Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yellow Longstrike Barrel Extension

So earlier I was complaining about how arguably the best looking Barrel Extension that Nerf has ever made is molded in a color that doesn't match the other blasters it can go on.  I really wanted to get a unified look out of my favorite blaster setup: the Nerf Spectre w/Raider stock and Longstrike Barrel.  So I finally decided to just go with repainting the Longstrike's blue panels yellow.

The process I used was simple:  sand off the digital camo on the Longstrike barrel with a thick grit sandpaper and then smooth it all over with a series of lighter sand paper types.  Then prime and paint the panels yellow and re-assemble the barrel for a Longstrike Barrel that'll look good on a Recon, Spectre, Deploy, or even a yellow Longshot.  I'll have more pictures up later once I find all the parts I wanna mix and match with.  Wanna see a certain combination?  Leave it in the comments and I'll see what I can do!

Workin for the Weekend

I've been doing some work today on two blasters.  The first is this week's Giveaway: the Sharp Shot.  I've done all the internal work and am working on ideas for a paintjob on it.  Here's a few shots of the basic internal work I've done.  Just standard AR removal, air release seal, improved O Ring Seal stuff.  I also upgraded the spring.  It's now packing the spring from the Swarmfire, which is actually about the same size only stronger.  (I have a stronger spring in my Swarmfire now)
The paintjob that I have in mind for this Sharp Shot is to do a Whiteout style repaint.  I'm just repainting the yellow shells on this, keeping the black plastic frame in it's stock colors.  The shell will be painted white with the Dart Tag logos that are etched into the paintjob to be painted Orange and Gray, to mimick the look of the Whiteout series.  I'm pretty excited to see how it turns out.

The other is painting a Longstrike Barrel yellow to go with my Spectre and Recon.  I actually found a picture of someone with a Recon and a Yellow-painted Longstrike barrel and it looked nice, so that's what I'll be doing.  It was warm enough today to do some painting when I started, but now the clouds have rolled in and it's chilly out again, so they're in my garage by a heater.  I just put down the second coat in this picture.  Before painting, I spent time sanding off all the digital camo on them so they look nice and smooth/match the Recon and Spectre's finish.  Hope it turns out good!
I also opened up a non-functioning Nerf Raider that got used (and abused) on last week's Black Friday Foam-tacular.  I suppose naming the rapid fire feature "SlamFire" gives people the idea that they're unbreakable.  Not the case.  I'll either find spare parts from a gutted Raider that my friend turned into a Laser Tag blaster or use this fella as a candidate for a Massacre kit.  Actually, I was thinking of getting a Massacre kit to put in my Clear Series Raider, so maybe I could just put those internals into this guy.  Either way, it'll live to shoot another day soon enough.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Redraw for Week #4 and Shelf News!

So as it turns out, our Weekly Giveaway winner from last week is unable to provide a shipping address.  I'm told that you can't deliver something without saying where it's going, so we're going to redraw!  And the new Week #4 winner is... Five Seven!  Or Echo... or whatever variant of those he's going by.  Make sure you send a mailing address to Icicle and he'll send out that Minimized Firefly to ya!

In the meantime, if you haven't entered to win the modded Sharp Shot for this week, time is running out!

Onto "some news".  I was at my local Toys R Us checking stuff out and I came across something I think Clip System fans will like:  TRU Exclusive Raiders with an extra drum.  They've done this before, but now it's an exclusive, so I think it'll get stocked longer on shelves.  The ones I found retailed for 34.99.  Even though it's TRU's usual high prices, it DOES come with that extra drum, which is still a good deal if you ask me.

I also found that Nerf video camera, but it's overpriced and has awful specs.  49.99USD for a Nerf labeled camera that's designed for "sport" use?  Don't even get me started on that awful digital camera or Flash drive.  My disappointment in Sakar Electronics just keeps getting better, huh?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Modified Vulcan EBF-25 Review

I started work on this Vulcan a couple months ago, but I was knee deep in Laser Tag season.  I finally got around to finishing it up in time to debut at our Black Friday Foam-tacular.  While I didn't get to use it (I let a friend run around with it), it's performance was rock solid.  It covered entire hallways with more darts than Drac has commission requests.  I tested out the Vulcan myself and ran a series of tests I caught on video to show you what this fella can do.  It's probably one of my best modified blasters yet.

