Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Where is Modulus headed?

When it was first leaked in that "2015 Blasters Photo" spotted in the Summer of 2014, the Nerf Modulus was one of the few that caught fans attention.  A new lineup.  A rifle design.  This is gonna be good!

Now I'm not saying Nerf Modulus hasn't been good.  It's flooded the aisles with accessories and given us a decent platform blaster.  Now there's more on the way with the Recon Mk II and the Ion Fire, so the ECS-10 is getting some company to share all these accessories with.  But, ever since I figured out what Modulus was supposed to be (accessory combinations that are OVER 9,000!!!!) I've always thought... "Well isn't that what N-Strike and N-Strike Elite have been doing?"

To a certain point, no.  While the N-Strike blasters have always had some kind of accessory attachment via removable barrels, removable stocks, or tactical accessory rails, there hasn't really been a plethora of accessories available.  Unlike Modulus, the only way to really get accessories was to buy the blaster that they happened to come with.  Want a foregrip?  Buy a Retaliator.  Want a barrel that looks like a silencer?  Buy the Spectre.  Want a Dart Holder?  Buy a Barrel Break (we know that's probably the only thing that sold that blaster).

Modulus and N-Strike then, on the surface, are very similar... and I had a hard time trying to figure out what the point was.  The ECS-10 is a beefier Stryfe.  The Recon Mk II is a reworked Recon/Retaliator.  The Ion Fire is a Sharp Shot with a tactical rail.  Where these lines differ (aside from the obvious coloration changes) is how they're marketed.  Where N-Strike and N-Strike Elite have the option for accessories, the emphasis has been on the blaster itself.  Yes, there have been a few accessories released on their own, but for the most part, you buy the blaster and you're done.  Modulus is pretty much aimed at that same market, BUT now they can buy accessory upgrades to suit how they want the blaster to look from the start.

Look at it this way.  When other lines have made their debut, there have been several blasters along with it.  The Vortex release is a good example, boasting four different sized blasters from the start.  The Modulus lineup started with ONE blaster and a plethora of accessories from the start.  Right out of the gates, Modulus boasted over 1,000 combinations with their initial release for the ECS-10.  To some, that means WAY more variety in what they can do to build up their blaster.

The marketing itself is much more clever with this.  Much like the rest of the spin-off lineups with Rebelle, ZombieStrike, Doomlands, they usually take a blaster design that already works and just put it in a fancy shell.  Different colors, different designs, same guts.  Those who are completionists... those who are OCD about their stuff matching, they draw on that to get you to buy the same Stryfe twice (or three or four times).  But then there's a step further with this "Buy More of the Same" pitch.  Not only do you have to buy the new colors and designs, but there's a whole world of accessories that you can buy to outfit your blaster the way you want.  They're bundled, so you still sort of have to mix and match if you want something specific, but I bet Nerf plans on making more money off all the accessories you can add to Modulus, N-Strike, Rebelle, N-Strike Elite, ZombieStrike, the list goes on.  It's all compatible with their existing blasters anyways.

So where is Modulus headed then?  It could replace the N-Strike Elite lineup on shelves as the new mainstay "tacticool" lineup.  The combinations, the availability, this really has the potential to be bigger than the beloved N-Strike lineup.  In fact, I sort of made the mistake of thinking that Modulus was it's own thing until I noticed the "N-Strike" logo at the top, so it's more of a continuation of the N-Strike lineup than a replacement.  It's simply going from N-Strike to N-Strike Elite to N-Strike Modulus (from the looks of it).  With fewer blasters and more accessories, there's plenty of room for expansion.  For the small majority, and I was in this minority when the Modulus lineup came out, it really just seemed like the reshell game with a different brand and extra accessories.  Many fans don't realize how far the customizing game is going for Modulus.  They've moved this from the shelf to the site with Amazon.  You can literally build your blaster from the ground up instead of going to the store and being limited by what is packaged together or what is available.  It's really a game changer for Nerf.

But for most Nerf fans, Modulus is a whole new realm of fun with customizing blasters.  With more blasters planned and the lineup seemingly doing well, it's not going away anytime soon.  I don't mean to play crystal ball, but I think it's safe to say that Modulus is poised to take the top spot for the shelf.


  1. Hey, I just have a question for you!

    Do you still have a link to that site that sold the LTX Lazer Tag Combo Mounts?

    My club here is looking for a place to buy a few so that we could possibly get some for the more competitive games.

    1. They were never sold publicly. There were only 5 LTX Combo Mounts built by Custom Tag Dynamics that were sold or given to people that they knew. Almost everything they make is custom / one-of-a-kind, so it was rare that he built more than one to begin with.

    2. Hey Bazookafied, you might want to test out your theory and see if there are any new Elite blaster coming(the only one I know of is the Split Strike). If there are no new Elite blasters (not including reshells) then you are probably right.

  2. It would be a shame if Modulus replaced N Strike Elite. Modulus comes in that disgusting white/green/orange look, while N Strike Elite used to come in blue/white/orange (until the XD craze hit), which looks great.

    On the other hand, Nerf will probably re-release the Modulus in different colors, perhaps teal/black/orange, so it might not be that bad of a change.

  3. Capitalist pigs, making us buy the same stuff over and over...
    We need a people's revolutionary blaster.
    On an actual content note, I didn't realise there were that many combinations of modulus and accessories! It's basically blaster Lego.

    1. It's a pain that almost all have no actual function change. The only one that actually really could help is the stock that can shoots darts. Everything else is all tacticool... which has recently been a staple in NERF (Longstrike anyone?)

  4. I honestly can't help but think that this lineup is seriously overrated. Guns with lots of attachments, you're right; we've been doing that for years but they've just taken the idea and widely marketed it in this case. It's not just that the Modulus line of blasters as it stands is probably not going to be that drastically different from what's currently in Elite but the hype surrounding this whole build your blaster attachment thing is just moot. Literally the only things of use that these kits have are stocks and foregrips and the rest is just cosmetic plastic. I don't feel the need to shell out $15 a kit for stuff I don't need, and probably already have perfectly fine substitutes. I'm all for blaster customization but it just seems like a huge waste of money from a practical standpoint. And yeah, while it is nice that Nerf is now selling the attachments individually, the kits are still a better deal which defeats the purpose of this whole build a blaster tool on Amazon. Yet to the average kid, none of this will matter. To them an extended barrel, scope, shield or whatnot spells a better blaster and having seen numerous examples of similar marketing strategies work in the past, I think Modulus is here to stay for a long time.


  5. Yeah, so I think we might just do as well to get some PVC components, an air pump, a pressure regulator, some airgun-fit barrels, and some JSPB Magnums, build some semi-auto blasters, and go hit Hascorp HQ with a foam-based drive-by.

    Anyway, we've got a reshelled stryfe, retaliator, and sharpfire. Big fing whoop. Next, they'll give us some reshelled pistol in Modulus colours. If we're lucky, they'll reshell the Hammershot. If not, does anybody want a puke-coloured Maverick?