Friday, November 30, 2012

November's Winner!

Well... while there weren't nearly as many entries... the few that I DID get had some awesome photos!  Before I announce the winner, I just thought I'd share some of my favorite photos that I got to look at.  I'm a bit of a photography junkie myself, as well as a "Plan-a-saurus Rex", so it made me REALLY happy to see all these great events and their photos!  Thanks for submitting them, guys!

By the way, if you haven't noticed it, I'm a Subaru guy... so I'm going to give "Honorable Mention" to these guys thanks to the Subaru sweatshirt in the lower left corner of this photo!

That being said... I had to give it to SpookyLucas with his HvZ SFSU game photo.  While there wasn't one clear photo with EVERYONE involved, after sorting through all the photos of the game, it was clear that this event had the most folks involved.  But really, ALL of these are awesome since it's getting together with folks to play... TOGETHER!  Modding is fun, new blasters are cool, but it's the PEOPLE and the GAME that make it worth it.  At least for me, that is!

Here's how this works.  SpookyLucas (if you're reading this), post a comment with your contact info.  I won't publish the comment, but instead use it to mail you your prize!  It's as simple as that!

I suppose it's time for the next giveaway, huh?  Well check the updated Contest Page to see what's up for grabs and what the stakes are this time!

You're Invited!

I've decided to do something kinda... crazy.  Locally, I am known for planning Laser Tag events.  It's what I've been doing for 7 years with turnout between 25-35 attendees per game at nearly every event.  So I decided to take that networking that I've built up and blend it with my other hobby of Nerf in an attempt to reach more folks for my first planned outdoor game.  In the past, I have exclusively done Nerf games indoors and planned my big laser tag games outdoors (with a few indoor matches for campus and church groups).  While I was at it, I thought I'd take advantage of ANOTHER great networking tool... this blog!

While I don't expect much, I figured I'd open up the invitation to anyone reading this who can manage to get to the game.  The details can all be found on Facebook.  I have no idea what kind of turnout to expect from the short-notice nature of this plan... but I figure we don't get too many days in December with a projected high temperature of 64.

So I'm organizing a Nerf game using the Internet by utilizing the Community of friends and people that have been playing Laser Tag with me for 7 years and inviting the rest of the World Wide Web on my blog.  Will this game be considered an "NIC" game?  Probably not, as there's a shortage of pipe-dream blasters, Stefans, and masked YouTube stars.  Suits me just fine!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Elite Stryfe Releases

I'll update this topic as they become more widespread, but the N-Strike Elite Stryfe is certainly making the rounds.  From being spotted on Toys R Us shelves around the United States to now getting listed on Wal Mart's website, the Stryfe will likely be a hot item this holiday season.

I picked mine up at a local Toys R Us, though there's always that higher markup you'll get buying them from there.  Keep your eyes peeled and post a comment if you've found the Stryfe near you!

Update: link added thanks to Wesitron!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

N-Strike Elite Stryfe Internals

The N-Strike Elite Stryfe is a Flywheel-driven Clip-fed variable pistol with options for a stock, barrel extension, as well as a top and bottom mounted Tactical Rail for other N-Strike accessories that was released in Fall of 2012.  There are a few interesting features about this blaster on the inside as well.  Below is a video detailing the various functions of it's internal layout including a full explanation of the safeties and locks built into it's design.

Additional photos can be found on my Facebook Page for Tactical Tag.
Click "Read More" to watch the video!

Stryfe has Landed!

Ran over to my local TRU on my lunch break just to see if, like California and Minnesota fans have said, the Stryfe was out.  Lo' and behold, there sat a whole row of Stryfes alongside their other N-Strike brothers.  While Toys R Us is known for their markup on blaster prices, I couldn't resist the "Buy 1, Get 1 50% off" sale (which usually cancels out the markup) and nabbed two to have some fun with.  In the coming days, expect a full review, high-quality pictures, and other goodies with the latest addition to the N-Strike Elite lineup.

I know there's already a bit of information out there on this, if you've got a specific question about the Stryfe or want to see a certain accessory or loadout equipped on the blaster, leave it as a comment below and I'll see what I can do!

Store Exclusive Elite?

