I finally watched that video, kinda cheesy how they edited it, but I see a few clever ideas, albeit in very plasticky guns (I'm hoping those aren't the final decos). That disc fired pretty far, not remotely straight though, and not quite as fast as a dart. If they can get tracking locked down and speed up, these might be interesting, but I suspect they'll be more of the same disc shooter nonsense.
In other news, Nerf was specifically named as a Boys Toys line that isn't floundering, unlike the other divisions at Hasbro which took a 70% nosedive this last quarter (girls toys, puzzles, games).
Nerf just released a second video, and the discs definitely look like regular plastic, and not foam covered.
Hmm, very weird. They really do appear to be plastic discs, and they don't have the holes in the center as their past discs had. Very strange... Maybe the majority of the body is plastic, but they have foam edges?
I am kind of glad about this, though, since it means I can take a break from buying NERF aside from getting the last of the N-Strike stuff that I want.
Oh, and I stumbled across the little SW blasters tonight. The Cad Bane and Grievous pistols were definitely too chibi for my tastes, but I suppose a small child would probably enjoy them. However, the Rex pistol is a nice design and I may have to pick it up - when it's marked down. At Wal-Mart they're $8-something, basically the same as a figure. Since I already have the EX-1, though, I don't really a similar gun if it's going to cost the same as the NiteFinder. Just not worth it...
Although, I have to admit, if they made a decent Biker Scout pistol I wouldn't think twice about the price.
I don't find that surprising. When I found the Barricade pack with the stock, I had actually found a new SW figure first but couldn't afford both. Despite being mostly disappointed with the Barricade, I still feel it was a more worthwhile buy than the figure.
Originally Posted by JediTricks
So, those SW NERF blasters seem to be selling well. They were pretty scarce today at the same store as previous, and while I was standing there a guy came up with his kid and they seemed pretty excited to find them. Hope this is evidence that they're selling well, I think they could really churn out some interesting stuff in this line.
I still haven't picked up one of the Nerf Star Wars mini-blasters yet, the price is just outside of what I consider reasonable. I probably will pick up a DC-17 though if I see it on sale.
Today, I picked up a Nerf Vortex blaster, the Vigilon - this line's names aren't so great really. The blaster is roughly equivalent to the Maverick in size and number of shots, except a tad bigger and more expensive (Target has it for $14.39 right now, normally I think it's between $16 and $20 everywhere). There's 5 discs included, though I suppose if you had an extra you could chamber it and carry 6. The design is a self-contained pistol with an internal track for discs - flip the switch on either side to drop down a door on the left, exposing the track and an angled plunger. This thing has more safety features than the previous line, you can open the magazine door at any time, but you cannot slide the slide without the BOTH the door being closed and there being a disc in the chamber. But at least it doesn't need to have the slide cocked to load it the way most of the N-strikes, one of the things I didn't like - you have to either fire the first shot immediately with them, here you don't. There's a tactical rail on the top forward section, none on the slide itself, the rail is a standard one although I haven't yet tried an accessory, but it looks ridiculous up there because the body around it is twice as wide as an N-strike blaster.
The feel is roughly the same as the Maverick in some ways, big but reasonable pistol styling, generous yet ever so slightly uncomfortable at the index finger grip, and the trigger pull is only slightly lighter. The blaster has less kick than the Mav though, and the slide is smaller and requires less strength to use.
The Vigilon has greater strength than the N-strike blasters, it shoots at least 40 feet and the first half is pretty fast at that. It's also more accurate when conditions allow, but the discs aren't weighted like the darts so they catch any wind a little easier too. The discs are mini frisbees, a rubber core that's mostly hard with a round-beveled ring of Nerf foam outside. They sting when they hit more than the darts, though partly that's due to the increased power behind them. The flat underside of the discs has a round hollow in the middle, so they are quite angle-specific, if you shoot a Vortex blaster slightly rotated, it will greatly affect the behavior of the shot - that's quite unlike N-strike, where the cylindrical darts shot pretty much straight no matter how you held the blaster.
