Southern Brisbane Nerf Club

Monday, 12 August 2013

Repaints, Mission Kits and Sub-lines, OH MY!

Wow, just wow. Us bloggers sure have been busy over the last few months. With Rebelle, Zombiestrike, Rapidstrike CS-18, Mega Centurion, Sonic Ice, Vortex repaints, Vortex Revonix 360 and the Elite Spectre. And with the amount of commitments I have outside of this blog, it's been hard to keep up with it all. More recently we've been seeing repaints of the existing Vortex blasters, Sonic Ice Elite and now an Elite Stryfe Mission Kit. So instead of giving you eleventy thousand separate posts, I'll just do one. Laziness for the win!

Lets start with the Vortex repaints.

This is a good thing. The alien snot green of the older blasters never really appealed to me and since the Pyragon and the Diatron, I've been diggin' the white orange and grey motif they have going. When I saw the flame job on the Revonix 360, I was like this...

... honestly, who doesn't like a flame job?

Then when the we started seeing repaints of the already existing Vortex blasters come out. But it's more than just a repaint though. It looks as though Hasbro are changing the way the Vortex line is marketed. Once upon a time, they wanted us to think that Vortex was from the future or something. But now it looks as though they're going for a more relaxed approach, more so than the Elite line if you ask me. And, we're also seeing a slow fade out of the serious looking heavily Photoshoped model on the boxes too. Replaced with models that smile, that appear to be enjoying the fact that they're shooting someone (that sounds like it could be a mental illness).

As you can see from the back of the new Proton box. The artwork as a "street" feel to it. It appears to be less authoritarian than the Elite boxes (Sonic Ice not included) I can't say I'm a fan of the new discs. I like the orange/red foam with the white plastic center. The white ring with the blue center doesn't do it for me. And the Revonix's white ring with red/orange centre (some have stated that it looks more pink than red) is ok, but makes me do this...

Can't say I'm a fan of the sky-blue graphic on the side of the Proton either. It doesn't look right somehow. I recently acquired a knock-off Proton. It's still in the irradiated Hulk vomit green. But a simple paint job can fix that and it performs pretty well. The new colour scheme with the new-in-blue XLR discs don't make me want to buy it. So, I'll not be getting a white Proton anytime soon.

The Vigilon on white does look good. And the dark red, almost brown, of the graphic suits the blaster better than the sky blue of the Proton, but, the design of the graphic looks as though they didn't even try. What is it meant to be? It looks as though there was a graphic designer ("designer") sitting at his desk trying to come up with ideas for a pattern when he notice some torn up paper in the waste basket. Then thought, good'nuff.

There is also too much white for me, it needs more orange.

Then on the back of the Revonix's box we see a repainted Diatron... and a repainted Pyragon...

The graphic on the Diatron is AWESOME! However, the graphic on the Pyragon, in green? Nup, I'll keep my Pyragon in the original colours thanks. That green graphic looks less at home than the sky-blue one on the Proton.

Now... Sonic Ice. It's like ordinary ice but more sonicy.

We now have three Elite blasters that have been frozen at mach 1. The Rampage...
the Retaliator...
and the Hail Fire...
Pic: Cartaya's Revenge

Now, I already have a Rampage with a 5kg OMW spring in it... , but, I'm not a completionist. While the Sonic Ice Rampage looks no less than amazing. Without improved performance or something else to sweeten the deal (Sonic Ice Raider stock!!) I won't be getting one. The Sonic Ice Retaliator, well I got a regular Retaliator recently and I'm happy with that, I don't need two. And the Hail Fire... well, I've had a play with one and, well, no. Hasbro can turn the Hail Fire's carousel into a pop-tart and make it shoot rainbows and I still won't be getting one. Something that big and bulky that can hold 144 darts needs to be full auto for me to be interested in it.

I get the feeling the repaints and Sonic Ice stuff are for the completionists and trying to attract new buyers. I hope we don't see a repeat of what happened to the N-Strike line. Whiteout, Sonic, Clear, Gear Up and Red Strike, so... many... sublines.

Then we got the Stryfe Mission kit.

Pic: Dan Salgatar via My Last Dart

We don't even have the Stryfe in Australia yet and there is mission kit for it? Fail. At the moment it's only available in the Philippines. But what gets me about the Stryfe Mission Kit, is that it looks like a random collection of parts rather than something that's had some thought go into it. The Stockade stock is nice, but it doesn't have any place to put a spare clip, instead it has holders for individual darts. "Don't shoot me I'm reloading" comes to mind. The Retaliator's stock is short, but, makes more sense to me. The Raider stock would be ideal. Also included is the Retaliator's barrel extension. It doesn't suit the shape of the front of the Stryfe and in my opinion the Longstrike's barrel would look better. Incase you're wondering what all this looks like when put together...

If Hasbro were to release the shoulder stocks and barrel extensions as stand alone items, people will buy them, these mission packs don't interest me. The Hail Fire mission/upgrade kit...

is just some 6 dart clips with darts. Ever been to a Nerf war or HvZ game? Six dart clips don't see a lot of game time, usually it's the 12 and 18 dart clips and the larger capacity drums that are preferred. And the Rapid Strike mission kit, this one...

Is the only one that interested me. But it was during the mid year toy sales it interested me. Now that those sales a over (for 2013 anyway) I'm no longer interested. A, because it's too expensive, and B, because I have a Retaliator already. The reason it interested me during the sales was because, the price was only $5 more than buying two 18 dart clips on their own. So that's a $5 Retaliator core. RRP for this is $38... too much for what it is really.

And lastly, the Elite Spectre.

I'm gonna use the N-Strike Spectre as a benchmark for this because that's the one I've had experience with.

The folding shoulder stock is a nice touch, but, there is too much flex in it and it's just not rigid enough for me, and I've heard that the Elite Spectre suffers the same ailment. The barrel extension (often referred to as the "silencer") looks good, but will reduce the range of the blaster and there is no tac rail on it so not that great for making a master key. Leaving just the blaster itself. A five shot revolver, but we have the Strongarm now and N-Strike had the Maverick and both were six shot revolvers. So... why opt for the Spectre at all if you're not a completionist? And, If you are in the market for a 5 dart revolver, I'd get the Zombiestrike Hammershot.

But, that is just me talking. I'm a more practical Nerfer than I am a completionist. I know there will be some out there wanting to get there hands on some of this stuff for the accessories or because they're a collector or completionist but I don't want to buy Nerf stuff any more than I wanted to before.

~ Rob

PS. this is not a rant


  1. [Alex] Good summary of all the new gear :D I agree with you on the sub-lines part. Even though I liked the Whiteout series (and for some reason Whiteout Longstrikes seemed to perform better than the normal N-Strike one?) I still hope they put their "plastic funding" to better use like selling accessories separately.

    Funny thing about the Stryfe mission kit... notice how it is the perfect stock and barrel configuration for modders to make Masterkeys with the Rough Cut? It's almost an encouragement xD

    1. Yes, but, put together out of the box, it doesn't look right


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