Nerf Mods & Reviews. 2009 to 2014. I've still got mixed feelings about this, but it still seems like the right decision. Yesterday, a giant in the Nerf Blog world closed up shop. I'd say it was the decision of it's long list of authors... but since those contributors had since gone AWOL, it actually came down to a decision that I made. Nothing against Psyk, Coop, RS09, or the countless other authors that I have a great amount of respect for, but when a Laser Tag/Nerf guy named Bazookafied is the only one left running the show, it's a tough call to make. Here's my story on the tail end of one of the best blogs in the community.
Almost two years ago, when I was working with Jet & Triangle on the Universal Nerf blog, I was discussing things with jerm781 about Nerf Mods & Reviews. He admitted he was on his way out and suggested that we should take the reins. It started off strong, as we started to expand things not just for Modifications and Reviews, but to feature other modders work and to showcase what they were doing. After the first couple of months we started to lose steam. Darth Rambo, who was quite active at the time, stepped in and ushered in another surge of activity. He went on to add other co-authors who would bring their superstar status into the mix that breathed more life into the blog. As they continued on their own respective YouTube channels, websites, and blogs, the contributions to NM&R slipped off. With each surge of activity, the downward spiral seemed unavoidable. Each time it went up a step, it'd take another 3 steps back shortly afterwards. It was clear the blog wasn't making a return without it's maker at the helm.
It's not really any one person's fault. Nerf Mods & Reviews needed someone full-time to continue things, and everyone we managed to find was already doing something on their own. It still has an obvious impact on the community, what with 5 years of valuable posts on reviews, modifications, and the news that it brought to light. However, it's really just a time capsule now of a great era for Nerf blogs. Nerf Mods & Reviews was one of my "Big 3" that I used to reference so frequently... and one by one they are becoming more a part of the past than the future. Urban Taggers did it right. SG Nerf hasn't admitted they're out yet.
I'm still happy I got a chance to try to continue what jerm781 did, but part of me is still a little sad I didn't do more. In hindsight, trying to pass on something like a blog is tough to do without 100% commitment, and my focus has always been on Tactical Tag. It's something each "creator" will struggle with: a passing of the torch. In the same way that I think jerm781 should've been the one to turn a page over for NM&R, I won't hand off this blog when that inevitable day comes. Currently, I feel like there's much more life ahead of Tactical Tag, but I'm sure jerm781 thought that too. Only time will tell. All we can do is be thankful for the time we had and continue to move foward.
In many ways, jerm781 and Nerf Mods & Reviews is still giving fans what they want, only with the current allotment of blasters and products that it covered. That's what I'm doing today. Being thankful for what NM&R gave us.