The color is garish orange and green with light and dark gray accents. The styling is similar to N-strike but has its own voice as well, right down to the tech pattern everywhere (even the trigger) and a large lanyard loop at the bottom of the grip. Most of the gun has detail out the wazoo, but for some reason the top has less (the slide has a rear sight and some detail, while the front has the tac rail), and the muzzle has virtually no personality at all. Both sides have the magazine door release switch for lefties, and the right side offers a sliding jam-release switch (which will eject a properly-chambered round as well). BTW, I just checked, the sights are off, the blaster hits consistently 3 inches to the right of where I'm aiming from 15 feet away - the blaster is consistent though. ;)
I think the Vigilon is the bare minimum blaster for the Vortex line, as the lower-priced one - the Proton - is a single-shot for $9 or $10 or even more depending on retailer. The multi-shot nature of the Vigilon makes it pretty much the ideal for the line, it's cheaper than the Praxis and Nitron yet seems to have no less range or accuracy, it's just got 5 shots per magazine instead of 10, and its magazine is internal instead of removable. But the Vigilon rapid-fires faster than the motor-driven Nitron, which IMO says a lot about the flaws of the Nitron. The Praxis (geez these names) does have a removable magazine and N-strike-style stock, and its slide is under the barrel like a shotgun rather than behind the trigger which probably makes it a better rapid-fire aim, it doesn't actually look notably bigger than the Vigilon so you have to ask yourself if the slide, removable stock, and 10-shot removable magazine are worth almost double the price of admission for what is basically a frisbee shooter.
Oh, I do have 1 criticism for the line overall - green discs for a toy meant to be played with outdoors? The lighter green ring isn't too hard to see, but the inner core is darker. I didn't have trouble finding them in the grass, but in the plants could have been a different story, and had twilight fallen it would have been bye-bye discs. And a dumb thing about the Vigilon specifically, I've done this twice so far, I'll fill it up but not fire it, hold it slightly to the left, open the door without thinking (it snaps down on its own) and out will puke all 5 discs all over the floor. The door doesn't accidentally open, it's just an interesting action that's easy to repeat over and over until you stop thinking about whether it's full or empty. And until you pull the slide a little, the plunger doesn't engage the discs much so they're just sitting in there ready to dump out. But you have to be the dumbass to make that choice, it doesn't do anything wrong on its own. It's just an easy choice to not think about making.
All in all, I am not instantly in love with the Vortex line the way I was with the N-strike line. When I first got the Maverick, it was the bee's knees in a revolver. And when I first got the Recon, it was so much fun to interchange the N-strike accessories. With the Vortex Vigilon, there are some fun gimmicks, and it does have a little more distance, but the frisbee-style discs just don't have the personality of the darts, just as the discus isn't as exciting a sport as the javelin, so it's more of a fun curiosity than a Nerf weapon of mass destruction - it's ironic then that it's more accurate, flies further, and hurts more. I would recommend any N-strike fan get the Vigilon if they are interested in the concept, and ONLY the Vigilon if they are on the fence - the single-shot is always going to be boring at this size, and the interchangeable one is a bit too expensive for that mindset.
Thank you for the review, JT. A friend of mine picked up the Vigilon and basically said the same thing. "It's okay".
Frankly, I would be more interested in Nerf/Hasbro's continued investment and development of the N-Strike series utilizing the clip system darts and magazines instead of something completely different that isn't interchangeable. But that's just me.
Sure thing. Further play with it has discovered an annoyance in the blaster, the sliding door for the internal magazine meant to simulate the snapping in of a clip, when you slap it closed it's not too difficult to get your hand pinched in the lowest part. It's not a common thing, only happened to me twice, but I can see how during a battle it'd be way easy. For the price, I think they should have gone with the removable magazine design found on the other 2.
Yeah, ditching the N-strike line seems foolish. Yes, Vortex is faster and a little further, but it's less accurate and doesn't have the personality. Also, reloading is a bit annoying since it's directional. And N-strike has a built in system of accessories and interchangeability that seems like could keep going and going. I would love to have a conversation with them about why they changed focus to Vortex.
I've been considering the small one just to see what it does, but I'm not completely satisfied with the loss of the N-Strike line.
Nice review! Although I really don't think I'll be picking up any of the Vortex guns, they just don't capture the same appeal that the darts do, especially in comparison to suction darts. I'm a sucker for them.
I've taken the Vortex line as their way of refreshing the image of Nerf to retailers, just like they do with Star Wars and frequently changing the packaging. It's hard to tell exactly what they plan on doing when it comes to N-Strike since they did say they wouldn't be abandoning it despite Vortex's debut. Maybe they'll continue on with N-Strike in the form of repaints until 2013 or 2014, then bring it back? If that's the plan, or similar to it, then they certainly need to do something more interesting for the repaints.
That said, the new white series is kind of nifty and I picked up the Maverick. I'm thinking I'll pick up this version of the Longstrike, as well. I just really like the extra graphic coloring added to the white series - even though in the case of the Longstrike it's all kind of counterproductive for a sniper rifle. :p I doubt I'll pick up anything from the orange series, it's just too ugly. The Maverick having its body covered majorly in orange like that just makes it look like a drug store bootleg.
I see what you did there. ;)
Originally Posted by LTBasker
I have to buy a new Maverick, mine barely locks when the slide is engaged. I am not sure which version, but maybe the clear green version at TRU. They really need to refresh the N-strike line with new pieces though, Vortex just isn't enough, and I don't want to buy the same 6 N-strike blasters over and over.