Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thanks for reading:)

Well it's that time. Rather than just let this fizzle and look like another un-maintained blog without reason, I just wanted to let you all know after a lot of thought, I've decided to call it a day and finish up Urban Taggers.  Much has changed over the past 3 yrs in toy blaster land- when we started out in 2010, toy stores in Australia would dedicate a shelf and a half to toy blasters and the intel was barely trickling in down under at the best of times; since then its been amazing how the market has changed so much and how stores have taken notice with whole walls now dedicated to these awesome toys.

I've done my best to bring you all everything I know about toy blasters from any source I could find on the internet. We hunted and searched, negotiated and paid sometimes ridiculously high prices just to get them and review them open and honestly first so you guys would be able to decide for yourselves if they were a goer or not. We scrutinised official leads and looked for unofficial ones (perhaps not always the smartest idea!) but in light of all of this, I think there's evidence now to suggest things have changed and there's no longer a need to do this anymore. Toy companies are engaging more than ever with their customers, and that's awesome. Information is becoming more readily available and I think that's a good thing and if we were in any way shape or form responsible for influencing even a LITTLE bit of that, then I'm two thumbs up winning right there:)

I've had a few offers to take over the reigns of UT but for now.. I just don't want that to happen. It's been my heart and soul for the past few years and I guess even though I don't have the capacity to continue anymore, I probably am a little too close to my little blog to let it go to someone else just yet.

SO what happens now? There's no reason to "remove" the blog, I just won't really be updating it anymore. (I probably will still admin the comments but that might take a bit of time)  I still love the gear and I still use social media a LOT so I'll probably still keep the Facebook page going too if any of you wanna still say hey. There are plenty of good sources of info out there for this sorta thing, so no doubt you'll be in good hands.

Thank you so much for reading. This really was an amazing experience and I'm chuffed to think I could have been a part of this awesome toy blaster world.

"we don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Buzzbee Side winder : That's... some firepower.

Buzzbee doesn't have the greatest presence here in Australia, and their official website does look a little outdated but luckily we get some of our readers on the ball to send us cool stuff to view. From our Facebook page, "Braeburn MLP Fim" uploaded some things they saw at Walmart; There was an Auto Tek 20 (see after the jump) which I've seen before, but this very interesting looking Sidewinder caught my eye in a .. WHAT IS THAT? sort of way?  A quick google search just comes up with photos of the X-Shot Sidewinder (and of that, it's mostly pics of the blaster I sent Jerm from Nerf Mods + Reviews back in the day!) which is a different beast entirely. 

This one from Buzzbee looks interesting. If anything, it's unique, it's something new (somewhat), and it's like a belt fed blaster but in a drum. I'm only speculating but interesting stuff! Anyone got one? Thoughts?

Sunday, July 21, 2013 Nerf Zombie Strike Sledgefire vid

Our German friends at have gotten their hands on some of the mad new gear- in this particular case they're reviewing the upcoming new Zombie Strike Sledgefire. I'm quite a fan of this blaster from an aesthetic point of view, but what's nice is Bankcroft really break it down on how it works. 

From what the video shows, it 'breaks' in half like the Barrel Break, and is designed to be a "shotgun" so it fires three darts simultaneously (apparently you can't do one at a time but then if you wanted to do that, this wouldn't be the blaster of choice) via a dart holder but luckily it doesn't 'spit' the empty shells out after you've fired like a Buzzbee Doubleshot.  

Another thing I find pretty interesting is another "nod" to aesthetic modders by providing cardboard stencils in the box. It seems like Nerf are actually promoting/urging fans to customise their own blasters with the Zombie Strike logo. Nifty!

Vid after the jump. Thanks Cornelius for the link!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Meanwhile, back in China... : Baidu

Ahh Baidu; how those Chinese taunt us so. While we all eagerly anticipate the release of all the wonderful new Nerf gear, already people in China are posting photos of the blasters that they already own. There's not really any news here, it's just a pic spam round up of some images I pulled from Baidu just to make us sigh with envy:P More pics after the jump.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Rant: Rebelle line- Enjoy Pepsi?

This girl has really become the face of Nerf for girls. More so than any other model.
The new promo clip for the upcoming Rebelle line of "female friendly" blasters is out, and it's definitely a different approach to Nerf advertising than that in the past. Sure, it's pretty obvious there are a lot of nods to the Hunger Games with the actors running through the forest rather than urban surroundings but there's so much more to this clip that that.

The interesting thing about this clip is because it's now promoting a product that's targeting girls, the message is different. And that's why I find this clip so darn interesting. Because dem marketing peeps over at Hasbro have determined that if you want to appeal to the female market, you can't just throw a mad looking product in their face and expect them to buy. The new Rebelle line seems to not just be about pink blasters; ultimately this is about creating an image or lifestyle.

