Earlier this week, Mr SBNC showed us signs of yet another lineup coming for Nerf that would make any Trigun fan weak in the knees. With news breaking of the Vagabond and the Lawbringer on the way, it's pretty easy to see that there's a Cyber-Western-Themed lineup coming to Shelves soon. We don't know what the name, I imagine we'll find out soon, as there looks to be one printed just above the back of the rotating barrel section. Likely the Baidu guy who took the photo knows, but the blurry sasquatch photographic evidence is all we have to go by for now. The DCPI codes found at Target by RS09 list them as "N-Strike", but there's a clear Space Cowboy theme going on with these two new blasters.
There are now N-Strike, N-Strike Elite, N-Strike Elite MEGA, Rebelle, ZombieStrike, Vortex, the new MODULUS stuff coming, and the new Rival line (thanks for the reminder, harpuia)... PLUS whatever name the Vagabond and Lawbringer will fall into. Around the same time news of these new blasters broke, I essentially pronounced the Vortex lineup dead. Whether I'm right or not, let's do a quick count of what we will have on the shelf. I'm seeing 9, unless you count N-Strike and N-Strike Elite together.
According to what BlasterLabs told us about their time with Hasbro Executives, they were fed the following answer about Vortex:
"...Vortex had been oversaturated in the market, and it basically needs time to cool down (i.e., clear shelf space of models that didn’t move as quickly as planned). Therefore, retail reception to more in the Vortex line is not likely to be strong, which would tend to make a better case for integrating Vortex into other lines (like Zombie Strike)."
If that's true, wouldn't having N-Strike Elite, MEGA, Rebelle, ZombieStrike and this new Cyber Western line still contribute to the oversaturated market? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a shotgun-style long-barreled revolver and a whole lineup of gunslingers like it. But I think that Nerf might be getting too technical with all these names and lineups. Think about it for a second.
Much like what the ZombieStrike lineup is, I almost feel like Nerf wouldn't have to worry about oversaturating the market with different lineups if they didn't divide them all up like they have. In the same way that the SideStrike looks good in ZombieStrike colors AND N-Strike Elite colors, I don't really know that having different purposes for lineups is good. Couldn't they just label blasters as "N-Strike" or "Rebelle" or even just "Nerf" and simplify things? Disks didn't HAVE to be Vortex, as proven by the Fusefire. They used to just list ammo charts at Toys R Us to tell you what type each blaster needed. Now there's just Elite darts, MEGA darts, and Disks. Easy!
I don't see the un-complication of the lineups happening any time soon, but at least focusing on 2 or 3 lineups at a time would help out. Modulus is essentially an accessories-focused N-Strike blaster. ZombieStrike already has N-Strike and Vortex stuff in there. It's do-able. Maybe separating everything up is good, but if it means that it can be used as an excuse to let things like Vortex or Dart Tag slip off, I'm not so sure.
WHEW! And I got all of that just by looking at the Vagabond! Whatever name they give the new stuff, I just wanna get my hands on 'em and shoot! I can't imagine what others are thinking, so feel free to chime in with your thoughts. I'm on vacation from 6/5 to 6/10, so it'd be nice to have some reading to do.