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.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Nerf at SDCC!

Today was the first day of San Diego Comic Con. I attented (and will be attending all four days), and I managed to snap some pictures of the new Zombie Strike products, which includes some not mentioned in io9's reveal. Because this post will be long, click read more to check out the pictures.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Art and fresh air!: Rebelle teaser video

Seems Nerf's finally putting some promotion out for the new Rebelle series (thanks to Nerf Centerbury for posting this).

I am in LOVE with this video. It's on par with other Nerf teaser videos/commercials, complete with slow-motion shots and upbeat pop-punk music (I guess you could call it that). The girls in the video show the same "warface" that the guys do in other Nerf videos, which is fantastic. I'm so glad that they didn't go all-out with the whole "fashionable, collective" thing that they were discussing when Rebelle was first announced. That's what I was worried about and I am very happy to see that they are not completely following through with that angle.

Another thing I like is that this video is set in an open area and not in a closed factory. I really do like the Nerf commercials, I think they're made very well, but seeing people run around with blasters in a forest is just awesome. Of course, the forest thing plays along with the whole Hunger Games thing, but honestly at this point I welcome it openly.

Definitely has the Hunger Games
thing going for it. She looks a
lot like Katniss Everdeen!
I also especially like the art that displays alongside the blaster and its name... I just wish they had this somewhere on the packaging! Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the packaging that Indigo Studios does for Nerf products, but with the Zombie Strike products having illustrated box art, it makes me curious about how other Nerf products would look with illustrated packaging.

As far as new information goes, the video doesn't show anything new. However, the Wildshot finally has an official name, the Sweet Revenge, which matches along with the kit it comes packaged in.

The Rebelle website will be hosted here in the future; for now, it redirects to this teaser video. Here's hoping it updates soon with more information on the series.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Before the storm: SDCC plans

San Diego Comic Con is coming up in a few days and I'm pretty pumped. Aside from meeting artist Aaron Diaz (and possibly Andrew Hussie, but that line's going to be really friggin' long), my main goal is to get to that Hasbro booth and cover what they have to show.

Thanks to that io9 article, I know that they'll be showing off recently announced Zombie Strike series.. mainly just the Hammershot and Sledgefire. I'm hoping they'll be showing off some other stuff, like the Rebelle series, the RapidStrike, the Revonix360, and more goodies like that.

I plan to have pictures up after the first day of the con. Videos may come a day or two later (depends if I can get a friend to come help me film). I might also put up some other choice pictures from the convention just to show off some neat stuff I saw while there.

So, stay tuned for my coverage!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Zombie Strike thoughts

     Just ten minutes ago (at the beginning of this writing), I rushed to get the Spring 2014 Zombie Strike post up on Nerf Mods & Reviews so that I could get ready to go out for a free Slurpee adventure. While getting the post up, I was excited at the thought that I'll be able to play with some of this stuff at San Diego Comic Con (which I do plan on covering, both here and NMR). I also started collecting thoughts on the series.

     Zombie Strike, in short, seems really neat. I'm a fan of some of the aesthetics and some of the blasters coming out for it. The idea of the series is great and I know that it'll make a load of money, both from the younger crowd and the HVZ crowd. I'm also a fan of the illustrated box art, which looks cartoony, but not goofy.

     Some blasters that I'm looking forward to are the Crossfire and the Sidestrike. While I'm liking the Crossfire just due to sheer coolness, the Sidestrike has my interest due to the holster it's coming packaged with. Not only is it compatible with its patron blaster, it's advertised as being compatible with the N-Strike Elite Firestrike. Reading this made me excited because, well, why not stop there? Nerf knows the fans want individual accessories. Why not try and design some sort of semi-universal holster? They could somehow make it adjustable by size to accommodate "sidearm" blasters, like the above Sidestrike and Firestrike, but perhaps also the N-Strike Elite Triad, Vortex Proton, and other blasters that size.

Obligatory introduction post

Every blog has its start.

I've been considering running my own Nerf blog for a while now. I've attempted to run blogs in the past on a multitude of topics, but they were never serious projects of mine.

I've been into Nerfing since 2006. At first I was simply your wide-eyed innocent, silently reading about Nerf news on blogs and interesting modifications on multiple Nerf-related forums. My interest slowly died during my final years of high school and first year of college. It perked up in 2010 as I slowly started getting back into the hobby/interest. Since then, I've been involved with it, both offline and online.

I'm hoping for this blog to serve as a source of Nerf news, as well as a home to my opinions and stories. I don't plan to leave from Nerf Mods & Reviews at all; if anything, this may act as a supplement to that of sorts.