Thursday, 28 February 2013

Funky Clear CS-18 mag clips sighted on Baidu

Thanks to Lamlamomo from the HvZ forums for this snap up of what appears to be legitimate Clear CS-18 clips.

They have the correct decals on them, and tho I have noted some Asian printer fanatics printing block black clips, they never print official N-Strike logos.

Baidu site showed Clear CS-18 clips before being taken down

Baidu site showed Clear CS-18 clips before being taken down
- notice the Legitimate decal markings of N-Strike and Nerf

I originally saw these at the London toy Fair, but they were complete block clear - with no decal at all. I simply assumed they were prototypes or just something they use when trialing/testing blasters.

Seems there is something more to this (the Nerf fan in me) and i'm hopeful it's real.

If you recall we saw something similar to this product line back in 2010 "Clear the Way N-Strike Stampede".

Of the top secret blasters I played with their aesthetic skin was set, with only internal changes on the board (which after fan feedback has put things in swing) and they would pack standard clips. I'm assuming this might have something to do with the rumoured Clear Firestrike and Retaliator.

Wait and see I guess folks! Is this something you want to see? Would this help you in battles (I know lefties will appreciate it!). Let me know so I can give feedback.

Keep Calm, Nerf On!

In the Nerf Internet Community (NIC) that we fans of Nerf have, I believe we have our own kind of Royal Family. One of the few flagship to the Nerf and HvsZ world.
"That's a pretty big call MyLastDart"
Well, I say it's true! Why? I spend a lot of time scouring the .net, in and out of Forums or Facebook Pages - and seen a lot who let rampant flaming, and trolling run amok - and the Admin are no where to be seen. Sometimes the Admin get involved in flaming themselves. Not good. But look hard enough you will find the few gems.

In the NIC, we truly have our own Royal Family :)
One of those gems is this very group. The one thing that struck me quickly about this group was their motivation, their passion to keep the games up and interesting - for their Zombies AND Humans. I've spent a lot of time in and around HvsZ forums and various groups, and there are few who support both sides actively.

They capture the main ingredients of Nerf - Fun-loving, Respectful and Passionate environment that everyone is welcome to and walks away having made new friends or memories that just won't fade. It's so important for this select few who live by this, it is clear to see why their Reign runs strong.

With much pride and honour, I had the opportunity to get to know the team behind the group and find out some behind the scene info us fans may or may not know :D I give you none other than -
"Hello to Ash and all his readers. Neil here from Canberra & Southern NSW Dart Tag. I’ve been interviewed a few times now, and with my retirement I’m keeping quiet and giving you all a chance to meet my team. Though I might make the odd editorial comment"

MyLastDart: Please can introduce the Admin team to Nerf fans that are not already aware of the Legendary work you do?
Chris  - AKA Combustible Props. I’m a part time Nerfer, in- game ref and prop builder. (NeilCombustible Props is on Facebook. Also, Chris and I run a melee ‘battlesports’ group) (MLD: Check out their Hundred Swords page - l.o.v.e it!)

Soul - (The Soul Smith). In-game ref and forum troll. (Neil – He’s also known as ‘The King of Knives’)
Lachlan - AKA More Dakka. I help coordinate our games, and try to get video of most of our big games up on Youtube (my channel is wil5oncle7us, we have our own channel coming soon). I also do a fair bit of modding, my favourite job so far was this flywheel boosted vulcan:

Joe  - Admin, author of the blog FoamDartGoodness, and former executive with HvZ@ANU.

Dave - Admin/moderator, Chief admin of the Tactical Edge (Neil – Tac Edge is a closed indoor group. If you are worthy you might be allowed to join.)

MLD: How did you guys get in to Nerf and can you remember your very first blaster? Which blaster sits proudly on top of your mantel piece?

Chris: I got into Nerf by making a M41A Pulse rifle out of a stampede (Still being built!). After a number of people saw my work, they mentioned there were Nerf games being played nearby so from then on, I was in.

Soul: My first blaster was a Maverick, and it also became my first painted blaster (steampunk). A Zombie horror themed painted Buzzbee Double Shot sits on my mantel. My arsenal varies depending on game type. Blaster vs Blaster style games require more powerful and/or better ROF blasters, so the Nerf Stryfe comes out and gets a workout. HvZ games tend to bring the cooler looking, but poor performing blasters out to play. That's when the Buzzbee Double Shot and Rapid Fire get dusted off. Indoor games are the only time my Vortex get a go, but even then... the Stryfe tends to hog all the gametime.

Lachlan: I remember one of my classmates about five years ago picked up a Recon and I just had to get into it too. The attachments were so cool! Those were dark days for the hobby in Australia though - I couldn't get spare streamlines and got a Maverick simply because they sold spare suction darts! How times have changed...
Joe: Started playing with blasters in '09 because HvZ started up at the Australian National University. First blaster was a BuzzBee Tommy 20 and Belt Blaster; both bought at the same time ahead of the first HvZ game in Australia. Literally on top of the Nerf cupboard is my Storm Tommy. Not the best blaster in the world (actually pretty shocking in practice) but certainly a nice representation of an amazing point in my life.
Dave: I initially got into Nerf for cosmetic modding and the fact that they not only looked great but could safely shoot darts. My first blasters were a Maverick and then a Longshot (back when they were new). My intention was to turn the Longshot into a pulse rifle. For a long time my Longshot was looking impressive on the mantel but after that I switched it for a White-Out Longstrike (yes I know they fire like rubbish but they look great).

