December 14, 2013

DIY-1 Construction Instructions!

After a long wait, I finally have all the pictures necessary for you to create your own DIY-1 air blaster! This is what you can expect to build out of my DIY blaster kits, without the need of any power tools. At most, you'll need a hammer to assemble some pieces after applying PVC cement, and either wrenches or pliers for twisting and bending parts as needed.

This is my testing model. It's lovely :) But slightly different from the final model.

Complete instructions will be available after the jump!

December 9, 2013

Purple Heartbreaker Bow!

Thought I'd show this for anyone interested: stock photos have appeared for a new color Heatbreaker Bow, including on Hasbro's website. Interestingly, starting from the Rebelle home site and clicking on the bow for information still brings up the old pictures - I assume Hasbro will make the change sooner or later.
Forget white blasters with bling - solid colors are in!

So, if we're making more recolors of Rebelle (the Heartbreaker Bow, by the way, is #5 in Google searches for Christmas toys this season), does this mean the new product line is doing well enough to see new blasters in the future?

December 6, 2013

Captain America Stealthfire Shield Internals

As promised; an update on the CA shield: it works exactly as I thought.
The rear handle operates a large gear mechanism that pops the shield into firing position, and a Snapfire type plunger assembly is used to propel the darts.
Tiny plunger stroke, but wide tube.
The trigger also operates a 5-pronged rotation gear, which alternates air flow between the two tubes (which then uses the air restrictors to select the firing barrel, like a Rough Cut or Triad). The fifth gear pushes a tab on the gear system, releasing the stored potential energy to fold everything back into the normal shield shape.
Note that extra plastic on the rotation gear.
Obvious experiments include a stronger extension spring for the plunger assembly - unlike the Snapfire, you're using all four fingers to pull the trigger, allowing more force to be applied without your fingers tiring out. Efforts to shorten the tubing may also be of interest. In the end, though, I'm still afraid that complete replacement of the internals is required to make this shield really useful in a Nerf War.

December 5, 2013

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Stealthfire Shield Review

While many in the NIC have been finding soft releases of the Mega Magnus, I found a different item! The promotional blaster for the upcoming Captain America sequel was on the shelves at ToysRUs, wating for someone to investigate. Even if these things are usually gimmicks, why not take a peek? The disc launcher from the first movie's toy line was fun, if nothing else.
Twenty feet is a disappointing claim, though.
The back of the box:
The helmet increases ranges by 10 feet, obviously.

See more after the jump!

December 3, 2013

Pimp My PVC - Fun with Stains!

While browsing the internet for information on painting or dyeing plastics (I've explored dyeing clear blasters, and pSykSG made an excellent tutorial video for that), I looked into colorizing PVC. Fabric dye can do the job given enough time, but the heat needed can potentially warp the plastic if you're not careful. If you prefer actual painting skills to trying to boil large amounts of water, then THIS method seems to do the trick!
Combining PVC cleaner with petroleum dye (or any other oil-based dye) allows you to wipe the outside of your PVC of marks and manufacturer imprints, and you're changing the color at the same time. This method can be expensive if you plan on doing many colors, but it would allow some creativity for a decent price if you only do one color. Be that neighborhood kid with a red Pumpsnap!

Another option stains the PVC to emulate wood grain, which can make for even cooler designs. Making a bow-powered blaster? You should stain the bow arms for effect!

Or just make a strange, flexible walking stick. Your choice.
I'm planning on experimenting with these techniques in the future. Has anyone else in the NIC tried this before?

November 30, 2013

DIY Blaster Initiative Update: First Blaster Project Complete!

After building several prototypes, I an happy to announce the final model of the first DIY Air Blaster. What the hell, let's just call it the DIY-1, shall we?
DIY-1: Test Platform Edition.
The DIY-1 is derived from earlier homemade designs like the PVAT and FOMAS 2.0, using a pin valve design for the air tank. I have simplified construction as much as possible, to the point where the only tool you would need is a hammer (for forcing parts together, whether for a friction fit or for solvent welding) and a drill for the hole in the rear. Even that isn't necessary, as the PVC end cap will be dropped in order to allow the trigger and stock to be easily attached.