Which is probably why this clip seems less like a traditional Nerf ad, and more like one for Clearasil daily face wash.

Atamaii: Zombie Strike @ SDCC 2013

 Yes, that IS a Zombie Strike MACHETE. Anime toy blog Atamaii posted this awesome look at the Zombie Strike presence at this year's San Diego Comic Con and it looks amazeballz. There's stuff there that we haven't seen before.. Zombie Strike  Z BOMBS even?:P
So other than the very cool looking Machete (which the tag says will be released next month in the US), we've also got these Z Bombs (not sure if they do anything other than work like throwing a Nerf football, but they also seem to come in varieties like a buzz saw?), A reskined Jolt targeting kit and accessories like bandanas and pouches. Also gives us a look at the Side Strike's holster. All and all a great piece of intel from Atamaii!

Check out the vid after the jump. Cheers JB!

Just how powerful IS the Nerf Centurion?

Naturally, it's not a grey trigger unit:P

Josh Gets Shot In Crotch for Charity from Woodstock Comedy Festival

New Nerf on Amazon UK

A quick one- A glance at Amazon's UK site shows three of the upcoming Rebelle line blasters and the much anticipated N-Strike Elite Rapidstrike CS-18 are listed and some even in stock now. At this stage this is as far as I could have gotten as they're not shipping to Australia (sigh) but hey, our UK friends can benefit from this before anyone else worldwide

(Amazon US is still showing September for the Rapidstrike and nada for the Rebelle at this stage)

NXT Generation: Hunting for wee tackers.

Most toy manufacturers have been very sensitive about the association between their blasters and real life guns.Killing? There's no killing here. And they're NOT guns, they're blasters.... Well not NXT Generation; this American toy company gets straight to the point and suggests:

"the next generation is our future; they will be the ones to protect the environment and the great sport of hunting and shooting."

I've never really heard of them before; I'm not sure how well this sort of marketing would go in Australia, but I was curious and did some research. Findings after the jump:)

Nerf Powerplay 2013 tournament: So much awesome in Singapore..

Singapore just seems to rock it when it comes to Nerf events. This vid from "Big Three Productions" showcases the official close quarters 3 on 3 Powerplay tournament and it looks awesome. Interesting how they've integrated the N-Strike Elite gear into the Dart Tag world- we're spotting Strong Arms and Rough Cut 4x2's mixing it with Quick 16's. Check out the vid after the jump. Cheers JB for the link!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Baidu- Nerf Zombie Strike Hammer Shot in grey trigger

We've talked about how the stricter safety standards of certain countries (like Australia) have resulted in a grey trigger for the Elite series of nerf blasters, but it looks like the design will be extended to the other upcoming lines too. Here, spotted on Baidu is a grey triggered Zombie Strike Hammer Shot. Other than it being of a person's lap/crotch, it's a really nice high res image of the Hammer Shot:)

What's interesting is I've started to see sales on Taobao of N-Strike Elite gear where you can CHOOSE whether you want an orange trigger or a grey trigger- grey being cheaper:) Not really a big deal if you're going to mod them anyway:)

Cheers Randomshadow09 for the heads up!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Rant: Nerf Zombie Strike 2014 lineup.. yeah cool but..

From the 2013 lineup. Preview of things to come? or not..
Ok, Straight off the bat- I'm a completionist so no doubt I'll end up with all of the new Zombie Strike gear, no question. Nerf, you have my money. However, after a few hours and some sleep in between my 4am post on the new Zombie Strike kit, I've managed to sit down and really look at this new line up a little more carefully, and I have to concur with a few of the comments already made by some readers that there's something about the release of these new blasters that just doesn't quite sit right.

And so I think it's time for a good and hearty rant piece:)

io9: Nerf Zombie Strike full line up revealed for 2014. WOW.

Up until this point, Nerf's upcoming Zombie Strike line has been a little left field, coming out of nowhere and with little intel on what it is and how it'll line up alongside other Nerf gear. Out of the blue, pop culture and tech site io9 just got the mad exclusive to the official Zombie Strike press release, complete with what we love the most- details of NEW BLASTERS. 