MLD: What is Canberra & Southern NSW Dart Tag (Nerf Wars, HvZ) and how did it come about?
Neil: Everyone has kindly left this question to me to answer The group exists purely to run Nerf and HvZ games. It came about basically because a few of us who were just getting into the hobby wanted to see more games in the region. The group was started by myself and my friend Goldie (who is based in Wagga and runs Riverina Dart Tag – they’re on Facebook) Luckily – or unluckily depending on your point of view – we started at the right time to fill the void left by the demise of HvZ at the local Australian National University (that's another story).
MLD: What season (year) are you guys in so far? Is it open to anyone? Or is this only available through membership of a group? What is the best way for me to get in touch with you if I want to come a long for a game? Age restriction?
Neil: May as well do this one as well. This is our 3rd year of running. We’re open to anyone and everyone. We only have a Facebook presence, so you’re best off to find us there. We only have age restrictions for certain games (14+ for ‘Urban Combat’ games). Otherwise generally we prefer if you’re a young ‘un you have a parent or guardian with you. Strange to say considering we’re playing with toys, but we don’t really cater for pre-teens.

MLD: How many members do you have to date? General turnout/game length? I noticed a lot more females playing Nerf/HvZ - what do you think is behind that shift?
Chris: Every big game we pull at least 40-50 people and will play for a good 5 hours. HvZ is more accessible because it’s not your mil-sim wannabes with massive hyper cannons. You can play HvZ with your every day Maverick We regularly have families playing together.
Lachlan: We have 185 members in our events group, and 1747 followers on our C&SNSWDT main page, which I think is incredible. Neil has to be credited with building this empire up from the ashes of ANU HvZ. Of course not all of these show up - the best we get is a shade over 50 attendees at a game. We play quick rounds, our longest HvZ games might go for 45 - 60minutes, so we fit four or five rounds in a good day and people can come and go during the day as they wuss out.
Joe: Depends how you define members. We have 1700+ 'likes' on the page but our regular games draw about 50. We do have some girls who play but the mix still isn't great. I think HvZ typically has a better gender ratio than other blaster based games because it is typically more relaxed, and that makes it easier to get involved.


MLD: How do you help keep things fresh for both Human and Zombie players? I see you arrange a steady flow of games.
Chris: If we are getting bored with a game type chances are the players are too. You have to keep mixing it up, testing game types etc. If it doesn’t work completely but it’s still viable, keep thinking about it. HvZ always works but when you add small mechanics to it like spitting zombies (socks) and tentacles (pool noodles) it shakes everything up.
Lachlan: We try hard to incorporate new ideas based on earlier problems. This keeps the games fresh. So for example, a big problem is trying to get Master Zombies (MZ) to reveal early on to get the game started. Neil had the idea of giving the first few MZs to reveal pool noodles to use as weapons, so there is an incentive to reveal early. It gets the game started quickly, and gives the humans a new type of super zombie to worry about. We've got enough ideas for super zombies and situations that we can keep mixing them up for a while. Some ideas don't work, so it's important to recognise that and fix it - and with many short games in a day, we can tweak the idea until it's right.
Joe: HvZ games are always a little tricky to keep fresh. People always want to see new ideas and new game types, but they will almost always add complexity and the reason HvZ works so well as a game is because it's so simple. So finding that right mix between new enough for the experienced players but simple enough for first timers is always a fine line. Throughout each day of games we'll typically start with a generic HvZ as a warm up game, then add extra features as the day progresses. This varies from day to day but will typically include things like pool noodles or socks for early zombies, specific "missions" for the humans, things to affect zombie respawns, etc. We do also run a lot of games that aren't HvZ based though. Sometimes we'll add in melee weapons, other days will just be 'blaster vs blaster' games; it's all about coming up with a variety of well designed games for your players.
Might be the first time i'd run at a Zombie.

