Digest Issue 05

Sneak Peak Reveals Hammer Prime Alpha Strike

Story by Lanyx Desalia

From our sources u/n_g79 on Reddit r/Nerf, and tropicanathundernerf on Instagram we have gained access to a page from the Argos catalog showing a new entry to the Alpha Strike line of blasters.  Argos, one of the UK’s largest general merchandise stores, lists the New Alpha Strike “Hammer Storm” at a price of £15, or roughly $19.55 USD, depending on current currency exchange rates.  The Hammer Storm is the first hammer priming blaster in the Alpha Strike series.  This blaster seems to have a large capacity of eight darts.

With the advent of the Hammer Storm, the Nerf Alpha Strike line seems to be stepping up its game in both form and function.  Several commenters on Reddit have been seen to say that the quality of the blaster is definitely a higher cut of quality than the previous Alpha Strike blasters.  The first noticeable change is the lack (or addition to, depending on your viewpoint) of the signature Alpha Strike uncomfortable skeletonized grip.  The first tactical rail makes its appearance in this series with not one, but two, N-Strike “tacti-cool” rail attachment points.  Finally, an N-Strike barrel attachment point rounds off this blaster, again, the first for this entire line.

Many people have discussed how this blaster seems far too “nice” for the Alpha Strike line, and have speculated that this is a repurposed Doomlands Negotiator design, or perhaps a canceled blaster from another series.  However, it seems that old adage “Not all that glitters is gold” holds true in the Hammer Storm.  Several people on both Reddit and Instagram have noted that the entire blaster seems far too bulky.  For right now, this blaster is still unavailable so only time will tell whether the Hammer Storm will be a champion, or a fallen hero.  Will Nerf use a better system than the plastic clips to hold this blaster together?  How will the modability hold up against other, more established blasters?

I for one, love the overall look of this blaster, and regardless of opinion will most likely own several of them.  I feel that peoples’ complaints of “bulk” and “lack of holsterability” are hollow in the face of gear improvements such as the Lotus System, as well as the ingenuity of Nerfers to create their own devices; Cardboard holsters come to mind.  As one of our regular contributors, UtterTravesty, was seen to say “The build construction and style is SO different than the previous Alpha Strike blasters. I really hope this signals a shift in the quality of blasters Hasbro is releasing in this line.  Gives me more hope for the Flyte and even the Uppercut.”  Well said, UT, well said.  As long as innovation continues to move forward, we may all have hope for the future of our hobby.

Credit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Nerf/comments/evsnqn/alpha_strike_hammerstorm_picture_found_in_the_new/

https://www.instagram.com/p/B78JPDAhBDy/


Popular Venue “Shot Show” Showcases New Dart Blaster

Story by Lanyx Desalia

Umarex is a relatively new entry to the Nerf community, having been primarily an Airsoft contender in previous years.  The first blasters we had from Umarex were a pair of frighteningly realistic “handgun” style blasters.  Each blaster loads a compressed air, or CO² cartridge into the handle, then fires a single front loaded dart.  This would not be the airsoft company’s last foray into the Nerfing Hobby.  Found on another online column, “Shot Show” the article features the new Umarex “Havoc Prime” blaster powered by Jet Blasters.  The Havoc Prime is a CO² powered pump action blaster.  The blaster comes with its own Umarex brand magazine, but is completely compatible with Nerf brand magazines.

To operate you place two CO² cartridges in the adjustable stock of the blaster, prime the pump grip back, insert the magazine and prime the blaster forward.  Apparently according to Shot Show the Umarex Havoc Prime can fire the darts at 130 FPS stock.  Admittedly this number would be much more impressive to me, if Dart Zone hadn’t just released the Dart Zone Pro MK I which can hit at around 150 FPS and up stock, using only a spring plunger tube.  The one upside I would hope, is that the Umarex Havoc Prime would be released in a larger quantity than the DZP, which was limited to a mere one thousand blasters.

Not sure why Shot Show advertised that this particular blaster is “rifled,” as most Nerf blasters are “rifled” and we have yet to see any significant performance increase because of this.  Perhaps being compressed air powered will make a difference?

