|Mock Original Vortex Ripshot|
I'm loving the whole idea. I'm a little confused at what point, and why the Zombie Strike range went radically off mark(?).
I'm a massive Vortex fan, don't get me wrong, but they could have really done something a little more unique, cutting leading edge for the HvZ genre or the blaster range itself. You can find the full Official Zombie Strike release here. If they did this right, lets be honest, they would have every HvZ'er cashing out for these. High capacity, quick firing and funky aesthetics. No brainer? Well it seems like it's a little more complicated than we would think. Maybe they missed the boat by a year?
The Sledge Fire is new, and unseen, and we get a new crossbow (first in 20 odd years), and some funky new blasters. The range itself is neat, but there is something missing, something that leaves me (and other fans) wanting more.
I understand that Gnarwhal Studios control the IP on this, but you can still angle it in such a way it becomes "the standard" of blasters. Let's be honest, it's what is run at every game more or less (Zing and some others get a look in). So after reading Pockets rant, I had to let rip a little myself.
I suspect, that the conversation may have gone like this one sunny afternoon in Rhode Island Head Office (apply some healthy sarcasm):
Hasbro1: Yo Jerry sup?
Hasbro2: Hey Brad sup!
Hasbro1: Not much man, got to shift all these Vortex surplus somehow that no one wants, you?
Hasbro2: sucks2bu man, I gotta figure out some new designs for this gone-viral-but-we-denying-it ZS range
Hasbro1: yeah gl with that man, if only I could find a way to revive interest...
Hasbro2: u2 man, best of luck, I need to look at some old moulds for inspiration or something... hopefully I get away with it *yoink*
It may well be with Target bagging the Hammershot and Sledge Fire as exclusives, they may have taken on the IP of the moulds/designs, therefore the standard design for the range became just that - standard. But cmon, 2 years+ in the making, and someone somewhere must of said "hold up, will fans really buy what we are going to spin out?". On general the 99% of the Nerf fanbase will buy them happily, us in the NIC are another breed. Perhaps far too demanding, and of little impact on their sales. There is still time to fix things Hasbro.
Whilst I haven't personally used these, there's innovation happening right here - but it doesn't seem like the innovation stopped at the Sledge Fire. The Vortex blasters look to potentially employ something other than torsion springs to launch the XLR discs. You can see what appears to be no room to accommodate a torsion spring mechanism - not even a small one. Maybe i'm wrong here. What do you think?
Many in the NIC refer to the Hammershot / Wishshot as somewhat "old" now, maybe that's our addiction to scouring the web for new info, images and news from Baidu - is this a first for Hasbro beating Baidu at it's own game and releasing the whole range as we know it before they can?. What we are seeing new in the Sledge Fire firing is the upgraded barrel-snap mechanism - and lets not forget it's 3 dart cartridges. Whilst I don't know if they have done anything extensively new with the Vortex range mechanically - we live in hope.
I see a lot of people saying "hang on there folks - there is still time for them to change things, these look like prototypes". Whilst this very well could be the case, I doubt it. With what looks like the recycle of Vigilon, Proton, and some Jolty type action going on, it's FINE for now, but I feel they have to sort their act out - they owe that much to their fans in sweet oblivion or not.
What is "upsetting" as a fan, is that they have clearly yanked the Crossfire Bow and the Sidewinder out of the upcoming NSE range (see badges on grip) and also the Fusefire (looks like Vigilon/slimmed Proton mould) is rocking the Vortex marking too. The Vortex range in ZS all hold one thing in common - single shot. In a world of toy blasters, a world of zombies, it's all make believe so why try to emulate the whole Resident Evil freak out of fumbling around for a round when you have 20 zombies closing in. I just don't see the point in these single shot blasters.... case and point the Ricochet is pretty much the Ripshot without the disc holder. So why bother buying that? Don't get me started on how the Crossfire has no Stock. I mean we could be happier fans seeing less plastic spam, and more accessories. Even if they continue the laziness and slap the Stockade Stock with a repaint - awesome. It's what should be on there anyhoo!
|Mock NSE Crossfire Bow|
|Mock NSE Sidestrike|
|Mock Original Vortex Fusefire|
|NSE mock up by Southern Brisbane Nerf club|
Maybe this is an expensive exercise for them to get feedback from fans - doubt it because they run extensive Focus Groups. Also saying that plastic is too expensive is a lame excuse for a multinational like them. No, if what AFoN said is true, it would be a terrible excuse for a market leader. When they are running a massive share buyback program ($115-150m) to reduce shareholder pay out and increase profits, it's like the brain is not talking to the hands.
I hope the internals are something we can work with, not being a modder myself, I am just a curious soul. I'm strongly wishing (most probably on deaf ears) that the string on the Crossfire is actually real and not a fake cosmetic like we see on the Rebelle Guardian. Perhaps they're waiting for modders to do some magic and go from there.
|Nerf Rebelle Guardian Crossbow internals shot|
N-Force - i'm glad we see this, having played with the blades at the Toy Fair, I was hoping we could see something more primemordial, dual ZS tomahawks/hatchets or even a sexed up mace. The cricket bat or baseball bat are a little too extreme and I can see they wouldn't want to promote easy-access violence. But then what are the existing range not doing?
|Nerf Zombie Strike Blade - redone Vanquish blade|
My issue isn't that they are dishing out too many ranges too quickly, it's more that there seems to be a lack of thought behind what they normally do. I think N-Strike lasted for 5-6 years, I understand there is a huge gap to fill so maybe they are simply forcing competitors off the shelves?