Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Old vs New Blasters: What's worth it?

The holy grail of Nerf: Crossbow, from the mid 90's
Today a vintage Nerf Crossbow NIB (new in box) went for 320 bucks US on eBay. Now, I'll be the first to admit it's easy to pay somewhat over the top prices for toys you want but 320 bucks? WOW.

That being said, if it had been a vintage NIB Super Soaker Constant Pressure System (CPS) 2000 I probably would have snapped it up for that EASY.

Why? Probably because I had one as a teenager and know from personal experience that the CPS 2000 is LEGEN-DARY; classic memories of shooting it out of the backseat of my friend's car at pedestrians (I said, I had it as a teen-like you never did anything stupid when you were a teenager!) or engaging in a mad crazy water fight with it that impressed a girl I met on my first day at Uni have me longing to get my hands on one of those again (the blaster, not the girl) whereas I never owned or experienced a Nerf Crossbow and can't associate it with mad memories that would be worth that much.

Memories aside though, sometimes older toys ARE actually better than the new ones. Aesthetics is definitely a personal preference thing but on pure performance, there are blasters that are 10-15 years old that will still outperform their current line newer siblings. You'd think technology advancements would mean blasters of today should offer considerable improvement over their vintage counterparts, but this is not always the case.

For us personally, we much prefer the current range of Nerf blasters to those of old. While the older blasters (pre N-Strike) are rumoured to be much more open to modifications and boast better ranges than the newer blasters, I find them silly looking, with low capacities and.. did I mention how silly looking they are?
Vintage Powerclip DX-1000 vs Magstrike AS-10
Still, if a vintage NIB Nerf Crossbow can go for 320 bucks on eBay, they must be worth something. I love my old school Nerf Powerclip DX-1000, but then the current Magstrike AS-10 does everything it can do and comes with a removable clip; and while in my opinion the old school DX-500 though IS a better blaster than the current Hornet AS-6, I have to say there's nothing in the old range that comes close to my love of the current Alpha Trooper CS-18, Raider CS-35 or Stampede ECS.

In the case of water blasters though, we have to say the vintage Super Soakers of the last decade trump anything available today. The 90's were the glory days of the Super Soaker, and while they might not look as cool as the current model Super Soaker Thunderstorm or Point Break, they are absolute BEASTS performance wise and absolutely dominate anything on the current market.
King of the hill: CPS 2000 (pic courtesy of isoaker.com)
The classic CPS 2000, 1000 and 1500 and later 1200, 1700 and 2500's were just incredible to fire and boasted thick powerful streams, large tank capacities and some even had recoil. Maybe it is because I was more into water blasters as a kid that I favour these vintage blasters, but in a water fight it's a no brainer- even against my beloved 2007 Super Soaker Flash Flood, the older CPS blasters still take the cake.

SO what side of the fence are you; which retro blasters do you want to get your hands on, or are you all about the latest and greatest current day models?


  1. LOL, i ALWAYS wanted a SuperMAXX 5000, you know, that thing is BAD!!!

  2. Lol advancements in technology never went into "making the blasters better". It all went into "Safer", "aesthetically pleasing", and, most importantly, "making them cheaper to produce".

    But what can you expect... the guise of "making play safer for our children" can mask anything in parents' eyes. And the kids know no better. They aren't like us. They don't have the luxury of going through a couple of generations of toys to make the comparisons =P

  3. My older brother had the CPS 2500 when i was little and man did that thing hurt when it hit you, i still have the strap which i use for nerf

  4. I used to own a first-generation CPS 2000 myself. It got destroyed when I was about 11 or 12. Still sad about it...

    I still have a Nerf Monoblast sans plunger and spring, which broke a loooonnnggg time ago. But I kept the blaster as a kid because I liked the design. I found it in storage one day and now I plan to rebuild it. I also was a huge fan of the Secret Shot, and the Wildfire and the DX1000 like you mentioned were incredible.

    But... I'll be honest, it feels like there's no real point to getting any of those old blasters. I had a similar conversation with a buddy of mine who I battle with every week after I told him that I might pick up the Rapid Fire 20, Big Bad Bow, and Magstrike AS-10 because they are what's left of that old Nerf generation, and his response was "But are you really willing to lay down 25 bucks on a nostalgia piece that you won't use in a battle?" He makes a good point.

    I'd love to get my hands on a Secret Shot again, but I simply can't justify paying that much for something that I know I wouldn't use.

  5. Old> New

    And I found a working CPS 2000 in the trash! :)

  6. My birthday was in the summer, so I always got water guns as a kid for my birthday. The CPS 2000 was my favorite. The 3000 and 2700 were pretty good too though. All the neighborhood kids feared me... mwahaha. The supersoakers of the 90s were definitely better.

  7. as far as the supersoakers go i had a monster xl (largest supersoaker ever made) you could wash a car with that thing dont know what happened to it though

  8. I tried to get a Crossbow off Ebay the other week but I only went as high as $160. Thing went for over $300, Crazy! I doubt I'll ever own one at these prices.

  9. I like the rate of fire of new blasters alot.

  10. I think Nerf had its best products right before N-Strike came out. Airtech series, Big Bad Bow, Dart Tag Hyperfire, all good. They are simple internal-wise, look nice, and shoot far.
    Same with Super Soakers. The CPS series was really dangerous, though the power is why people want them. Aquashock blasters were a good balance, especially the Vaporiser (which I found on sale for $4) and the Secret Strike. That is, they actually soak the target, without the incredibly long priming time.

    The Soaker Wars stuff was really disappointing. Mainly because they shot out weaker streams of water that might evaporate on a hot summer's day. Especially hoping the new water pistol has an actual trigger instead of a compressed vinyl tube that controls water flow.

  11. Old is much better, personally my favorite line is the supermaxx line, my 5000 and two 3000s (all very heavily overhauled, in fact one of the 3000s is semi auto) and they triumph over everything that I have that is current, even my Airtech 3000 which is semi ish new since they were taken off the market only 5 years ago i think. The only new blasters in my opinion that could triumph over the old are probably the longshots if done right and nightfinders because of the infinite amount of mods you can do for them, but off course that is as a modder standpoint.

    As a normal consumer standpoint, I would rather go with the new, because even though when my yellow supermaxx 3000 was stock it did hit the fifties consistently, but it uses lamari darts, which are very rare. I would go with stock because of the ammo standpoint. And also the new clip systems are very cool, while as a modder I would like one strong shot, as a consumer I want many shots that quickly reload and shoot at an acceptable distance.

    So all in all your preference really depends on your situation.

  12. I'll bet they changed it because people kept making flamethrowers out of them.