Credit: https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2020/01/2020-shot-show-day-three/ 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pE5L-VbMjI


Tons of New Blasters

Story by Korit’al Desalia

We have a lot of new blasters from a European toy fair, that look like they will be fun to use.

Zuru X-Shot seems to have taken a page out of the same book and the Nerf Ultra blaster, they have released prototypes of gold plated Chaos blasters.  Zuru’s Chaos line is their take on Nerf’s Rival line.  The Meteor and The Orbit have been spotted at a German toy fair with gold plating, making these blasters rather pretty, the Meteor is a mag fed blaster that unlike Nerf’s Hera is fed in front of the handle giving it a very unique look. This blaster looks like it would be really comfortable.

The Orbit looks more like Nerf’s Zeus but it is a rear loading blaster.  The gold on these blasters is on the primes and the sides of the barrels, and the bottom of the handles. The rest of the blasters is still the same blue that is on the original blasters.  It seems like Zuru is hoping that the gold will help them sell more of these Chaos blasters.

 

D-Dart has released a prototype for the Tempest Pro. The Tempest Pro looks very similar to the original Tempest, it has a higher rate of fire, because of improved internals. It appears that it will hold the same amount of darts.  Instead of the black and red the prototype pro has been shown to be all grey.

 

 

 

 

 

D-Dart has another prototype, named the Cyclone.  This Tempest has a removable ring, and there are two with the blaster. This one seems to be the same and the original in all other ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

D-Dart has taken the Tempest to the next level! They are calling it the Hailstorm, because it will shoot 77 Nerf Rival rounds, from a 3D printed full auto ring. Unfortunately this is still in the prototype phase but it was tested at the toy fair and has been said to work great. D-Dart showed two different styles of rings one of them is white, the other one is red and grey. If D-Dart can get this worked out, and get this released this just might change up the game. This is really exciting, I hope that they get this out soon.

 

 

 

 

The Twin Tornado is another prototype from D-Dart. This Tempest holds 54 darts, you can choose to shoot one or two darts at a time. If you are shooting one at a time this blaster will automatically switch between the inner and outer rings. With the exception of the Hailstorm all the the other D-Dart blaster in this list all fire darts.

 

 

 

 

 

Credit: https://www.facebook.com/foamfocus.eu/posts/839192006493539

https://www.facebook.com/foamfocus.eu/photos/a.523702868042456/839760696436670/

https://www.facebook.com/foamfocus.eu/photos/a.564394640639945/839879803091426/?type=3&__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARDUyAeg6KjuoqEz0udGS-hxv7DY4hSqhBGMRehScYdtvTofx4o67RXTPckTkT1RLnngamfCHbJQ99ITcFnWhygKx8cQ2rmZhu5n41o3z7y_MTlD9K8Wj7nxkgBMGSaT5pWLP-W4DXD-ZG4OMH70N-25SvtUCx5aDnDL7sEqxjlBZdzDXSj6nK1cQMATVDlO-yEK87vNF6g2uSXiIlUslEW96ERkSKcNAVW9elg7lJ0X8py2u8p_bXCd2cdQbTEA4WPQM4ycOhq6CYsr3ZDTM2ZEqLEIwUz-auAZAV7UmthMdDRzHYEQMxPW9JznPy7RH5j1txr5flWkjFoNgJAP3Ys&__tn__=-R

https://www.facebook.com/foamfocus.eu/posts/839882956424444

https://www.facebook.com/foamfocus.eu/posts/839884706424269


BlazeStorm Strikes Again

Story by Lanyx Desalia

The “off-brand” blaster company known as BlazeStorm has several new releases coming soon.  In an “Secret Exhibit”  we get to see many of the products they have to offer provoking much excited chatter on Reddit r/Nerf.  Much speculation abounds as to what all of the products may be, however the focus of this article is the two obvious blasters featured on the Reddit channel.

A blue BlazeStorm Prometheus “knock off,” featuring a much reduced capacity of only sixty high impact rounds.  This shortcoming is easily fixed by two possibilities: the Nerf community will definitely develop a Hopper upgrade to increase the capacity.  Secondly in the YouTube video by Stu Carter of Atamaii the product demonstrator holds the blaster at an upward angle, and the hopper mechanism still manages to clear every single round.  In other videos I’ve seen on the “actual” Nerf Prometheus even at a level the blaster sometimes needs shook to move the balls into the conveyor.  If this BlazeStorm “Prometheus” becomes available for less than even $150 USD it might be a great addition to any serious Nerf Modder’s collection.

