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.
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.
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.
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.