MLD: I have heard about different themes of games - night time fright/24hour survival/story-driven/Regular blaster games - have you tried any of these? What is your arsenal like? What happens if blasters kick the bucket at the zombie showdown? Do you have any resident in-house repair guys and do they charge by the dart?
Chris: Can’t comment on 24hour games as we are one day only type. But we have had indoor glow dart games and games where you had to get your small team to a chopper past heaps of zombies, pirate games where you could only have a pistol/sword as well as the 5v5 blaster games. Blaster dies at the end? Pull your pistol. You may not win but you get street cred for being a boss! We have a number of people (myself included) who know blasters so asking around will help.
Lachlan: We do regular blaster games - if by that you mean CTF and things like that. We sometimes get out in business areas for our urban combat games, which is clearly more risky than playing in the park, but we haven't had major problems yet. As far as the story based stuff goes - I think it's a different type of player who goes for that sort of thing. I think a lot of our players like how casual our games are - a good guiding principle is, someone should be able to show up late with a raider NIB and still have a good time. I think the way we do HvZ accommodates this nicely. And honestly, I don't think we as Admins can be bothered organising any sort of complex meta-game. Night and 24-hour games are different again - we don't really have a safe venue to play in at night, and even if we did, it's a big commitment compared with a day game. I have had many a blaster failure in the heat of battle. I find however that the stock blasters are incredibly reliable (with a few exceptions), so when my gear fails, it's invariably my own fault. A lot of us are experienced modders and well capable of fixing simple problems, so there's no real dedicated repair guys - and we would prefer to teach rather than fix it for you. Of course I wouldn't hand any of my own babies to someone else to fix.
Joe: We regularly run themed based games but I'm often the first to admit that I don't get into that side of the game so much. I'm all for having a story behind a given game, but at the end of the day it's still about the game itself for me. I hate nothing more than using thematic principles to dictate bad game design and I think it's a big flaw in the Nerf Internet Community (NIC) in general. If you insist on having a story or theme to your game, all well and good, but make sure it fits the rules, not the rules being invented solely to fit the story. My personal arsenal? Large. Well over a hundred blasters. Almost one of everything released from the Longshot forward, at least two of anything I ever intended on using in a game, and 6-10 of my favourites. Blasters break somewhat regularly throughout our games, but predominantly it's just small malfunctions like jams. Either way, both tend to get you turned pretty more often than not. Lots of players within our group are avid modders and with that you'll typically gain an understanding of the internals of a given blaster. With that understanding, you're then pretty well placed to assist when things do inevitably break. If it's a big job and you have no intention of doing it yourself, some of our guys would charge. However most advice and assistance comes free, provided you're willing to help yourself.
Neil briefly regrets his "One Man Army" designation
MLD: How do you encourage new members? Is there a general cost to attend the games? What if they don't own a blaster?
Chris: Keen to try? Come along and ask (nicely) to try it all out. We can lend you a blaster.
Lachlan: Most new people join through word of mouth. We've been featured a couple of times in local news and blogs which got us a few new members. We also attract a bunch of people just by being in the park and having fun. We never charge for attending games - on the one hand, that puts responsibility on us, and on the other, all we are putting into this is our time, and where else would we be on a Saturday?
Joe: Everything we do is based around encouraging new members and that is 100% the way I feel groups like this should be run. New members need the most work in convincing them to come along and join in; existing players have already experienced a game and provided we did our jobs well, will want to come back of their own accord. Specifically this mostly falls back to game design; making sure that the games are easy to understand, require minimal investment on their part (both time and money), and fun to play. If we tick these boxes there's no reason a player shouldn't come back. As to how we get new players involved in the first place, it's mainly through word of mouth. The FB page itself is obviously a great resource but it's not really the kind of thing you'd just find on your own if you didn't know what to look for. You had a good time, you'd tell you friends; you see a work colleague with a blaster in their desk, you'd tell them about the group; someone walks through the park while we're playing, you'd explain to them what we're doing. It's not rocket science and it's not hard, make things fun for people and more people will come.
Dave: I certainly bring the odd spare blaster to lend out and I also bring a selection of eye protection for our members, as eye protection is compulsory for all our games.
MLD: Do you take any inspiration from TV shows for any story led or inspired missions? The Walking Dead? Horror flicks?
Chris: Black Hawk Down, Game of Thrones, Hunger name it.
Lachlan: Not really, directly adapting a TV show probably won't make for a fun game. We make a fun game then worry about what it looks like - zombies with pool noodles look like Resident Evil zombies with tentacles. We do look to pop culture for promotion though, like calling one of our early melee games "Game of Foams". We also ran a competition about working blasters into movie scenes, which got us some great images and videos.
Joe: Again, I'm sure some of the other Admins do, but I'm far more a 'nuts and bolts' style Admin. I like the workings of games; the other guys can deal with the fluffy story bits.
At Haig Park
MLD: Can you give me a rundown of a typical games rules - do you have game marshalls? Or players manage themselves? How do you best manage to avoid disputes?
Chris: Don’t be a dummy. Any contest about a hit, is a hit. None of this "you didn’t get me" stuff. I won’t go into rules because most games have the same base rules.
Lachlan: By and large players manage themselves, but you do have to deal with the occasional troublemaker. Usually this is just a newcomer who doesn't get what we are about. We have a few, maybe 10, senior members who will step in if people break the rules during play, and we are looking at official-ising this game moderator status in some way, but at a HvZ with 50 people, about half of those will be regulars who know the rules, and keep the noobs in check. We find if you are tough on someone early on, they'll either figure it out quickly, or not come back - either way, it's a win for us. (Neil – and I yell at people – a lot).
Joe: We do have in game moderators (players who will take on the role of referee if required) but our players are generally pretty good. If it's a more complicated game we might have an admin sit out to specifically ref/run the game, but they're not overly common. Disputes are pretty simple to work out. If there's contention, the benefit of the doubt goes to the human; if someone calls a hit, you take it regardless of whether you felt it or not. If players can't abide by these general principles, an Admin may need to get involved to reinforce said rules. (Neil – see my comment above about yelling).
Never can go wrong with a Hail-Fire in HvZ :)
MLD: Is playing a Zombie as much fun as running around like a stealthy Rambo?
Chris: Playing as a zombie is always hard because you have to run and not everyone is quick. This being said we have multiple games played so there is a big chance you can play ‘Rambo’ at some point. To keep game length down we sometimes introduce a Juggernaut (unkillable zombie and mobile respawn point).
Soul: It can be, but first-timers often have trouble getting into the mood. Everyone wants to play with their Nerf toys, but zombies aren't armed, so 'newbies' are often a bit disappointed when they get tagged. Once people have played a couple games they slowly discover how much fun being a zombie can be, especially once a horde starts to grow.
Lachlan: The two best things about HvZ are being in a final stand against the horde, or being part of the horde rushing the last few survivors. No matter which side you're on, it's fun where the action is.
Joe: Playing a zombie is amazing fun.
Dave: Leading the zombies is certainly a lot of fun, forming up as a horde and running down those who left you to die or didn't cover your back!
Anyone else see a problem with this defence tactic in a HvZ game?
MLD: Are all the rules set in stone or is there room for innovative ideas? Holy Water Super Soaker? Can I go full melee Dusk Till Dawn style?
Chris: Rules are there for the game unless we say otherwise. Melee for the melee games (Neil - Or The Hundred Swords group on Facebook).
Lachlan: I'd say we pride ourselves on our flexibility - but again, we pay attention to what works and what doesn't. We have tried allowing melee weapons at HvZ, and it's way too overpowered to allow at regular games. I wouldn't mix water and Nerf either, mainly because I wouldn't trust my electric blasters to survive being sprayed.
Joe: Always room for innovation, just don't mess with the core rules too much.
When there's no time for darts...

