Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bro-fest: Nerf website update + "Perfect Shot" ad campaign

First, I'd like to apologize for not posting anything on BBMS for a period of time. I've been busy with personal projects and problems; it feels nice to be writing a post for the blog with all this hecticness going on.

That being said, a while back, Nerf released two things online: a new advertising campaign and a new website design. I realize that this is old news, but bear with me on this.

The new advertising campaign, “The Perfect Shot”, has Hasbro working with YouTube channel Dude Perfect, who apparently are a big name YouTube channel that focuses on trick shots. Sounds like a good match for Nerf to me. However, seeing Nerf tweet about this announcement had me worried... and upon watching the videos, my worry seemed to be justified.

With this new advertising campaign, no longer are Nerf blasters being fired inside illuminated factories. A setting change is great; I mentioned this in my thoughts in my Rebelle teaser video post. However, this is more than just a setting change. This is a stark mood change.

Essentially, it looks like Hasbro's trying to “bro” up the Nerfing scene. And to me, this is a really bad thing.
So many people are complaining about Rebelle setting aside a gender split, but why aren't people complaining about this? Rebelle has your typical “fashionista” female stereotype, and now Nerf has a typical “bros love to party and have a wild time” stereotype. A few of the trick shot videos feature plastic cups (which apparently were pulled from YouTube but re-uploaded, looks like someone wasn't happy about this), and are introduced very much like segments from Jackass-style dare/stunt videos... and those videos never end well.

I understand that the campaign from before was... goofy and silly with all of those parkour-performing teen boys dressed in black, donning their serious face for the cameras. But honestly, I'd take that campaign over the new bro-fest, Perfect Shot campaign. And really, this seems like a NO GIRLS ALLOWED sign hung from a treehouse in video format.
Nerf's always been a male-oriented hobby, there's no doubt about that. However, people within the NIC have always asked "where are the girls?". We've seen females in other advertisements... at least, there was ONE Nerf-related ad from Sweden with a young girl playing with a Retaliator. There was also the short-lived Xploders, which featured a commercial with a teenage girl in it alongside a group of teenage boys. Even within the newer Wii Nerf video games, there's one single, almost "token" female character alongside the rest of the N-Strike Elite squad.

Not to say that there aren't females that are interested in Nerf (Nerfenstein being a clear example of this). Humans vs. Zombies has a clear broad audience, definitely not limited to males, but it seems that many people within HVZ stick to just HVZ and don't ever get into Nerfing as a complete hobby.
Dear God why.
Now, regarding the website... it's... yeah, it's not appealing. The last design they had looked nice on the eyes. This new one looks like it's taken steps back to the late 1990s/early 2000s. The front page uses the same font on everything, which makes it look tacky as hell. There's a reason websites have different fonts for their headers and content.

On the front page there's this "Customize your Nerf dude" button, which intrigued me. At first I thought it'd be cool to have a customizable avatar for the online game leaderboards (and I would assume that you could use it on the iOS app as well). But then I realized...

They're officially going through with this clear cut between a male Nerfing audience and a female Nerfing audience. You won't be able to make female avatars on the Nerf website; you won't be able to make a male avatar on the Rebelle website. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if Hasbro had some sort of “battle of the sexes/genders” campaign. And please, Hasbro, do not do this. This is not an idea to take and make your own. It will just make this situation worse.

I was planning on discussing the Rebelle website as well in this post, but it's getting to be pretty long. So I'll be doing it up separately and you'll see it soon.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Retail adventure: Quick Target visit

Today I went out with my sister and grandmother for breakfast. While we were out and after we went shopping, I asked to take a quick swing by a nearby Target (not the same one as last) to see what they had and was pleasantly surprised with my findings.

A RapidStrike proudly displaying on the outer edge of the Nerf aisle.

A Revonix360! I was happy to see this in stock.

Like my last post, there was a deco Proton there as well. Didn't see a deco Vigilon though, so I'm still wondering whether or not the blank shelf space I saw at the previous Target was a deco Vigilon or not.

The new Range P.A.K. Didn't get a good look at it, sadly.

Mega Darts and a Mission App mount.

The big, bad(?) Centurion, finally!

The moment I've been waiting for: Zombie Strike products. A Hammeshot...

