Tale as old as time. A manufacturer builds something and then utilizes it's core components to make something else. From Computers to Cars to Buildings and Blasters, it just makes sense. So when Nerf releases a "new" blaster, take it with a grain of salt. Sure the outside is exciting and it probably has a tactical rail but I'd be hard pressed to see ground-breaking new designs tucked neatly inside it's shell. It's something that hit me when I visited Target this week (it's currently August of 2015 for those of you reading this in the age of flying cars).
Suddenly the "newness" wears off and, as I look at the shelves, I try to figure out which one looks the coolest (I nabbed a Vagabond). It's still good, since the blasters all work well (although I haven't seen great reviews on the Doominator) but I was expecting that excitement of ALL these new products right in front of me to last a little longer. Unless you absolutely NEED a new design on the exterior to add to your massive Nerf Blaster collection, you probably already own a similar blaster at home.
That's exactly what happened when I got home with the Vagabond. I'll have a review up later, but in the 24 hours I have owned this new blaster in a new lineup... it already feels kinda old. I already have a great 6-Shooter Pistol that can do Slamfire. It's called the Strongarm and it's a great blaster! Mine has been lightly modified to have a bit more punch for range but I've used it a bunch since I got it. So whatever modifications I do to my Vagabond... it just feels like more of the same for performance gains. Would I pick a modified Vagabond over a modified Strongarm? Tough to say. Would I pick two HammerShots over one Lawbringer? Probably. Would I pick a Stryfe over a Modulus? More than likely.
The Reshell Game has been done a bunch and I suppose this latest "Loot Drop" of Nerf Products for Summer of 2015 seems like more of the same. Perhaps that's because the new designs are in the new Rival lineup. Perhaps there's just demand for the existing blaster tech. Perhaps I'm just bummed that the high of owning this new Vagabond wore off so easily when I realized my Strongarm is doing just fine without an extra 6 inches of plastic. Either way, Nerf knows exactly what I'll do: keep getting these blasters. They still look great. They still work great (a few exceptions, but nobody is perfect). And they still fuel my random battles with my 7-year-old neighbor.