Thursday, May 17, 2012

Elite Alpha Trooper? Naw, it's just the SotW

I don't frequent the Nerf Nation Facebook Page much these days, what with how they handled the Urban Taggers thing (or lack thereof) and just the general intelligence level of the posters on there.  However, I AM a bit of a photography nut, so when I saw the Shot of the Week entry with a Lightning Strike in the background, I was interested.  Then I noticed that woman's "USS Nostromo" patch on her bicep, which is from the film Alien directed by Ridley Scott.  He's got Prometheus, a prequel to Alien coming out this summer, so it was neat to see that patch show up.  Then I noticed her blaster... which at first glance I thought was a Raider, what with the 35 round drum on there and the blue color, until I was pleasantly surprised to see it was, instead, a blue painted Alpha Trooper.



Generally, the Nerf Nation page has frowned upon "modding" and done a good job of keeping modded stuff out of the limelight, especially when it comes to their Shot of the Week winner.  Perhaps it's just an honest mistake that they missed it.  Maybe they liked the photo so much that they decided to let it slide.  Or maybe, like some folks would like to think, it's a sign that there will be an N-Strike Elite version of the Alpha Trooper.

The idea has been tossed around, what with the recolored versions of Nerf Blasters acting as the backbone of the N-Strike Elite lineup.  The Retaliator, Rampage, and Stockade are all upgraded versions of the Recon, Raider, and Barricade.  The only real "new" design is the Hailfire.  There's not enough info on the Firestrike to make much sense of that fella, but it seems pretty clear that it's at least related to the Nitefinder.  So the idea of more N-Strike blaster designs being utilized as N-Strike Elite designs doesn't seem all that far fetched.

The internal pictures of the Rampage seen over at SG Nerf are a clear sign that Hasbro's engineers are more than capable of retooling internals of a Reverse Plunger blaster into a powerful Direct Plunger.  In theory, this could probably be applied to the Alpha Trooper quite easily.  The only problem lies from a marketing standpoint:  for Nerf to make an Elite blaster from a Target-Exclusive blaster like the Alpha Trooper, they would likely have to make Elite Blasters from the Spectre (Wal-Mart) and Barrel Break (Toys R Us).  There's room in the Spectre's design to improve it up to "Elite" specs, and probably the same level of upgrade for the Barrel Break... but let's think back to the special color series for some history on this too.

The Whiteout Series (Wal-Mart), Clear Series (Target), and Sonic Series (Toys R Us) have all been  pretty popular.  Wal-Mart, Target, and Toys R Us also each have their own store-exclusive blasters, but only the Barrel Break crossed over into the Sonic Series while the Spectre and Alpha Trooper never got to the Whiteout or Clear series, like many fans had hoped.  This DOES, however, provide proof that Hasbro doesn't have to develop stuff for each store.  Which means, in my books, that they could go ahead and make an Alpha Trooper for the Elite series without developing one for the Barrel Break or Spectre for their respective stores.

But the Elite Series is much more than just a recolor, like a Sonic Series Barrel Break.  If the Alpha Trooper were to be made into a Target-Exclusive Elite series blaster, they'd also have to retool the internals as well as likely retool/add some accessories.  I'm not certain that this is as easy to do, which kind of throws a wrench into those plans.

Either way, it's an interesting topic that has had my thinker going for awhile.  I'd appreciate any of your personal insight to this matter, just from a speculative standpoint.

22 comments:

  1. Huh. Very interesting. Maybe there will be one,and maybe there won't. It would deffinately make me try to get one.

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  2. theres a nitefinder elite colored or the nitestrike the guy with the hoodie is holding

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    1. That "Elite Colored" Nitefinder is just the original colors on it. Pre N-Strike. It's the same type I used for my "Seeker".

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  3. Who says an Elite derivative of the alpha has to be an exclusive distribution gun at all?

    Also, that shot is of humans in an HVZ game and most of those guns that happened to be stock-looking are probably sleepers or at least lightly buffed. Kudos to whoever's SOTW this is for beating the system getting that nice alpha PJ in there and approved.