The second item offered is a what appears to be a lighter, thinner version of the Nerf Mastodon.  Again a smaller capacity is made up for by ergonomics, and being a lighter smaller blaster maneuverability, making this a better choice for smaller Nerfers.  I laugh at thoughts of my five-year-old trying to lug around my Titan CS-50, let alone a full sized MEGA Mastodon.  They also appear to offer another version of this same blaster, which shoots Elite type darts instead of MEGA.

No information was given on price points, or dates of availability, but we hope we don’t have to wait long.  For any Nerfers out there complaining about “stock performance” just remember, that’s what modification is for, and as these blasters are not Nerf “brand name” they would not be allowed at any event hosted or sponsored by Hasbro, so modifying them for friendly independent games or wars would be completely acceptable.

I for one will be looking into adding many of the gems on the shelves in the video to my collection sometime in the near future.

Credit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Nerf/comments/euxhcs/blazestorm_at_it_again/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psAQYvRvwnE&feature=youtu.be


Stock Blaster of the Week

Story by Danny Ryerson

The Turbo Advance in all its mean, green glory. It also comes in blue, white and yellow color schemes depending on where it’s purchased. (photo by Danny Ryerson)

In this issue of Stock Blaster of the Week, we’ll be taking a look at our first non-Nerf brand blaster: The X-Shot Turbo Advance. The Turbo Advance is a pump-action drum-fed primary-size springer with a 40(!) dart capacity. At $25, the Turbo Advance brings a lot to the table that many similarly priced blasters can’t compete with.

Let’s start off with perhaps its biggest selling point: capacity. The Turbo Advance holds 40 darts in a revolving drum about the size of the Nerf 35-round drum magazine, and it uses a neat rotating air restrictor to fire from one ring of darts at a time. To reload, simply push more darts into the drum.

Comparing the rotating AR system. With the switch in the upper position, the blaster fires from the top ring of darts and vice versa. (photo by Danny Ryerson)

There’s more to this drum than just the capacity it provides, though. What I like about it is how much money it saves you. A similar pump-action blaster like an Alpha Trooper will fulfill the same role, but it requires magazines to use, and to comfortably hold magazines, one might want a chest rig. The Turbo Advance just needs a few pocketfuls of darts to get by, saving much more money than at first glance.

The Turbo Advance with its drum removed. To swap drums, simply press the orange button on the cylinder behind the pump grip, slide it forward, and pull the drum out. (photo by Danny Ryerson)

However, if you do happen to own a dump pouch or a plastic bag taped to your shirt, the Turbo Advance’s drums are removable, allowing for easy swaps mid-battle. It’s not picky, either; the blaster will fire just about any kind of dart at a solid 80 FPS.

Unfortunately, the Turbo Advance is not without its flaws. It has the cheap-feeling plastic endemic to X-Shot products, odd ergonomics — particularly in the grip area — and the included Zuru darts are lighter than most other darts. I’ve also had issues with short-stroking and accidentally pressing the drum release button, but choking up on the pump grip fixed those issues.

The Turbo Advance also has two direct competitors in the form of the Dart Zone Magnum Superdrum and Savage Spin. In my opinion, the pump-action of the Advance beats out the top-prime of the Superdrum any day of the week, and the more reliable rotation mech, lack of batteries and lower price than the Savage Spin win me over as well.

To sum it up, the Turbo Advance is a solid stock springer that’s more than viable for most low-FPS events. Its high capacity, lack of reliance on magazines and out-of-the-box pump action make it a breeze to use, and with its low price tag, I can’t recommend it enough to any nerfer wanting an easy entry-level blaster with which to enter the hobby.

 


A Smaller Blaster than Out of Darts Jupiter?

My3dbase on Instagram has released a new iteration on their previous homemade blasters, the NG-1 Goblin, and the NG-2 Goblin.  Now introducing the NG-3 Gob…what?  No?  Okay then, the NG-3 Meteor.  This small sleek blaster seems to have include a lot of design DNA from the Out of Darts Jupiter.  The number one difference is the flywheels are set horizontal, causing a slight flare just behind the barrel, which is not unattractive for you sci-fi fans out there.