MLD: What is a good loadout for a HvZ game? Why in your opinion?
Chris: Stampede or Raider. Alpha Trooper and Swarm Fire. Anything goes though as long as you can spam darts out and have enough darts.
Soul: In my opinion that depends on if you want to survive for as long as possible, or have fun. Not to say surviving isn't fun, but gimping yourself certainly brings something different to the game. If you want to survive a long time, run with a Stampede/Stryfe/Rayven and carry a lot of clips. If you want to try 'hardmode,' run with a maverick and a pouch full of whistlers
Lachlan: Capacity, reliability, maneuverability. It is painfully obvious when someone is used to other play styles comes to HvZ - a single shot long range sniper blaster isn't much good when 10 zombies are chasing you down, and carrying all the blasters you have will only slow you down. One attribute of blasters I go for is the fear factor - if the zombies can hear your air compressor or screaming flywheels from across the park, they'll go for the weaker targets first. But again, this means nothing if the blaster falls apart in the heat of it. My last resort is the Proton - small, convenient and idiot proof.
Joe: Anything with a high capacity for darts is good. Raider/Alpha Troopers were always my suggestions to new players up until the Elite blasters appeared. Now I'd strongly recommend a Rampage in their place. Why? Because HvZ is not about range. All you ever need to do is out range the arm of the zombie trying to tag you. If your blaster can't make a metre, then you might have a problem, otherwise you should be fine. Capacity is what will save you time and time again. An OK rate of fire is typically enough, even a stock Recon is usually good enough. Faster firing can certainly help but mostly just results in you tearing through your darts faster. If playing seriously I'll normally use a Stampede with two 18 clips taped together. This allows for good range, great rate of fire, good capacity and ease or reloading as you can fire a few shots, then in the lull swap clips and reload from the ground. This method ensures that you still have 36 darts loaded practically throughout the whole game. I'd have countless examples where I've stared down 20-30 zombies on my own with my Stampede and survived (at least in the short term). If playing just for fun I might take a single shot, probably a Nite Finder or Pistol Splat; maybe run with a Recon and the one six clip. Really depends what I'm feeling on the day. Pretty regularly I'll start the game with a less than ideal blaster so that I end up getting turned quicker and get more chance to play as a zombie.
Dave: Good load out for a HvZ is a fair portion of ammo for your choice of blaster, having said that your primary blaster should be automatic/semi-auto or slamfire otherwise you'll never take down the hoard but I think it’s best to start with a smaller blaster to shoot the beginning zombies and conserve your main supply. My personal suggestions are either the Raider/Alpha Trooper/Rampage or the Pyragon (my personal fav) with a large drum and a Ravyen or Stryfe to warm up. I've got my most tags using a stock Raider and carrying around 200 darts.
Neil: Whatever you take, you can’t have enough back up pistols.
Pool noodles ftw :)
MLD: Is there anything that could make HvZ better in Australia?
Chris: For the Canberra scene? Not really. We’ll keep going as we are, and introduce new game mechanics to spice it up. Other areas in AU? A good start is to try being inclusive and not letting the mil-sim types take over. Stock darts, blaster mods within reason.
Lachlan: I don't know much about the other groups in the country, but from what I see and hear, inclusiveness is a problem. You have to make sure a noob can have a good time, or they won't keep coming (Neil – or they’re forced to outlay some big bucks to get up to spec to be welcome in those types of groups)
Joe: More people involved would be nice, the Elite blasters are very much a step in the right direction, and more support from potential venues I guess. Really, we've got it pretty good here in Canberra.
MLD: How are your games/loadouts affected by the new Nerf blasters that come out? Is modding a big importance to HvZ? Or can stock do just as well?
Chris: For HvZ stock blasters work fine. But when you have range as well... it’s just better
Soul: Some people are into modding blasters, some aren't. The new Elite line has given non-modders a chance to step up and compete against modders in blaster vs blaster games, which is great! That being said, you don't need modded blasters if you play smart, and you especially don't need them for HvZ games. In fact super high powered blasters are often banned at HvZ games due to the fact you're often shooting people at near point blank ranges.
Lachlan: Nothing has affected this more than the Stampede I think - before, there was no real option for sustained full auto that you could practically carry around and reload in battle. I don't think anything since has been as much of a game changer. I do like the new blasters, but except Vortex they are all incremental improvements - hoping for something revolutionary in 2013! Anyway, the way HvZ works, modding is really not all that important. As I said, capacity, reliability and maneuverability are king, and it's a rare mod that improves even two of these. It's no coincidence one of the most popular mods is to chop bits off a Stampede. But again, a stock Raider or Pyragon with a full drum is perfectly respectable.
Dave: I pretty much run stock blasters in every game I've played (exception is my Lanard Hand Cannon) modding is not required and you do just as well with the basics as you do the awesome modded super blasters. it’s about how you use it. (Neil – as I often say when shaking my head ruefully at noobs armed to the teeth: “All the gear, no idea”)
Quick-fire to the team:
Fav soft drink?

Chris: Water and sports drink (Neil – he meant to say Cider)
Soul: Tap water
Joe: Coke
Lachlan: Farmer's Union Iced Coffee,
Dave: ‘Lift’
Dialling a takeaway what's everyone choosing?
Chinese / Sushi / Pizza / Curry / Croc burger n fries
Chris: gourmet pizza from Crust. Gluten free for me
Soul: Pizza Hut super supreme, curry
Lachlan: Curry me!
Joe: Curry
Dave: Chinese
Rock, Paper, Scissor?
Chris: Why?
Soul: Lizard poisons Spock (Neil - !?)
Lachlan: Foam
Joe: Paper
Dave: Rock
Slam-Fire or Flywheel?
Chris: Stampede
Soul: Flywheel.
Lachlan: Hear Me Roar (Neil – that’s flywheel, kids)
Joe: Slamfire
Dave: Slamfire

Just want to say a very big thank you to Canberra & Southern NSW Dart Tag (Nerf Wars, HvZ) for their kind time and brilliant answers. As a fan I certainly got a good insight into knowing the Admin team better and how they operate the group :) Anyone else out there with a HvsZ group would do well to pick up some tips from these folks.