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  4. Righteous_FondueMay 17, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    I don't know if you noticed, but the first gen NF has bungees on it, so it seems the people who took the shot mod, and probably painted the alpha trooper. Also there isn't much white (Secondary color on Elite blasters, really noticable) so it seems to be fan-made. Well, we can always hope...

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  5. What bugs me on this AT is the frontgrip, the loading sleed. I not know the enflish word, sorry. But all pictures of the AT I have seen it had the shark tooth pattern with 4 upper triangles and 3 lower ones. Now, on the one on the pic, do I see 3 things stick out on either side of it. Somehow o doubt someone epoxy modeled them on it.
    So, is there a old model I don't know, is it a odd perspective, or is it just something else?

    Maska

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  6. That would be AMAZING if they cane out with an Elite AT. It's my fav blaster and I'd love to see it in any different color

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  7. Replies
    1. With hips like that? And rolled up tight-fitting jeans? I admit, the face does look a little "Man-ish", but I was pretty certain that was a lady.

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    2. Definitely a lady, and one of our moderators to boot.

      This shot is from the Ohio University game of HvZ that took place during the first week of May.

      hvzathens.com

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  8. At first glance, I thought the "Lightning Strike" was you misspelling "Lightning Storm". I am now feeling quite stupid. :D

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    1. I thought he was referring to a Lightning Blitz. :D

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  9. Notice the darts in the AT's drum. They're orange. Either it really is a painted Alpha Trooper, or it's an actual Elite Alpha Trooper with regular darts.

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  10. I dot believe for a second that it's a REAL legit Elite AT, nor did I ever suggest it was as such. I just toyed with the idea that the reason it might've been allowed as a SotW was because it could happen. The AT on that picture is obviously a fan-painted blaster.

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  11. huh, i just finished painting my AT blue with some chrome detailing. looks a bit like it could be an elite gun.

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  12. The guy in the hoodie has a Firestrike, so it may be possible that got a hold of some Elite blasters, oooooooooorrrrrrrrr that "Firestrike" is a pre-N-Strike Firestrike (Dart-Tag) and that is a Raider/AT integration It does have the best of both (AT bottom loading, Raider Paint-job, Raider drum, AT size etc.)

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  13. I would love it if the AT was re-released as an elite gun. The best accessories for it would be the elite pin-point sight and a raider-style stock. The size of the AT allows for greater ease of use than a raider, and combined with the 18-round drum, makes the AT the best light gun. BTW, the best heavy gun is the Stampede with a 35-round drum.

    Also, they should bring back the Longshot CS-6. They would just have to make the direct-plunger system in it a little stronger, and they'd have an elite sniper gun.

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  14. As far as I know Nerf has never actually said the elite blasters were just retooled N-strike. It is just as plain as day. There is no reason Nerf could not just release another blaster, that for all intensive purposes IS a different blaster because the insides are very different. It could have a new name and hopefully a better looking shell.

    I don't think it is so much a matter of whether they would be able to do is as whether they would want to do it.

    Also note, that alpha trooper doesn't actually match the Elite color scheme, it is dark and light blues. Elite is just dark blue.

    If they did make an elite alpha trooper it would be the most amazing Nerf gun ever produced.

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  15. I see you are from Omaha are u going to ever host a hvz like event?

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    1. Probably not HvZ. Not through lack of interest, but lack of knowledge about how they're played, where to get permission, and the fact that I'm out of College now. I do plan plenty of Laser Tag and Nerf games, though. The "MLTA" link at the top of the page next to "Why Tag?" should give you an idea of what I've been doing in the Omaha Area for almost a decade now.

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  16. Well, The Strongarm is the elite maverick/scepture,The rough cut is the elite barrel break, so I believe in the rumors

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  17. Ta-Da! http://basicnerf.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/agros-uk-catalog-reveals-n-strike-elite-alpha-trooper-dart-tag-stinger-photos/

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