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?)

Nerf Preview Images Incoming: Vortex Diatron and Roughtcut 2×4

Images from Nerf this morning; high-res shots of the Nerf Vortex Diatron and Nerf N-Strike Elite Roughcut 2×4.  There are already tons of videos out there from folks who got Roughcuts early due to stores putting them out ahead of release dates, so there’s plenty of info out there on that.  The Nerf Diatron however, has maintained some semblance of secrecy.  Who knows if it’ll pop ahead of Spring 2013, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

(BTW, for those who don’t know, my relationship with Nerf dictates that when it comes to early releases/info/mods/etc., I can’t post about it.  In return, there are in fact some perks such as release event access and product samples.)

The Roughtcut for those who don’t know, is an eight-shot, slam-fire capable, pump-action blaster with Elite ranges.  It also fires two darts at a time, making it the closest approximation to a shotgun-spread blaster that anyone has made in a long time (the Triple Shot DOES NOT COUNT.  It was good modded, but the stock shotgun spread on that thing was terrible).  Either way, it looks interesting and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.  None of the stores in my area have it on shelves, so I would need to order via Amazon.

The Nerf Vortex Diatron, that’s a whole ‘nother story.  It looks remarkably like a Plasma Cutter from Dead Space (bonus) and fires two discs at once (double-bonus!).  It looks like a doubled up Nerf Vortex Vigilon, so I’m guessing the capacity is ten discs per reload. (11 or 12, depending on how you load it, amirite guys?)  I do wonder if the discs will collide with each other at some point in mid-air during flight, so it’ll be interesting to see how this fires.  Of all the recent blasters, this one is the only one not seen on shelves yet.  Yet.

In any event, these two blasters have the “multishot madness” tagline on their boxes so Nerf is definitely leaning towards a different type of functionality, seeing as how they’ve increased ranges using Vortex and Elite styles.  Make sure to check the Nerf Facebook page (linked at the beginning of this post) for further info such as pricing and alleged availability.  And naturally, once I get my samples in I’ll have my reviews up as usual.  Although at the rate things are going, who knows what’ll even be left by then!

Nerf Holiday buying Guide Part 2: Nerf Vortex and Gear Up!!

The Nerf brand’s been busy this year, releasing a whole bunch of things.  The N-Strike line had a couple of repaint offerings, in the Gear Up and Whiteout series

along with additions to the transparent green Sonic Series (Barrel Break, Barricade, Longstrike, and Stampede)

Ultimately, if you know someone who HAS GOTTA catch’em all, then go nuts on the repaints.  Performance-wise I didn’t notice much difference from the original releases so there’s nothing new feature-wise here.  The real draw is following Nerf’s “it looks cool!” policy because I’ll admit, the neon green and whiteout paint jobs look pretty darn cool.

Main event:  the new Nerf Vortex line as the centerpiece! 
Find prices and more on my previous post here:  NERF VORTEX BREAKDOWN

“XLR” disc technology = increased ranges and a new clip system.  The discs are made of a plastic disc with a foam rim.  The discs fly pretty well, but they do carry in a high wind outside.  Honestly, so do darts.  How much of this is a problem for you is up to you.

Yes, this also means yet ANOTHER ammo type to start collecting in large quantities, but for what it’s worth the discs are not only soft, but they seem pretty durable.  The guys at Adult Fans of Nerf did an informal “stomp test” at the release party, and the discs did not squish very badly at all.  The clips with the Praxis and the tactical kit have a 10 round capacity, but the Nitron comes with a 20 shot clip (2 of them if you can find the special Wal-Mart only package.)

The increased ranges are pretty awesome considering previous Nerf offerings, albeit there have been reports of some user issues.  Some key points to keep in mind are to not be a spaz when using the blasters.  Make sure you perform a complete motion manipulating foregrips, triggers, slides, or other priming mechanisms when using the blasters.  Moving too fast is what causes mechanisms to grind.  It’s a new dimension to add to gameplay, and maybe worth your time this holiday season.  Aesthetically and ergonomically speaking, I really enjoy using the Praxis.  The stock is a little flimsy compared to the Raider’s, but the pump-action and general feel of the blaster is very comfy.  The pump-action makes aiming a little more consistent than with bolt-action or pull-back blasters for me, so this works for my playing style.  The only problem is what I have with N-Strike blasters, reloading the clips can slow down the action at a game when you run out.  Little details like the thumb-release on the Proton and the Praxis are those indicators that Nerf did go the extra mile in designing the blaster’s exterior.

Questions?  Comments?  Let me know, otherwise see you next time for my overview of the N-Force line!  Also find me on twitter: @vasthestampede!