Before I go - if you are in the Canberra area and you love Melee combat - check out the upcoming event:
Saturday, 9th March: The Necromancer of Black Mountain!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Typos R Us throws up Nerf Elite PRO Firestrike Double Dart listing

Just like the Nerf Elite Strongarm Double Dark listing that good friend BasicNerf notified us about, Toys R Typos have thrown up a listing for the Nerf Elite PRO Firestrike Double Dart.

For those not in the know, they recently threw up a listing without a picture called the Nerf Elite Strongarm Double Dark (thanks to good friend BasicNerf for the heads up on this originally).

I assumed this was a typo simply meaning Dart not Dark. True enough, they threw up the picture confirming this:

The Nerf Elite Strongarm Double DART comes with 12 Elite darts @$14.99

This is a pic that has popped up from a Nerf fan recently, showing clearly the package deal:
Photo credit to BasicNerf

So the listing I spoke about before is below, it's nice that they are starting to beef up the Dart quantity in packages - because let's face it we need them! :)

Nerf Double Dart Elite Firestrike

Our Price: $12.99
  • A3184090

  • (Note the Specification description of the Firestrike - PRO)

    I have also been sent emails about Clear Firestrikes and Retaliators - since we haven't been given any pics I think this is just hearsay.

    UPDATE: 27/2/2013 - I spoke with Toys R Us yesterday, who confirmed that the only typo is in Nerf, and the PRO does not stand for Product, or Promotion. It is the products name. Plot thickens eh?

    Nerf helps blast out Arthritis!

    I was recently contacted by a group to help promote an upcoming event they have arranged for a fantastic cause.

    Here are the details as follow:
    "Bring your own Nerf gun, darts and protective eyewear to a fund-raiser to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region 4-6 p.m. Saturday at Stars & Stripes Kids Activity Center, 4630 White Lake, Clarkston. $15 per player, ages 4 to adult. Register: 248-625-3547."
    This is something close to my heart (and i'm sure everyone else knows someone affected) - Arthritis. It affects people of many ages, sex, colour, creed, religion' and remains one of the long-term suffering disability. It affects my Dad pretty bad somedays, so I will certainly be donating because I can't get there physically. Times are hard for everyone, but every little helps <3

    If you can get down there or lend support to this great cause, please do get in touch with them! All the best to everyone getting stuck in it's a wonderful event. Please do share this and spread the word, it's for a great cause!

    For more details about the Arthritis Foundation - it can be found here:

    Monday, 25 February 2013

    Nerf Elite update from Toys R Us for UK fans!

    I've been tracking this for a while with TRUuk, and they got back to me today to say that they expect the Nerf Elite Rayven CS-18 and the (Elite colour) Barrel-Break to be in stock by the end of March/early June.

    You can expect them to be available online around the same time.
    Nerf Elite Rayven CS-18 £34.99

    Are you ready for some serious Nerf action in the shadows? You will be with this glow-in-the-dark Rayven CS-18 blaster!

    The acceleration trigger on this 18-dart blaster lets you fire off your whole clip with semi-automatic speed. But the Rayven CS-18 blaster also has the Firefly Tech clip to add glow-in-the-dark power! The clip charges the included glow-in-the-dark Clip System darts so that every round you fire can be seen, even in low-light conditions! Watch your darts streak toward your target and follow their glow to collect them when the mission is done.

    Like most N-Strike blasters, the Tactical Rail lets you add Tactical Rail accessories (sold separately) for more battle capability. Power up your Rayven CS-18 blaster and get ready to take out your targets, even after the lights go down!

    Full Specifications
    Colour Blue

    Nerf Barrel Break IX-2 £14.99

    Serve up some full-fledged double-barrel action with this awesome Barrel Break IX-2 blaster! Break open the barrel to load up your Elite darts for a quick, close-range attack. Pull the trigger halfway to fire one dart at a time, or all the way to unleash both barrels at once! Your skill and this blaster will make you practically unstoppable!

    Full Specifications

    Colour  Blue

    Thursday, 21 February 2013

    Teens follow fathers footsteps - First US Nerf Rental business!

    So working thru my emails, I found this email from Chase and Sterling from the US who follow the footsteps of their father - the First US Nerf Rental business!

    Bay Area Nerf: Nerfcast Episode7: Rebelle

    Hey guys, please check out my good friends Bay Area Nerf - love them!

    2013 Nerf Vortex XLR Special Edition Discs & UK Revonix360 update - all kicking off for 2013 Fall!

    I actually had this email sitting in my inbox yesterday, but was unable to get to writing it up as I had day surgery on my back. Back home and alive and kicking - a brilliant new friend by an Urban Taggers follower who gave a heads up regarding the pop-up of the new 2013 Special Edition Nerf XLR Vortex discs, on Hungarian website

    Special Edition Nerf Vortex Blue Camo XLR Disc

    Special Edition Nerf Vortex Red Camo XLR Disc

    Our dear old friend Nerf Vortex Nitron teasing with what is to come - a Shield
    Our good friend Jason over at Basic Nerf, also confirmed with Hasbro US that fans in the States can expect them in Fall 2013.

    This is the actual email yesterday from Hasbro UK about the sales description:


    Freestyle foam disc blasting is the name of the game with NERF VORTEX blasters in 2013. The VORTEX XLR discs encourage creative NERF blasting fun with their ability to bank, curve, ricochet and catch big air. The VORTEX REVONIX360 blaster boasts ranges of up to 70 feet, the farthest distance of any VORTEX blaster yet. With the single pull of a trigger, the VORTEX DIATRON blaster fires two discs. Bend the rules of NERF foam fun with the VORTEX line!"

    What we are yet to see are the Green Camo, Desert Camo, Metal Storm Camo shade discs that I played with at the London Toy Fair back on 22nd January.