At the heart of this modification is the power, which I didn't get solved until recently.  There are 4 Ultrafire Rechargeable batteries that are running 3.7 Volts each.  There are also two Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries that run about 1.7 Volts each.  The battery pack clocks in at 19.60, which is excellent for this mod.  Those Ultrafires are actually running closer to 4 Volts, so even when they start getting weak, the power going through this fella isn't going to suffer much.  It's more than enough to push through the strong spring I put in this Vulcan.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Black Friday Game Results

With a grand attendance of 19 players, we held our Black Friday Foam-tacular on November 25th at 5:30pm inside St Pauls United Methodist Church in Papillion, NE.  We played Nerf and Laser Tag games in the maze-like building until 10pm, so it was quite the evening!  Unfortunately, only this group picture exists.  We were all having too much fun to nab any pictures of gameplay.  Speaking of gameplay, it was quite the night with lots of memorable moments and interesting strategies.  From getting showered in darts from the balcony overlooking a room to some not-so-even randomly-picked teams, there was craziness left, right, and center.

Some impressive mods made their debut tonight with some good and bad results.  First, the bad.  See that guy near the center with the Clear Raider?  That's the shotgun-grip one I just modified.  It's now on my workbench being fixed.  Apparently he took the term "Slam Fire" literally and messed up the internals of the Deploy grip I modded onto it.  I may just revert it back to it's original handle.  As a result, I ended up loaning him my modded Whiteout Longstrike.  Thankfully he didn't break that one.  But there was some good news too, with my modded Vulcan EBF-25 owning the competition!  I suppose the only downside to that was that I was always on the receiving end of it.  Reports from it's users were quite favorable.  Because I was without my main blaster for most of the game, I switched to using a Magstrike.  In the past, folks using this blaster usually got owned because they would be out of ammo more than they were actually firing.  But if you ask anyone at our game how I did with a pair of Magstrikes and 2 extra magazines, they wouldn't tell you the same story.  I had a LOT of fun with that blaster and adopted some unorthodox strategies out of necessity of using them.

We played 4 Nerf Games of 20 minute increments before switching to LTX Phoenixes for Laser Tag.  We played 3 more matches with that and called it a night.  There were never really landslide wins for either side, so it was neat to have close matches and even rivalries.  I want to say almost all the blasters that saw action last night were modded in some way, so it was a pretty intense game.  My legs are still killing me 2 days after this 4 hour long event.  The verdict from everyone is that we want to do this again soon... and we will!

Keep it here on Monday for a full review of my completed Vulcan!

Put a Spring in your step... or Blaster

Orange Mod Works has a nice deal, along with a slew of new products to go with it.  In the midst of Winter coming up, they've got Springs!  Spring upgrades for lots of your favorite Nerf blasters that are out right now!  Head on over to OMW to get your hands one!

Spring sale... in the Fall!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Decisions decisions...

Messin with Configurations
I know, I know... N-Strike barrel extensions don't actually increase range or boost performance, but you've got to admit this much:  they still look cool. Perhaps my favorite barrel extension is the one off the Longstrike.  The design looks great on the Spectre and Reconand has rails on the top and bottom.  Last year, when I was messing around with configurations of N-Strike Accessories, I found a combination that I could not resist.  It's a Spectre with a scope, Raider-style Stock (pictured is a Super Soaker Shotblast stock), a Longstrike Barrel and a Tactical Light mounted underneath it.  Unfortunately, none of these options match in stock colors.

The guys at Indigo Studios have been teasing me for a long time with their Whiteout Spectre box art that gets talked about a lot.  If they made it, I could use a white ShotBlast stock and the Whiteout Longstrike barrel to mostly complete a unified looking version of this aesthetic beauty.  It'd be great, but we still don't know if it'll ever even happen.

So I've been considering painting some parts to match other stock parts that would unify the design.  I've had folks ask "Zook, why don't you just repaint the whole thing whatever color you want?!?"  Well, the truth is that, while I am quite capable of painting my own blasters, that when it comes to Nerf, I try to avoid this.  I like painting my Laser Tag blasters in camouflage and such because we actually use them outdoors.  I don't mind the stock Nerf colors on my blasters I use indoors and in the event that I get a picture nabbed when I'm playing a Nerf Game, I want it to be eligible for "Shot of the Week" :)  Silly, I know.

