Digest Issue 12

Ragnarocktoberfest 2020 canceled, JENB5 still on

Story by Danny Ryerson

Two of the largest Nerf events in the US released press statements this week. Jared’s Epic Nerf Battle intends to continue operations in 2020 while Ragnarocktoberfest 2020 was canceled.

Jared Guynes, namesake of Jared’s Epic Nerf Battle, announced on June 3 that JENB will still occur at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium on the previously announced Aug. 8 date, writing that he “want[s], and intend[s], to do the event.” JENB was originally slated for March 12 but was postponed to August as the coronavirus pandemic intensified.

“I’m doing my very best during a lifetime level situation,” Guynes wrote.

Attached to the press release was the first page of the Texas Department of State Health Services’ minimum standard health protocols for outdoor events, which details guidelines to safely host “gatherings with estimated attendance of 500 or more.”

According to Guynes, when the side walls and roof of AT&T Stadium are retracted, the venue legally counts as an outdoor area, which would enable JENB to follow the aforementioned outdoor guidelines instead of more restrictive indoor ones.

Guynes added that it is “virtually certain” that attendees over the age of 65 will be refused entry to the event, “even if there was anyone of that age planning to attend.”

JENB currently holds the Guinness world record for the largest toy blaster battle, achieved in 2016 with 2,289 participants. At the time of writing, over 1,100 people have marked that they are “going” to the event on the JENB Facebook page.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that, due to the ongoing pandemic, organizers of outdoor events consider postponement or cancellation if the event exceeds 250 participants, if many participants will travel to the event from vulnerable areas and based on whether attendees will be in closer quarters than six feet from each other.

Guynes remains committed to a 2020 Epic Nerf Battle.

“No matter what… I’ll honor every ticket purchased with an incredible, packed, amazing battle,” Guynes wrote.

1,700 miles away in California, Ragnarocktoberfest staff made the opposite decision and canceled Ragfest 2020.

On June 4, staff released a statement on Facebook saying that they decided to cancel the event for two reasons: they were unable to find a venue due to current legal restrictions on large gatherings, and that they could not ensure that Ragfest could happen safely during an ongoing pandemic.

“Our primary concern is everyone’s health and well being [sic],” the press release said. “We want every one of you to stay healthy and be able to celebrate with us when we are able to get together again, next October, we hope.”

Foamblast’s Adrianna O’Shea, one Ragfest’s founding staff members, also raised the issue of monetary concerns.

“The event is very expensive to put on, and we need as many people as possible to justify the price,” O’Shea said.

However, she was quick to point out the silver lining of a COVID-19 cancellation: more time to plan the 2021 event. With more time, Ragnarocktoberfest staff can work with new HvZ mechanics and refine their props so as to ensure next year’s event will go as smoothly as possible.

“Our amazing volunteers soldier on with enthusiastic game making as we speak, so that once restrictions are lifted, you will have a world class event to look forward to in the Bay Area!” the press release said.

 Leaks, previews and more: upcoming Nerf releases revealed

Story by Danny Ryerson and Korit’al Desalia

This week was a big one for first-party Nerf news. From Ultra to Elite 2.0 to Fortnite, community leakers busily uncovered a host of new blasters and previews of ones we’ve known about for some time.

Perhaps most notably, the first image of the Elite 2.0 Commander RC-6 was posted to Twitter on June 7. The blaster appears to be similar to a Disruptor, with a top-primed action and six-shot cylinder, but it features both a stock and barrel attachment points, like an N-strike Spectre. The Commander is expected to retail at $19.99 and release in 2020.

/u/UtterTravesty leaked an image of the packaging of the Ultra Dorado, an “upgraded version of the Ultra Two,” according to a blurb on the packaging. The Dorado is a six-shot Ultra flywheel revolver much like the Ultra Two, but features a fixed thumbhole stock, foregrip, extended muzzle and carry handle with dart storage. 

No release date or MSRP for the Dorado have been published at the time of writing, and while LordDraconical claimed that it will be exclusive to Europe, that has also not been confirmed.

In other Ultra news, Reddit user /u/jimmdogg was able to order a previously unseen-in-stores Ultra Four through Walmart, and Nerf Ukraine posted pictures of a production model Ultra Five with an extended muzzle piece on Instagram.

