Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Talos: My rant

Screenshot from Massacre 5
I've seen this blaster show up a few times before and it always made me cringe.  In watching some videos of Massacre games (Massacre 5 to be exact) I saw this blaster in action and it kinda resurfaced my distaste for it.  From a Nerf modder's standpoint, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the Talos.  It's got excellent range, performance, and looks great!  What's not to like, right?

Cue my rant.  Follow the jump to read on.

There's a very real problem for me with this blaster though, to the point of disrespect.  Being that my blog is Nerf and Laser Tag based, I'm usually a fan of seeing projects that blur that line.  Instead, the Talos crosses a line that just makes looking at the blaster a very uncomfortable experience for me.  

The main issue here is that an excellent laser tag blaster was sacrificed to make a Nerf Blaster.  You might say "But Bazookafied, don't you gut Nerf Blasters to make Laser Tag Recasings?"  When put that way, I seem very biased in my distaste for the Talos, so I took some serious thought as to why something like the LTX DMR is completely acceptable to me while the Talos makes me reach for a barf bucket.

I've always made it clear that I enjoy Laser Tag more outdoors because of the great ranges it gets and Nerf indoors because of their shorter ranges and the factor that ammunition and projectiles bring with them.  When I do a recasing for a laser tag blaster, I generally do this so that the blaster can be aimed better.  Laser Tag is a very precise and accurate game, so having something with a sturdy stock, tactical rails with sights and scopes on, and a means of holding your blaster steady for a well-placed shot is an important key.  Nerf Blasters, especially recent stuff like the N-Strike gear, has proved to be an excellent candidate for building laser tag blasters into because of their features that lend themselves well to accuracy.  For a blaster like the Laser Challenge Virtual Paintball pistol, it's odd-shaped design doesn't do the lens (that can hit targets up to 1100 feet) justice, so dropping it into a more accurate shell makes sense.  The LTX DMR utilizes that lens and is a great platform for being accurate with it.  The internals for the Stampede that was used for this project were not in good condition, so I gutted it and we use those internals as spare parts for other Stampedes that are still functional. 

Almost every blaster that I gut is either already broken or has parts that could serve as replacement parts for other broken Nerf Blasters or modification projects.  Nerf Blasters are also generally cheaper than Laser Tag blasters, so I'm not as heartbroken taking the guts out of a 20 dollar Recon to drop a 40 dollar Laser Tag blaster into.  There's more to my concern with the Talos than just weighing in the cost though.

For those who don't know, the Talos is built off of a Tag Master Blaster.  This is a legendary laser tag blaster that was part of Tiger Electronics' Laser Tag Team Ops line.  It can achieve ranges of up to 800 feet with it's lens setup and can even fire a foam rocket that, upon impact, fires off shots in a 360 degree radius, making the TMB a blaster to be feared at nearly any range.  It's also an increasingly rare and valuable blaster with an excellent system at it's core.  A Sensor on top of the blaster houses several TSAL sensors that can register hits from any angle and, in general, the blaster is comfortable to use and performs great.  You could say that the Tag Master Blaster is the Laser Tag equivalent a Crossbow for a Nerfer.

Which brings me to my main point of this rant.  Turning the Tag Master Blaster into a Nerf Blaster, gutting it of it's components that made it an excellent laser tag blaster, is like turning a Nerf Crossbow into a dollar store disk shooter.  The Talos has, in this sense, disrespected this wonderful blaster.  Now then, I'm sure it's maker didn't realize this folley (or at least I hope he didn't), but ignorance is not always bliss.  I hope I've explained why the Talos makes my stomach turn.  

In conclusion, be careful what you mod out of respect to something you might not understand.  If the Talos were built from ANYTHING else, I'd probably be a fan of it.  Or had they kept the Laser Tag side of things functional, that would've been great too!  If it still seems like I'm biased towards Laser Tag, it's probably because I still am.  If I were given the choice to choose, it'd be a no brainer.  I love the outdoors and I enjoy shooting at stuff without making a mess.  Laser Tag fits both of those needs perfectly.  


  1. If I recall correctly, FA_14 sold the TMB's parts to someone.

  2. [quote] (You'll have to imagine that BBcode worked...)
    Turning the Tag Master Blaster into a Nerf Blaster, gutting it of it's components that made it an excellent laser tag blaster, is like turning a Nerf Crossbow into a dollar store disk shooter.