So now the decision is... what parts do I paint to unify the design?  Thanks to the parts I have... there are 3 major options to consider.

  1. Whiteout Colors.  I would have to paint the body of the Spectre white and attach a Whiteout Longstrike barrel with a White ShotBlast stock and scope.  It could wind up being in vain should Wal-Mart actually release the Whiteout Spectre... in which case I'd feel pretty silly.  I also don't have a good method of replicating the Whiteout Graphics onto my white-painted Spectre.
  2. Blue Colors.  I would have to paint the body of the Spectre blue and attach a Longstrike Barrel and Raider stock.  I do like my blue blasters, so this doesn't seem like an awful idea.  My worry is that the blue paint on top by the priming handle will wear off showing the yellow underneath. This wouldn't be so noticable/bad on the Whiteout repaint.
  3. Yellow Colors.  I would have to paint a Longstrike barrel's blue panels Yellow.  Attach that to my Spectre with a Yellow Raider Stock.  It could even add a Yellow scope and Tactical light to complete the original look in that picture above.  This would be the easiest option (and the Longstrike Barrel would look great on my Yellow Recon too)
So... I've got those 3 options that I'm trying to decide between.  Any insight as to your opinions or choices would be great, so leave a comment if you want.  I wanna do my painting before it gets REALLY cold around here!

Congrats Nerflover! Week 5 info too!

Congratulations to NerfLover, the winner of Week 4's Giveaway: the Minimized Firefly built by Icicle of Arctic Nerf!  Get in contact with either of us about receiving your prize.  Hope you enjoy it!

Sorry for the Weekly Giveaway announcement for being so late.  I've been busy this week with family and Thanksgiving schtuff, so I'm not exactly prepared for the announcement this week.  I didn't get a chance to finish up and properly "advertise" this week's item, but here's some general info on it.

This week's prize is an upgraded Dart Tag Sharp Shot.  This is an excellent small blaster when modded and, in general, I like it's construction a lot.  While it's the weakest of the Dart Tag blasters in it's stock configuration, the upgrades I have made to it have it performing exceedingly well.  The seal on the O Ring is perfect enough that it will actually suck a Streamline dart into the blaster if there's one in it when it's primed!  Again, I apologize for not having more info on this right now.  I'll make another post showcasing the blaster early next week.

And the question to answer to be eligible to win is this:  What do you think of the direction the Dart Tag line has been taking with their new 2011 lineup.  Be it marketing, comparisons to the older Dart Tag blasters, or just general likes or dislikes about the blaster, I wanna hear what Nerf Nation has to say about Dart Tag half a year after it's latest release.  (and with a new Blaster on the way)

Thanks for reading and good luck to everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Improved Seal Technique

I've been doing light mods on Nerf Blasters for awhile now, but one of the performance upgrades that I've always had trouble with was improving the seal around the O Ring.  I've tried different types of Tapes, but the problem I run into is getting the right thickness around the plunger tube.  When I was working on sealing up electrical bits on a Laser Tag blaster, I brought out my Liquid E Tape (it paints on with a brush and dries in about 4 minutes) and had an idea.  Since the Liquid Tape can be applied evenly in coats, I thought I could make a good seal around the O Ring with it.  After testing it on a few blasters and figuring out how thick to get it, I've pretty much worked out the kinks in this idea.  

Liquid Tape can be purchased at most retailers and hardware stores.  Mine is "Performix" brand that I picked up at Wal-Mart.  They run a little over 4 bucks a bottle and underneath the cap is the paintbrush applicator.  It goes on pretty well.  All you have to do is remove your O Ring and apply it evenly around the end of the plunger tube.  Get the first coat as even as you can (if you can still see orange, it's too thin).  It'll take forever to dry if you use too much though, so don't put this on in gobs.  After 4 minutes, apply a second coat to finish it up.  The bottle says to let it dry for 4 hours for a permanent set.  After that, put your O Ring back on and add a little bit of silicone grease.  This should be a near-perfect seal for Reverse Plungered blasters.  It may require different thicknesses on other types of blasters.  

