October 1, 2016

THE BLOG IS ALIVE! Also, Blaster Sightings

Wow, has it really been that long, between work and moving into a new apartment, I've had little time for posting reviews, editing footage, and being a participant and the world of Nerf. Hopefully life will approach normalcy once again with the new month.

Soon to be covered in blasters and darts.
Enough about me, though. Let's look at some of the things appearing on shelves this holiday season!

August 12, 2016

The Newest from Zing: The Firetek Switchblade!

This is an interesting find I came across yesterday. While looking at shelf tags at Walmart, I found one for a new Zing bow that, for the moment, still had older Firetek Bows above it. After searching online, I came across the website of a design firm in Hong Kong, where I found the next big thing in Zing's lineup!
Ooooh, pretty!

July 18, 2016

Nerf-Related Deals - Action Cam & K'Nex Darts

I'll be making more interesting posts in the coming weeks, with several wars to attend. In the meantime, there are a few deals of which you might be able to take advantage. First, if you're looking for an inexpensive action cam, Aldi has a Bresser camera and mount set for just $40. It's a basic model, but it can do 1080p30 video and works well enough to serve as a spare to your GoPro or other action cam. It's not a matter of the quality being cheap; it's simply old stock from a good brand getting moved out. Supplies are limited!

Next, there are knockoff K'Nex darts available! Amazon has 60 darts for $12 ($0.20 per dart). If you don't mind the wait, however, you can get them on Aliexpress for $0.08 per dart, thanks to a sale.

Finally, if you want the REAL darts, many stores have them on clearance. Toysrus has them marked down to $6.

Targets have them marked down to $5.

July 11, 2016

War Machine - Soon to Be a Nerfing Reality?

While searching various import sites (Taobao, Alibaba, etc.), I came across a page on the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. It's a good site for looking up the various manufacturers, that you can in turn search for among the endless items of interest. So you can imagine my surprise to find a shoulder-mounted dart blaster with a headset controller.

Tat Kei Electronic Industrial Company Limited appears to be just finishing the development of their BATTLE PRO-VS system of toys, which include things like wrist mounted blasters, play swords that can sense hits on an opponent (versus just hitting against their own blade), and lots of light and sound effects. There's at least a three month wait if not more to see any samples from the manufacturer, so general availability is up in the air. But between the shoulder cannon and the wrist blaster, these could be fun. Assuming they shoot more than ten feet away, that is.

July 3, 2016

Boomco News: Mattel Goes for the Girls

In another sign the Boomco isn't going away anytime soon, we have a Farshot clone being marketed toward young fans of the Ever After web series and associated toys. Introducing... the Ever After High Epic Winter Snow Shot Blaster! *enter fanfare*

June 6, 2016

Look What Came in the Mail!

A few Taobao items arrived unexpectedly early. Just thought I'd let you see :)

June 5, 2016

Updates in Trademarks and Patents!

Apologies for the gap in postings! Between work and more work, I've been slow to post content of any kind. In addition, I'm now a contributor over at Blasterhub, and will be posting things there as well. I won't be neglecting my own blog, however. Not intentionally!

If you search the Hong Kong Intellectual Property office, you'll find several design patents that have been submitted by Alex Brands. We've already seen the Air Warrirors Cyclonic and Night Tek in previous press releases as well as at Toy Fair. Something we haven't seen is this clip-fed pistol.

May 9, 2016

Lanard Toys Gets a Makeover!

A while back, I had the chance to chat with a member of Lanard's design team. Since then, I've been on the lookout for updated products. Now, the website is brand new!

May 2, 2016

What the Hell, Mattel?

As many of you know, Mattel is scaling back Boomco, and is now focused on producing them under various licenses, like Halo or Batman v. Superman. This, however, takes the cake for being the worst idea so far.

The description advertises 70 ft. ranges, but the back of the box says 50 ft. Really???