 As many of you know, I like blue.  It's been a big reason I love the N-Strike Elite lineup so much.  I had toyed with the idea, long before Elite came out, of a blue Spectre and eventually ended up repainting one.  Now that we've got Elite blasters flowing onto shelves like the repainted Jolt and Rayven, I wondered if the 3 Store-exclusive blasters might get into the mix too.

500 Posts!

Didn't realize it until doing my usual check of stats in the morning before starting work.  This is my 500th post!  Thanks to all your comments, views, and support, I've managed to keep cranking out posts that you (hopefully) find interesting enough to keep coming back to.  THANKS everyone!  Guess I'm doing something right!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

News: 2013 Super Soakers (German Website) has images up of the new Super Soakers that'll be coming out in 2013.  There's some interesting designs among them, including the Arctic Shock and Flash Blast.  There's a few other links included that list the "Switch Shot" and "Shotwave".

Also included is a "Domination Drum", which is the LightningStorm's drum magazine being sold on it's own, as well as a Hydropack (similar to my "Endless Thunderstorm") that can connect to any clip-fed Super Soaker.

There are a few other blaster images that we've seen small photos of, but these are the highest quality ones I've seen so far.  Among the other sightings, there have been "Bananna" clips for the Super Soaker lineup, which should be pretty cool.  Keep it here for more news!

"Light it Up" Goes Elite

Urban Taggers has posted a picture of the new box art of the Elite Rayven.  Instead of glow-streamlines, it'll feature glow-Elite darts.  The Rayven is also getting a performance upgrade, suggested by the "75 ft" range claim on the box, but I'm just happy to see my favorite electronic blaster in those great Elite colors I've loved since the start.  It raises a bit of a point of speculation for me, though.

With the Rayven getting the Elite treatment, does this mean that the Lumitron (as it was part of the Light it Up series, too) will be recolored like the Pyragon and Diatron are? 
While other Vortex blasters in the lineup have not followed suit with this new White scheme that the Pyragon and Diatron are featured in, the Neon Green color that was exclusive to the "Light it Up" blasters (Rayven and Lumitron) leaves the Lumitron as the remaining blaster in this color scheme.  There haven't been any sightings of a white Lumitron to suggest this change, but it seems like a possibility to me.

Monthly Giveaway: There's still time!

There's STILL TIME to get in on this month's giveaway!  Contest ends November 30th at 11:59pm, so get those photos uploaded and submitted to win my Retaliator! 

For those that missed it, I've upped the stakes a little bit by upgrading the prize.  The modified Retaliator comes with the 18 dart Elite clip AND my "Elite" Raider Stock.

Enter your photo as a comment on the contest page today!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stryfe has Landed!

Basic Nerf has gotten their hands on the Stryfe, the latest N-Strike Elite blaster to hit shelves, and has plenty of pictures with different accessories equipped on it.  If these are starting to show up on store shelves in the US, these will likely see a full domestic release within the month or so.  4 AA batteries slinging darts at Hailfire ranges in a nifty clip-fed design with options for accessories on top, bottom, front, and back should have fans running to stores to see if their shelves are stocked with the new Stryfe.  Price has been reported at $24.99 USD.

What accessory combinations are you looking forward to most on the Stryfe?

Internals! Rough Cut 2x4

My "Big 3" Nerf Blogs have been VERY good to me the past couple of days or so.  SG Nerf has internal pictures as well as a comical, yet kind of uninformative unboxing and test fire.  The test fire was disappointing to me since the darts kind of flopped out.  I just didn't feel like I got a good idea of how it worked.

Kind of reminded me of the first video we got of the Pyragon in spring of 2012 from the kid who's dad "worked at Hasbro".  It was great to see it in action, but the reviewer gave so little useful information that it was more annoying to watch a novice attempt to explain something a lot of fans would've wanted more detailed information on at the time.  Oh well!

Thank heavens we got this image, a shot of the Rough Cut 2x4's Instruction manual!  It's got a multi-stage firing system, much like the Barrel Break had.  I'm still trying to figure out how the air gets directed to all 8 barrels from the two plungers on top, but a closer inspection of it's internals will reveal that.

SG Nerf's Rough Cut info

iMod: xRaider

I wish more folks would do this with homemade blasters.  Last night I read a post on iModifyNerfs, a blog belonging to one of my readers.  It's a clever integration of the cool looking N-Strike shells we've come to expect from Hasbro along with the power and ingenuity of an NIC-style homemade blaster.  While he's still working on it, this picture really just caught my eye and illustrated the main problem I have with most homemade blasters: their lack of interesting aesthetics.
A lot of homemade blasters just look like a pipe dream, nothing I tend to dream about.  While they have excellent ranges and performance, I just think they look lame.