Liquid Electrical Tape can be removed relatively easily, so if you find you've applied too much, you can get it off after it has dried.  Don't try to take it off while it's still wet.  It makes an awful mess.  The one you see in the pictures was for my Longstrike Blur.  While the Stock Spring that I tried it out on was too weak for this perfect seal, the Orange Mod Works Stage 1 Kit for the Longstrike pushed through it just fine (and is quite powerful too!)  This version had 3 coats on it.  I'll be experimenting more with this Liquid Tape and if I find any other good uses for blaster modifications, I'll post 'em up here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Calm before the Storm

This picture is only what I have on hand.
The rest is stored at a friends house (about 2/3rds more)
On Black Friday, November 25th, I'll be taking part in an annual tradition with my friends and family.  While for some, this tradition is just another Nerf and Laser Tag game, for others, it's a chance to let out their failed shopping frustrations from the sales they missed that morning.  Either way you cut it, there's a lot of Foam Flinging and Laser Blasting that is always a highlight of our Thanksgiving break.  It used to just be laser tag games outdoors, but with weather not being so kind this time of year, we have since moved the event indoors and included Nerf in the event.  Last Year's event was held inside an indoor Laser Tag arena, which was awesome.  Unfortunately, they are now out of business, so we have since retired to using a Maze-like church that a few of our friends are members of.  Regardless of the venue, folks are already asking me "hey, can you reserve that yellow gun for me?" in which case, I bang my head against a door for a few minutes since there's too many yellow blasters in my armory to count.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Eyes on UT!

Keep your eyes peeled, as sometime within the next 24 hours, Urban Taggers is set to reveal some more new equipment!  Remember when that slew of new info came out with the Speedswarm and Rayven?  They also caught wind of a new Super Soaker based off of the Thunderstorm with a removable stock that had EVERYONE talking.

Well, according to Urban Tagger's Facebook page, we'll be seeing a review of this soon!  Check out that Transparent shield mounted on their Praxis and the sturdy looking removable stock!
So hit that refresh button every hour or so on Urban Taggers!  I'm excited to see what they have to say... even if it's a Super Soaker!

Barricade meets Ultrafire

I've been experimenting with Ultrafire batteries, much like how SG Nerf has been known to voltage mod their blasters with Trustfires.  If you don't know, Ultrafire and Trustfire batteries are AA-sized 3.7 rechargable cells that are excellent for easy voltage modifications.  They're a little expensive and I've yet to find them on local shelves here in the US, but that's what we have the internet for.  The first blaster I tested these out on was a Barricade.  In an earlier Blog Post, I showed you a simple upgrade to a Barricade using batteries you can find at your local retailers.  Going with Ultrafire or Trustfire batteries can get you even more "oomph" for your electronically-driven blasters.  Check out the video below.  I'll be doing more with Ultrafires as far as Voltage Mods go.

Longstrike Blur Handle Progress

Worked a little more on starting construction of the pump grip for this Longstrike.  So far the mechanism is pushing back both pins of the Longstrike's priming Handle evenly, which is successfully completing the prime.  With the spring upgrade from the OMW parts, the weak boltsled was unable to prime this blaster with one hand, which is why the pump action is necessary.  To cover up and build the pump grip, I've used parts from the Lonstrike's barrel extension.  It's looking good!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Exclusive Recolors: My Take

With the Holiday Season approaching and the big 3 retailer's "Exclusive" recolored series in full swing, I thought I'd share a few of my thoughts on where things go from here, as well as some trends that I've noticed with a few explanations as to why we're seeing them.

Sonic Series:  Toys R Us
This is the most developed line thus far of the big 3.  With new additions like the Longstrike, Stampede, Barricade, and Barrel Break, it's got a lot of depth.  However, some blasters look kind of funny in the Sonic colors if they have an uneven distribution of Orange internal parts.  A common complaint on blasters like the Longstrike and Stampede refer to this issue, as the barrels of these blasters admittedly look odd because of the clear nature of the shell and the amount of orange internals.  That, and since they're exclusive to Toys R Us, you can bank on them being the most expensive of the big 3.  A simple Nerf Nitefinder, Sonic Series or otherwise, will still put you back 9.99USD.  The key to not breaking the bank on these:  waiting for sales.