UtterTravesty and Nerf Wiki user Amer1ciuM also discovered a listing for an Alpha Strike Eagle Ops Double Pack, which included concept art for a new blaster that appears to be based off of the existing Cobra RC-6. The new blaster, called the Mako, has an integrated stock and vertical foregrip. No release date or MSRP has been confirmed for the Eagle Ops Pack, and it is currently unknown whether the Mako will be available separately from the pack.

UtterTravesty found two listings for new Fortnite products; the IR-I and Thunder Crash. While the Thunder Crash was listed at a $12.58 price point, the IR-I had no MSRP, and no release date or images for either are known at the time of writing.

UtterTravesty rounded out his resumé for this week with a listing for a possibly hitherto unknown Hyper blaster; the Hyper March 100. He speculated that “March” may be a codename for the already known Hyper Hail 100, but if it is indeed a separate product, it would be the fourth confirmed Hyper blaster so far. The March listing did not provide an MSRP or release date.

Finally, the Halo MA40, previously previewed at New York Toy Fair 2020, is available for pre-order on Amazon UK. Notably, the listed pre-order price is lower than the previously confirmed $50 USD MSRP at $39.80 after currency conversion (£31.24).

That wraps up Nerf’s first-party news for this week. Tune in next week for more leaks and news!

30-round Air Warriors drum available on Blasterparts

Story by Korit’al Desalia

Posted by /u/cappycopper on /r/Nerf, we have been informed of the long-awaited Air Warriors 30-round drum magazine. While not everyone in the hobby may like drum magazines, the largest first-party stick mag we have only holds 18 darts. Those of us who do like to use drum mags have been looking for a standalone drum for years, and it is nice to finally see one, even if it isn’t a Nerf brand, although most people in the hobby will tell you that some “off brand” blasters are better than Nerf. 

It may not be the 50-round one that we all want, but it is, as far as we know, the only mainstream injection-molded drum magazine that is sold by itself. It is available on Blasterparts for €22.95 Euros, or about $25 USD. This is the only dart magazine that is available on the site. 

This magazine is sold separately, which makes it a wonderful purchase. The mag is compatible with most common darts and blasters and includes 30 darts. On www.mytoys.de, the Air Warriors Agitator includes the same 30-round drum mag and is packaged with 50 darts for €19.99 ($22 USD).

Upgraded Dart Zone Blitzfire, Magnum spotted at Target

Story by Danny Ryerson

Dart Zone announced June 8 on their Instagram page that upgraded ‘X-2’ versions of two of their blasters, the Magnum and Blitzfire, are exclusively available early at Target. The Blitzfire X-2, which comes in a pack of two blasters, retails for $12:99, and the Magnum X-2 costs $19.99; the same prices as the original blasters.

BlasterHub’s BuffdaddyNerf confirmed that the Magnum X-2 is unchanged internally from the original Magnum, though whether the Blitzfire has undergone internal revision is currently unknown. Both blasters now sport updated shells and, in the Magnum’s case, a few new features.

The Magnum X-2’s shell has been updated to include a large angled foregrip, and the original’s arm brace was replaced with a retractable buttstock. According to Jake Lake on Facebook, it also now features a removable drum, which is not cross-compatible with the original Magnum’s.

On the other hand, the Blitzfire has seemingly only undergone a shell revision. It now features grip scales, some vented detailing over the cylinder and a faux tactical rail atop the barrel.


Community Spotlight

Mod of the Week: Foam board Ionfire

Story by Lanyx Desalia

If you are in the market for a single shot breech-loaded blaster, the Ionfire is the blaster for you. If you’re looking for a way to change the look of your Ionfire that is really easy and cheap to make, then you should check out Reddit user /u/DrinkFlexSeal, who has taken PVC pipe to extend the barrel and make it a sniper rifle. 

He then took what looks like paper and bottle caps to make a bolt-action prime with locking action. After that he added a bolt sled over the breach opening and painted it black. After cutting the barrel down he added a foam board tip, and started to paint the rest of the blaster a medium green color and white. 