...and a Sledgefire! Not seen are some of the decorative Zombie Strike darts... as noted by a member on the Nerf Wiki, the darts that come with the blasters don't have the little Z-logo on them. I suppose that's what the Target website meant by "Deco Darts"?

A Blazin' Bow. Completely forgot this was a thing, actually.

In terms of Buzz Bee, they were carrying that Extreme Air Max 6 blaster, which I've only seen pictures of until now.

Also there was this blaster... I don't think I've seen anything about it online yet. Looks like a repackaged Panther to me.
This Target had a lot more than the last one I visited. I also forgot to take a picture of this Buzz Bee foam sword that Basic Nerf made a post about a while back. I'm hoping this was just a case of getting things in stock instead of my local Target just sucking. Still nothing Rebelle-wise in my Targets, but at least we're starting to see some of the Zombie Strike products down here.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Retail adventure: Toys "R" Us, Walmart, and Target

Today I took a trip to my local Target, Walmart, and Toys "R" Us. There's been reports of blasters showing up in stores, so I went in with hopes high and some money. Here's what I saw on my adventure.

But first, a quick song to set the mood.

Friday, August 2, 2013

"A sassy blast": Rebelle now listed online

As noted by others like Basic Nerf, Adult Fans of Nerf, MyLastDart, etc., many of the Rebelle blasters/products have been put up on online listings for HasbroToyShop, Toys "R" Us, and Target. Not only do we now have stock images of the blasters and their packaging (as well as a better look at some accessories like the Sweet Revenge holster), we've also been given official descriptions of products from Nerf directly.

While I'm happy to see stock images finally of the products, I couldn't help but groan slightly at the official descriptions... the constant mention of a girl's appearance and being "stylish and fabulous" is frustrating. I was hoping they would stray away from this (as I discussed in the Rebelle teaser video post), but it seems they're sticking to their guns through and through.
"a sassy blast" is probably the best thing I've ever seen written in a Nerf product description.
Whoever wrote that deserves a promotion.

Hopefully with things being listed online on HasbroToyShop, this means that the Rebelle website will be launched soon.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blaster By My Side on Facebook

I've had a few people ask about a Facebook page for BBMS. While I really don't care for Facebook, it seems that a lot of people use it to follow blogs and keep updated with things there. So, I've created a page for it.

Click the image below to go to the blog's Facebook home.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Nerf no Okite: Longshot "used" in live performance

Normally you see Nerf blasters used as props in movies and television (coughcoughTerraNova). However, here's something I noticed a year ago or so.

If you've never heard of the Japanese pop/electronic band Perfume, let me shed some light on them. While they make mainly bubbly and very catchy J-Pop music, they have a few songs that are harder and more intense. Say what you want about their music, but they have some of the best live performances I've ever seen. While it's more of a visual performance than a musical one, it's hard not to enjoy it. Some very good examples of this would be this from their JPN tour, as well as their live rendition of Edge (⊿ Mix) from their ⊿ tour.

But let's look at one performance in specific: the Perfume no Okite section of their "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11" live performance. The performance itself is supposed to be a celebration of sorts in honor of the albums they've put out over the years. The set-pieces are huge, the screens are bright, the coordinated dancing is spot-on, everything is just freaking awesome, but wait... what's this rising from under the stage at 3:31?

"A-Chan" rising up with a... Longshot?
Yep, it's a Longshot CS-6: scope, clip, front blaster and all... strangely enough it seems the bipod wasn't attached. Yeah, okay, that's great (not really, completely black paintjobs are boring as hell to me), but what's it doing? Firing a green laser, popping large white balloons in the process.

Yeah okay it doesn't sound that cool when typed out. But watching it, it's pretty damn cool. It's scripted, yeah, but come on. Lasers being fired out of a Longshot. Normally I'd get sad and say it's a waste of a blaster with fantastic potential (generally what I do when I see Longshots being used for cosplays), but I don't care because LASERS.

Clearly this is a pretty self-indulgent post. I've been wanting to share this for a long time though, and now that I have a good venue to do so, I thought I might as well. If you're willing to give the full video a try, as well as the other ones linked above, make sure to do so in HD/720p!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Quick Zombie Strike dart pic spam

I thought I'd throw up a quick post with some pictures of the Zombie Strike darts I got at SDCC from the Hasbro booth.