Clear Series:  Target
While almost the same concept as the Sonic Series, there seem to be more fans of the Clear series because it's more of an interior display thing than a neat colored shell.  They also come with red darts instead of the standard orange/black darts, which is neat.  In my observations, the Clear Series has spotty and uneven releases for the stores I checked around the area.  This is because, unlike Wal-Mart and Toys R Us, Target doesn't have a designated place on their shelves for their recolored blasters.  Instead, they replace what is already on the shelf or fill in the spaces.  As a result, when they restock shelves, it's a flip of the coin whether they restock it with normal colors or with the Clear Series blasters.  There is quite a few Clear Series blasters though, from the NiteFinder to the Vulcan.

Whiteout Series:  Wal-Mart
Arguably the most well-received of the recolored blasters, the Whiteout Series features a distinctive White with Orange and Gray graphics on it that are quite impressive looking.  They even released their own Whiteout darts (sold separately).  Oddly enough, this series has the least in it's lineup, with only 4 Blasters in it's roster.  This series has also had the most amount of publicity, from the Whiteout Series displays in Wal-Mart stores to the commercial shot with Whiteout Blasters starring Abercrombie & Fitch models shooting them atop a park in a city.  If Wal-Mart knows what's good for them, they'll expand this line.  Aside from the highly anticipated and unconfirmed Whiteout Series Spectre, I think any blaster in Whiteout colors would look good.

Exclusive Blaster Recolor Speculation
If you don't already know it, the big 3 each have an "exclusive blaster" that were released last summer.  The Barrel Break (TRU), Alpha Trooper (Target) and Spectre (Wal-Mart) were rumored to get their respective recolors as per their retailer.  As I mentioned before, there is speculation out there about the Whiteout Series Spectre ever since Indigo Studios (the guys who do Nerf's Box Art) released a picture of the box art for it. The Barrel Break is already a Sonic Series blaster for TRU, but nothing has been noted for an Alpha Trooper in the Clear Series.  In my experience of observing release trends, Toys R Us is usually ahead of the game.  As well they should be... they specialize in toys.  So with the Barrel Break out in Sonic Series colors, one could assume that the Spectre and Alpha Trooper are on their way.  However, if you just look at those facts, you're missing more of the trend that has yet to be seen.  TRU has been releasing nearly EVERY blaster in Sonic Series colors.  This is something that neither Wal-Mart nor Target have shown.  Their lineups remain the same and do not include the Stampede, Longstrike, or Barricade.  So, to me, if you go by "Well TRU released their exclusive blaster in Sonic Series colors" then you have to consider ALL the blasters they have released too.  That being said, future development of the Whiteout and Clear Series has yet to be confirmed.  The only piece of evidence we have to go off of is Box Art of a Spectre, which doesn't tell me much.  If you look closely at the image, you'll even notice that in the different figurations of the Spectre, the version without the barrel on it doesn't have an orange tip.  In fact, it's just a chopped version of the barrel attachment's photo.  So Indigo could've just been messing with us back then.  The jury is still out on this.  All we can do is sit back and wait for shelves to tell the story.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Longstrike Blur: Progress 1

This is a project I wanted to get started on back in August but finally got around to resuming work.  The Longstrike Blur is based off of a Whiteout Nerf Longstrike CS-6 with an OMW Stage 1 kit (and soon to be a Massacre kit too) with a shotgun-style priming system.  Well, today I took a big step forward with starting work on the new priming system.  The only alteration to the body of the Longstrike were two lines along the sides near the front to accomodate the rails that will help guide this system and keep it on-track.  At the heart of this structure is an Aluminum frame.  It attaches to the bolt sled's original priming system.  At the front of the blaster, these aluminium bars meet where the foregrip will be.  This was a tedious process and isn't complete yet, but I thought I'd share some progress pictures of the buildup and progress.  There are four pieces of aluminium at work here.  Each side has a piece that attaches to the bolt sled and then, near the front, there's an "L" shaped piece that acts as a guide in those grooves I cut into the front of the blaster.  There's still more than enough structure in there to actually leave the rest of the Longstrike intact.  Next up, I've gotta attach the two sides together and start work on the foregrip.

Getting there!

Week 3 Winner: △! Week 4 Prize Announced!