The other significant difference is that the NG-3 Meteor is semi-auto.  As shown in the demonstration video this in no way deters the Meteor from emptying it’s magazine in a few short seconds.  However in my opinion the use of semi over full-auto means greater control over your ammunition.  This is a benefit as the only complaints I’ve heard from users of the Jupiter is the instantaneous mag dump is troublesome, unless you also have Out of Darts proton pack attachment.

According to My3dbase’s test data, the NG-3 hits at an average of 100 FPS.  This amount of power combined with the small profile of this blaster makes it a force to be reckoned with. Beware in future games the hidden “pop-up” players armed, at first seemingly, with nothing only to unleash the force of the NG-3 Meteor on you; only to disappear again thanks to the maneuverability of being armed with such a small blaster and the lightweight Rival mags it takes to operate.

Credit: https://www.instagram.com/p/B8E3Fa0nRgk/


The Nexus

Story by Lanyx Desalia

FlywheelTheWorld of FTW, has made an announcement of a new blaster to be manufactured and released by, well, FTW.  They dropped this image on Instagram as a teaser for their product.  The Nexus appears to be a solenoid driven, flywheel powered half dart blaster inspired by the “Uzi.”  Not a lot else is known about this blaster at this time, but it sure does look cool.

 

 

 

Credit: https://www.instagram.com/p/B8Ejjs-BLXd/


Editorial: Why Aren’t Gimmicks Extinct in Nerf Yet?

Story by Ryleh_Yacht_Club

Toys are imagination tools that serve no practical purpose. Toys can often emulate real world things, but they are not those things. The Tonka truck can carry sand—like its big earth-moving counterpart—but you wouldn’t use it at rock quarry. The toy versions of grown-up stuff exist to add a material element to the fantasy world of kids. That means toys also live and die on their gimmicks. A gimmick is some fun thing that doesn’t do anything useful or meaningful. It’s brake lights on an RC car. It’s baby dolls that suck their thumbs. It’s hollow plastic sights that can’t accurately sight anything. Toys live on their gimmicks because imagination loves a gimmick and toys are for exercising your imagination.

Contrast that to a paintball markers or Airsoft guns. In a sense, they are for fun, but they aren’t really toys. They are closer to sports equipment. They have aesthetic variations but share the same basic mechanism across all markers or Airsoft guns. Modifications are done in those communities, but only towards increased performance and reliability—like how someone might think of a running shoe or a baseball bat. They are necessary pieces of a game and that changes their design ethos. They may or may not actually resemble anything else—like a real steel firearm—in the world. Sometimes the games are keyed towards Live Action Role Play (LARP) elements, but mostly its people playing a sport. Without going into it all here, both markers and Airsoft were originally designed for actual combat training purposes and now they are standalone sports. Fundamentally, they are not toys nor were they ever, and that is reflected in the designs their community seeks in them.

So then, what is modern Nerf? Nerf was originally a toy line in the purest sense of the word. You can see it in their early lines. For example, Cyberstrike seemed to be designed towards helping kids imagine they are cyborgs. The foam projectiles are just a gimmick that helps the immersion—not a focus. There were bows and arrows that—in Hasbro’s marketing materials—emphasized a child imagining they are firing a real-life bow—not tagging out friends in a competitive field. Nowhere in 90s nerf were range claims or anything functional for a game. Hasbro saw Nerf as just another toy line. The shooting of projectiles was just a gimmick that helped children immerse in their own imagination.

But, in the late 90s, a critical mass of kids saw Nerf as a chance to play their own version of paintball in their parks and backyards. After all, a 12-year-old wasn’t getting a paintball marker on their weekly allowance—nor would he likely be admitted to a private arena. It was on the back of those early games—which grew to draw international attendance by 1999—that Nerf blasters developed an identity closer to that of airsoft or paintball. This didn’t just impact modding—it is the exact beginning of modding. These kids wanted war-functional blasters but Hasbro was giving them gimmicky toys, so they modded them.

