Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hasbro Floods the Nerf Aisle

Holy undead cows, Batman... the ZombieStrike lineup for Nerf has exploded!  I got my info from MyLastDart and I figured I'd weigh in a bit on how this lineup effects Nerf overall.  Not just in the hands of players, but their marketing strategy and flooding of the market with new products.

I'm curious how the rest of you feel about my take on it too, so feel free to weigh in on this!

On the surface, this is beyond exciting for Nerf fans. More blasters,more designs, more Humans vs Zombies themed stuff, a CROSSBOW (old school Nerf fans can appreciate this), and just a boatload of products to keep tabs on.  For those of you keeping score at home, here's what Nerf has coming so far.

  • Nerf Rebelle
    • Heartbreaker Bow
    • Sneak Attack
    • Pink Crush Crossbow
    • Wildfire
    • Probably more that I forgot
  • N-Strike Elite
    • RapidStrike CS-18
  • N-Strike MEGA
    • Centurion
  • Nerf ZombieStrike
    • Hammershot
    • Sledgefire
    • Crossfire Bow
    • Fusefire
    • SideStrike
    • Strike Blade
    • RipShot
    • Ricochet
Even if I missed some stuff, that lineup includes 3 brand-new lines and 15 new blasters.  YAY!!!  ...right?

Let's think about this rationally.  What's already on store shelves for the Nerf brand right now?  There's N-Strike Elite blasters, some of which are barely a year old.  You've got Vortex Blasters, which are coming in on their second year mostly.  Overall, there'a already about 10 different blasters available in the United States on most store shelves.  This next influx of blasters would more than double Nerf's presence on store shelves... and when you flood the market, one of two things can happen.  The first being that it's a big success and Hasbro's shares go through the roof.  The second being that, with so many blasters to choose from, the market becomes saturated and you either buy everything (which most fans won't do) or they sit on shelves and collect dust.

The two big launches are really just recoloring blasters for certain interests.  A girl could easily paint an N-Strike Elite blaster pink and accomplish the same goal the Rebelle lineup offers.  A college student playing HvZ on campus likely already has a Nerf blaster for the games he's playing.  Essentially, both of these new lineups are catering to a much smaller target that likely already have blasters, already buy Nerf products, and don't need another 10 blasters to fill out their arsenal.  Most of these blasters concepts are copycats of other existing or soon to be produced products in the first place, so the only thing that's really varying here is the exterior.

Maybe I'm being too pessimistic/negative about this huge release of blasters, as I do like all the designs.  There's easily over 500 dollars to spend on this new wave of products if you were to buy one of each... so is the market really demanding that much?  Better yet, take a read over at Urban Taggers and see what their dollar figures estimate for the new Nerf Aisle.


  1. Mike you should be on the Radio man! Love the POV you have, and especially your take on the retail strategy. I think Hasbro may well be at risk of flooding the market. I hope this is something that pulls off for them, and does not make them think twice about future release goodness. I noticed on the crossbow there is an Elite logo on the handle - looks like this was destined for the Elite range originally.

    1. The whole design seems "N-Strike-ish" in the first place, now that you mention that. There's a removable stock attachment on the rear, the tactical rail, just the overall styling of it... yeah. That's a good find. I'd put money on that speculation of yours. Either way, I'm stoked for this blaster!

  2. Take it for what it's worth, but I'm really starting to expect this sort of reaction from your blog. Always the downer.

    1. Gotta keep one's head on straight among all the hype and excitement. I think if this were just news about a couple of blasters, like 3 for the Rebelle line and 3 or 4 for the ZombieStrike line, I wouldn't be as worried.

      My other worry is that there's so many blasters that are already like these. The Crossbow is awesome, but really it's the only one that stands out to me compared to the rest of the single-shot pistols. I'm looking forward to the HammerShot and the SledgeFire, too. But the HammerShot is just a recolored Wildfire in the Rebelle lineup.

    2. I like a sensible balance, anyone can whoop and fluff, analysis and comment is journalism, the rest is just recycled PR. Keep on asking those awkward questions!

    3. I agree with Devon here, there is a distinct difference from those that keep it neutral/real and those that are in the pocket and afraid of their PR relationship.

      What you do has edge, and it's one of the most valued blogs in the NIC today. Stick to your guns Sir, you got a brilliant mind and opinion :)

  3. Don't forget the sonic ice blasters!

  4. Perhaps they're trying to flush out the competition from the foam weapons shelf-space? In my perfect world where economics is not important I'd like to believe that Hasbro is trying to give everyone the choice of blaster so they can get exactly what they want. Seems unlikely though, forcing consumers to get what is close enough but not quite perfect seems more profitable.

    1. I really doubt that there is that much consumer demand for single shot blasters though. Sure for casual Nerfers they are fine. However people for the most part lover capacity. Sure if you give a bunch of children a bunch of blasters they will run around and have fun. However if you give a bunch of children a single shot blaster and one child a high capacity blaster it will soon become apparent to the children that single shot blasters under perform...

  5. just want to clarify something: don't know where "wildfire" came from for rebelle but the "wildshot" is no longer a valid name as foam from above has debunked that many times from the nyc toy fair and the recent nerf mega summer bash media event.

  6. I didn't even notice the butt stock attachment til you guys mentions it. Add a Lightning Storm stock and tactical scope from the EX-6 pistol or recon stock and green flashlight? Shades of Chewbacca or Patrick Swayze in Next of Kin or a Barnett ad from the late 80s?

  7. Nerf is trying to fill shelf space that will be available once xploderz/maxxforce/etc kick the bucket. The zs line is the woeful consequence of attempting put out a lot of products to fill that shelf space without enough time to fully design and flesh out a unique line, instead relying on a bunch of old designs that were never good enough to hit the showroom floor. My 2c.

  8. Don't forget the Rebelle Sweet Revenge (AKA the nerf Hammershot)