Congrats to , our Week 3 Giveaway winner!  He'll be getting the Customized Sonic Series NiteFinder that was announced last week!  I originally called him "Delta" because the triangle is the Greek letter for that, but apparently it's just "Triangle"!  Either way, he wins this week!  (Shoot me an e-mail Triangle, with your address to mail it to!)  Thanks again for everyone who participated!

Now, onto business!  Last week another admin of a blog and I talked and decided to feature one of their works for the Weekly Giveaway this week.  I thought it'd be good exposure for their blog to have one of their creations featured and given away.  It also saves me the trouble of finding something interesting of mine to give away, so without further adieu: straight from the Foam Flinging Burrito (or Arctic Nerf) and built by The Anonymous Hip-Hop-Opatamus (or Icicle), I give you the minimized Firefly!
I suppose you need a question to answer this week.  Now that I've hit 25,000 Pageviews since April of 2011, I want to know how you found out about Tactical Tag and what do you like best about this place?  Not looking for brown-nosing here, just wanna know what I'm doing right/what stands out to you.

Again, if you're a Follower, your name will be entered twice in the giveaway.  For full rules, go HERE.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Great Success!

Thanks to everyone who have supported this blog!  It's been really fun sharing my hobby on here and I'm just glad that folks have taken a liking to it.  I would never have imagined that it would get this much exposure though!  I have to thank all the referring sites, blogs, and readers though who have supported this place!  A big should out to Urban Taggers, Nerf Mods & Reviews, and all my subscribers both here and on YouTube!

Mav Rotating Chamber Mod

This one is pretty simple.  I always thought it was a paint taking darts OUT of the Maverick's Rotating Chamber because there's no real way to get the darts out without firing it.  So I modified the chamber to have the heads of the darts exposed while still maintaining great performance.  It's not the most jaw-dropping mod I've ever done, but it seemed like something that could be useful.  If anything, it makes this Maverick stand out from the rest... which is a LOT considering how long this blaster has been around!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Raider gone Shotty

The Clear Series blasters, exclusive to Target, have been a neat addition to the recolors Nerf has been putting out.  They've also been a bit scarce on shelves, as least where I'm located, so when I came across a Raider CS-35, I thought it best to pick it up before someone else could.  I did my usual Performance Modifications like AR Removal, Lock/safety removal, and a Spring Upgrade.  I also decided to go one step further and give the Raider the priming handle I think it deserved from the start.  The Video below tells the story.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

LTX Pinpoint Sights Released again!

Nerf LTX's with Pinpoint Sights!
Thanks to RFE for the lead on this one, I wanted to not only fill you in on this development, but also talk about what it could mean for laser tag down the line.  First things first, though:  the Nerf-brand Lazer Tag Phoenixes are now being released in a "Value Pack" including 2 Pinpoint Sights.  These look to have the Nerf Logo rebranded onto them as well (where the Tiger Electronics logo used to be) and come in colors to match the blasters.  While they're not really the best Green Dot sights ever, for a toy they're not too bad.  They're also pretty popular when I hand out my LTXs for folks to use for games, so at least there's interest in them.  Obviously the BIG interest for LTX fans is still the Shotblast, but these have not been released since the LTX line was originally on shelves under the Tiger Electronics name.

To find this Value Pack, go to TRU's Website.

Milwaukee & Laser Tag! Who Knew?

Until recently I was unaware of the Laser Tagging scene in Milwaukee, WI.  Thanks to a recent surge of activity from Random Fun Events, I've realized that I'm not alone in the Midwest!  Sure it's still quite a bit of a drive from Omaha to their campus, but it's a LOT easier to stomach than planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest where my laser tagging heroes reside.  Turns out RFE has been keeping up on the laser tagging side of things.  Enough to surprise ME (and the rest of my fellow laser taggers I stay in touch with) when they found this LTX Value Pack.  My reaction the second I saw that was "Oh no way!".

Aside from surprising me with news, RFE has also held several Nerf and Laser Tag games.  Recently, they had success with their first Fight Night for laser tag.  They held the game on campus and it sounds like a good time. Surprise surprise, right?  While RFE is more than just laser tag, the exposure they've been getting the LTX system has been great!  It's always nice to find other laser taggers in the area being vocal about what they're doing.  If we are to change the way Laser Tag is percieved in the US (aka, get it the attention and respect it deserves), we've gotta have a lot of people on board making information available at youngster's fingertips.  It's excellent to see others popping up who are being active and telling the world about it.

