Thanks to everyone to emailed in about this, Dustin Ludke and Mica Trieu being the first!
EDIT: Check Hasbro unveil a fresh load of Zombie Strike WANT @ San Diego Comic Con (SDCC)
So it would appear that we have all been blindsided by this one - even the faithful US bloggers until today - i09 have come out with this crackin post, but first an intro to the range:
The zombie apocalypse is on its way and Hasbro’s NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE line has landed just in time!
Fans can reenact their favorite, action-packed zombie scenes, plan for epic battles against the undead and hone the skills necessary to ensure the survival of the human race. The debut ZOMBIE STRIKE lineup, featuring the multi-shot SLEDGEFIRE blaster and the front loading HAMMERSHOT blaster, is available exclusively at Target this fall and features all new zombie-influenced deco and designs. In an epic battle of the living vs. the living dead, NERF NATION will have the edge.
NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE HAMMERSHOT Blaster(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $15.99/Available: August 1, 2013)
One way to survive the zombie apocalypse: Keep moving. The compact ZOMBIE STRIKE HAMMERSHOT blaster is designed for defeating the living dead on the run! Featuring a five dart, front loading rotating barrel and a unique pull-back hammer mechanism, the HAMMERSHOT blaster is the go-to for sudden zombie attacks. Includes five NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE darts. Available exclusively at Target.
NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE SLEDGEFIRE Blaster(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $27.99/Available: August 1, 2013)
Zombie hunters fend off large hordes with ease using the ZOMBIE STRIKE SLEDGEFIRE blaster. A new triple dart shell-system allows for simultaneous multi-shot blasting and quick dart reloads on the run while extra storage space for darts keeps zombie invasions at bay. With the SLEDGEFIRE blaster it won’t matter if the approaching undead are the fast kind or the slow kind – they’ve met their match. Blaster comes with three NERF SHELLS and nine NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE darts. Available exclusively at Target.
We know these to be Target exclusives, on general sale August 1st. What we didn't know was the pic spam below, set for Spring 2014, and be available at most major retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com:
After launching as a Target exclusive in late 2013, the NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE line will expand in 2014 to a full line of blasters, bows and foam swords designed for epic battles against undead and available at most major retailers nationwide! Additions include the FUSEFIRE blaster, which blasts zombies with glowing VORTEX discs day or night, and the authentic CROSSFIRE bow with 75 foot N-STRIKE ELITE distance. With the 2014 ZOMBIE STRIKE line-up, NERF NATION zombie hunters are ready for anything.
Nerf Zombie Strike Crossfire Bow
Protect your human allies with the ZOMBIE STRIKE CROSSFIRE bow, which brings iconic crossbow action to the NERF line for the first time in almost twenty years! Boasting 75 foot ELITE distance and authentic pull-back firing action, the CROSSFIRE bow is a great asset in the human zombie struggle. Crossbow comes complete with four NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE darts. ($19.99)
Nerf Zombie Strike Fusefire Blaster
Lesson one: the living dead don’t take naps. Be ready any time of day for a zombie attack with the ZOMBIE STRIKE FUSEFIRE blaster at your side. Firing glowing NERF VORTEX discs, this blaster features a continuous loading system for blasting zombies with a foam barrage. The curving and ricocheting discs allow zombie hunters to battle their undead opponents in an all new way. Blaster comes with five ZOMBIE STRIKE VORTEX discs and storage space for five additional discs. ($14.99)
Nerf Zombie Strike Sidestrike Blaster
The ZOMBIE STRIKE SIDESTRIKE blaster is the first NERF blaster with a holster for both dart and blaster storage, leaving hands free to carry supplies and post-apocalyptic gear. The quick-draw blaster possesses ELITE performance, firing ZOMBIE STRIKE darts up to 75 feet. The included holster is also compatible with the NERF FIRESTRIKE blaster, sold separately. Comes with six ZOMBIE STRIKE darts. ($14.99)
Nerf Zombie Strike Blade Toy
When it comes to hand to hand battle against zombies, losing is not an option. At 30” long, the durable foam ZOMBIE STRIKE BLADE sword is built to defend humanity at close range. ($12.99)
Nerf Zombie Strike Ripshot Blaster
Plan a sneak attack against zombie foes with the aid of the stealthy ZOMBIE STRIKE RIPSHOT disc blaster, featuring integrated three disc storage. Comes complete with three ZOMBIE STRIKE VORTEX discs. ($9.99)
Nerf Zombie Strike Ricochet Blaster
When it all comes down to one shot, make it count. The single shot ZOMBIE STRIKE RICOCHET disc blaster is the ultimate tool for mounting sneak attacks on the living dead. Pocket-sized but powerful, the RICOCHET blaster comes with two discs. ($7.99)
There will also be a Nerf Zombie Strike Target Set ($9.99), featuring a small blaster, three darts and a Zombie Strike target.
For me, these look awesome.
That Crossfire bow and the Sidestrike I have to say look like they were originally for the Elite line - why? Look at the handles, they pack the Nerf N-Strike Elite logo. Note on the Crossfire Bow - why no funky ZS style Stockade Stock? That would have set it off perfectly, and even happy to pay an extra $5-$9 extra. Maybe even $9.99 :P There will be a FIRST time ever blaster coming with a holster coming with the Sidestrike. Will this be sold separately? Maybe, most likely not.
Also, what happened with the whole post-apoc faux bandaging on the grip? It looks to me that we are seeing either: Target wanting to have something extra on their exclusives and copyrighting the faux, or the design team was a different one. Also we go from darts to Vortex discs. Weird. It seems we are seeing a pattern of no clip fed blasters. A definite signature of the range.
Also they mention GITD ammo - how this works is not clear, there is no mention of any battery requirement, so will be plain be GITD material than any kind of 'Light It Up' mechanism?
What is going to be a massive off-put is the whole unexpected Vortex integration. I'm guessing they have so much surplus Vortex stock, they need to burn up the discs and perhaps drum up interest in the existing Vortex blaster range. I don't think this will happen.
Also, HvZ is all about power, all about the ability to dump ammo quickly. This range is not suiting those mantra at all. In fact it's a dumbed down range. Perhaps they understand that HvZ is all modded up anyway - why waste time and money on this? So we see them aiming it more at fans running around play acting - kids to be more specific.
Vortex is very prevalent in the Zombie Strike range. We can clearly see they have reused a Vortex mould (Fusefire) and some heavy reshelled Vigilon, a slimmed down Proton rework and even Jolt-type-reshells.
I love the whole crossbow look, whilst Vortexy it is somewhat sexy carbon fibre looking:
I am excited for the range, I'm wary we see some possible funky reshells from the N-Strike and also Vortex range, but that's their prerogative. Glad to see some N-Force love finally coming on in, I was told about this back in January earlier this year at the London Toy Fair.
So what's missing? Where is that ZSwinchester (I'm guessing the Sledge Fire is just that) but we will see. I don't see a flagship blaster as yet. #Holla we want Lever, we want lever!# - and lets not forget Hasbro still have a patent on ZS Nerf balls. They would make some money off these instead of socks.
So I got to ask - who's up for this? Are you convinced with Vortex integration,,?