Oh goody! Lots of tiny parts!

Using faucet washers, 3/16" diameter rod, and assorted parts, the valve design itself has been changed to allow placement in PVC fittings all the way down to a 1/2" tee, which provides flexibility for future variations of this design. The pressure gauge assembly will be replaced with a simple PVC bushing and a pressure relief valve, to ensure design safety. The dual action bike pump only needs 3 cycles to power darts 100'+ in the current design. However, following a few more modifications, it can be replaced with a homemade pump, a variation of which can be found HERE.

And they assemble so nicely...
I will be updating the Kickstarter page this weekend, and hope to have things set in motion by the end of next week. In the meantime, I'll be looking for the cheapest parts possible - buying individual parts off the shelf at the hardware store comes out to only $20, in spite of the pump and pressure relief valve. I think I can go a lot cheaper, though!

A suitable springer design is also in the works, so don't worry about there only being air blasters. In addition, since this is a DIY project, all instructions and related materials will be available for free online - I hope to merely provide an easy way to get all the necessary parts together for a low price.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2013

Rebelle Deals in Walmart Pre-Black Friday Sale!

Title says it all - you can get your pink blasters for cheap! Guardian Crossbows are a measly $11.99. Sweet Revenge kits are $9.99.
Yeah, grab these while the deal lasts!

November 9, 2013

Hasbro Settles Royalties Lawsuit with Super Soaker Inventor

Heads up to Reddit user mikejonas for this find. Lonnie Johnson, the inventor of the original Super Soaker, settled with Hasbro for nearly $73 million over a royalties dispute. According to proceedings, Johnson was due payment for designs in the Nstrike and Dart Tag lines, along with royalties on products visually similar to his water gun inventions.
Former NASA engineer and inventor Lonnie Johnson
Looking through his various patents, you can find that he patented the mechanisms behind the Magstrike and the Wildfire/Rapidfire 20, among many other things. Seems Lonnie invented a lot more things than we usually associate him with making.

November 6, 2013

Korean Nerf Blasters?

I was browsing the interwebs when I stumbled across these toy dart blasters from Korea. They appear to be marketed as sports equipment, as shown by the Olympic themes on much of the packaging. This makes plenty of sense, considering that sporting purposes are virtually the only reasons civilian Koreans have for using firearms - ownership there is rare, and the gun laws are very strict. Nerfers from Singapore can relate to this situation.
Super serious.

Some more pictures off the website after the jump.

November 2, 2013

Update on Upcoming Marvel Blasters

We've already seen previews on various blogs about the upcoming Hawkeye Bow and Captain America Stealthfire Shield (which promises Elite blaster ranges).
Because what Nerf fan wouldn't buy awesome stuff like this?

Now, thanks to Graphic Policy, an online comic news site, and Entertainment Earth, we can confirm two more blasters!

First, we have the Iron Man Flip & Fire Gauntlet. Right now, these are the only pictures I can find, but it is listed for $16.99, and is due to be available this month. Reminds you of the classic Nerf Strongarm, doesn't it?

Coming out next spring is The Amazing Spiderman 2 Motorized Spider Force Web Blaster. It's essentially a reshelled Iron Man 3 A.R.C. FX Gauntlet, and will be $19.99.

October 31, 2013

Toy Story Blasters - Special Glow in the Dark Editions!

As previously covered, Lanard's licensed blasters in the Disney Store, the Zurg and Buzz Lightyear Blasters, are spectacular performers thanks to their Longshot-sized plunger tubes and strong extension springs. Now these blasters are available in translucent, glow in the dark shells, akin to Lanard's Clear-X line.

Each one is available for $25 - a bit pricey, but worth it once you take into account both the licensing costs and the actual blaster performance. Links for the Buzz and Zerg Blasters are here and here, respectively.

Finally, if you're really into novelty items, there's an Emperor Zurg Popper available for $10!

October 30, 2013

Black Friday and Holiday Deals - Part 1

Well, it's that time of year again! Many stores do not have their toy catalogs or Black Friday advertisements published yet, but here's a few that have been spotted so far!