It appears the new Zombie Strike line is going to be bringing a whole bunch of Nerf's lines together, with a series of very cool original gear that has foam dart blasters, vortex XLR disc firing blasters and even incorporating N-Force to the mix with a Zombie Strike sword! More details after the jump. (prices are US dollars)

(it's 4am here and I got woken up by my phone beeping with emails coming thru a plenty from readers, so thanks to all of you who sent in for the heads up- this is news worth waking up for!)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Reddit: How much do you Nerf completionists need to save for 2013?:)

So, if you, like me tend to have to get EVERY blaster that comes out from Nerf, you'll find this season there's QUITE a lot on offer.Reddit contributor Mike Jonas and some other dudes (including Mr K) have put together an estimate of how much exactly you'll need to have on your credit card/in your wallet to be able to purchase everything that we've been discussing over the past few months. This is of course US dollars, so adjust accordingly:P  Check it out after the jump:)

YouTube: Sonic Ice Retaliator unboxing

Singaporean YouTuber Yuki Nagato got himself the all new Nerf N-Strike Elite Sonic Ice series Retaliator and posted an unboxing vid. Check it out after the jump:)

Instructables: Nerf Vulcan Sentry Gun

There's something about the Nerf N-Strike Vulcan that just lends itself to being modded. It's big and awesome and still gets the "OMG" reaction from non-nerfers to this day, but it's never really the primary blaster of choice for most players due to it's size and relatively slow reloading mechanism (that and no other blaster in the Nerf line uses the belts). The Vulcan's bulk and the fact it even comes with a tripod suggests it's made to be stationary- and in turn it tends to be the blaster of choice for engineering types who want like tinkering with electronics- and build cool stuff like.. oh I dunno.. automated sentry guns:)

I've seen several varieties- however this one from Instructable user Brittliv is the latest and perhaps one of the more advanced ones I have found with not just motion sensor tracking, but also the ability to differentiate between friend or foe by.. what they're wearing:D Video after the jump. Awesome:)

Nerf Vulcan Sentry Gun via Instructables

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Nerf N-Strike Elite Sonic Ice Retaliator: Toys R Us HK

That translucent blue stock we've all been speculating on that was spotted on Baidu now has an official home; as we thought, the Retaliator is coming out in Sonic Ice finish, and by the looks of it complete with a clear clip! Spotted on the official Hong Kong Toys R Us website; Thanks to Ash from My Last Dart for the lead!

Sonic Ice Retaliator via Toys R Us (HK)

The Brick Gun Book: 30 percent discount for UT readers!

Lego is definitely one of the all time success stories in the toy world, being around since the late 1940's and still maintaining its place as one of the best selling toys of all time. We love Lego, but it's not something we'd normally cover under Urban Taggers; well not until we picked up this very cool book from dem good peeps at geek culture publisher 'No Starch Press'. They do some very cool books on a variety of geeky stuff but it's their Lego related publications that I love- not quite the normal Lego models you'd get in stores, with some really tough looking (and somewhat realistic) replicas of guns that fire rubber bands:)

This particular publication we received  is called "The BrickGun Book" and has pretty easy to follow detailed instructions to build a number of working (ie shooting rubberbands) pieces. Admittedly in the beginning I was like "I dunno.. not sure if this is my thing"- several hours later (and admittedly my working model is currently somewhat multicoloured as I don't have that many black pieces!)  I'm a fan:) 

The book is available from most book retailers- Amazon, Barnes + Noble etc, but No Starch have been pretty cool in giving our readers a substantial 30 PERCENT OFF discount to our readers if they order the book on their website- just punch in 'TAGGERS' on checkout and the coupon works for both buying the physical and digital copies of the book. (Coupon might even work for other books from their line too, haven't checked just yet

More samples of the book's pages after the jump:) Thanks Jess from No Starch Press for the coupon code!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Nerf Sonic Ice Elite Rampage: Baidu

Quite a while back in 2010 when Nerf were churning out bootloads of repaints of their N-Strike blasters, we made a comment that what we thought would look REALLY cool:

 "I'd like to see translucent blue actually, that'd look priddy:)"

Well bless their cotton foam socks, Nerf have done exactly that and it looks like they'll be releasing a new translucent blue version of some their Elite blasters called "Sonic Ice". At this stage here's a bootload of pics after the jump serving as confirmation of the Elite Rampage courtesy of Baidu user Wei Ping, and the mysterious translucent blue stock floating around on Baidu suggests the Retaliator will also get the Sonic Ice treatment as well. 

If previous repaints are any indication, we should see something like the Strongarm and the Firestrike possible getting the Sonic Ice treatment too, but that's just me speculating. What do you reckon would make for a likely blaster to be released in translucent blue?

Nerf Vortex repaints on US shelves- TN

We saw these Nerf Vortex repaints featured at some of the toy fairs early this year and they're starting to make it onto shelves in the US. Our good pal Dave in Tennessee spotted this Proton in his local Target; I for one welcome the new scheme as the old putrid green was definitely not in favour at UT basecamp:P 

I also like the new colour of the XLR discs although they do sorta remind me of a breath mint- look how happy the model is. He too likes fresh mint firing goodness!:P

Cheers Dave for the pics!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Meanwhile, in the Philippines.. Rapidstrike CS-18

So we all heard about the mad crazy accidental early release of the upcoming Nerf Elite Rapidstrike CS-18 in the Philippines right? What could possibly be cooler than being in the right place at the right time for when those bad boys ended up on shelves prematurely?