For the next decade and a half, the modder was a player and the player’s goal was power, capacity, practicality, and reliability. The limits on modding were tedious hobby production methods (e.g., Dremels and PVC, etc.) and simply being too niche a hobby to really register on any major manufacturer’s radar. Then came the Nerf Elite line, which prompted College Humans vs. Zombies games. Then came the 3d Printer, which removed the barriers of the old blaster fabrication methods. Soon we had the FDL, Caliburn, Gryphon, Jupiter, and so on. That fed back into the scene—which grew to a point that Hasbro took notice—which is to say, performance blasters became the gold standard. Nerf released the Rival line—effectively a foam paintball system that is marketed with explicit to range and game application. The Dart Zone Pro is probably our Airsoft moment—as it is built entirely around field-use in a game. Gimmick lines—like the Zombiestrike, Alien Menace, and Doomlands—hung around the periphery dying quiet deaths. The Nerf brand and the Nerf hobby charged headfirst into performance throughout the 2010s and equally as fast away from the gimmicks of the past.

Yet, gimmicks still emerged. For example, the Spring Thunder is a 3d printed hobby blaster that is explicitly designed to mimic a shell-ejecting shotgun. There is no great practical argument for its existence. The shells are less space efficient than a magazine. The blaster only holds four shots and is relatively slow to reload. So, why haven’t things like this gone extinct? I think it speaks to the fact that the Nerf community has a fundamentally split identity. On the one side, there are organizations like the Blaster Tag Association (BTA)—a performance-focused competitive league reminiscent of an Airsoft or paintball tournament. The BTA side has modders, but they look for advantages on the field—like sports players selecting their gear. On the other side are modders that mod for its own ends. It could be engineers curious about new mechanisms or just artists that want to build in plastic & solder. In other words, people looking to take their imagination out for a walk in the material world—satisfying an itch for a gimmick.

It’s not that individual Nerfers belong to one camp or the other, it’s rather an observation on the peculiar nature of the nerf community. To say you are a Nerfer is no guarantee you’ve even played a game or modded a blaster. That doesn’t really happen with Airsoft, paintball, or other more explicitly sports-type blaster communities. It’s also particularly interesting that the “modding for modding’s sake” community is the more recent phenomenon. Nerfers in the 90s absolutely saw it as a sport and all modding was done to that end.  Modern Nerfers are often a hybrid between these and I think that’s exactly why gimmicks will not disappear—we are practical and impractical in turn. It’s also this hybrid nature that has carried the hobby on so long. When modding was restricted by method & means in the 90s, it was games that carried the community forward. When games waned in the mid-2000s, the homemade scene came to dominate the message boards. Back and forth, the two sides of Nerf feed off each other and carry us forward. So, blessed are the gimmicks—for when the seasons grow cold and the games cannot be played— we can still print out some silly shotgun shells and pretend we’re John Wick alone in our basement. Therein is the durability of this hobby.


Community Spotlight

Mod of the Week – A Blaster Ripley Could be Proud of

Hey Nerfers. This is Mod Of The Week. I’m Alpha, and this is one fancy blaster.

The cosmetically modified X-Shot Chaos Orbit. Painted to pay tribute to the popular film series “ALIENS.”

Our Mod of the Week this time is an X-Shot orbit, with a green and black color scheme. It looks really slick, and the detailing is amazing, as we’ve come to expect from Monkeytron Collective. You’ve got to just sit back and appreciate it for a while, to notice the little logos, and all that… If this were a real battle rifle, I’d be proud to carry it into battle. Let’s hope we see more in the future from Monkeytron Collective, as he does some amazing work.

All for now.  Alpha

Ab initio usque ad finem “From beginning to end”

Credit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Nerf/comments/evrcro/aliens_themed_xshot_orbit/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/164130663628549/permalink/3472349979473251/

Featured Mod – Mass Effect Helios Katana

Story by Korit’al Desalia

u/Mano_Trueno of r/Nerf on Reddit has upgraded a Helios with a F10555 pump-action kit. He also deleted the need for the jam door, because after one or two mags of continuous fire the jam door would be opened anyways. A return spring delete, with a 15 kg spring upgrade; which is similar to a k26 spring weight. The spring and jam door delete combo allows a user to be able to prime the blaster allowing it to stay in the retracted position to load rounds though the jam door. He then painted the blaster inspired by Mass effect, in his favorite color, mine too. He used a filler primer; Dupli-color sandable filler primer for the 3D printed parts and Dupli-color flat black vinyl dye for the actual blaster, then sanded everything smooth to help reduce the screech of plastic on plastic. This beautiful color is Dupli-color metal specks in Shimmering Green vinyl dye. He also used a textured black rocker guard or the grip then topped it off with both flat and gloss clear coat for the different surfaces. Awesome job Mano_Trueno, I think you have turned more than one person towards Dupli-color paints for their blasters.

