s their take – http://www.popsci.com/gadgets/article/2013-05/exclusive-nerf%E2%80%99s-newest-gun-fires-100-feet)

picture taken from the article, illustrating distance

Highlights:
Release is set for Fall 2013
Price: $49.99 (a bit lower than I expected, thankfully)

As for the gun [sic] itself, we’ll be blunt: this thing is freaking huge. It spans 40.7 inches from nose to heel, and at least 2/3 of that length is barrel. As with any gun, the longer the barrel, the straighter – and hopefully the farther – shots will soar.”

“To get the velocity necessary (nearly 55 mph) to catapult ammo one-third of a football field, the designers had to supersize the typical Nerf launch mechanism. With a dart-filled magazine in place, you pull back on a loading handle to allow the top dart to pop into the firing chamber. Pushing the same handle forward sets the firing mechanism in place, and pulling the trigger releases a spring-loaded piston that launches the dart.”

“The Centurion is the first in a new line of Nerf guns that use MEGA darts. The darts are about twice the size of typical Nerf darts, which engineers say helps them get the momentum they need to fly further. The also whistle, an oddly satisfying addition to long-range shootouts.”

So we can expect more Mega blasters down the road.  This all still begs the questions-

– Extra mags/mission kits will be sold when?
– I think we can assume there will be some kind of “value” pack that comes out after the inital release (happens during the holidays especially – Double Discs/Darts, blaster packs, etc.)
– The cradle… and maybe we’ll get a proper scope?
– Ranges are reported to hit 100′.  Is this with the 35 degrees that has been used in the past as the angle for max range claims? (see here) – most likely yes
– Bipod better be robust
– DAT DRAW PULL.  HOLY CRAP.

Not gonna lie though… Yet Another Ammo Type?  Just when things calmed down from Sonics/Micros/Streamlines/Taggers/Discs now Megas are in the mix.  While Sonics and Micros aren’t as prevalent in stores, they are still in circulation and part of many a community dart stash.  So here we go again with one more “caliber” of sorts to sort through when cleaning up.

But don’t get me wrong!  I’m excited to see range and mega darts again, for sure.  Will this change Nerf games?  How?  And it is the shot in the arm in range and performance that Nerf could use?  We’ll see once it hits shelves in the Fall.  And yes, I plan to figure out how to dual-wield these, too.

04/11/11 – DAY OF REVELATION – NERF VORTEX

“Listen up, Nerf Nation, we know you’re anxious to find out everything you can about the new Nerf Vortex. 9.10.11 is just too far away, and we don’t want to keep you waiting.

Here’s the deal. On Monday April 11th we will reveal information, photos and a video of the entire all-new Nerf Vortex line – exclusive to fans of the Official Nerf Facebook page. Think of it as a huge “THANK YOU” to each and every member of Nerf Nation. RSVP now to get all the latest updates, and be sure to tell all your friends to “Like” the page so they don’t miss out!

Once you see what we have up our sleeves, you’ll be counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds til you can Gear Up for 9.10.11. The latest in Nerf evolution has arrived.”

So remember: http://facebook.com/nerfnation for all the Nerf Vortex news on 04/11/11 (does 4/11 = 4-1-1 = info? Probably a happy coincidence, and that’s U.S.-wise!)and pics! Yes, video too. See you there, Nerf Nation!