I've seen a few other folks attempt integrating homemade internals into Nerf blasters and I ALWAYS enjoy the end result much more.  iMod has really been doing a great job integrating the awesome power of homemade internals with the admittedly cooler looking N-Strike shell from a Raider CS-35.
Do me a favor, folks.  Hook me up with more creations like iModify's xRaider that he's working on.  I really enjoy finding creations by modders who seem to appreciate aesthetics as much as they do power.   In the meantime, I'll be keeping an eye on iMod's progress on the xRaider.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Multishot Madness

Urban Taggers and Nerf Mods & Reviews have done it again... they've got me talking, speculating, and drooling all over new Nerf-ness.  Maybe Nerf-ness isn't the word, as they've been using "Multishot Madness" as a hook for the Rough Cut 2x4 and the Vortex Diatron.  Both are among a slew of new images that came in off of Amazon's UK site.  They both feature simultaneous firing blasters, two Elite Darts or two XLR Disks, as their main gimmick.  The Rough Cut looks like a longer blaster based on the box shape and the two-handed nature of this shotgun-inspired blaster.

Let's take a closer look at these two new blasters, shall we?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Elite: Odd Release Schedule

So a friend pointed out something obvious that I overlooked and didn't really get a chance to try to figure it out.  Simply put, the observation is how the N-Strike Elite lineup has been released.  We started off with the Rampage and Retaliator, two revamped N-Strike designs of the Raider and Recon.  Then we had the flagship release of the Hailfire.  The Stockade got a UK release too.  Those were all released around the same time... all big blasters.

Now we've got news of the Firestrike, Strongarm, Triad, and a repainted Jolt.  All small blasters suited well as a sidearm.  While it's surely a good thing to have some balance of blasters to choose from (instead of only having larger blasters with the initial release), it just seems like it would've been better to space out the different blasters.  Release the Retaliator and Hailfire alongside the Triad.  Release the Rampage alongside the Firestrike.  Have a mix of blasters so that way fans could've outfitted themselves with the whole lineup with each release instead of choosing which large blaster to get and then choosing which small one to get later once they came out.

It just seems odd to me.  Maybe there's some marketing scheme that I've missed, but there's clearly a pattern here with this flurry of smaller blasters being released in the near future.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

To my readers in the United States, Happy Thanksgiving!  To my international readers, I'm thankful to have your support and encouragement that keeps me going!  Wherever you are in the world, there's something we can all appreciate!  What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Firestrike is smaller?

While watching the trickle of Elite news roll in, I couldn't help but notice that folks have been noting the size of the Firestrike is smaller than the NiteFinder.  I personally thought that the NiteFinder's size was just fine and worried that if the Firestrike were, in fact, smaller... that it'd be an issue.

Instead of AA batteries, there are AAA batteries.  This seems to further suggest that the blaster did indeed shrink a little more than I had anticipated.  Initially I was concerned about the size of the grip on this blaster but quickly realized that while Nerf had indeed sized down the Firestrike, they added a design element to remedy a potential problem for big hand users such as myself.  There's a bit of a "hook" in the lower grip design that extends down a little further, making room for folks with larger hands, while still keeping the basic size of the blaster slightly smaller.  It's an interesting way to make a smaller design still accommodate larger hands.  Just another reason why I'm personally psyched for the Firestrike's release.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Triad: Is 3 Better than 1?

Urban Taggers found this picture at  It's the internals shot of the Elite Triad, a variation of the Jolt.  Looks like all 3 darts are fired simultaneously from the direct plunger system that looks no larger than the Jolt's system.  Additionally, it appears that to remove the air restrictors in the Triad, you must break open the back panel which is glued on, which will make modifying these a bit of a hassle depending on how strong the adhesive is.  It'll also make re-attaching the parts a bit of a pain too, as a seal needs to be recreated.

My question?  Are 3 darts better than 1?  Debate among yourselves!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

LTAR: Winter Domination!

