Southern Brisbane Nerf Club

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Oh so forgettable

Blasters can be memorable for several reasons, but, for a blaster to be easily forgotten, it takes no reason at all.

I'll explain after the jump.

So a few days ago I was at the local K-Mart checking out to see what was on offer. I had a look at the Hot Wheels (my other hobby) and then stopped by the Nerf isle to check the prices. On an empty shelf spot there was an overturned 30 pack of darts. On the back of said pack was the heading "Compatible with Nerf Elite blasters" and a photo of a Demolisher and the Cam ECS-12.

It was at that point I realised I had completely forgotten about the Cam ECS-12. And I don't mean as in simply not thinking about it. I mean properly forgotten. As in, nearly erased from my mind. Then I started to think. Why. Here are my thoughts on why.

Firstly, what makes a blaster memorable? Lets think about some blasters:

Stryfe - first semi auto clep-fed blaster and still a hit with a lot of players
Rapidstrike - Full auto clip-fed, Nitron's pusher mech now pushing darts
Centurion - bad, so very bad
Magnus - first direct plunger Mega blaster and still a favourite with some
Jolt - there's just too many of them for them to be forgotten
Maverick - remains the best selling blaster ever, nostalgia
Raider - first slamfire blaster
Alpha Trooper - what would become an HvZ staple
Doominator - big green giant with poop ranges
Stampede - still has a big fanbase, first clipfed full auto
Longshot - giant plunger tube and a modding staple
Deploy - all bad, all of it
Hammershot - hammer style prime
Tek3 - possibly the only blaster worse than the Deploy

So as you can see, there are good and bad reasons as to what makes a blaster memorable. There is also nostalgia to think of. So why is it, out of all of the blasters available now and in the past, is the Cam ECS-12 so forgettable, more so than any other blaster I know of. I can't even remember when retailers stopped stocking them here and some of you have probably not noticed that the picture of the Cam ECS-12 has "DERP" on the front and is missing the rev trigger.

Well, it didn't really offer anything new. Semi-auto clip-fed, seen it before. The stock was not adjustable, which might've been forgiven if it held a clip, it didn't. It claimed XD Ranges and it was a lie. The camera was nothing special on this side of first gen video phones and when recording all you heard was the ear piercing buzz of 4AA powered flywheels. Poopy camera aside, it was still something new and that in itself should've made it memorable, but it's not.

- Performance was average.
- The camera was a gimmick no-one really asked for.
- We wanted it full auto, it wasn't
- the camera quality was sub par for 2006

Then it dawned on me. The reason the Cam ECS-12 is so forgettable, is for no reason at all. Think about it, we have no reason to like it and no reason to hate it enough to remember it. It's... just... there. If the Cam ECS-12 was an actor, it'd be an extra in it's own life story. Sitting in the background watching a more attractive and better actor play himself.

There are several websites I check on a regular basis to see if there is any Nerf News for my readers and viewers, and I never noticed the pics of the Cam ECS-12 until I was looking for them. Any other time, I don't even notice it.

So what will happen to the Cam ECS-12? Well despite being so bad, the Deploy is still easily available if you know where to look. But the Cam was $120 in Australia, a lot more than the Deploy was. That's a lot for what is effectively a toy gun. I'm not convinced that the sales numbers from the first run of Cam ECS-12s were enough to justify a second run. It may simply disappear into obscurity, forgotten and unwanted, until we see one for sale on eBay. Then, and only then, will we remember the blaster that could've been great, that could've been imaginative, that could've been... memorable.

~ Rob


  1. I still have never seen one in stores, let alone being used. Even worse, I'm actually fine with that. Even with notoriously bad blasters, I'm at least curious to see hands on and mess with them. You're so right, Rob.

  2. Also a part of forgetting it is never seeing it. I have never seen someone use it at a game, hold it in my hands, or know someone who owns the thing. It was expensive and not very useful so most older players don't have it. The fact that no one (in general) uses it or owns it, essentially means it "doesn't exist"(in people's minds) and if something doesn't exist then you easily forget that it actually does exist. The more you see someone use a blaster at a game, the more you remember it. I honestly haven't seen the Buzz Bee extreme air pressure blasters for awhile other than maybe the panther.

  3. Well.. I like my Deploy. Granted I've never been overly obsessed with ranges, but I do really like its gimmick.

    Generally in my loadout, I like to only have one mag-fed blaster at a time, but I like the idea of keeping a deploy folded up in a backpack as something of a backup unit.. something I can take out, slap in a mag, press a button, and hand a functioning blaster to a friend who might need one.

    I think it's a niche blaster - not a main or secondary, but I do like it.

  4. The tek 4 was worse... Way worse

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