    I sense an anti-nerf bias.

    I think a better comparison would be turning a Crossbow into a laser tag gun. True, it's messing with a classic that should NOT be chopped up at ALL (and I feel your pain there, as whenever I see crossbows mentioned anywhere nowadays I want to immediately post "DO NOT DARE CHOP UP THAT VINTAGE GUN, you dummy!"), but at least in both cases you get a conversion that actually performs and is useful in a way it formerly wasn't. In both cases, you get parts to go into something else or replace trashed parts in other guns: crossbow internals, or TMB guts.

    How about a stampede recase of TMB guts with an underslung titan tank to fire the rocket?

    Turning a crossbow into a cheap disc gun would be more like gutting a TMB and installing lightstrike hardware: you aren't doing a conversion, just needlessly nerfing the performance of something exceptional and wasting its potential.

    1. I agree with your new comparison. But I think Forsaken_Angel24, the creator of Talos did much more than what Bazookafied did. He sacrificed 4 blasters to make 1 crazy integration.

      K10 took the shell of the TMB and made a custom one of a kind (I haven't seen any other than Talos) NIC war worthy blaster. So it wasn't a simple internals transfer, K10 took innovation and effort to make his beast of a primary. I watched Talos in action at APOC 2010 (the biggest nerf war on the east coast). The performance Talos puts out lives up the standard the TMB gives off. Talos is no dollar store disc shooter. And its spread of darts is impossible to dodge.

      To give an more unbiased and closer analogy making the TMB into Talos is like taking an Airzone Punisher and sacrificing 4 laser tag guns to make all the faux barrels functional for laser tag and integrate an automatic firing setting. It would require some innovation and make something brand new that the laser tag scene has yet to experience (I'm not sure if anyone has done this yet correct me if I'm wrong). Of course this analogy is far from perfect but its definitely a lot closer than a dollar store shooter.

      Another analogy is taking Groove's Guru MkIII and putting TMB internals in the split fire and DMR internals into the crossbow.

  3. I like laser tag too, but the reason I like nerf more is because you have a better idea of if you hit the target, and you have more target to hit, whereas laser tag is only a little thing on the top that I never even know what part shoots and what part gets hit, reducing accuracy for me. I do love laser tag at places like advanced laser tag, etc.

  4. It's always possible that the laser tag internals were saved and re-shelled at an earlier or later time, and that the Talos is just using its shell.

  5. This is why I love blogs like this. Just a guy and his blog and not being afraid to use it.
    C-dog (8-D

  6. You would be very upset to hear that mine is sitting in a box in pieces and will probably end up in the trash. I doubt I'll ever finish it. I do feel bad for destroying it and wasting the money.

  7. to be completely honest, I never really see the point in turning a laser tagger in to a Nerf blaster, especially when laser tagging systems today aren't anywhere near as available as Nerf blasters are, nor is there as much aesthetic variety. I totally understand why laser tag fans gut Nerf guns to build laser taggers, nerf blasters are cheap, easy to find and look pretty good. laser taggers however, are extrememly expensive and are equally as hard to find, especially where I come from.

    tl;dr, I agree.

    1. The person who requested the contract wanted something original that the Nerf community had never seen before. Current nerf blasters are cheap. Vintage blasters can cost from $40-$80 USD depending on the seller and time of year. I disagree that laser taggers are hard to find and expensive. I've seen at least 10 TMB's on nerf forums and even more on ebay. They normally range from $30-40. While a nerf crossbow in decent condition will easily sell for $200 and I've only seen maybe 8 for sale in the past year. I've only seen 2 SuperMaxx 5000s for sale ever in the past 2 years. And there were only 2 Red Longshots for sale within the past two years and one sold for over $200.

    2. Gotta know your audience too, HoongFu. Rolley hails from Australia. Laser Tag isn't as easy to come by there. Perhaps saying the TMB is like the Crossbow of Laser Tag was a bit far. I've since been banned from commenting on the Massacre 5 video by FA and told to "cry to my laser friends" bragging that it "actually HITS people and leaves welts". Wonderful. Sounds an awful lot like the guys who troll the Nerf Nation facebook page that brag about Paintball and Airsoft if you ask me.