App Updates are at the core of the new Lazer Tag system.  With the apocalyptic winter ahead of us, the LTAR has some new gadgets, upgrades, and even a holiday gift for it's loyal taggers!  Up to $25 in free In-App abilities like weapons, special attacks, and hacks.  This is an easy way to upgrade your blaster to get through the solo campaign and get even MORE points to score even BETTER gear!

I personally enjoy blasting aliens when just using the App or hooking it up to my blaster.  I don't really use the App-based stuff for our games since... well... there aren't really enough to go around.  That, and trying to aim at targets 300-400-500 feet away is a bit of a pain using an off-centered camera.  You can be MUCH more accurate with ironsights on these outdoors.

There's also a slew of other Winter Domination extras like Multi-player only blasters you can use to "Freeze" your opponent's system up.  While these can only be used from LTAR-to-LTAR using the iOS device, it is a neat feature if everyone has this equipment.  Pictures of the newest blasters are after the jump, as well as a video commercial.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

"Nerf Evolution" Set Photos

My buddy Pocket @ Urban Taggers posted up some ooey gooey news from a commercial set called "Nerf Evolution", or at least that's what Brandon Perea keeps calling it on his Twitter.

There's this photo of N-Strike Elite stuff on the wall and, naturally, everyone is freaking out about the Ruff Cut, or however that thing is gonna be spelled.  Speaking of odd spelling, I haven't seen anyone notice the Stryfe in this photo on the far right display case in this photo. 
We've got Firestrikes on the left, Strongarms in the center, and what looks like it could be the Stryfe on the right, given the one photo we actually have of it.  From what I could tell from the Abercrombie & Fitch actor's photos, the supposed Ruff Cut blaster doesn't share the coloration of the blasters seen in that right case.

Quantum Repeater: Update 1

The Lazer Tag Augmented Reality (LTAR) system, released in August of 2012, has a series of App-based upgrades that can enhance how the blaster performs.  The basic blaster has been called the "Quantum" but there are ways that, through using the iOS Device installed with the Lazer Tag App, you can get performance upgrades like rapid fire, better firepower strength, and ammo storage.

To me, having a physical change with the blaster is much more exciting than having the blaster's performance merely change.  The blaster has to LOOK the part if it's going to be a little more aggressive.  So, I decided to take a cue from the first available upgrade for the Quantum, the Quantum Repeater, and make some physical change to my LTAR's shell to mimick this. 

While this external modification won't be exactly like the Quantum Repeater's design, It will share many of the same ergonomics and design features.  The major overhaul of this design is adding a stock.  To be more specific, it's built from the grip and removable stock seen on the Dart Tag Swarmfire.

The main design hurdle to overcome with adding a stock is getting access to the battery cover.  Thanks to the removable nature of the rear stock on the Swarmfire, I hope to make removing the batteries pretty flawless, although integrating the two shells to be strong enough to withstand the rigors of combat will be my priority.  If I can't find a good way to integrate battery access, I suppose I'll have to live with opening up the blaster every time I need to change batteries which, as long as I put good ones in to begin with, won't be that often anyways.

More to come later!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

300K Pageviews!


It blows me away that this blog has already seen so much attention.  I look forward to the challenge of continually bringing you more of the content that has brought so many loyal viewers to this blog.  From new blaster modifications for Nerf and Laser Tag to news on the latest products to overviews of events I've held locally, it's been my privilege and honor to share my world with all of you.

And just to say thank you a little more, I'm sweetening the deal for the November Giveaway by adding a few things!  Instead of the 12-round clip for the Retaliator prize, you'll win an Elite 18 Dart clip as well as my Elite collapsible stock!  So get your buddies together, have an epic game, and send in your photo to win!!
Thanks again for all your support!  I plan on being around for many more pageviews to come! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

ThanksGETTING this November!

Don't forget about the Monthly Giveaway for November!  I've had some great submissions so far and can't wait to see more epic photos of the turnout you guys have had for your games!  Heck... I might even throw in an extra blaster or two seeing so many folks playing together!  We'll see... ;)

Keep 'em coming!

November Giveaway

 Take advantage of the great deals coming up on Black Friday too!  NM&R's Black Friday Ad Tracking

The New NM&R

If you've missed it somehow, Nerf Mods and Reviews has gone through another series of changes.  Changes, I think, are for the better!  While folks might still be on the "Jerm Quit Nerf" complaint rant, I see nothing but a bright and successful future for this iconic Nerf blog.  NM&R still retains it's legacy of having years of great reviews, modifications, tutorials, and breaking news for new products and has invited a rockstar cast of authors.