April 26, 2016

MEGA Stryfe Prototype

With the arrival of the Nerf Mastodon later this year, I wanted to see how well Mega darts actually hold up when used in a flywheel blaster. One small problem: no stock Mega flywheel blasters exist. And while Rival Zeus blasters have been converted into Mega blasters, I didn't want to deal with a homemade pusher mechanism or full auto just yet. So I looked through my stack of blasters, chopped up a Barricade and BBT Air Max Boss, and made a Mega Stryfe!

April 7, 2016

Iron Man Stark Strike Review

Among the many new licensed products for the upcoming Captain America: Civil War is the Iron Man Stark Strike gauntlet. If you want to look at the internals, then by all means continue. Just know that unless you plan on scrapping the internals for something that actually works, you're simply wasting your money.

April 4, 2016

Massive Water Blaster Inventory Update!

While I was out on the town today, I made sure to make several stops to see what water blasters were in stock, aside from ones we've already seen (like the Buzz Bee WW Gargantua). Turns out there were plenty of surprises!

Dollar General

The usual knockoff blasters were there, as well a couple Buzz Bee offerings. However, two of the new Xshot Hydro Series blasters were present. They're both unimpressive, sadly.

April 1, 2016

Poor Modder's SNAP, a.k.a. PMS

Sorry for the lack of posts! I've been busy with work and so many other things. But I'm back, and I'm starting with a new homemade writeup! I'll be doing further testing and warring with it, and then post on Nerfhaven for the new homemade blaster contest.

Since "Poor Man's Rainbow" was already taken, I had to go with something else, and get a funny name to boot.

February 22, 2016

Swimways Flood Force Power Core Review

Swimways  has had shelf space in the toy section for several years now, particularly in Target and ToysRUs. Their blaster debut at Target had a rough start, however; not only had Target chosen them over Buzz Bee Toys' Water Warriors for the water blaster section, but they had also proceeded to use blaster shells virtually identical to BBT's past products.

Fast forward two years, and Swimways has made some progress in product design. By far the most interesting is a brand new blaster at Target called the Power Core. For $20, it offers a large spring-powered firing chamber and claims up to 30' ranges. Sadly, the blaster is flawed, and not nearly as exciting as it might appear to be.

February 8, 2016

TMNT T-Blasts Review

Spotted a while ago on Kmart's website by a few Redditors, the TMNT T-Blasts are a new series of blasters from Playmates Toys. A week ago, I actually stumbled upon all the blasters in ToysRUs, which doesn't have them listed yet. I went ahead and grabbed three of the four blasters (I left the crossbow blaster on the shelf).

I didn't know what to expect, seeing as these were sitting in the character toys section and not with the blasters. As indicated by the "4+" on the box, it's geared toward younger kids who watch the reincarnation of TMNT on Nickelodeon. However, it turns out these blasters have some interesting qualities and at least some modding potential.

January 16, 2016

Nerf Darts and Rifled Barrels - Part One

The question of rifled Nerf barrels comes up from time to time - since Nerf darts (especially the Elite and Mega darts currently on the market) have issues with erratic flight at medium to long range, there is always the desire to fix these accuracy issues. Since many Nerf barrel attachments have rifled grooves (for cosmetic reasons only, since the faux barrel is too wide to do anything useful), modders have wondered whether grooves in a real barrel would have an effect.

Generally speaking, there hasn't been definitive proof of rifled barrels positively affecting dart flight. The first major authority on the subject would be Ben Trettel, a.k.a. Doom from the NIC. This blog post explains why rifling hasn't been shown to help darts. Basically, darts are generally already stable in flight because they are weighted more toward the front, and the center of pressure sits behind the center of mass. At most, there have been only anecdotes in support of rifled barrels. Quite simply, it's easier to fix the dart's mass and drag issues than it is to achieve spin stabilization.

But what about larger ammo, or homemade ammo? Nerf arrows, Demolisher rockets, and Titan missiles all use spin stabilization. However, these are all very lightweight for the volume they take up. Since an increase in mass would decrease ranges by a significant margin, the extra drag from spin stabilization is an acceptable tradeoff for stable flight. Meanwhile, the foam backer rod used for stefans isn't always straight, especially for the larger sizes. This area will be the focus of my current experiments.