RFE has also shed some light on CMP Tactical Laser Tag.  With an impressive website showcasing their equally impressive arena and gear, CMP looks to have quite the setup.  Go check 'em out and see how they tag it up in the frigid north!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Glow Foam!

If you haven't read up on Urban Taggers lately, you're out of the loop on this... so I'll give you a quick summary:  the new Streamline darts intended for use with the Rayven CS-18 actually have glowing foam instead of the sticker you once had to apply to the Firefly REV-8's Suction Darts.  I always hated the stickers on the Suction Darts, so it's nice that Nerf actually gave us normal dart construction with glowing parts.  The heads on the Streamlines also glow, but we kinda expected that.

Photo Courtesy of Urban Taggers
In UT's report, the glow of the actual foam is a bit weak.  There seems to be some concern about this fact, so I thought I'd dissolve your fears a bit.  The foam itself doesn't really have to glow to get that neat effect of glow-in-the-dark darts.  If you've ever used a Firefly before, you know how cool it is to see glow in the dark darts fired, as they appear as a green trail as they're fired.  However, when I first got my Firefly, I forgot to put the stickers on my darts, so all I had was the glowing head.  Since the tip of the dart is still glowing, you still get the same effect of that glowing green trail as the dart travels.  So even WITH the foam in the Streamlines of the Rayven appearing to be weak in UT's report of them, this should not effect the effect that glow darts are known for.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Stealthy XLRs?

With the release of the Vortex Series, I've seen lots of criticism of the "new kid on the block".  It's a fact that XLR Disks, even with the ranges they achieve, are easier to dodge/move more slowly than darts.  However, I've been thinking about the benefits of using disks over darts and the first one that I can think of is that these disks are silent.  many of the darts N-Strike has been releasing have whistler tips on them, which can alert those being fired at (as if the sound of the blaster firing isn't enough).  But disks don't have this trait and, instead, just sail silently through the air.  

The other element was something I didn't realize until I was fired at outdoors.  For those who don't know, I mainly do Nerf stuff indoors and save the outdoors for laser tag where range is a factor.  So I was kind of surprised to find another stealthy attribute to these disks.  Ever had a hard time trying to find a disk outdoors because it was green and blended in?  I know when I first range tested mine outdoors, finding the disks was a bit of a pain.  I didn't realize that this same factor kind of gives the disks more stealth outdoors if you're in an area with a lot of lively green grass or leaves.  So not only does the disk make no sound as it approaches, it's also pretty much invisible if you're in the right area.  Granted, this is only a factor outdoors and during the right season.  Even though we're almost into winter here in the US, I know I've got some Australian readers as well who are coming up on summer who are probably eager to bust out their new Vortex Blasters in wars.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bring out your Sales!

Retailers are off to a head-start with Christmas shoppers as usual this year.  Christmas music floods the aisles almost as much as the scattered toys left behind from kids with irresponsible parents. Through all this, there's some great prices!  The 2 pack Maverick REV-6 blasters are showing up at Wal-Mart stores in my area.  There's a whole wall of them that I nearly missed (it was over by the bikes for some reason).  Still, it's a great price for such a reliable blaster.  If you don't have one of these, pick one up and give another as a gift!  It's the season of giving!
Next up, I wasn't surprised to see more Light Strike stuff on sale.  It seems more widespread now though, as both Target and Toys R Us are marking down these overpriced blasters.  I'm still not a fan of them, nor the reputation they're getting for Laser Tag in general.  If the prices get lower, I may decide it's worth the trouble to pick one up and find out for myself what side of the fence to be for these blasters.  The Sensor harness looks like it could at least be converted into a nice LC Sensor rig... but that's too harsh to think about for a brand new system like Light Strike, right?

On the opposite side of things, Toys R Us has marked down their stock of LTXs to 59.99.  There's also an unusually large amount of stock for them, so I suspect this is a sign that they're getting ready to clear these out in preparation for the next awesome Lazer Tag system by STM that's scheduled for Winter of 2012.  Folks, if you haven't gotten an LTX yet... now is the time to do it.  This sale price ends on Nov 23rd.  I can't really imagine retailers letting these go much cheaper unless it's liquidation time.