    Also to note here is the first official Hasbro UK 2013 Nerf Vortex Revonix360 sales description for all UK fans:


    (HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: £39.99/Available: Fall 2013) 
    Amp up freestyle foam blasting performance with the NERF VORTEX REVONIX360 blaster which achieves the farthest VORTEX distance yet, up to 70 feet! This disc blaster features new, awesome deco and has a revolving drum that rotates each time you fire the blaster.  Plus, the SLAM FIRE Handle gives you total control over your rate of fire – blast a single shot or hold the trigger down and slide the handle repeatedly to unleash an unstoppable stream of discs.  Includes 30 multi-color XLR discs. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and"
    I can also confirm there will indeed be 3 variant shield accessories - 1 which has never been seen before, and Stock variants - again one of which has never been seen before! Will keep you posted and hope for picture release soon from my NDA. Stay tuned folks! What would you hope to see in the next Stock and Shield?

    Friday, 15 February 2013

    Hasbro Exclusive: Gatling Gun Foam-Paintball blaster

    What really comes to mind is OzNerfNerd' voltage mods creating 67v gatling guns:

    "So okokok, where is the pic man??"

    Hasbro Nerf's secret Paintball blaster - but it's not without it's problems... anyone say Stampede ECS-50?

    Patent number: 8136515
    Filing date: 27 Aug 2009
    Issue date: 20 Mar 2012
    Application number12/583,902

    Now the Patent Design was filed back originally in August 2009, and they completed a filing for the Innovation File Date at March 2012.

    "That's all very nice MyLastDart, who cares?" 

    What does that mean? It means there are working protoypes of this model in existence. This is the difference - the Stampede ECS-50 drum never got passed this stage. The Gatling has.

    Hasbro not being one to backdown so easy, also have an additional patent for foam ball-sized projectiles. Pretty much you can expect them to be Nerf Vortex discette material. They don't hurt anymore than an Elite dart at point blank, a slight sting, but no pain no gain people?

    So it's been on the cards for sometime now, and in development due to a heavy demand from a fans, but inspired by several gatling gun Vulcan vids. It's been a labour of love for the Engineers and Design teams, but there is just one hiccup - a major one in fact. The Paintballs themselves are prone to damage or worse damaged to the point they explode inside the blaster - causing jams. This was actually a make-or-break factor.

    It's something they are looking at but with diminished results due to the nature of the Paintballs not being able to handle the high rate of fire (they eventually crack and break inside the drum/blaster causing major jams). They have created foam-balls which achieve a similar result. The blaster can handle around 100-300 rounds, with an unseen Repetitive 5 Stack-Rerack Smart Internal System (you could hold the trigger and unload up to 5 consecutive rounds, i.e if you only fire 3 rounds, and then wait, it will reset the counter to allow you to continue a renewed 5 burst cycle).

    I suggested to them to take the name "The Goliath MLD-X100" to which they laughed and said it's at the top of the list. Wow. What an honour right?? :) And that could be yours too - it remains unnamed, so feel free to throw some ideas around - you could name the next gen blaster!

    I can't give up anymore on what I played with at the Toy Fair 2013, but feel free to tell me what your thoughts on this are guys. You're feedback can help further develop this and perhaps guide them in ideas not previously thought of. So please help develop those discussions here, so I can collect it and feed it back.

    Wednesday, 13 February 2013

    For Nerf sake! Stampede ECS-50 (dead)-tease

    Many a Nerf fan who is a sci-fi Star Trek fan, will know the final cursing words from 'Wrath of Khan' all too well:
    "With my last breath, I stab at thee!"
    - and no better case is that of the terrible love affair fans have with Hasbro Nerfs Stampede ECS-50.

    Our good friends over at Urban Taggers had a fan contact them after they stumbled upon something of massive "close but no cigar" whilst site browsing HasbroToys for blaster manuals.

    Manual shows user breakdown of the Nerf N-Strike Stampede ECS-50
    Overall breakdown of how to load and insert the ESC-50 drum
    A clear look at how a user would have loaded the ECS-50 drum
    A closer look at the Nerf N-Strike Stampede ECS-50 drum

    I was lucky enough to spend the day with a team of Engineers from Hasbro at the London Toy Fair 2013 back in January, and have the opportunity to play with a vast range of Top Secret N-Strike Blasters.

    And whilst many fans are disappointed at the fact we will not be seeing an Elite Stampede, I will leave you with this teaser from my NDA - 18 darts in a Dead Mans Chest - does not take Rambo long to expend <wink>

    The full manual can be found here

    EDIT: speaking to Hasbro, it would appear that the reason it was scrapped was because they could not figure out how to make it cycle correctly, and when it jammed, it put the user at risk of losing a finger when unjamming it failed and you were forced to stick fingers in.

    Also the size made the weight overall impossible for kids to wield.

    I honestly think they should let some modsmiths have a crack at it and make it work. Kinda like a modding Justice League :P

    Saturday, 9 February 2013

    Updated: 12/2/2013 - Exclusive pics & vids of new Nerf 2013 + Info @NYC Toy Fair 2013!

    Some good friends are giving us the heads up from New York Toy Fair 2013, so stay tuned for some hot pics!

    Hit refresh as I get the pics and prepare to hit you with some info on the blasters themselves from my own hands on experience!

    It would appear that many of the blasters I played with are missing from the New York Toy Fair - i'm hoping contacts there can do a thorough job of checking Nerf stand out. I'm going to hold-fire on releasing info on accessories and other news my NDA prevents me from speaking about. I appreciate your patience with me on this, I will not disappoint.

    Feb 12/03/2013: Exclusive info: Inspired by Fan feedback and Mods - The new Vortex XLR Discs offer Trick Shots and allow fans to further customise the blaster to your style of play.
    You could have the same 5 Vortex blasters but all completely behave differently due to the different Trick Shot discs (XLR Quickshot, XLR Sidewinder, XLR Ranger+++). Can't say any more than that right now.

