Before we get back to reviewing the latest Nerf blasters, we’ll highlight something that’s been chugging along to spectacular success in the mainstream: the Xshot Fast Fill line. I reviewed the first blaster last year, finding it to be a good entry for the current market of soakers. And it’s done well, seeing as it’s a Toy of the Year Finalist. Coming into this year, we’re seeing at least two more offerings – one small, and one quite a bit larger.
Hasbro likes to do specialty line releases with various retailers – Gamestop has first dibs on the Overwatch blasters, Walmart gets Battlecamo, etc. In Target’s case, one of those specialty lines is the Icon Series, a line of previously popular blasters that have been rereleased and (supposedly) updated for the modern blaster era. Leading the pack is the Stampede, Nerf’s big clip-fed automatic blaster from 2010. While it does seem to have better performance, it also comes with less, and costs more than the original. If you’re a collector (or feeling nostalgic), you’ll still love the blaster, especially on sale. If you purely want modern performance for a good price, however, you may end up looking elsewhere.
It’s not much of a post – really, it’s just a placeholder while I write some rather late reviews and edit footage from the last war. But, it’s New Year’s Eve, and that means thinking back…and thinking ahead.
With that in mind, I do have a few thoughts on things to improve.
- Earlier in the year, I tried highlighting a bunch of major events going on one month. The intention was to keep doing that…but then it never happened. I’d like to try that again. Whether it’s a monthly post, or just keeping better tabs on major events, both near me and farther away (there are things like Foam Fest and large wars in other countries I’d like to look at).
- Adding a couple more people on here. Granted, I’m the weird one here that’s made his hobby his social life, and that helps drive me to keep doing this. But there are plenty of other enthusiasts that I know would contribute now and then.
- Stop getting so behind on reviews! I still have yet to post reviews for the Icon Series, for instance. Granted, it hasn’t been an urgent thing, because I bought all of them way back when they were first on shelves. It’s simply not “new” compared to other things, and a quick search on ye olde Nerfhaven can do wonders. But this late? I can do better.
- Document more of the cool things people are doing. Whether it’s a war, or Foamcon before Endwar, do more pics of blasters, loadouts, etc. I know several people miss seeing that. Plus, while trying having a booth at Ragnaroctoberfest was neat, it’s just not the same as walking around and seeing everyone. I prefer doing the news part to being a personality.
All that said, what are you hoping for in the new year?
Editor’s note: This other Brian guy keeps building and writing things. I should probably make him account at some point…Also, it comes at a time when I’m busy, and having a second Caliburn opinion never hurt. Especially for a different setup!
Hey everyone! It’s Brian’s ghost writer here (also Brian). I had the pleasure of assembling a Rival U-Channel Caliburn when the hardware kits went on sale for cyber Monday. I wanted a rival Caliburn because I have Caliburns that shoot harder than 200 fps, and a multitude of blasters for hvz/low fps games, but nothing that sat in the middle. Also, owning a Jupiter, I wanted another excuse to bring Rival magazines. I figured a Rival U-channel Caliburn would also be useful as my difficulties could help air out issues that lead to revisions so future U-channel Caliburns are more functional.
It’s perhaps a bit late for that holiday shopping, but we may as well post a “Best of” list for products released this year (at least officially, see below). There are outstanding products in all categories, from darts to ball blasters and beyond. Read on and see what you might want to pick up in the post-holiday clearance rush!
As many of you may have noticed, I try to score blasters relative to their “class”. It’s the reason you could have a rapid-fire Rival blaster and a small, clip-fed pistol with the same score; they fill different roles, and thus should be scored independently of each other. However, there’s really nothing on the market to compare this next product to, so forgive me if I struggle with subjective judgement!
Little Tikes, in an interesting move, has made several “My First Mighty Blasters” products. They launch large soft ammo at low ranges, with the play idea that each shot is a different kind of power. The base model, the Boom Blaster, fires one “Power Pod” at a time with a simple, pull-back launch system. And considering the intended audience…it’s pretty good!
Author note: after purchasing one, a free sample did get sent in the mail from Hasbro. Thanks!
We’ve had several “Rival shotgun” platforms come out this past year. The Adventure Force Liberator appeared online at Walmart, and then the Xshot Chaos Orbit became available in the fall. Now, Nerf puts out the Takedown at the end of the year. It’s a solid, Kronos-based blaster, As such, it’s a fun, reliable option for running light – as long as you have a good grip on it.