Friday, 8 February 2013

Hasbro conference news part: 1 Nerf Rebelle

Hit the refresh I will keep all Nerf updates here as they come and start a new post to avoid a spam of text. You will have to excuse the typos. I'm doing this all on the fly.
Please also take a minute to leave your feedback and comments on the new ranges. I will be passing this on to Hasbro Nerf. Modders please feel free to discuss what potential mods you can see/would do if it was in your hands right now!
Thanks to everyone for your continued support, I hope you are happy with the news I bring, and would appreciate your support by 'Like'ing my Facebook page :)

Hasbro is hoping to hit the mark with its next high-profile launch — a new brand of Nerf toys aimed specifically at girls.

The line, is called Nerf Rebelle, will feature projectiles that have the same power as the top items in the brand’s Nerf Elite line — but come wrapped in a prettier package and designed to encourage the collaborative play Hasbro has found girls prefer.

Princesses can own the first Rebelle product — called the Heartbreaker bow — this fall.

Rebelle immediately brings to mind Lego Friends, a new line of female-driven products that helped to increase Lego's profits by 36% last year — even as critics accused the toy company of promoting gender stereotypes. May I remind them to look at the male toy oven set?

I asked John Frascotti, Global Chief Marketing Officer of Hasbro if the aim is to increase outreach to females in the popular Nerf range aimed predominantly at boys, he told me
"Hasbro isn’t worried that Rebelle pigeonholes girls or reinforces the ideology of separate spheres."
Nerf Rebelle -  Heartbreaker bow
What girls wanted, he says was Nerf toys that boast both high performance and a design made especially for them.
“Just to be clear, we could have taken some of our Nerf blasters and just made them pink and put them in pink packages — but that’s not what we did,”
Frascotti explained. Trying to encourage girls to buy existing Nerf toys or easing up the gendered overtones of those products was never really on the table:
“This is an entirely ground-up effort.”
Thanks to all that research, Rebelle differs from other Nerf lines in several key ways. The Heartbreaker bow comes with collectable darts bearing different colors and designs; there’s a Rebelle app that allows girls to play collaboratively and encourages teamwork; the bow’s size and ergonomics have been tweaked so that girls as young as 6 can activate it easily.

The product’s main philosophy, though, is in line with that of the Nerf toys that came before it.
“Nothing is really addressing this big opportunity for girls to be active and play,”
Frascotti said.
“Parents are concerned about the amount of time kids are spending in sedentary activities, in front of a screen of some sort.”
By contrast you can see how Rebelle promotes exercise and socialization in a way that will hopefully appeal to girls who have no interest in sports as well as budding athletes.

But what about that name, “Heartbreaker” — which seems to inject an element of romance that wouldn’t be there if the bow were designed for boys, or even made to be gender neutral?
“I think sometimes maybe adults are more concerned with these things than girls are,” Frascotti said. “I think the girls we tested it with just thought it was a cool name and they loved playing the role of a power princess standing shoulder to shoulder with a white knight.”
  • Fans actively helping create next gen - thank you all bloggers for spreading the word of brand love
  • Franchises (outsourcing of accessories) will be empowered to create RESPECTABLE and QUALITY fans expect from Hasbro blasters. Franchises will do Nerf accessories and handle demand with Hasbro guidance and support.
  • Parts brokerage. Specific stock. scope, etc you don't have to buy a whole blaster for just that stock. (Note there is a "missing" tile on Parts&Refill section - was not made clear if Hasbro or partners will handle)
  • Franchises help reducing operation cost - note 10% work force cut at Hasbro
    Asia > EU > US. Asia is a massive emerging market, more spending power as time goes on. This is something that will be pushed in a big way. Sounded like Asia MAY have monopoly of hot products and future exclusives (they make more babies, more kids, growing GDP - they want Nerf more!).
  • US market is slowing - in negative growth: sales -0.3%. Electronics are not an excuse (Tablets, etc)
  • There will be a Renewal drive, regen love for Nerf in US. Dart Tag in hands of fans/TRU. (Note: Nerf has a very special place for Hasbro in the US, and they have plans to revamp this, and do a resurge of marketing/exclusives).
Ranges set for expansion. Intense expansion.
  • Girls want to play with blasters, so they have done intense research.
  • Rebelle is the answer. Girls love it up to late teens.
Rebelle Wildshot - 6 dart sidearm, complete new Smart mechanics - "girls can kick butt"

 MyLastDart: Love this blaster, and what you are doing here, you are opening up the range cross genders here complexly! My Q is which blaster is this likened to?
Asswer: Great Q,  You have never seen this before in anything. Ever. <Insert NDA stuff>  Really? Seriously? <SCREAM>
  • Older girls say unhappy there are no toys for them in toy section. They wanted blasters they have been in process for 3 years.
  • Love sports, but no way to do it like boys, so we developed outdoor active toys like boys Nerf blasters.
  • Expect BLASTERS not just Bows for girls. Customisable accessories, coluor darts and more in a sek
Rebelle Heartbereaker
Complete with Collectible darts, Start up Pack, accessories, full customisation of your blaster!

