“There’s nothing new under the sun.” Or so it’s been said. But what truly qualifies as “new?” At what point is a product or idea sufficiently different from a pre-existing thought or object that it can be considered unique? These are a few of thoughts that ran through our head while considering the all-new BOOMco Rapid Madness from Mattel, which takes a lot of inspiration from the 10 year old Nerf Magstrike AS-10. That the all new BOOMco Rapid Madness borrows ideas from another generation of products isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but does it serve-up enough new ideas to be considered an original in its own right?
Here’s everything we learned during our time with Nerf in NYC!
We’ve been prohibited from reporting on any of the specifics of Hasbro’s Nerf All Access summer media event, including the exact location, date or time. But we can now reveal that we’ve just spent the past few hours at the event having a blast with the marketing and design folks responsible for the Nerf brand, and we’re ready to spill the beans on everything they told us! But before we get too far, we’d like to extend a sincere thank-you to Hasbro’s PR firm and Hasbro corporate, who put on a fantastic party. You guys pulled-out all the stops, and we had a great time. Now, on to the updates!
Blaster Labs is your direct source for everything related to Mattel’s new BOOMco product line!
While some blogs are just now getting their hands on the new BOOMco products from retailers that have leaked product early, Blaster Labs has been in direct contact with the good folks at Mattel and their PR firm, and have had in-depth, hands-on coverage of everything BOOMco-related since day one. Here are a few of our coverage highlights:
- Same-day coverage of the full line-up back in March, and the first public link to the US version of the “Coming Soon” website.
- First-hand product information, distance claims, high-res imagery, and official “July 2014” release information provided directly from Mattel.
- First mention of undisclosed “customizable BOOMco targets.”
- First ever North American BOOMco full review of the Farshot (Dual Defenders).
- First full product details and non-watermarked imagery of the Whipblast Blaster spotted.
- First chrono testing of a BOOMco product, with a documented 51 feet-per-second speed.
- First mention of the BOOMco Twisted Spinner contest on a major Nerf-related blog.
- First in-depth analysis of BOOMco Smart Stick dart weights and measurements.
- First spotting of “Extreme Battle Pack” and other new packs and accessories online.
And it gets better. We now have official release details on the North American BOOMco product line, and we have all of the North American-release BOOMco blasters currently on-hand for review.
Back in 2009, Buzz Bee Toys introduced the Water Warriors Equalizer, a compact, air-pressure-based water blaster that offered very good performance for its relatively modest size. Now, five years later, we have the Water Warriors Outlaw, which is pretty much exactly the same as the Equalizer, save for a sticker that says “Outlaw” instead of “Equalizer,” and a priming handle that is orange instead of blue. And you know what? We are a-ok with that, because it doesn’t matter what they call it, or how old the design is, this blaster is one impressive performer.
The most distinguishing feature of the Outlaw is a compact, purpose-built aesthetic that features a body built entirely around the massive 48 oz. water tank. It’s a design that is attractive while being almost entirely utilitarian. There’s a single, non-adjustable nozzle in the front, a reservoir cap up-top, a priming handle down below, a trigger in the back, and some cladding on the sides to hold the tank in place. And that’s it. There are no superfluous bells and whistles… no multiple nozzles, no gimmicky angle meters, no clips, no batteries, so sights, no stocks. In other words, it’s entirely no-nonsense. And when you design a blaster that performs as well as the Outlaw, you don’t need them.
Here’s everything we learned from the invite-only event!
On Wednesday, June 18th we had the unique opportunity to participate in a Google Hangouts Q&A session with Hasbro’s Nerf marketing and design teams (reportedly, the first one ever). And while we’ll always have more questions than time (or confidentiality) will allow us to ask, we nonetheless came away answers to some of your questions, as well as teasers for a few items we can expect to see and hear more about later this year.
The first hands-on measurements of the new BOOMco Smart Stick darts from Mattel.
We recently posted the first in-depth North American review of a BOOMco product from Mattel, the BOOMco Farshot (Dual Defenders). Since then, we have received numerous requests for more detailed measurements of the BOOMco Smart Stick darts themselves, as few of them have yet to reach retail in the states.
We’ve fired-up our American Weigh Scales AWS-100 precision scale (with 0.01g resolution and calibrated with a 100g weight), our Carrera Precision CP5906 digital calipers (with accuracy from .001″ to 6”), and our Competition Electronics Pro Chrono (with a velocity range of 21-7,000 feet per second and accuracy of +/- 1%) to provide the NIC with the most in-depth measurements of the new BOOMco Smart Stick darts currently available. What we found might be a little surprising.
In the minds of most consumers, the words “water gun” typically conjure up images of traditional squirt guns, or perhaps some of the newer piston, air-pressure, or battery-powered designs. And while underdog favorite Buzz Bee Toys has produced no shortage of water weaponry using each of these more traditional systems, since 2006, they’ve also produced a handful of spring-assisted water guns that have demonstrated some unique capabilities.
The most recent spring-powered water gun to come from Buzz Bee is the Water Warriors Steady Stream 2. Released in 2012, the Steady Stream 2 is an update of the original Steady Stream blaster that was brought to market in 2007 (and re-released in an updated color scheme in 2008). With the Steady Stream 2 already being a personal favorite among some of our staff, the recent arrival of an additional sample unit from our friends at Buzz Bee gave us reason to finally give this blaster the full review it deserved.