All I can say is that if you haven't checked out NM&R recently, you're missing out on a lot of great content.  Coverage on the new Elite blasters, great modifications by well-known hobbyists involved in the community, and reviews of the newest stuff out there continue on with this giant step forward made by those who have gotten behind it to earn it a spot among the best blogs out there.

Go there, get involved, and experience a whole new level of great content!  Nerf Mods & Reviews

Light Strike Super Duper Clearance!

Well, it looks like there's a Rollback of the Rollback at Wal-Mart for the Light Strike system.  And yet, the shelves are still stocked with them from what I can tell (at least in my area), despite the price being knocked down well over 50% of their original pricetags.  The Strikers, which ran for around 24, are at $10 a pop while the Assault Strikers, previously at 35, are down to $20.

If you've missed all my previous compliments of the flaw-riddled Light Strike system, here's some links below that might explain both the price drop and the in-stock shelves.

Tactical Tag Search: Light Strike

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Izzy: Display for base LTAR!!

The LTAR, the latest addition to the Lazer Tag lineup, has been a great blaster to use.  Even without the iPod or iPhone attached, the blaster performs well and I personally appreciate the simplicity of it's operation.  Izzy on the Lazer Tag Team Ops Yahoo! Group has been working on a display for the base LTAR blaster (no iOS cradle/device attached) that will show the user his health and other information.  It's pretty impressive designing something like this for  a blaster that's designed to show this data through an iOS device and this will certainly help hobbyists, like myself, who hope to recase the LTAR into other shells while still having a way to display health data to the user.  See the video below on his progress on this great piece of equipment!

Friday, November 9, 2012

N7 should recruit Johnson Arms

If you have been living under a rock, you've probably missed Johnson Arms' awesome paint jobs.  If you're a Mass Effect fan, you really owe it to yourself to check this stuff out!

I've done several posts promoting Johnson Arms before, but I figured there's no harm in continuing that trend.  After all, he is a master of his craft: repaints!  Here's a few of his recent Mass Effect themed blasters.

Follow him on Facebook for the latest updates on his work.  He's also got a website, but I just love having these great repaints show up randomly in my News Feed while I sift through friends complaining about politics.  It's refreshing!

Nerf in the Balance

So recently we've had a lot of news about what is and isn't getting released in the US.  On the one hand, the Dart Tag Snapfire 8 and the Elite Stockade aren't going to be in the States for now.  While that's sure to get frowny face emoticons from fans, we've gotta remember that there's always been certain things here in the US that aren't available internationally.  The Elite Lineup has gray-trigger versions internationally that are weaker than their US counterparts, not to mention that international fans had to wait for ages to get the coveted Longshot on their shelves.

It's a balancing act for Nerf, and this is nothing new.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Black Friday Battle!

As we approach that crazy-busy shopping day, I'm starting to gear up for the next Black Friday Battle!  Traditionally, we've had a set of indoor Nerf games held on a day when most folks are out fighting over Plasma Screen TVs and brawling over Furbies. 

The trouble this year will be finding an indoor venue to hold this at.  2 years ago we held it inside an indoor Laser Tag arena after hours.  Last year we held it inside the music building on campus.  I'm starting plans to see where we might be able to have it this year.  It also means that I get to prime the general armory for loaner blasters for the game.  Either way, it's always a fun time to get together with folks over the holiday weekend.  I'll have updates on progress on a few more blasters being prepped for this as well as photos from the game when we've had it. 

Anyone else have games like this that you hold over the holidays?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lucky me!

Hope everyone had a great Halloween!  Got a few more uses out of my Captain America costume I made for this year's festivities.  From the laser tag game to a few parties to even putting the shield down so I could perform in a Halloween Night concert downtown, this costume worked great for the week!

Performed alongside some other patriotic comrades, Ronald Reagan on the Alto Sax as well as Bill Clinton playing drums (not pictured).  Kinda seemed like they should've switched, but who am I to argue with past presidents?

One of those uses was a "rental" to someone who's kinda close to me.  This should also put all those "your girlfriend is a blow-up doll in your closet" type comments I get on YouTube to bed.  No pun intended ;)