January 14, 2016

2016 K'NEX K-FORCE Sneak Peak!

Thanks to perusing various toy industry magazines and sources, I've come across information about upcoming K-FORCE blasters. Remember how, among the NIC, we complained that all the models, regardless of size, were just Jolts mounted on frames? Yeah, that's changing.

Click to enlarge, THEN right click to open image in new tab. The full picture file is actually quite large.
Among the new blasters to be introduced at the London Toy Fair later this month are the Super Strike, a revolver-type blaster holding five darts, and the Flash Fire, the first K-FORCE clip-fed blaster (holds ten darts). There is also a K25X Rotoshot featuring "all new rotating blasting action", whatever that is supposed to mean.

It will be interesting to see exactly how these blasters operate. The clip-fed blaster would appear to be some kind of flywheel blaster. I see no plunger tube behind the orange casing, so I assume this would operate like a Stryfe. Only you physically make the dart pusher. The revolvers, meanwhile, appear to still have space for a priming rod, like previous models.

By all appearances, sales of K-FORCE items have gone well. If we're lucky, maybe K'NEX had the foresight to allow compatibility with Nerf clips. Time will tell!

January 10, 2016

Zuru Xshot Max Attack Review

During my New Year's trip to Canada, I stopped in several stores to see the inventory. I ended up seeing several interesting things at ToysRUS, including the new Xshot clip blasters. I had to pick up at least one for experimenting!

January 6, 2016

Happy 2016! A Postwar Report from Canada


After a relaxing holiday season, I had the pleasure of taking a trip up to Toronto for an NIC event. I was up there at the beginning of August, attending the area's first war in many seasons.

This time around, we had a much better showing. We had 18 people show up, with fully half of the attendees being at their first war! Even better, several of the Canadian Nerf vets were able to come out, including Forsaken_angel24, Deaddumpster, and Curly. Finally, we had a surprise visit from several Americans, including Drac and Draculina, as well as Vlad from the Toledo, OH Nerf scene.

We held the war at an indoor athletic facility in Vaughn, ON (north of Toronto). It's basically a large metal warehouse with artificial turf fields, floor hockey rinks, and other fields and courts. Due to some scheduling errors, we ended up having access to two indoor fields for play, instead of just one. That actually ended up making all the difference, in terms of both room to play and use of cover - we only had five hastily-made obstacles due to our expected supply being with a sick Nerfer, but having two fields side-by-side meant that we could also use the building's support beams as cover. It also made for more flexibility in game types, as we could add in more objective-based games (Defend the Core, Payload) and other fun things (Civil War - line up the nerfers, take turns shooting and stepping forward, and see which team is left standing).

My loadout consisted of whatever I felt like using/could fit in my trunk. In addition to a couple Doomsayers and some modified pistols, I also brought stock Mega blasters, several modded Boomco blasters, a Big Blast with parts for both 1/2" and 3/4" stefans, and a few other random things. I got to use my modified Colossal Blitz a couple rounds, which consisted of "point the blaster at an area you don't want people to be". Very effective if you can secure cover, since you're essentially holding the blaster equivalent of artillery. In addition, my Rapid Madness proved invaluable during our round of dual Defend the Core. Use my modified Burstwave to take out people at a distance, trust teammates like FA24 to pick people off where needed, then rush the core and unload the Rapid Madness into it. We won 58-3, by the way. :)

After the war, we went out to Boston Pizza for dinner, and just generally got to chat and hang out. It was a pleasure catching up with my Canadian friends, and meeting some new ones. I also got to buy a few things on that side of the border - TRU had the new Xshot clip blasters in stock, and Dollarama had brightly colored foam rod in stock in the craft section, in 1 cm, 2 cm, and 3 cm diameters. Looking like a great cheap source for oversized stefan foam!

I didn't take any war footage - I ended up helping run things part of the time, and I simply felt like enjoying my time off. Check Drac's Youtube for war footage - as of this posting, he should have footage from playing with FA24's Eyes of Fire.