NERF VORTEX – 09/10/11 hits tomorrow! GET ON IT!

Final day (at least on this side of the world) before the Vortex was officially supposed to come out!  I’ve seen them pop up at stores already, have you got yours?

Like the music of the commercial?  Say hello to the band THERE FOR TOMORROW!  
The official release regarding their involvement with the Nerf Vortex brand –

Emerging Band Provides Soundtrack for New NERF VORTEX Collection

PROVIDENCE, RI – August 29, 2011 – Continuing to provide fans with advanced, high-action gear and a complete lifestyle experience, Hasbro, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: HAS) NERF brand has teamed up with alternative rock band There For Tomorrow to herald in the next step in NERF blaster evolution, the VORTEX collection.

The VORTEX lineup officially hits shelves on 9.10.11 and features four new blasters, including the 20-disc, clip fed, fully automatic VORTEX NITRON blaster. All VORTEX blasters shoot discs infused with XLR technology, offering some of the longest blaster ranges in NERF history! To enhance the debut of this unique NERF lineup and complete the VORTEX launch, the brand called on There For Tomorrow’s inspirational and energetic sound to support its commercials and be the latest NERF band. The song ‘A Little Faster’ from their first full length album, A Little Faster, is heard on the NERF VORTEX teaser commercial currently airing across the country and seen on and will be featured in the new VORTEX commercial airing on 9.10.11. The Orlando band recently played at the 2011 Vans Warped Tour and their music will be used in the NERF brand’s TV campaign throughout 2012.

“The VORTEX lineup is the next big thing in NERF blaster evolution and requires a bold, powerful sound to compliment its debut,” said Michael Ritchie, Senior Director of Global Marketing for Hasbro’s NERF brand. “We’re thrilled to be working with such a talented group like There For Tomorrow, whose lyrics and style embody the unbridled spirit and excitement the NERF brand is known for.” 

“We want our music to empower fans to express themselves and have the confidence to pursue what they love. The NERF brand encourages these same ideals with their awesome gear and the supportive attitude of the NERF NATION community and we couldn’t be more thankful to be working together,” said Maika Maile, lead singer of There For Tomorrow.  
For more information on or to hear music from There For Tomorrow, visit To keep up with the latest NERF news, visit or join NERF NATION on,, and 

All good things-

The adventure is over in NYC. Having the vortex blasters in-hand definitely solidified my feelings about them. Don’t be afraid of change, people! The range and capabilities of these blasters just might surprise you. Worth a try? For sure. Expect my final take on these when I manage to get them myself.

In the meantime-
Praxis is my fave.
Nitron is good.
Vigilon is a higher range maverick.
Proton is a surprisingly good sidearm. There are little touches in the design that really make it feel cool even though it is a pistol.

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Nerf Vortex Vigilon – Impressions!

Ok, so I’ve managed to put a few discs through the Vigilon and now for some quick thoughts:

– Range/ammo flight path: Surprising! Like anything of this medium (foam) the accuracy dips the higher distance they travel. I had a bit of a breeze behind me and you the discs kind of glide up and down with the wind current. If you throw frisbees ever you know what I’m talking about. The discs never floated to the ground from what I could tell, though. They would slice left or right to the ground. Interesting though, I can only really comment once I get them to a stock game. I imagine aiming’ll be interesting using this.

– The blaster: The Vigilon is pretty comfy. I’d liken the size of it to a Recon, but it’s a bit wider obviously for the discs. The internal magazine opens up at the touch of a switch (positioned on both sides of the blaster)by the grip; so it’s easy to reach with the thumb. I wouldn’t expect to holster this… but there is a loop for a carabiner or something at the bottom of the handle. Tac-rail on top, and a wide muzzle for the disc makes for an almost cartoony-sized blaster but it pulls it off. Should a disc jam in the muzzle, there’s a release switch on the right. Didn’t have a jammed disc yet so haven’t had to use it yet.

No need to worry about the disc falling out if you face it downward after priming; the disc stayed put while running around after it was ready to fire.

The Vigilon is a little short on capacty (5 shots at a time) but the reload mechanism is pretty slick. It’s handy to just have to grab five discs, stack them, and put them in the internal clip at one time than reload each individual chamber or one after the other (as with the Specter, Maverick, or Speedload-6).


Price is $15.99 and considering the alternatives out there is not too much considering the range you’re also getting. While I’m hesitant about the discs, I’ll definitely be able to say more as I have more time with it. Worth a look for a midrange blaster to try out this new ammo type, for sure. It’s easy to carry and doesn’t require extra clips to carry around (like the nitron and praxis) so if you like to pack only a blaster and ammo, this’ll be the choice for you.