These come from smaller store chains - Fred's, Mill's Fleet Farm, and Blain's Farm and Fleet.

Fred's: Buzz Bee Range Master for $10

Blain's Farm and Fleet: Decent Heartbreaker Bow and Rapidstrike prices.

Lastly, two pages from the Mill's Farm Fleet. Good prices all around, but especially on the Buzz Bee blasters.

October 18, 2013

Combat Creatures - More R/C Goodness Coming this Fall!

While checking out Target for new toys, I came across a relatively new toy line, at least in the US. R/C attack spiders!
Ok, so not eight legs. But Attack Insects doesn't sound as cool!

The Combat Creatures Attacknids will be available at TRU, Target, and various online sources like Thinkgeek. The promotional ad, courtesy of Youtube (notice the kids firing back with Launch n Attack blasters! haha):
More info down below!

October 16, 2013

Target Reveals New Super Soaker Lineup

Sightings of next year's Super Soaker blasters have popped up here and there, but Target has posted early listings online!
Complete with prices!

Pics of the box art after the jump!

October 3, 2013

Inventory Updates: $10 Huntsman Boomstick, and a 360° Camera!

Well, first things first: another Lanard Huntsman blaster has been spotted on shelves! More importantly, it's far cheaper than online prices have reflected thus far.
Most online prices for this have been $16-$20, not including shipping.
This was at Dollar General, of all places. There seems to be an online inflation trend with Lanard blasters, considering that we've seen the Swiftstrike Crossbow at Walmart for $10, but for $20 online. Seems that we'll just have to track these blasters down if we want the best prices possible!

October 2, 2013

X-Shot Zombie Edition Blasters!

I stopped in Family Dollar today, to see if there were any oddities in stock. After all, it's far from being a Walmart or ToysRUs, but the low price point mean that it tends to get off-brand blasters. Turns out Nerf isn't the only brand venturing into undead territory.
Interestingly, the original Vigilante claimed 65 ft. ranges.
Zuru's X-Shot line has a cartoonish take on the zombie apocalypse, as you can see on the packaging. The Vigilante is marked up to $20 for some reason (I've seen it for $10-$14 elsewhere). Meanwhile, the Dual Double Pack is still $10.
Same range claims for these blasters, though.
This edition isn't advertised on the X-Shot website, so this is definitely a new promotion. No word yet on whether other X-Shot blasters get the same treatment.

Note that the only visible difference on the blasters themselves is the replacement of the "X" stickers with zombies. If you already have these, I personally see no reason to pick up new ones just for that.

VMD Missile Launcher Internals!

So, despite the $60 price tag, I bought one product from the Vehicles of Mass Destruction line, the Missile Launcher. I have yet to officially test it, but I do have internals!
Extremely simple!

As you can see, the turret consists of a large diameter pump, a large air tank, and a valve not unlike a Marshmallow Blaster. However, instead of a trigger to operate the valve, the Missile Launcher uses a small electric motor to push on the catchpiece.
The large diameter pump may be an issue - the surface area involved means you have to push harder on each stroke than you would a smaller diameter pump. It also means you can't just grab the toy and pump it; you have to get a grip on the shell directly underneath the pump. A bit more disassembly remains, but the large tank and familiar valve mechanism are good signs.

September 26, 2013

Magnus Images Now Available!

Thanks to the guys over at Bankcroft in Germany, we finally have a picture of the upcoming Elite Mega Magnus blaster! So I'll jump on the bandwagon and post about it, if only for the interesting design.

The blaster boasts a 3 dart internal clip, 85 ft. ranges, and top loading. Without a better picture angle, it's hard to judge the exact mechanism at work, but the nested tubing you can see at the back of the bolt suggests that this is also a reverse plunger like the Centurion - considering the size requirements for Elite Mega darts, it's hardly surprising that Hasbro went with a plunger design that can fit in tight spaces. While Nerf fans may dislike reverse plungers, they are extremely efficient it this type of setup - if the dart sits entirely inside the bolt, as with the Nerf Reflex, there is zero dead space.