    Waiting for more NDA stuff to be cleared. Enjoy! How will this affect your game? Is this something you expected? Let me know! I need your feedback!
    "Nerf N-Strike Mega Blazin' Bow
    Who’s ready for MEGA NERF action? Send MEGA sized foam arrows soaring across the sky with the NERF N-STRIKE MEGA BLAZIN’ BOW toy. The BLAZIN’ BOW toy features an authentic compound bow design that you simply pull back, aim, and release to fire the MEGA foam arrows. The MEGA BLAZIN’ BOW toy can hit targets from up to an impressive 40 feet away, and comes complete with integrated storage for additional foam MEGA arrows. Includes three MEGA foam arrows. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and Price will be around £19.99gbp"
    (Note: the guy demo'ing blasters isn't an engineer
    - just a sales guy, Credit to theToySpy)

    (HASBRO/Ages 6 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Fall 2013)

    Who’s ready for more NERF action? Send NERF foam arrows soaring across the sky with the NERF N-STRIKE BLAZIN’ BOW toy. The BLAZIN’ BOW toy features an authentic pull-back bow design that you simply pull back, aim, and release to fire the NERF foam arrows. The BLAZIN’ BOW toy can hit targets from up to an impressive 40 feet away, and comes complete with integrated storage for two additional foam NERF arrows. Includes three NERF foam arrows. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and
    Nerf Mega Blazin' Bow
    Credit to Foam From Above
    Nerf Mega Blazin' Bow

    Nerf Mega Blazin' Bow

    Nerf Mega Blazin' Bow

    Nerf Mega Blazin' Bow

    Nerf Mega Blazin' Bow

    Nerf Mega Blazin' Bow

    Nerf Mega Blazin' Bow

    The Nerf N-Strike Mega Blazin' Bow is really a work of genius. It's so light-weight and balanced that accuracy is king even when running. You are able to time dead-on shots and a perfect addition to anyNerfers loadout - even for HvsZ players. There is so much room for potential modding. 

    "Nerf Vortex Revonix360 Blaster 
     Amp up freestyle foam blasting performance with the NERF VORTEX REVONIX360 blaster which achieves the farthest VORTEX distance yet, up to 70 feet! This disc blaster features new, awesome deco and has a revolving drum that rotates each time you fire the blaster. Plus, the SLAM FIRE Handle gives you total control over your rate of fire – blast a single shot or hold the trigger down and slide the handle repeatedly to unleash an unstoppable stream of discs. Includes 30 multi-colour XLR discs. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and Price will be around £39.99gbp. This new blaster fires TWO discs at once"

    NERF VORTEX REVONIX360 Blaster (HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $39.99/Available: Fall 2013) Amp up freestyle foam blasting performance with the NERF VORTEX REVONIX360 blaster which achieves the farthest VORTEX distance yet, up to 70 feet! This disc blaster features new, awesome deco and has a revolving drum that rotates each time you fire the blaster. Plus, the SLAM FIRE Handle gives you total control over your rate of fire – blast a single shot or hold the trigger down and slide the handle repeatedly to unleash an unstoppable stream of discs. Includes 30 multi-color XLR discs. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and

    Credit to Foam From Abovezazaz

    Nerf Vortex Revonix360 box packaging

    Comment from Foam From Above: (out of position) supposedly you load the discs through here. Honestly, I tried to find the latch to release it, and couldn't find anything. Even the rep told me the drum was not removable. Remember, this is a prototype (hence, no firing video) and and we'll have to wait and see what the production model is like.
    Nerf Vortex Revonix360


    Bottom Right: Vortex Revonix360
    Credit to Foam From Above
    Credit to Foam From Above
    Nerf Vortex Vigilon rocking new paint scheme
    Credit Foam From Above 

    Nerf Vortex GITD 10 disc magazine
    Credit to Foam From Above

    New Nerf accessory line eye protectors
    Credit to Foam From Above
    Dart Tag jerseys (note these are the colour Stingers I saw/played with at London TF 2013)
    Credit to Foam From Above
    Dart Tag jerseys and Nerf Dart Tag Stingers

    Get your Nerf on! With the brand new clothing lines
    Credit to Foam From Above
    Nerf Rebelle clothing line
    Nerf Rebelle Dart Tag jersey

    Nerf Rebelle buzz words synonymous with its core.
    Credit to The ToySpy
    NERF REBELLE Crossbow (has Multishot Madness/Slam-Fire)

    (HASBRO/Ages 8 & up/Approx. Retail Price $24.99/Available: Fall 13)

    An impressive crossbow with fast-flying dart action and flexing bow arms, this NERF REBELLE Crossbow blends blaster action with crossbow precision. Slide the front handle to flex the bow arms back and ready the blaster for play. Pull the trigger and watch the bow arms propel forward as darts soar up to 75 feet toward the target. By holding the trigger and pumping, players can instantly transition between single shot and multi shot mode, unleashing a rapid stream of darts for exciting nonstop action! Includes six collectible NERF REBELLE darts. Available at most major retailers nationwide and on

    Nerf Rebelle Crossbow (check the bowcaster prime distance)


    Nerf Rebelle Crossbow

    Nerf Rebelle Crossbow


    (HASBRO/Ages 8 & up/Approx. Retail Price $12.99/Available: Fall 13)

    Equip your best friend with a blaster and team up to take on any secret mission together with this NERF REBELLE Two Pack! This pair of mini blasters packs high-performance power beneath its pink and purple exterior, with enough blasting power to fire darts up to 60 feet! Each super stealth blaster features its own unique deco, and is small enough to stash in a pocket or purse. Stylish spies will love that these blasters have room for double-dart storage, so back-up is never too far away. Includes four collectible darts. Available at most major retailers nationwide and on