How about being around when some poor shop assistant incorrectly marks them at the equivalent of 10 bucks US each? :P 

Thanks heaps to Black Ops for the pics!

Nerf Zombie Strike Deco Darts- cos yellow is lethal to zombies:)

Spotted on the Target (US) website- Perhaps zombies just don't care for standard blue Elite darts. And the pink collectible darts of the Rebelle series- well you might as well just feed them your brains right there and then. No, if you want to really take out a mean and nasty zombie horde, you have to do it with these officially badged Zombie Strike yellow darts. Yellow gets 'em every time. Just like Green Lantern.  Pack of 30, for 10 bucks US.

(ok, I have no idea what I'm on about, there's just not a whole lot you can write about dart ammo packs so I'm padding here. shhh:P..)

Nerf Zombie Strike Sledgefire : Target (US)

Also found on the US Target website is the Nerf Zombie Strike Sledgefire. We've not known a whole lot about this blaster other than what we got officially from Hasbro, but it seems to be as predicted a "shotgun-esque" blaster that fires 3 rounds at once with an ammo holder built into the stock. Comes with the yellow darts as we saw with the Hammershot. I'm not a fan of the colour scheme but I do like the original styling- looks like it's got a tactical rail and uses a "break" system to load the dart ammo cartridges. As with all shotgun style blasters, I'm not sure how practical they are for actual gameplay, but as far as roleplay and just for kicks, I think this one's a winner:)
Nerf Zombie Strike Sledgefire via Target (US)

Nerf Mission App Tactical Rail Mount: A piece of plastic with potential

There's a strong believe out there in toyland that integrating smartphone apps to toy blasters is the next big thing. Hasbro included it with their Lazer Tag Augmented Reality line last year with limited success, but they weren't prepared to give up on the idea and have pushed it with the upcoming new "made for girls" Rebelle line and now also the N-Strike Elite series will get its own app and iOS device mount. 

Hasbro Australia have been kind enough to send us one of these "Mission App Tactical Rail Mount" attachments, although alas we can't really do a WHOLE lot with it given access to the free downloadable app won't be made available till August. It's also only for Apple iOS devices (and by that we mean iPhone 4 and above and iPod touch 4 and above) so that also cancels me out somewhat given I don't like Apple devices:P I can't review the app itself either, but from what the instructions say it does sound a lot less like the A.R games found in the LTARs and more like what Tek Recon are proposing. Time will tell I guess. 

Pics after the jump- there are a lot and it's a tad overkill, but it's been a while since I've gotten something to take pics of so I went a lil nuts:P

Box art for Nerf Zombie strike Hammershot: Target (US)

Thanks to everyone who sent this to me; that mysterious Nerf Zombie Strike Hammershot now gets official box art to go with the images we saw a while back. Hasbro Australia made it official for us with their press release, but it looks like it's made an appearance on the official Target US website. 
What I'm seeing here is a new visual design here, not just in the blaster but with their box art going with more of a comic artwork feel than the traditional "grim- dude- in- black- turtleneck" design. Also noticing the bright yellow darts and the "Only at Target" badge. 

What's also quirky is the complete lack of PR material on the Zombie Strike line and it pops up on a Target US website just like that, whereas the Rebelle line has been very public and vocal over the past 6 months and it still hasn't made it to shelves yet. In contrast, our official info from Hasbro Australia gave us the dates/names of the Zombie Strike gear straight up, but we were given a "watch this space" word on Rebelle. Interesting huh?!

It's being listed at $14.99 US so assuming it'll be under 20 bucks here in Australia if/when it's released. Keen?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Difference Between Boys’ And Girls’ Nerf Guns: Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed's Ashley Perez may be a self proclaimed 'Taylor Swift Connoisseur" but she sure as hell is not a fan of the upcoming new Nerf Rebelle line and sees it as sexist, judging by this post:)  

It pretty much addresses most of the issues already discussed about whether Rebelle is a good thing or not; I personally tend to just look at it more that "awesome new blasters coming out!" rather than worrying about whether it's for girls, boys, barnyard animals or whatever:) Have a look over at Buzzfeed- do you agree or not?

(You'll notice the images are from Dutch blogger Neder-nerf but sourced from Basic Nerf )

Monday, July 1, 2013

US Nerf Media Bash round up: Foam from Above

A few of the US bloggers have been lucky enough to be invited to a media event showcasing all of the new Nerf gear for this year. There's not a whole lot that we don't already know but Foam from Above's got a pretty comprehensive round up of what went on and what to expect in the coming months. Alas we don't have anything like this going on in Australia but that's ok. We have great healthcare. :P

Nerf "Bash at the Beach!" - Nerf Centurion, Nerf Rapidstrike, Nerf Revonix 360, AND the Nerf Rebelle!