Credit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Nerf/comments/eukauz/my_latest_build_helios_with_f10555_pumpaction_kit/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share

Featured Mod – Lucky 15

Story by Korit’al Desalia

Reddit user u/Enigmatic_Dinosaur of r/Nerf has made a Sledgefire hybrid, after cutting the stock off and moving it to just above the trigger making it more convinient to reach the shells, especially for a left handed person. He then integrated; in place of the stock; a Rebelle Pink Crush with the bow arms removed, or he used a Rebelle Wild Glam, although the Pink Crush was more readily available. Enigmatic_Dinosaur first painted the blaster all black, but after posting a picture on Reddit and asking the community what color he should use he choose a khaki green before adding highlights. The highlights give the blaster a weathered look. He then used brown accents on the stock that was moved and on the handle. He added a cloth wrap around the handle and what looks to be a faux leather wrap around the barrel. For final touches he painted a 15 on the side of the Sledgefire stock, and added a pool ball key chain to the pull prime of the Rebelle blaster. The paint job gives this blaster a Mass Effect, or Halo, or Borderlands look and it is very impressive.

Credit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Nerf/comments/ev3k5i/finally_finished_my_sledgefire_hybrid_calling_it/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share

Featured Mod – Suitcase Sniper Kit

Story by Korit’al Desalia

Featured here on This Week in Nerf: Digest, yet again u/muncle-mods of r\Nerf on Reddit, has made a “Suitcase Sniper Kit”. This intergration rifle breaks down to fit into a suitcase/briefcase. They intergrated a stryfe into an Alphahawk. Muncle-mods has rewired the blaster to use a 3s zippy 1000 mah Lipo battery that is housed in the stock, witch I belive would mak this hit so much harder. He also customized the connectors for the stock attachment point with the XT60 conectors, making the stock removable. Muncle-mods upgraded the motors to Valkyries, but kept the cage and the flywheels stock. The trigger is customized allowing the pusher to travel further than the tigger pull. The paint job on this blaster is just fantastic, the urban camo is very nicly done. He also painted a Falconfire to match, unfortently I couldn’t find any information about this Falconfire. Muncle-mods has this set of blasters for sale onMercari for $200.

 

 

Credit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Nerf/comments/evmwqh/my_latest_integration_suitcase_sniper_kit_rifle/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share

https://www.mercari.com/u/281449659


Special Thanks

Our most sincere apologies to our readers for the late release of this issue of TWiN:Digest.  Between illness this week, a “sporting event”, and a few unrelated issues this was a very hectic week.  I hope you enjoy all the hard work not only we here at the Digest, but also Adrianna and Michelle do over at FoamBlast.  We sincerely hope to be back on schedule next week.

Thank you to all the members of our community who help with sourcing the news each week, and thank you to all of my team members for stepping up and providing help with this project at the cost of your personal time.  Thank you creators over all the world, for providing our hobby with the wonderful innovations we write about.

If you want to help in future issues of this digest, contact either Cheesewhiz, Meishel, or Lanyx_Desalia through the Nerf News Channel of the Discord Server “History of Nerf Modding” or via our Contribute page.

We need Source Researchers, Reporters/Story Writers, and even Graphics Designers.

Sign up today!

Thank you to you the readers, for making the Digest such a huge success, and of course again, for your patience.


Credits

Owner/Operators – FoamBlast Adrianna & Meishel

Editor in Chief/Main Story Boarder – Lanyx Desalia

Reporter – Korit’al Desalia

Reporter – Danny Ryerson

Reporter – Alpha

Editorial and Reporter – Ryleh_Yacht_Club

Comics/Graphics -Taffy