Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9-9-12: My trip to an American Target toy aisle

Traditionally, 9-9-12 is the date Nerf have been publicising for the official launch of their new products/lines; in this year it's the N-Strike Elite gear and namely, the flagship Hailfire. We in Australia tend to get products.. whenever it's convenient for distributors so I was curious to see what it'd be like to be here in the US on the day that's such a big deal for Nerfers everywhere. So on the 9th September, I went and checked out a Target located down in Los Angeles to see what was on offer in the blaster aisle..

I admit I was a tad underwhelmed. Maybe I chose a quiet Target..

The aisle wasn't that big, but it carried an interesting scattering of old and new gear. I noticed some Rayvens, Lumitrons, Vigilons and Praxis's. Then there were classic N-Strike gear like some Mavericks and Nite Finders. And then I got to the Elite stuff.

Interestingly, the most expensive blaster was the Swarmfire- more so that it was the original orange trigger Swarmfire rather than the new and improved one which I thought was weird.  There was one lone Hailfire in the whole store- maybe they'd sold out by the time I got there, and it was priced pretty reasonably at 34.99 (plus sales tax- something I always get surprised by in the US). I was disappointed to not find any of the new Lazer Tag gear; hoping I do come across them before I leave.

No vests, but they have the Hailfire upgrade kit ammo packs, and various elite dart packs on offer. Prices were not bad.

Also some scatterings of well respected N-Strike like the Alpha Trooper and Barricade; a lil but not a great deal cheaper than in Australia.

Super Soakers- most of them were here- spotted the Thunder and Lightning Storms, the Electro Storm and the Point Break.

The were really plugging the Nerf Fire vision gear, but I will be interested to see how popular these are. Various attempts in the past to have light up balls have come and gone, and these ones require you to wear headgear- novel concept but I don't see parents thinking running in the dark being a good idea regardless of how well u can see the ball.

So that was it for Nerf. Really? I'm not sure what I was expecting, but probably more stuff than that. Anyway, checking out what else was on offer..

Checking out some of the new Buzzbee line we've heard all about- I admit in person they don't look so exciting and while quite cheap, I couldn't bring myself to buy them.

The Overlord is a motorised belt blaster that I guess is to take on the Vulcan but it's got a really boring form design and.. brown and beige? Ugh.

The Rangemaster is everyone's favourite Buzzbee blaster atm. It's huge, and it shoots quite well apparently, but doesn't fit into my kinda play patterns.

 The Jaguar I kinda liked the look of, but again in person they just look a lil rattly.

The Cougar looked cool in the pictures and thought it'd be awesome to repaint, but it's kinda small and less impressive to look at in real life.

Now, Xploderz by the Maya group have been busy- check out these new blasters- still without triggers, but I thought the light up/glow in the dark models were pretty novel. More so that the new 'Tracer' ammo actually glows too, meaning dem squishy ballz now glow when they hit your targets! Wheee!

Ammo also comes in red balls too, adding a more diverse element to game play.

Soo, there you have it folks back home, there's my trip to an LA Target on 9-9-12. I'll keep checking out toystores as I find them:)


  1. you will pass out if you visit a toysRus.

  2. I think that the 9-9 date this year was a lot less of a major deal here as the released the Hailfire about a month early. I mean I found it at both the target and toys r us in my area of New York that early so maybe the same happened elsewhere

  3. I had found the Hail-Fire and Pyragon in early August at my Target. They also have the new Lazer Tag stuff in Target Pineville, LA... *hinthintwinkwink* ;)

  4. Honestly, I'm not too sure if any retailer in the United States has received the blue-trigger Dart Tag gear. Each time I go back to get a new blaster, I check to see if something has shown up, and each time its a no-go. We're of course still waiting on the Snapfire too, so its hard to say what the deal is with Dart Tag over here.

  5. Yea, Targets are like that, all the Elite gear has been at that store since August. Also, we have no blue trigger Dart Tag items here in the US that I've seen.

  6. 9-9-12 kind of fizzled out from what I can tell. The promos leading up to the Elite Launch were much more exciting than the "looks like everyone in the US got their gear early" reality of it all. I feel like Vortex, even though it's not everyone's favorite, did better in it's launch than Elite. I remember seeing empty shelves when Vortex first came out... empty because they had been sold out in my area. Not really the case with what seems more like a "Soft Launch" for Elite than anything.

  7. In all actuality, the Jaguar really isn't rattly, the magazine mechanism holds the clip quite sturdily. The only time I find it rattly in any way, is when the clip is in the bottom or top most position (which is hardly ever). But because of the mechanism it IS a bit difficult to rack the slide, so the Cougars grip makes more sense (and the intentionally removable mag is nice too).

  8. Wow. And I thought my area was slow! The new blasters are pretty nice, but I don't see myself buying some anytime soon.

  9. the over loard at our wallmart is grey

  10. walmart and toy s r us have better selelctions

  11. Target and Wal-Mart usually are hit and misses when it comes to their displays. Either they got a spread or shit... mostly in the "off season" they got shit.
    Toys R Us, while they are a bit more expensive, you will pee yourself when you see the spread they got.

  12. Finally, Tasmania beats America in something. Even if it is just a blue-trigger Swarmfire.