    Nerf Rebelle Xcross Shot and Wish Shot
  • Girls demanded Elite range and performance, were not happy with dumbed down range, power. What a girl wants, a girl gets!

MyLastDart: Who is the inspiration taken from? I assume the protagonist like Hunger Games?

Answer: correct, they have  inspired the range. Girls don't want male archtypes. They have their own heroes. Fashion, Music, Acting, Movies etc.

MyLastDart: Hi, I want to touch on Tournaments and release - will they be exclusive? the launch will it be global?

Answer: The launch will indeed be global, <insert NDA>

MyLastDart: Can we touch on the accessories part and what we can expect further from what we have - or rather as fans cry a LACK of? Customisation sounds amazing - can boys lines expect the same ?

Answer: <insert NDA>

MyLastDart:  (I need to be excused I think I just wet myself.)
  • Fall of 2014 Rebelle range will get performance they want, and expect massive advances.
  • They are working mad at developing the range right now.
  • This will be a major product line for them. Major untapped market.

Any Qs please ask now, I am still here with them for quite a while. Hit the refresh I will keep all updates here as they come.

Further information I can release, this is a round-up of 2012, and what we can expect for 2013+:

Expect some love for 'Light It Up'. More after NDA break.

Koosh did fantastically well in promoting Active Play, Fire Vision can expect love.

Lazer Tag is taking a whole new world of it's own.

Engadget have had extensive game-play and were blown away.

The plans for Lazer tag to incorporate todays Smartphone technology is a major market. Electronics were the only thing above Toy sales, and the two are fiercely in competition for the #1 spot. Hasbro has encompassed both of these technologies and advances in toys to bring us a complete new Era in Social Media meets Active Play. The app is free to download, and will allow you to create an avatar (wii mii), link to your Social Media - Facebook account, YouTube account, Twitter, and let you:
  • Upload pics/video from your iPhone (IOS to come - the phones are difficult ie Galaxy Phablet) to Fb, YT and Twitter.
  • The app has a whole editing feature in it, take stills, edit length, cut to scenes, etc. when it uploads it will be like a professional video layout with your name, Nerf brand in corner. People can then share your videos and pics as you wish or not at all.
  • Anyone else playing a game near you - just send them a nudge, and add them to your game!
  • There will be integration with your territory Nerf website (ie Basic Nerf can upload his battles straight to the site, after approval all fans can enjoy the fun!). This is why there has been a slow down or as Nerf Wikia noted - a dead stop on the official Nerf site.
  • RIP GoPro? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

More updates to come. Stay tuned.

- Previous Exclusive coverage from the London January 2013 Toy Fair
- NYC 2013 Toy Fair Exclusive pics and info on new blasters


  1. Interesting stuff. Wasn't really expecting this I must admit. The targeted release says Fall in that press release. What countries is that release date referring to?

    1. This is global release - US first(?). Will confirm that is what I think we all assumed.

  2. "Girls want to play with blasters, so they have done intense research. Rebelle is the answer. Girls love it up to late teens."

    Just to add to that, I have about 6 or 7 girl friends ranging from mid teens to early 20s that do indeed playing with Nerf blasters and enjoy joining in with the guys every chance they get.

  3. Interesting font and color choice for the new Rebelle logo. I must admit, im used to seeing blue, green, and orange with Nerf, so that looks a bit strange to me at the moment.

    Any release date or Targeted release date on the Wildshot?

    1. They will have a global party event for girls. I can't wait! Hah

    2. Is it just me, or does that font look really familiar? I'm sure I've seen it on some doll line before, but can't remember which one.

    3. Can you say what kind off party - only girls or are you just kidding and it's only in the US

  4. Could you ask them if they are sticking with the many types of darts currently available or if they are focusing mainly on the new elite style design?

    1. It has been stated before that (obviously with the exception of Dart Tag), the Elite darts are what will be sold from now on. It is already getting hard to find anything other than those in stores. The darts for Rebelle seem to be simply recolored Elite darts, which would make sense since they are going to be getting the same performance.

  5. Imagine if they got someone like Taylor Swift or Selena Gomez to do some co-signs and commercials for them on this new line? Although it would probably be on the expensive side, it would help get the word out and it should help increase sales.

  6. any more details on that crossbow?

  7. using the hunger games and twilight as sources for female role models is kind of stupid, at least in my opinion. I think the better role models are those who demonstrate independence which tends to be the Sci Fi females.