Here's hoping that the Magnus does better than the Centurion; too many have had problems wih that blaster breaking or destroying darts.

September 23, 2013

Vehicles of Mass Destruction - Mobile Nerf Artillery!

While perusing the non-Nerf aisles at TRU, I looked in the R/C section for any interesting toys. After all, the Air Hogs Battle Tracker provided an interesting (albeit expensive) experience. However, these products really caught my eye, given the claims on the box.
To the NSA: this is a VMD, not a WMD!

The first, a mobile dart turret, has 16 shots and claims ranges of up to 30ft. These are angled, obviously. Since there does not appear to be room for a plunger of any kind, I'm assuming the darts are launched with flywheels. The darts also appear to be the same size as any other stock dart.

Even more exciting, however, is what appears to be a Spy Gear Signal Launcher on wheels!

After close inspection (and a bit of wiggling to put my hand inside the packaging), I found that it is indeed an air blaster. The faux pressure gauge on the back is actually the handle for an air pump.

Once I have more disposable income (damn you, old car!), I'd gladly pick one or both of these up. The listed prices are $59.99 each, which isn't too bad for a new R/C gimmicky product, all things considered. Assuming I'm right about the Missile Striker, I'd love to grab one and modify it into a dart shotgun. Being able to trigger a large shower of darts from a safe distance? Priceless!

Meteor Paintball Blasters in stock at ToysRUs

After seeing hints of the line's existence online, I finally found some in stock at a Columbus, OH ToysRUs. Sadly, it seems that these are just another company's variation of the previous Supasplat line.
The box on the right features the Bow Stryker - almost identical to the Supasplat bow.

On the back of the box, the instructions clearly show that the trigger only serves to load the next paintball for firing - otherwise, it's a pull and release blaster. I'm sad to see the lesser paintball markers going this direction - most of us who have used Pistol Splats or similar, trigger-fired blasters can testify to their great performance, especially when used for firing foam darts.

I'm guessing these blasters still operate using a bungee within a thin plunger tube.

September 19, 2013

Sales Thread Reopened

I've reopened the sales section of the blog - look at the list and/or ask if I have something. It is by no means a comprehensive inventory, just what I've counted so far before I went to bed last night.

All the rules for doing deals are listed there.

As a personal disclaimer, I haven't been active selling blasters for a while - it was only a couple years ago that we found the right treatment for my depression issues, and before that point I had already dropped off the face of the Earth in the middle of some Nerfhaven sales threads. While I eventually refunded everybody, it's by no means a mark you just wash off. Perhaps I can get accepted there again, but that takes lots of time and lots of proof that I'm holding up on my end.

If you still feel ok dealing, read the rules (which are stricter on my end than yours) on the Sales/Contract Tab!

People who have already commented on buying things, please post in the other thread, etc.

September 18, 2013

Life Sucks...Buy My Shit!

Between cleaning and school, life's been busy. Sadly, life took a bad turn this morning on the way to college.

Yep, the car is totaled. We did have full coverage, so things aren't a total loss, and I'm perfectly fine. However, I will be opening up sales again to unload many of my excess blasters so that I have extra cash for when I have to get a new car.

The collection is vast, so just ask and see if I have what you're looking for. I do know I have tons of Air Tech 2k/3k blasters, lots of Hornets and Longshots, NIB Marshmallow Blasters, N-Strike Clear Series, and other things. Just ask in the comments while I attempt to take inventory this afternoon!

September 14, 2013

Marshmallow Rapidfire Blaster Review - Part 1

Continuing my reviews of the Marshmallow Fun Co.'s product line, we start with a basic teardown of the Marshmallow Rapidfire Blaster.

If anything, there's instant appeal in the shell design. Looks like something out of Mass Effect, doesn't it?

September 13, 2013

Lanard Huntsman Product Line Update - the Scout?

While searching for international availability of the Huntsman blasters, I came across this entry for a "Scout" on a French toy site, listed for €6.99.

