Today, I'll close up thoughts on this topic that has spanned 3 weeks of considering all the input by readers here as well as my own observations of reactions to "new" designs presented by Nerf (especially recent ones). As with Part 1 and Part 2, there's the disclaimer that these are all based on information we have up to January 30th, 2014 (when this post was written). If Nerf happens to catch on and wisen up by stealing some of these ideas in the future, we totally called it. Just sayin'.
a lot of blasters coming out that Nerf probably thinks are "Innovative". Of these newbies, the Cam CS-12, Demolisher, and SlingFire represent a good amount of new ideas they've introduced. However, a quick step back and you'll find that there's not a lot of "new" under the shell. The SlingFire's lever-action reload has been on Foam Dart blasters for awhile (BuzzBee has been using it for years). The Demolisher is a Stryfe with a Rocket Launcher underneath it. The Cam CS-12 is a Stryfe with a more-than-outdated inbuilt camera system. They've abandoned Air Blaster systems, never returned to the "combine blasters together for a Unity Power System" (that you'd think would be a hit for marketing), and are finding more ways to reshell tech that they already have.
Based on what folks have been saying about these three new blasters, there's still not enough "new" to what Nerf has been considering for blasters. Ideas that we came up with in Part 2 and even more that continue to flow in are certainly within the realm of something they could introduce. However, it seems that Nerf is more interested in pumping new blaster designs with firing systems that they've already had. Look at the number of blasters Nerf is pumping out each year. Not just new blasters for one lineup, but entirely new lineups with blasters that continue to hit shelves. However, it's more about what the blaster looks like than how it's firing that dart or disk.
I think, regardless of what Nerf releases in the future, it's become abundantly clear that to make something exciting... it can't be the same firing system with some new "gimmick". Give fans a different way to fire the dart, because at the end of the day, we've got Plunger Systems and Flywheels all over the place. "Let's put a 1998 Video Camera in it!" No. "Let's give it a funky reload!" No. Give fans something more than a fancy new tacti-cool shell. Put something new in it! It doesn't have to re-invent the wheel, but as long as it works with other blasters and accessories, it'll be a home-run with Nerf fans. There are endless possibilities once you escape the tunnel vision that designs seem to have nowadays. We've identified what folks are tired of, what they have come to "expect" now from the latest and greatest blasters hitting shelves... now it'll just take someone brave enough in the R&D division to take a step back and break out from it to deliver something we won't expect. And, to do that, they need to discover the Edge of Innovation.