    1. I'd say that Katniss in the Hunger Games is pretty independent.

    2. Have you actually watch the Hunger Games, harpunia?

  8. Replies
    1. It looks to be. The ammo holder on the bow looks to be a recolored version of the one from the Barrel Break, or very similar to it. I don't see why they would change the tactical rail design when it is also shared by the Super Soaker line.

  9. Congratulations Female, Nerf has been listening, im not gonna lie, im gonna pick these up when it comes out, I have alot of neices, plus that crossbow looks awesome, i might get that for myself and just repaint it. Ive repainted a Swarmfire with pink and purple colors for my daughter to use. Thanks for the preview Ash!

    1. I repainted a Quick 16 in pink and purple for my wife to use when we play with our sons. I think she's going to love some of these new blasters!

    2. Cool Matt! What a coincidence! I know some girls don't care for those kind of color schemes, but there's alot of them that do, It's great that Nerf finally did something about it.


    3. FYI, unless you have a LOT of time and patience, DO NOT take a Quick 16 apart!!! It took me nearly an hour to get that thing back together after painting it, and that was looking at a guide online!

    4. Oh ive been there, repainted my sons longstrike, talk about a headache, it was my first blaster I've tried to paint, I thought I was doomed and was about to tell him that I broke it, I must have screwed it open and close like 8 times...but with a little more patience and troubleshooting, it worked out just fine.

    5. Oh, a Longstrike easy compared to a Quick 16.

  10. I'm a guy, but I'm still gonna buy those blasters. hahaha

  11. Looking at the pics again, that crossbow looks like a girl version of the rough cut. OR could it be an air blaster?

    1. Looks to be an air powered blaster, but I could be wrong.

  12. Sometimes when we get our blasters out in the courtyard at our apartments, there are more girls coming out to play with them than boys. I guess I'll have to pick up a few of these when they are released.

  13. Q for NERF: can we expect these rebelle blasters to be ported over to the Nstrike line?

  14. I bet more guys and girls will buy these, at least maybe modders.

  15. Hope Nerf doesn't get too attached to the Rebelle line, because these blasters are looking x10 better than the Elite and Vortex Blasters. Really hope the release that Crossbow in other color so boys don't feel embarrassed running with those around. Back then people called Nerfers "Virgins". Not sure what their new insult is when they find out girls get these toys out. P.S, although they already have toys aimed for boys, they should make a more "masculine" Nerf Line.

    1. What? The Elite line in blue, white, and gray isn't "masculine" enough for you?

    2. I know what you mean, but it's not as "extreme" as the Rebelle Line. Compared to older lines, the Rebelle lines looks like something totally professional and not Nerf.

    3. Girls can easily runaround with the current line- my sisters do and they are anything but masculine. A guy will find it hard pressed to runaround with these though still considering getting one if there is no similar line released with the looks of those especially if they get clips or high capacity blate

  16. Collectible darts? Nerf do know how many darts one can lose in one war, right? Because if they put too much emphasis on the darts during advertising then they may end up with many rebelles who wont use their blaster/bow/crossbow for fear of losing the darts.

    But I wouldn't mind getting a Heartbreaker and repainting it, and do I spy a miniature barrel-break ammo rail in that image (the first one, with the Heartbreaker)?

    1. Buy extra non-collectible darts, keep collectibles safe, load Heartbreaker Bow with expendable darts.

      Problem solved.

  17. GURLEH GURLZ!!!!!!!11!1

    TEH BOW looks awesome. Mane even hopperable.

  18. Nerf: "a pink line for girls"

    HvZer's: "Neat i can shoot zombies with a pink crossbow now!"

  19. i am so confused which blaster is which.....

    1. Hi Max - thanks for the comment - what is it that causes the confusion? I'm very interested in this, as you are the first to mention it.

    2. i do not know which is is the Wildshot,Xrosshot and Wish Shot...
      two more questions...
      what is the name for the blaster in the starter pack...
      and is the crossbow's name:Xrosshot?

    3. I agree only sure about some and especially not the wish shot

  20. If its called the Xross shot, Wouldn't that be the Crossross shot?

    1. Hi Anonymous, thanks for the comment. It is their play on a kiss. In SMS or emails, people tend to use a 'x' as a kiss or show of affection. This I guess can be called a KissShot at it's very basic :)

  21. I think there's a good chance of it being a huge flop. Trial it in US then rollout elsewhere later. I play with girls. Although they love playing, they tend to borrow blasters or they have been bought them by someone else or cast offs. I find they don't actively go out and buy for themselves. I guess that could be whole point of the new range though :-) I don't think it will change a thing. Scrap it now hasbro whilst you still can or prove me wrong.