Then comes the long scope, already painted in the green and white like the rest of the blaster. This blaster is looking better and better. At that point, /u/DrinkFlexSeal added more foam board to make a stock with built-in dart storage, holding 10 darts for easy use with this one-shot blaster. 

The stock uses the N-Strike stock attachment point and is attached to the handle. The scope was added to as well, the length was added to and he put on some nifty hook decoration. Using the same foam board and some neat additions that can be used as a grip, the barrel also has some hook decoration. 

The overall look of this blaster looks really good, and I’m sure that using the foam board makes it really light weight, making this blaster a really good sniper rifle.

Attack of the robots: Part one

Story by Lanyx Desalia

No, it’s not another horror movie, where machines evolve to the point that they realize humans are obsolete and must be destroyed. Well, it could be, but for now, it is just an advancement in foam flinging warfare. Youtube Creator James Bruton goes into an amazing level of detail describing nearly every phase of his creation of the Lidar Autonomous Nerf Robot. 

Lidar stands for Light Detection and Ranging, and Mr. Bruton shows us how to use a laser guidance system to create a robotic Nerf trap.

He describes everything from how the lidar unit works to the various program variables necessary to get his robotic minion to repeatedly blast a mannequin’s face. The robot itself consists of some pretty heavy-duty motor hardware, a 3D printed frame and wheels and various circuit boards that operate the machine. The robot fires two N-Strike Elite Stryfes in sequence using a modified servo unit.

It seems that this particular robot does not know friend from foe and will attack anything that comes into its pre-programmable 360° range, so if you build one of these, just remember where you set it up and activate it.

Attack of the robots: Part two

Story by Lanyx Desalia

Every good killer robot movie needs a sequel, right? Continuing in the same vein as our last story, Reddit user /u/mrh9rb and his friend developed an Automated Nerf Turret that uses facial recognition software as a project for cyber security.  

The short video posted to /r/Nerf shows the user enter the frame on a laptop connected to the turret’s camera view, at which point the blaster turns slightly to focus on the subject, thinks for a second and blasts said subject with a Nerf dart from a modified magazine-fed blaster. After being fired upon, the user then takes a step back and slightly to the left, at which point the turret rotates slightly to track.

The video was a short, entertaining clip to demonstrate what ingenuity can do.

/u/mrh9rb stated that the laptop is set to learn different peoples’ faces, and if a recognized face isn’t one of those on the control list, the turret will open fire. He also posted a link to a YouTube video where the turret can also be remotely controlled by a PlayStation 3 controller. Finally, in what can only be described as a bit of topical comedy, the turret also features a “pandemic relevant mode” where the blaster can be set to target people who aren’t wearing masks. Nothing says, ‘stay six feet away’ like a Nerf dart to the face.

“Chimera,” the bullpup Stampede-Regulator hybrid

Story by Lanyx Desalia

While browsing the internet for Nerf content, one of the most common questions I see is almost always: “Can you put a select fire kit in that?” 

This is a valid question, and why shouldn’t it be? Select fire gives you complete control over the flow of your ammunition. If you are lining up your shot and feel like you can take your time, single fire. Facing down a Super Zombie at HvZ that takes more than one dart to “tag out?” Why, that is precisely where burst fire comes into play. Does the Undead Horde have your back against the wall? Why yes, my Regulator does have a full auto mode for spraying large quantities of foam in rapid fire succession.

In a beautiful integration, Reddit user /u/Justmeagaindownhere combined the versatility of the Modulus Regulator with the aesthetically pleasing fan favorite N-Strike Stampede. Why? Why not?

While the creator admits in the comment section that his painting and putty work could be improved upon, he’ll hear no complaints from me. Aside from the scrawled-on name of the blaster, the rest of the body is done in an impressive metallic blue, yellow and grey combination that compliment the lines of the blaster. 

When questioned about the monstrous length of the bullpup, the creator responded with: “I have long noodly arms.” One of the things that “full-sized people” complain about most in our hobby is the short-sized stocks, so if you are a long, “noodly” person, making your blaster extra long in the back just makes sense.


Credits

Owner/Operators – FoamBlast Adrianna & Meishel

Editor-in-Chief/Main Story Boarder – Lanyx Desalia

Assistant Editor-in-Chief – Danny Ryerson

Reporter — Korit’al Desalia