    3. I see what you mean Bazookafied. I'm sorry you have had bad experiences with NIC nerfers. And I apologize on their behalf. We all aren't that bad, but yes the rotten apple in the barrel gives a bad rep for the rest.

      For the record I love laser tag as well as nerf (both stock wars and NIC wars).

      And despite that I don't agree with you doesn't mean I won't stop reading your articles. I think its because its so indepth I want to read more. Keep up the good work.

    4. Thanks, Hoongfu! I haven't had all bad experiences with the NIC, and this is certainly more evidence to support that. Don't feel obliged to apologize for it, I know they're not all like that. I was actually surprised to get that kind of response from him too, as many of the well-known folks involved with the NIC are good people.

      I tend to get a little emotional sometimes, and that can skew my views on stuff. I think this whole Talos thing was blown a little out-of-proportion, and I appreciate the level-headed insight and comments you gave. Thanks also for your kind words and support!

  8. I've never played laser tag with these things so i'm not concerned a tiny bit. now if this was a crossbow, pffft mods with any vintage gun gets me angry

  9. I've found TMBs stateside that were nonfunctional for cheap; I have 2 disassembled downstairs for Talos-type tinkering. With my own twist, of course.

    Using a fully-functional one is a downer, but scrap? Tear that shit up.


  10. And yet if someone in nerf were to turn a crossbow into a Lasertag blaster or a dollar store disk shooter we would still applaude his creativity or say "wow. I've never seen that done before." Where I have a problem with this article is that its not as though forsaken_angel's good friend in lazertag gave him this blaster for free, nor was it passed down from generation to generation to eventually land in K10's lap, it was purchased over Ebay. Same as anyone else, child adult or anything else could purchase it.

    The point I am getting to is that if I were to go out and buy "Superman #1", if I pay for it then legally its mine to do with as I please. If I decide to line the cat's litter box with it, its unfortunate but it is no ones place to say other then mine.

    As I slight asside to this commentary on this blog, I can honestly say that this isn't a blaster that just some kid gutted and threw random nerf parts into. K10 and forsaken_angel are both very good friends of mine and I can honestly say that angel put over 80 hours of work into this gun with a projected over $300 worth of parts. Angel has shown me e-mails where other nerfers have offered him upwards of $500 plus all the required parts to make this gun and he has out and out refused because it is such a unique and one of a kind design.

    I am truly sorry that you don't feel the same way that the nerfing community feels about this one of a kind foamy weapon of destruction, but I promise you, from taking its shotgun blast repeatedly at Massacre 7 that it does the tag master blaster justice.

  11. Hongfoo don't apologize on my behalf. Ever.

    Bazookafied, If you are going to quote me, you should quote the entire thing.


    Then dont watch videos of Nerf wars.

    Disgusted by what someone else did with their $50 toy? You must be joking.

    Hit opponents? It hits does it? Or does it shine or emit a little laser flashy thing.

    This gun is beast now. Actually HITS people from 100'.

    Hits them physically with enough force to leave welts.

    Go cry to your laser friends and stay off my channel if your going to be disgusted by people who modify these things."

    Yeah I modified a $50 a toy into what I wanted it to be. Get over it.
    Yeah, I may have been a little harsh.
    But I will say that I'll play with my toys however I want.
    I will modify my things however I want.
    I would modify a cocker spaniel to shoot 100 feet given the opportunity.

    Nerf on or fuck off.

    Now you can ban me from posting on here and it will be even and over.

    1. Why would I ban you? You're just voicing your opinion as I have. No opinion is wrong.

  12. This was an interesting little find.
    It's funny, the reputation of my gun. 2 years after its creation and people are still having opinions of it. Angel really outdid himself when he made it I guess, since it's making such a splash and remaining so (in)famous.
    I'm not going to talk smack about the lazer tag community, but i do have to let you know this: This gun is in great hands and serves a high purpose as my primary. Never since the Doomsayer have people looked at a nerf gun and had the look of fear unmistakably plastered on their faces. I'd venture to guess that that sort of reaction is rare, if not inexistent, in the Lazer Tag community. Wouldn't you agree?
    Talos is my life line in my hobby and it continues to serve at top performance. It has evolved with me as a player and it continues to do so. To be disgusted with it is only to be in awe of its raw power. If you came face to face with it, I'm sure you would adopt the same thinking.