I found a really odd/not so surprising blaster in the Toys R Us toy blaster aisle.  Looks a whole lot like a Gears of War blaster (of which the name of has escaped me for the moment).  Much like the Halo-styled Assault Rifle we saw a year or two ago, looks like it's the season of Lawsuits for these guys again!  The chain does actually spin... slowly.  It's also made of rubber so as to not maim your 4 year old cousin.

I was actually surprised to see this.  It's a new updated box art for the Firefly.  With the Rayven coming out, perhaps Nerf is attempting to get more interest in glow-in-the-dark blasters.  It is nice to see this blaster back again, as I thought it was on the road to being phased out a little while ago.  Some light mods can make it a REALLY great blaster to use if you haven't before.

Wal-Mart has their Nitron's on sale for 39.88 right now.  Not only that, but they've got the "BONUS VALUE" with an extra 20 round Disk clip with the disks to fill it.  It's a good sale for all that you get in there.  Even if you're on the fence about the Nitron's poorer-than-expected performance, I think this makes it worth the purchase.  Plus, you can give that 20 round clip to your Praxis if you're a fan of that!

And finally, a find at one of my Thrift Stores has me smiling.  Drac did a review on one of these awhile ago and I remembered my friend having one when I was younger.  I hadn't seen one since Drac did that video, so it was ironic to see it again.  To add to the Irony, there were TWO of these there and they were BOTH missing the same panel that Drac's was (opposite side of the truck).  Though it was a tempting buy at 2.48USD, I decided to let someone else enjoy it.

Congrats to Sinistrahd! Now, onto Week 3!

After entering all the names, our randomly selected winner has been chosen!  Our Weekly Giveaway winner for the Vortex Vigilon is Sinistrahd!  Hope you enjoy this new blaster!  Once I receive your shipping information, I'll send it out ASAP.

Thanks to EVERYONE who's been participating in this Weekly Giveaway series!  I'm so happy seeing so many folk's comments and opinions on the topics we have each week.  I've really enjoyed seeing what you have to say and the variation and similarities in what you think.  There's plenty more to come and I've been working on this week's prize the past few days!

First, the question for this week.  As usual, it has to do with the prize for this week as well.  There has been a lot of news in the past few months surrounding recolored blasters that are specific to retailers.  The Clear Series at Target has been neat with it's exclusive red darts to go along with them.  The Whiteout Series at Wal-Mart has Urban Taggers written all over it.  The Sonic Series for Toys R Us has been getting lots of new additions and is probably the most developed of the 3 big retailers (I think they have 8 blasters in that line!).  So I want to know this:  What has been your favorite exclusive series from the 3 retailers thus far?  Also, are there any blasters you hope to see that they haven't recolored for that line?

Now then, on to the prize!  Earlier this week I had a little fun with a Whiteout NiteFinder.  In a similar fashion, I picked up a Sonic Series NiteFinder and modded it's electronics a little bit.  I removed the Targeting Beam function and installed 3 White LEDs inside the blaster instead.  The effect is an illuminated green NiteFinder with power to boot!  It's got the AR removed, padding on the plunger, and a slightly stiffer spring to give it excellent range and performance!  The LEDs are bright enough that you can see it glow even during the day time, but obviously this blaster looks coolest when it's darker.

So if you want to be entered to win this fella, simply answer the question as a comment below.  Again, if you're registered to "Follow" my blog, your name gets entered twice!  Good luck to everyone and thanks for all the great responses I've been getting so far!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

1SLT: Nerf/Laser Tag Holster!

So Nerf and Laser Tag blasters don't really fit standard holsters.  They're typically.... bigger.  MUCH bigger, to the point where I've been unable to find local retailers with Holsters big enough for my LTX Phoenix or Nerf Maverick.  Luckily, 1 Source Laser Tag has taken care of that!  Up for pre-order are adjustable drop-leg holsters big enough to fit these big pistols!  There's also a small pouch on the holster that can easily fit a LTX Green Dot Sight or other accessories!  They come in 3 colors:  Black, Digital Woodland, and Digital Urban.  Go pre-order yours now!

Pre-Order Custom LTX / Nerf Side Holster BLACK