It appears to be functionally similar to a Buzz Bee Jaguar, but with a distinct shell of its own. I actually like the look of it.

September 12, 2013

Blaster Availability Updates

Aside from spotting the Rebelle Powerbelle on Walmart shelves, I saw other blasters of note in stores. First, Walmart: both Tek Recon blasters were on the shelf, along with NRG round refills.

Also on display were the last of the new Buzz Bee darts: sticky darts. Yep, it's a gooey tip, not velcro.

Over at Dollar General, two of the Zuru Xshot blasters are now on shelves: the Vigilante and the Dual Double Pack. They're each roughly $2 cheaper than the Air Zone versions at ToysRUs.

September 11, 2013

Nerf Rebelle Powerbelle Review!

The Powerbelle was spotted weeks ago by observant NIC members on Walmart's website, as a store exclusive. Well, I spotted it in store earlier today, and gladly snatched one up.

Want to see more? Follow me!

September 10, 2013

Meteor Paintball Markers?

While perusing the interwebs, I came across a series of paintball blasters I had never seen before.
So far, the only references I've seen have been on a few UK wholesale sites, such as Tobar, and a relatively recent TRU listing of a 500ct paintball refill. There are other markers in the product line, as pictured below:

September 8, 2013

Buffdaddy Nerf Projects Kickstarter Coming Soon!

Just thought I'd announce this, to help gauge interest.

I'm planning on making a series of homemade blaster kits, that people can buy and put together. Make it a learning experience for Nerfers out there who have never experimented with homemades before. Buy a kit, it arrives with all the parts and instructions, and you go from there. After all, most people enjoy the feeling of making their own blaster, don't they?

I will be finalizing a prototype(s) this week, and post the Kickstarter afterwards.

September 6, 2013

Nerf Concept Compendium - Air Blasters

Nerfers typically refer to their toys as "air blasters" or (less accurately) "air guns"  if the dart is being fired by pre-compressed air. In theory, this would include anything from a small firing tank to a giant hopper slapped onto the end of an air compressor hose. Outrageous comparisons aside, air blasters are capable of longer ranges than springers, but are limited in rate of fire. On the homemade front, air blasters are not usually seen at wars due to inherent safety issues from working with compressed air. When they are used, they are highly regulated to ensure the safety of both the operator and the person at the receiving end of said operator's darts.

September 3, 2013

Feedback Time!

Classes from 8am - 5pm, plus the hour commute each way, tend to intrude on Nerf time. But I'm not forgetting this!

So for now, a question: anything you guys would like to see? Mods, homemades, etc? I figure I can open up a discussion while I suffer through the rest of Tuesday. Today's my one day of lab until 9:30pm.


August 27, 2013

Mod in Progress!

Just thought I'd post a teaser for you guys. College keeps me busy, but I'm slowly making progress.

August 23, 2013

Air Zone Quickfire Eaglet Impact X - First Look!

I grabbed one of these blasters on the way home from college yesterday, expecting a stylish Buzz Bee Hawk re-shell. When I took everything out of the box, however, it became clear that my assumption was false.

First, the shell has "Prime Time Toys" molded into the shell, so a completely different company is making this blaster for TRU. The shells are a much different design than Buzz Bee's typical shells. And, as you can tell by looking into the magazine well, there isn't any kind of tubing going from the front of the blaster to the air outlet. So it's not using the Buzz Bee setup I expected, either.

The blaster shoots decently, although I have yet to do real range tests. I did, however, open it up. The internals are...workable.

That is, in fact, a reverse plunger similar in fashion to the Nerf Recon and other Nstrike blasters. If anything, this setup at least leaves the entire bottom of the shell open for internal replacements, should I decide to convert to a normal plunger.

While I'm at it, let's share the rest of the new Air Zone crop - which is pretty rotten, to be honest.

All three are existing Lanard designs, and for the average Nerfer are products from which you should steer clear. The Over Under is a slamfire-only blaster, without a trigger and with bad ranges. The ball blaster works, but isn't worth anything other than for messing around. The disc shooter is rapid-fire (possibly good as a gift for younger kids), but is abysmal in performance.