So with the exception of the Batman Grapnel... umm, this one
Mattel (Hasbro's arch rival and nemesis) hasn't really had much to do with the dart blaster hobby. Until recently that is, when BoomCo made its appearance. In the line up so far there are 4 blasters and also goggles and targets.
WARNING: VIDEOS ARE CRINGE WORTHYTwisted Spinner (looks like a HyperFire with ratchet prime)
Rapid Madness (think of it as a horizontal Magstrike)
Farshot (closest thing to a Firestrike they have)
The flip out shields are a naf idea and the darts look fairly accurate in the promo videos. The darts are rigid and made of plastic with a "Smart Stick" head. This allows them to stick to targets and shields. Does raise a question though, Do the darts work in uni-cine with the targets or is it that sticky stuff that will attract hair and dust from the other side of the known universe. In either case, yet another question is raised, what's the life span on one of these darts?
From what I've been reading, modifying the blasters to take Nerf Elite darts would be prohibitively difficult. So that means it'll be up to the availability of spares that makes or breaks this new line.
The marketing direction Mattel have taken with this line is different to Nerf's "take blasting serious with some tacticalness thrown in". The promo vids for each blaster have an X Games feel about them.
In a behind the scenes video, we learn that Mattel's motivation behind BoomCo is more to do with giving the blaster toy genre an extra push (to boost sales across the genre) more than it is to compete with Hasbro. I wouldn't rule competing with Hasbro out of the equation though. You can see the behind the scenes video HERE. And if you're a sucker for punishment, there are more BoomCo videos on their YouTube channel HERE.
I always welcome new competition to the blaster hobby. There will no doubt be modifications that can be done to these blasters, but unless the brand takes off then there won't really be a point. Scavenging darts at a war can get you out of a lot of trouble. But if you're the only one using a BoomCo blaster, whelp, might as well put your hand up and jog to the respawn point. Ultimately, there are two things that a blaster line's success depends on, cost (blasters and spare darts), and availability of spare darts. There are other points too, like performance. But a bad blaster and be modified so that it can be good. But no-one will bother buying it if it's too expensive, or they can't get spare darts conveniently.
If there is any toy company that has the resources and money to take on Hasbro, it's Mattel. I just hope that these blasters get the reception Mattel wants so that they'll invest more money into the brand. Actual brand competition is something the blaster hobby is desperately needing.
Share your thoughts.