    NERF REBELLE HEARTBREAKER Bow (HASBRO/Ages 8 & up/Approx. Retail Price $19.99/Available: Fall 13) The ultimate adventure accessory, the NERF REBELLE HEARTBREAKER bow features “true” bow action and powerful dart performance! Inspired by current pop culture trends, the HEARTBREAKER bow offers girls the poise and precision to take on any mission. To activate the bow, simply load a dart in the front and take aim. Then, pull back on the bow string handle and release to send darts soaring across the sky up to 75 feet, allowing for shot that shows off your skill with aim and attitude. Ready for action, the bow features an accessory rail which provides for five-dart storage for easy access to ammo and allows girls to customize their blaster with fun add-ons, like the NERF REBELLE App Cradle (sold separately). The NERF REBELLE HEARTBREAKER bow comes with five collectible darts, Available at most major retailers nationwide and on

    Range of the New Nerf Rebelle line
    New Nerf Rebelle takes a massive stand at the NYC Toy Fair
    Credit to Foam From Above

    New Nerf Rebelle takes a massive stand at the NYC Toy Fair
    Credit to Foam From Above


    (HASBRO/Ages 8 & up/Approx. Retail Price $9.99/Available: Fall 13)

    Stealth yet powerful, the NERF REBELLE PINK CRUSH mini crossbow is a lightweight, sleek crossbow that lets girls get in the game with confidence and flair. Don’t let its sweet pink deco fool you – when the action gets tough, so does this crossbow! With elite performance that sends darts soaring up to 75 feet away and ample room for backup ammo on the bow’s arms, it allows players to rapidly reload at a moment’s notice. The NERF REBELLE PINK CRUSH mini crossbow comes complete with four collectible darts. Available at most major retailers nationwide and on

    The Big Sister of the Mini Xross Shot.
    This is a slam-fire 6 barrel blaster with a bowcaster primer
    Credit to: Foam from Above

    Hasbro rep with Rebelle Heartbreaker
    Credit to Foam From Above

    Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker in action
    Credit to Foam From Above

    (HASBRO/Ages 8 & up/Approx. Retail Price $19.99/Available: Fall 13)

    The NERF REBELLE ALPHA GIRL Mission Kit is a girl’s best friend and includes the accessories she needs to take on any NERF REBELLE mission in style. The star of the NERF REBELLE ALPHA GIRL Mission Kit is the bold five dart revolving blaster, which features a cool purple deco and bright magenta accents. Pull back on the lever to ready the blaster and press the trigger to send darts soaring through the air up to 75 feet. Add style savvy during non-stop, action-packed adventures with the included pair of NERF REBELLE VISION GEAR eyewear. Taking a break from the excitement? Players can stow their blaster and extra darts in the included hip holster, and take the NERF REBELLE action with them wherever they go. Includes blaster, five collectible darts, and belt clip holster. Available at most major retailers nationwide and on

    Nerf Rebelle Mission Kit
    Note the hammer action on the Rebelle Wildshot.
    Credit to Foam From Above

    Credit to The Toy Masters



    Many thanks for the heads up to my Professional LinkedIn associate Terrence O'Brien from Engadget for taking the time to fulfill my request in raiding the Nerf stand! and as always his fun yet honest and thorough article on the Appteractive Rebelle accessory. Many thanks to Edgar Alvarez for the pics*+

    The costing for the Appteractive accessory will be retailed around $19.99, the Barrel Xbow should be $25.00 and Heartbreaker at $20.00 - the software is completely free to download and operate thereafter.

    I will be posting up my notes and answers from my interview at London Toy Fair 2013. I need to check my NDA before I name the larger sister to the small Xross shot. The Rebelle bow is the staple line in the range, and the mechanism works with a primer like regular N-Strike/Elite blasters, however like the movie Hunger Games, there is an option to prime the bow, for a 1off extended range shot. Something budding archers can look forward to. A "sniper" if you will. The other blasters they have not shown take advantage of this mechanism which gives Rebelle a uniqueness. Accessories - some were shown here, but I need to confirm my NDA before I speak about the others. Rebelle takes a range of collectible coloured Dart Tags that work on the various jerseys. We will *not* see any new DT as previously confirmed.
     The new Vortex Revonix360 is a fantastic semi auto blaster. With the ability to fire TWO discs at once, it really fits a missing mark in the Vortex range as we know it. A smaller cousin to the vortex Pyragon, it's ability to load-fast and dish out a hail of discs is something all fans will welcome - at almost half the price of a regular Vortex Pyragon. It has the regular slam-fire and uses Diatron mechanics for single discharge. the rest I cannot disclose. NDA. (I'm really hating this now).

    Several mods inspired engineers to take a deeper look into Vortex - they found that what modders had created coupled with fan feedback did NOT fit into the Vortex OR N-Strike range. Thus you fans created an all new Sub-Range. My NDA currently prevents me from naming it or discussing the actual internals they (or you!) have created. I hope to address this by Monday morning and then give you all the low down. Raise your hand if you hate NDAs?

    One of Hasbro's plans for all the new ranges, is to make them affordable and within reach for all customers. This works in their favour a) lets face it - they make more money b) fans get to experience everything and take it home at the end of the day and c) this opens up more feedback and more modding for the NIC to help shape next gen Nerf.

    Nerf Cyberhoop - thanks to Engadget for the review:

    Nerf Super Soaker 2013 range
    Nerf Super Soaker 2013 range
    Nerf Super Soaker 2013 range
    Nerf Super Soaker Artic Shock

    Incase you missed the Hasbro conference, Exclusive on Nerf Rebelle and more check it out for the NEW 10/10/2013 update release info from my NDA!
    Credits to and TheToySpy: