Wednesday, February 29, 2012

CTDYNE: Scorpion

I was hoping to do a much more in-depth look at this and perhaps another day I'll revisit this idea I had, but I thought I'd show off an impressive creation from a friend of mine in the Laser Tag world. I think it'll be especially appealing to those who are also big Nerf fans, since this one blaster puts a Titan to shame just as easily as it does an LTTO TMB. Built by Mike Yates of Custom Tag Dynamics, this... is the Scorpion.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Windjammer: LTAR Info Resource

Windjammer has been an excellent source of information when the latest Lazer Tag brand system started getting unveiled.  After the outburst of information generated from Toy Fair, details released by Brian (aka TagFerret), and other intel, he has put together a website that has organized all of this into one handy website.  It's an excellent collection of info that's much easier to access than navigating from Blog post to website to message board.  Click the link below for an organized and informative collection of all of this information.   It is updated as new information becomes available.


Light Strike: Be the Ultimate Team Killer

It's common nowadays for laser tag systems to have team recognition systems in place so that you can avoid fragging your friendlies.  However, on the same side of that trust, if that team could easily be switched mid-way, you could go rouge against your team in just a few seconds.  That's one of the big flaws that deters me from the Light Strike system.  At the push of a button, you can toggle through, at any time in the game, and change your team.  While messing with this feature, I was trying to find out just how quickly someone could change between teams and fire and I found a surprising answer.  Check out the video below to see just how easily someone could be a Cheat-a-saurus Rex in a Light Strike game.

OMW: Bolt-Action Worries

See the full reviews of OMW's products at NM&R
Though I can't deny my own personal frustration after placing pre-orders for the OMW Longstrike Massacre kit back in October and the OMW Immortal Longshot kit in November, I have no doubts after seeing what NM&R has posted in their reviews of these highly anticipated products.  I am a bit surprised that they chose do release the Raider and Longstrike Polycarbonate parts in different colors though, as I was expecting that Translucent Orange seen on the Recon's kit.  I think the Green Polycarbonate in the Longstrike would be best suited in the Sonic Series Longstrike and the Blue Polycarbonate parts for the Raider will look fine in the traditional blue scheme for that blaster, but I was hoping for the Orange colors all-around for these kits.  Oh well!  As internals, color is sort of irrelevant unless you've got a Clear or Sonic Series blaster that you're dropping these internals into.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Tactical Formalwear

So my significant other works at a Tuxedo shop and has some... interesting attire on hand for a wedding coming up.  I suppose this is one of those "You might be a redneck if..." moments for whatever couple is having these vests (and matching ties) for the Groomsmen to wear.  That's  a hunters camouflage vest I'm modeling in the back room.  Just thought it was funny and something that I could share here.

It's also buying me some time as I work on trying to make this Brigade Blaster a worthwhile blaster.  Converting it to fire Nerf Darts has been trickier than I thought, so keep it here for details when I finish that.  Well, that's IF I finish that!  Lets just say it's not as easy as removing the AR's on this fella.  However, I am still hopeful to get it to work since it actually has an impressive seal on the O-Ring for a stock blaster.  If you missed it, here's my review of it.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Captain America: Brigade Blaster Review

I was surprised to see these on shelves so soon after the Toy Fair, but my curiosity simply couldn't be stopped.  As a Captain America fan, I was interested in seeing how this "Brigade Blaster" would hold up, especially with the dismal 20 Ft range listed on the box.  I had higher hopes for something that would be labeled as the Captain's blaster.  Soon after opening it and checking it out, I realize now why Captain America is more fond of his shield if he is supposed to defend our country with this dismal blaster.  If anyone should've been able to give this blaster a great review, one would think that my bias towards the Cap would've prevailed, but even a hero knows when something just isn't right.  Watch my review and you'll see why I'm convinced this blaster was developed by the Axis powers.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Jon-Marc is our Winner this week! Will you win next?

Congratulations are in order for Jon-Marc, who's getting a Vulcan Ammo Chain!  With all the buzz around the new stuff we've been covering, if you need a recap of some things, check out these links below!

Now then, onto the giveaway and question for February 24th-March 1st.  With all the new neat blasters Nerf has been coming out with, be it N-Strike, Vortex, or Dart Tag, there still seems to be a big interest in "vintage blasters" because of how much more powerful most of those blasters were in comparison.  I'm kind of torn between liking high-performance blasters when today's weaker blasters can still be modified to perform better.  From the hobby  side of things, I like having to dig into my blaster to make it work better, but you can't deny the raw power in some of these older vintage blasters.  So, this week's question is as such:  Vintage or New blasters, which do you prefer?

And, in going with that question, here's a neat in-between blasters.  It's a Tech Target pistol that's been modified to use modern Nerf darts by being rebarreled.  It gets EXCELLENT ranges and is compact enough to be used as a sidearm very effectively in games.  If you want this little monster, give us a comment answering that question and you'll be entered to win!  Good Luck, everyone!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hailfire Rotating Clip Concept

4 Clip Design concept
Based on the information we have, the N-Strike Elite Hailfire has a listed capacity of 48 darts.  There has been some discussion as to whether there are 3 or 4 clips in the bottom of the blaster that supply the darts and I've been leaning towards the 4-clip design hypothesis because of a couple of reasons.  First, while you could have 3 clips supply 48 darts, that would mean they would have 16 darts each.  Nerf already has an 18 straight and drum clip, so a 16 dart clip seems a little silly to me.  Also, the N-Strike Elite Retaliator has an extended clip that looks to house 12 darts.  4 Clips plus 12 darts each would get us 48 darts.

The other half of the evidence that I present in this image (above) is how the position of the clips that we see in the silhouette suggest that are 4 clips and not 3.  The alignment of the clips makes much more sense in a 4 clip "X" pattern than a 3 clip concept.  The front and back clips are in a darker orange with the two side clips in a lighter orange.  Their tracks of motion are outlined in yellow circles and this kind of system could easily fit/work for the Hailfire's design.

I also have a sneaking suspicion that the Hailfire in the video is loaded with 6 round clips, since the design of each of those clips matches that of a normal 6-round clip.  So my analysis reflects the size of 6-round clips installed in the blaster.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

N-Strike Elite: HailFire Silhouette

Thanks to the tip from Milez, Nerf Nation released the N-Strike ELITE video that gives us a silhouette of the Hailfire to be released on 9-9-12.  Shortly after we got this info, Nerf Nation unveiled it on their Facebook Page.

Time to let the speculation comments roll!  Check out the video for yourself below!

Leave a comment on your take on the features of the HailFire!

UNC: Laser Tag Corps

I'm always a fan of finding new groups that are Tagging it up and just found another great bunch of players in North Carolina.  The Laser Tag Corps use Phoenix LTXs, both Tiger and Nerf brand from what I can tell, and have been fighting the good fight since Summer of 2010.  Ryan Bickler heads up the group and hosts games on-campus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  If you're in the North Carolina area and want to tag it up with the LTC, check out their Website and Facebook Page!

I'll be keeping an eye on these guys from my base of operations in the Heartland of America, but you can be sure if travels ever take me to their neck of the woods, I'll be wanting to land a few hits when I touch down!

Got a Laser Tag group that you wanna promote?  Let me know!  I'm always excited to see laser tagging groups and what they're up to!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

N-Strike Elite: Rumor Control

Judging from this week's giveaway comments, the main thing on every Nerfer's mind is the N-Strike Elite blasters.  We know a few things, but there are some rumors floating around out there that, while I don't have much hard evidence to disprove them, I'll do my best to back stuff up with level-headed logic.  It seems to be the best weapon to use against crazy rumors.

That being said, here's what we can confirm based on info from ToyFair, Urban Taggers, NM&R, and Toy Spy.  Retooled blasters will launch the N-Strike Elite lineup this summer with two retooled blasters.  The Retaliator, which is based off the Nerf Recon, will get us a nifty 12-round Transparent Orange clip, foregrip, and a new stock.  The Rampage, which is based off the Raider, will get us a 25-round drum clip and (possibly) a transparent orange shield attachment.  Both of these blasters are slated to achieve ranges of 75 feet and use new "Elite" Darts, which have blue foam, orange rubber heads, and can work in any blaster.  We also know the Hail Fire is the third N-Strike Elite blaster slated for a release on 9-9-12.  This is a new design and has been said to be a "Semi-auto" blaster.  No other official details exist on this matter.

Now then, onto the rumors.  The Main rumor I see mulling around is the idea that the Longshot is coming back.  Not only have the folks with these hopes probably not read my "Why the Longshot Packed it's Bags" article, but the probably haven't seen the post on SG Nerf that's got a screen-capture of the trigger for this blaster.  So with that in mind, I think we can rule out that the 9-9-12 blaster is our long lost Longshot.

I'll stick to the facts until we hear otherwise, but I am willing to bet that this Hail Fire with Semi-Auto firing is a Flywheel-based blaster based on that shot of the trigger.  Regardless, everyone's question is how on earth are these blasters able to achieve ranges of 75 feet?  Until we get some shots of internals (which probably won't be until the line is actually released/in folks hands to open up), we won't know anything else.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Newbies don't Disappoint

Three weeks ago the OLCA planned a match to be held on February 18th that looked like it would flop from dismal attendance alone.  Then, when the time actually game to hold the game, many of the folks who said they would come didn't show at all.  However, amidst the disappointing turnout, we had a really fun set of games from 4pm ending finally at 7:45.
We got out our Laser Challenge gear and shot it up in the frozen tundra that was our usual park and had a great time with some new fresh faces.  There were a total of 6 new players who came to the game, along with a few veteran players that came and went as their schedules permitted.  Still, I think the most fun part for me was getting these new recruits briefed on equipment that was literally as OLD as they were!  It was great seeing new blood in our group, which we sorta need this year.  They really made today's game worth it, so I tip my hat to them.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Blue Unity Power System: Pic Spam!!

So Toys R Us has the "Unity Power System", commonly abbreviated as "UPS", with a Red Titan, Scout, and Hornet.  It's a nifty setup and has been the "one man army" option for N-Strike for awhile now.  On that same shelf at Toys R Us, you'll find an overpriced Blue Hornet for sale on it's own.  I've never been a fan of the Hornet just for the simple fact of how odd it is and how generally unreliable they are unless they're hooked up to a UPS and fire all 6 darts at once.

But then, when I was still a n00b at N-Strike knowledge, I saw a blue Scout pistol in a Sales thread on Nerf Haven and I couldn't help but think "Was there ever a Blue Unity Power System?"  I did some research and found that there wasn't.  However, I did manage to find the source of that Blue Scout was part of a limited run of Blue Titans exclusive to Target.  I tracked down a set, waited for a blue Hornet to show up at a decent price, and voila! A Blue Unity Power System!  I haven't seen many folks showing off such a thing, so I thought I'd run some pic spam of this flagship of my collection (aside from my Red Strike series stuff).  So, without further ado, I present to thee: the Blue Unity Power System Pic Spam!

Smart Spamming

Make the most of that High-Capacity Clip!
Tired of burning through ammo on high-capacity clips and magazines with your Nerf blasters?  It's not completely your fault, you know.  Having all that ammo at your disposal with no real way to track how much you're going through just isn't fair.  Well, if you just equip yourself with some good old fashioned knowledge, you won't have that problem anymore!  Check out this simple tip to make tracking your ammo consumption during games as easy as loading your blaster!

Watch my video to learn about this simple trick that can be applied to virtually any blaster that has an ammo loading mechanism, be it an N-Strike Clip, a Vortex Magazine, a Dart Tag inbuilt magazine, or even a Vulcan ammo belt.

Pause wins the Hornet! What's Next?

The winner of the Steampunk'd Hornet by Neo Creations is Pause!  Congrats on winning this great looking blaster!  I was REALLY pleased with all the great submissions for the giveaway in general and I wish I had set it up so that the "best" paintjob would win, but that's not how the Giveaway works.  Regardless, Pause entered a neat looking Longshot that you can check out on his Blog.  Speaking of blogs, if you entered a custom blaster for last week's giveaway, maybe you should submit it to be featured on Universal Nerf?

I suppose I should get to the question for this week.  We got quite the sneak peek at stuff at ToyFair for Nerf and Laser Tag.  From the Snapfire for Dart Tag to the Lazer Tag Augmented Reality system to the N-Strike Elite announcement, we saw a lot there.  We even got a look at the Vortex Pyragon thanks to the Investors Presentation!  So I want to know this: what are you most looking forward to for 2012 based off what you saw at ToyFair.  As long as it's related to Nerf or Laser Tag, any opinion on this topic will do.

Now then, onto the giveaway.  There's been all sorts of talk about "What will the Hail Fire (the new ELITE blaster for a 9.9.12 release) be like?"  There's already a picture of a Vulcan-esque handle with what some folks think is an accelerator switch, which could mean that it's a large Flywheel blaster.  So for the Giveaway, we've got a 25 round Vulcan ammo chain (in the event that it IS some kind of Vulcan!).  Just answer the question and the Vulcan ammo chain will be YOURS!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Darth's Firefly Tech

If you don't know Darthrambo, you really should!  He active on the Nerf Mods & Reviews Chatroll and is quite the established modder.  I remember discussing Firefly Tech mods with him a little while ago and the possibility of making your own (instead of stocking up on Rayvens and Lumitrons just for the magazines).  The idea of installing the neccissary LEDs to charge glow disks and darts inside the blaster instead of the clip system seemed like an economical and smart idea.  Since refill packs for glow disks and darts are much cheaper to obtain, all you need to do is install the LEDs inside your blaster in a position so they can charge the dart or disk and load a standard clip or magazine with the glow darts or disks.

Darth beat me to the punch on this one, but I'm more than alright with that!  Check out his submission to Universal Nerf to see the first Firefly Tech Alpha Trooper!  

LTX Combo Mount: Almost here!

Combo Mounts #1, #2, and #3
I've been keeping track of the progress on CTDYNE's limited production of the LTX Combo mount (and for good reason) and I figured what with all the Lazer Tag news surrounding the new LTAR that it'd be good to remind you that the Phoenix LTX is still out there with the latest on this new accessory.

Apparently LTX Combo Mount #4 (which is mine) is ready to ship out, but to keep me psyched about it, I received a picture of the #3 model that was built for a certain developer of LTTO, LTX, and LTAR.

TagFerret's Prototype LTX w/RapidBlast & Combo Mount
Hi Mike,
Thought you might like to see this. A couple of days ago Tagferret sent me this image of CTDYNE Combo Mount unit #3 mounted on one of his LTX taggers. Pretty cool image not only because of the Combo Mount, but also the all-OD early sample LTX and the OD RapidFire. I don't think i have ever seen a RapidFire in any color but that LTX blue before. He said he did not have a scope at hand that he wanted to use with the Combo Mount so he is going to obtain an appropriately sized model specifically for use with the CM unit #3.
 - Mike

The RapidFire or RapidBlast is one of the LTX attachments that never got developed but a few prototypes did exist. It's my hope that 1SLT produces a few of these with the help of TagFerret (info on that HERE), but it's just kinda neat to see an all-green prototype of it on an LTX with the CTDYNE Combo Mount on it. Just an awesome blaster!

You can expect a full review of the LTX Combo Mount once it gets here.  Should be here within the month!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nerf Project: Alpha Trooper Pistol

So I've been thinking about the concept for this for awhile, and with my functional Alpha Trooper in the hands of a friend while I "fix" his, I can't help but wonder if I should just let him keep mine and mess around with this one. Long story short, I did.

Turns out there aren't any Alpha Trooper pistol mods, or at least any that I've seen, so this is uncharted territory... and even in the concept phase of this project I realized why. The internals for the AT extend further into the actual barrel, making a simple pistol mode like that we see in the Raider much more complicated and risky. In the picture, you can see the cut-down Alpha Trooper shell for the size I want to use with this, but the essential parts needed for the Clip System breech are still extending out further. On top of finding a different way to prime this (likely a pull-back prime or Bolt-action), the challenge will be minimizing the internals without causing problems for the clip system.

 If all else fails, I wind up with a great candidate for a Laser Tag recasing, but that's Plan B for this fella. The concept behind the Alpha Trooper pistol is too cool to pass up just yet! Stay tuned for more updates as I problem-solve my way through this project!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chat it up?

I've kicked the idea around for awhile of having a chatroom specifically for Tactical Tag, but it seems like most folks already have a home elsewhere.  I don't really plan for this to be a "popular hangout" or anything like that, but rather a place where folks can ask questions if they happen to find me online.  I may even host live events from this later on for Mod Nights, a frequent get-together that myself and fellow taggers organize to work on projects. 

I realize that a common problem with the Chatroll system is that if it's listed at the top of the main page (like Nerf Mods & Reviews) that it can get bogged down with inactive users, eating up the limit of 10 viewers at a time pretty quickly on high-traffic sites.  Since this blog has seen heightened use over the last few months, I thought instead to have the chat room on it's own page.  This way, folks who want to see it can get in and folks who just want to browse/read the blog won't take up the open spaces. 

If you want to read the blog AND use this new chat room, simply open the "T³ Chat" tab in a separate tab or window.  I hope it works well!  Click the far right tab on the menu bar to get started!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Choosing Camouflage

This kind of hearkens back to a question of "give Tactical advice" that spurred my 2 weeks of Nerf and Laser Tag daily advice posts.  Since I'm preparing for a laser tag game on the 18th, I thought I'd go out and see what types of camouflage would work best for the setting.  In the process, I brought my camera along to turn it into a sort of "documentary" about how I go through this process.  While most of my readers won't be playing games in the snow like we will, the process I go through to choose my camouflage should prove to be helpful for anyone attempting to prepare for an outdoor game where blending in is an important factor.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Identify these Blasters!

Alright foam blaster fans, TestamentSeven7 needs your help in identifying these two blasters.  Watch the video below and let us know if you've got the answer.  Regardless of whether we're successful in figuring this out, they are pretty powerful blasters in their own right!  Check out his video below!

Toy Fair 2012: Neat stuff!

LTAR Box Art

Engadget has another great hands-on review of the latest Lazer Tag System, taking center stage at this year's Toy Fair 2012.  They give you a good idea of the kind of display and feedback the new LTAR will be giving the user.  It's a nice writeup, though I would still like to see a video of the blaster's actual functions.  Check out their full review HERE!

There's Video for size comparisons and to see what the iPhone/iPod Touch interface would look like.  All that "beeping" you hear in the background is the Lock-on signatures since the two blasters are so close together.  They won't beep like that constantly in an actual game unless you're REALLY that close to your opponent for some reason!

There's also an image, courtesy of ToySpy, of the LTAR Box design.  With it being the first day of Toy Fair, expect to keep an eye on all the toy news sources for more info.  Read on to see a few neat things I've found.

LTAR @ ToyFair 2012!

ToyFair 2012 is here and my eyes are on the Hasbro Lazer Tag booth!  Here's a look, courtesy of ChipChick, at the Lazer Tag Alternate Reality (LTAR) blasters!  Here's a bit from them:
Once we got our hands on the  LAZER TAG Blaster Set, we couldn’t put it down. The game is as addicting as ever and the app is so intuitive that you are immersed in a whole new world like never before. The proprietary LAZER TAG app is as smooth as silk and upon taking down an opponent, you see a plume of smoke with every shot that is fired accurately. This new toy is most definitely putting that wanna be  Xappr gun to shame.
It gives us a great look at how the iOS cradle holds the iPod Touch or iPhone on the blaster.

Obviously, Hasbro is going to be pushing the iDevice integration, so I didn't see much on the "Classic Mode".  If you wanna see pictures of the LTAR without the iOS cradle, check out this post I made earlier.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pyragon Design: Not quite the Praxis

I knew this looking at the Pyragon for the first time, but there are still some folks who are labeling this latest Vortex Blaster as another Praxis recolor with different gear (a la Lumitron).  I figured a side-by-side comparison would put those theories to rest rather quickly.

There are enough significant external changes that would make the Pyragon it's own unique blaster design.  While it is about the same shape and size as the Praxis, there are notable differences between the two.  I direct you, first, to the longer tactical rail on top of the Pyragon.  The lower portion of the blaster also has a different design to it, with the Praxis looking like it might actually interfere with the drum on the Pyragon, which has led some folks to think that the drum is actually part of the Pyragon design housing 4 10-disk Magazines.  The handle construction on both the blasters is also different.
However, this side-by-side comparison also reveals an important detail: the layout of the functions.  You'll notice that the trigger and magazine release switch are in the identical spots on both blasters.  Additionally, the jam release switch and pump-action prime are in the same places as well.  This leads me to believe that the Pyragon is running the same kind of Torsion-spring firing mechanism as the Praxis, Lumitron, Vigilon, and Proton.  However, none of those designs feature Slam-Fire, which has yet to appear on a Vortex Blaster.  Many hope and speculate that the Pyragon will be the first Vortex blaster with Slam-Fire, with the large ammo capacity drum being a big reason to have rapid-fire capabilities.

LTAR: New Pictures!

Thanks to TagFerret reporting from ToyFair 2012, we've got production models of the white version of the Lazer Tag Augmented Reality (or LTAR) blaster.  These were posted by TagFerret on the LTTO Yahoo! Group.
"White one is unpainted but shot from production molds. Shows what the blaster looks like without an iOS cradle or an iron sight.
Painted one is also from production molds and shows (white) iron sights. Sights are not fully seated as there is a programming cable in the way.

Both photos from Toy Fair."
So we've got an iOS cradle-less look at the LTAR.  I'm a fan!  Well, I was a fan to begin with, but this is a much more traditional-looking blaster that'll appeal very much so to the seasoned fans of Lazer Tag.  I'm REALLY liking how this fella is shaping up!

Have you missed out on all the LTAR information so far?  Check out the links below!

Red vs Blue?

If you have chatted with me on NM&R or know me personally, you know I'm a fan of the popular webseries: Red vs Blue.  There was a post on Urban Taggers pointing out that the same kid who was pictured using the new N-Strike Elite Rampage CS-25 was toting the Vortex Pyragon, labeling him as a "double agent".  While it was a funny catch that I completely missed (I was too busy paying attention to the blasters I guess!) it got my ticker thinking.  A dangerous pastime, I know.

The new "N-Strike Elite" blasters have this new universal dart that has blue foam and the new Vortex Blaster, though it hasn't been called "Vortex Elite" or anything like that, has red disks.  I couldn't help but think that the Pyragon might be part of a new line of Vortex Blasters that'll get similar ranges to the 75ft claims of N-Strike Elite.  Lets face it, the driving force behind Vortex in the matchup was the range of those XLR Disks.  Vortex blasters could easily outshoot stock N-Strike blasters in terms of range.  We conducted a play test of Vortex blasters vs N-Strike Blasters and saw this difference firsthand.

So with the Blue blasters and Darts for N-Strike Elite, might there be an "Elite"-type side for Vortex?  There's a lot of possibilities I can see, but I couldn't help but wonder with the new Disk Color seen on the Pyragon.

Feel free to discuss this possibility.  The N-Strike vs Vortex side has been there, but are they color coding it now?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hail Fire for N-Strike ELITE

No pictures about this yet, but we already know N-Strike Elite has been confirmed, as with the Retaliator and Rampage thanks to Urban Taggers.  However, from sources in Germany, we now have the name of that blaster and an idea of it's features that'll be coming on 9-9-12!

Sources reveal the name is the "Hail Fire" and it's said to have a 48 dart capacity with Semi Automatic Fire.  No more information outside of this has been confirmed.  Source:

TagFerret: Lazer Tag details

TagFerret, one of the developers for the Lazer Tag system I've been so fervently covering, has finally shed some light on information concerning the next wave of blasters!  Here's what he had to say about all the questions spinning around this and BOY am I happy!
Are the images accurate? Yes, very. A couple of very minor details might change as the tools get groomed in but this is pretty much the exact production design. The photos are all of Taggers which were made from the production molds within the last couple of weeks.

New Vortex Blaster: Pyragon!

Thanks again to Windjammer for linking me to the Hasbro Presentation, but we've got a new Vortex blaster!  Not only do we have the confirmation of the N-Strike ELITE stuff, but a full-on new look at the latest Vortex design.  The Pyragon has a 40 Disk Drum Magazine with red disks.  No other information on the blaster was released, but it's got a really neat whiteout-esque look to it that I like!  I wasn't expecting to see a new Vortex Design so soon!

Read more to see a zoomed in look at it!

Lazer Tag: Another angle

Courtesy of Windjammer, we've got info from an investor's press conference this morning for Hasbro. In the presentation they mentioned the new Lazer Tag and featured a new image that sheds a little more light on that iDevice holder that's had all the laser taggers scratching their heads as to how it functions/sits on the blaster.  This angle gets us the first view of the front of the blaster and shows the iPod with the menu screen alongside the promo image we've had.

That possible reload switch is MUCH more visible in this image too, so as we await more hard information about this, does this angle change anything you thought about the taggers functions from before?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Press Release: N-Strike Elite & Lazer Tag

Hasbro also had a little more to say about Lazer Tag.  I've bolded the important part that'll clear up some discrepancies about this system.

From the makers of the popular NERF blasters comes the revolutionary LAZER TAG system, combining the power, precision and excitement of live-action blaster battles with the high-action, strategic, augmented reality gameplay of traditional video games. Leading the new product line is the LAZERTAG 2 BLASTER set available in August for the approximate retail price on $69.99. To experience the LAZER TAG game, players download the free LAZER TAG app to their iPhone or iPod Touch device, connect their device to their LAZER TAG blaster, and find themselves immersed in a world where video games and real life connect. Using either single or multi-player mode, players can engage in a LAZER TAG match featuring either real life worlds or virtual opponents. Each LAZER TAG blaster equipped with a device has a virtual firing range of over 250 feet and contains a 'Heads Up Display', or HUD, which allows players to keep track of their gear and remaining power, while also providing a view of the augmented reality targets and enemies in the area. A virtual leaderboard keeps track of each player's profile and, with every successful mission, players will gain in-game access to upgradeable attacks, missions and gear. Game may be played in single-player mode, or in multi-player mode with up to 24 people. Players can also play LAZER TAG without a device using the blaster's classic multi-player mode. Each blaster requires 6 AA batteries, not included. With LAZER TAG blasters, the stakes are high, the game is real. Don't just play it, live it.
We already knew about "classic modes", but the fact that they say Multi-player up to 24 people leads me to believe that they're using the same hosting Technology as LTTO, which is good news to me!

Inside Scoop: RE-Con Mk III

So I'm putting together a video segment on one of my favorite blasters that's had quite the evolution since construction started on it back in June of 2009.  It was a project that I originally started, but handed off to my friend who goes by "Sundawg".  I talk a lot about him on this blog when it comes to Laser Tag, as he has revolutionized a lot of the modding techniques I use for electronics in my new blasters.  He has a much deeper background in working with electronics and it shows in his ingenuity to turn my simple recasings into feared blasters of IR death!  As I'm working on this video to show you all what the RE-Con is all about, I thought I'd share a bit of this blaster's impressive evolution.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

JetCell gets some Mavs! Who wants a Steampunk blaster?

EDIT:  I KNOW this is a whole day early!  I goofed when someone mentioned the giveaway and thought "Oh, it's that time already?  Better pick the winner!"  Next week's Giveaway will end on a FRIDAY, I promise!  Sorry for the confusion!
Congratulations to JetCell, the proud winner of TWO Maverick REV-6 blasters!  Now she can enjoy Dual Wielding these iconic Nerf Blasters and, with the help of all the advice in last week's contest, has a bunch of different ways to do it!  Hope you like 'em!

This is also a great time to fill you all in on JetCell and her contributions to the Nerf community.  She's done an excellent job with running the ever-popular Nerf Wikia.  From graphic work to the excellent organization and information there, it's kind of a holy grail of Nerf Info.  In addition to that, JetCell designed the graphics and is a "modmin" at Universal Nerf!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Shelf News! Seeing "Red" in February!

This month has Air Zone written all over it!  There were a few new blasters, some that I had seen and some I had not seen before, on the shelf at my local Toys R Us.  First off the bat is that Quickfire 12 that Nerf Mods & Reviews reported a few days ago.  It was smaller than I expected, but a neat looking blaster regardless.  The odd thing about the packaging was that the darts were already inside both barrels.  I don't know that this kind of packaging is good for the foam, as I try to not leave darts in my blasters to prevent the foam from getting compressed.  Anyway, it was 19.99 USD.

LT iDevice Breakdown

With ToyFair 2012 a week away and the latest Lazer Tag system revealed, there's a lot of question marks over many of my diehard LT fans heads.  In the limited view we get of this new breed of Lazer Tag fused with the iPhone and iPod Touch, the promo image pretty much tells a story of an App Blaster meets Lazer Tag, but there's more to it than that.  First of all, the image we get of the two blasters is a mirror image.  There are no screw holes for the shell, and the dead giveaway is that tab on the side of the iDevice holder being mirrored on each blaster.  They've simply been recolored for this press release.  I've done a visual analyzation of the Orange Blaster to point out obvious and not-so-obvious features.

I direct you to Figure A (or just the image above).  The basics are all there, including the dual lens setup that TagFerret told us about earlier.  But there are a few mysteries that this image gives us.  There's no clear function to the buttons on the side of the blaster or that trigger-esque looking feature underneath the main barrel.  Also, I believe I've identified a folding hinge or, at the very least, a mounting point for the iDevice Holder.  The black button at the bottom of the holder where it meets with the tagger body could be a point where the device could even be removed.  Perhaps the blaster can function without the iDevice Holder or there may even be a basic LCD screen display that you can attach to the unit to play without the need for the iPod Touch or iPhone.

The fact that the blaster IS backwards compatible with the Lazer Tag Team Ops and Phoenix LTX systems means that either the iDevice and the App for this are also backwards compatible or that it can be removed/disabled for use with them.  Because there's only a front Iron Sight and no way to see it in the current image of the blaster, I think that the screen either folds down or can be removed.  If it does fold down to reveal the other side of the iron sight, than I would doubt the iDevice would need to be active when it's facing down.  Either way, I think this fact strengthens the fact that this blaster isn't completely dependent on the iDevice for functionality, but rather is an enhancement for being used with other blasters that use the iDevice.  This fact is also driven home by part of the press release:
Players can also play LAZER TAG without a device using the blaster's classic multi-player mode. 
So iPhone or not, you'll be able to enjoy a new breed of Lazer Tag this summer!!