Saturday, June 16, 2012

Our first major summer war!

When:  Sunday June 24, 2012; 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Where:  Centennial Park
             9300 S Natchez Ave
             Oak Lawn, IL

Our Extra Special Warsite!

- Stock Ammo Only
- A "Hit" is defined by the projectile coming to a complete stop and dropping to the ground.
  Ricochets, grazes, bank shots, etc., do not count. Hits on clothing/accessories count as hits.
- Homemades and Blowguns only allowed if they shoot large ammo
- Toy blasters are TOYS; any attempt to paint modify to make them look real will get them
- Blasters count as shields. Large ammo breaks shields
- Excessive use of tactical gear will result in us laughing at you and telling you to put it away
- Event host has final word on game rulings, bans, etc.

Here's what to bring:
- Nerf Blasters and at least 1 pistol
- Eye Protection, or else you won't be able to play
- Lunch and Drinks

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Just Play! Sports and Recreational Festival Appearance!

Hey guys and gals, Snake here!  Big News: We've teamed up with the Just Play! Sports and Recreational Festival to put on a huge Dart Tag Event!  This weekend, May 19th and 20th, we're hosting a slew of minigames, events, and shoot-outs!  This is the 7th year for the midwest's largest Sports and Recreational Festival!  Everything from Zip lines, to MMA demonstrations, to lazer tag and Nerf wars are FREE!!!  Everything else can be found through their website!  Last year they had over 60 vendors and over 5000 attendees!  Here's the event information:

Just Play! Sports and Recreational Festival!

Dates and Times:  Saturday May 19 (10:00 am - 6:00 pm) & Sunday May 20 (11:00 am - 4:00 pm)
Location: At the corner of Gary Ave and Lies Rd in Carol Stream, IL

Our Rules for this event:
- Just show up!  You do not need to bring anything to participate!
- Eye Protection (provided for you) is mandatory to participate
- Soft foam shooting blasters and ammunition will be provided as well

We'll have prizes to win, giveaways, and demos of some of new blasters coming out in the future!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

TTAGS Chicago Season Kickoff War 2012

When: Sunday May 6, 2012 10:00am - 4:00pm

Where: Centennial Park
9400 S Oak Park Ave
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
Our Supa Dank Nerf Site!
  Let's let the whole nation know where Nerfing is at!

- Don't be a Jerk or Camper
- Stock Ammo Only
- A "Hit" is defined by the projectile coming to a complete stop and dropping to the ground. Ricochets, grazes, bank shots, etc., do not count. Hits on clothing/accesories count as hits.
- NO homemades, or blowguns (If a blowgun is integrated you'll be asked to remove it)
- Toy Blasters are simply that TOYS; If they are painted/modified to look real they will be banned.
- Shields are allowable up to 5" diameter
- Blasters count as shields. Large ammo breaks shields
- Melee weapons no larger than 12" are allowed in specific rounds
- We provide the darts, but suggested donation to help our group keep going is $5
- Excessive use of tactical gear will result in us laughing at you and telling you to put it away
- Event host has final word on game rulings, bans, etc.

Here's what to bring:
- Nerf/Vapor Blasters and backups in case of breakage
- Eye Protection, or else you won't be able to play
- Lunch and Drinks
Any questions feel free to ask!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nerf Rampage Video Released

Hey guys and gals, Snake here.  New in from the people at Nerf, we've got the Rampage video.  The Rampage is the new 25-round drum fed, slam fire blaster in the Elite Line.  The big hook to the Elite line is that the blasters can shoot up to 75 feet!  Without further ado, here's the video:

In the previous pictures here, the rampage has a removable stock and shield.  These were not even featured in the video.  The other big ticket item still not shown yet is the Elite Ammo.  When we know anything about the new ammo, you'll be first to hear it here on TTAGS Chicago!

Rampage with removable stock and shield

After watching the video, the Rampage seems exactly like a raider functionally and astetically, with the exception that the drum is 10 rounds less.  Unlike the 35-round drum, this one has the feeding part centered.  Centering the drum will make it much more ambidexterous. 

For the entire Elite line information check out our pictures and reviews here:

Nerf N-Strike Elite Full Line Pictures and Links

Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator Revealed

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Nerf N-Strike Elite Full Release Pictures!!!

Hey guys and gals, Snake here.  We've got the huge scoop everyone has been waiting for.  On the same German forums that had the information on the Hailfire, now found a store that is carrying the entire Nerf N-Strike Elite line.  Here's the link to the website:  Nerf N-Strike Elite Line

Without further ado, here are the big pictures of the FINAL PRODUCT that everyone wants:

Retaliator, full review here

Rampage - A Raider with a new stock and shield with 20 shot drum

Elite Barricade - No new name yet, but with a dart holding stock

Hailfire - The big boy with all the bells and whistles

No word or information yet on the new Elite Dart design or what it might consist of at this time.

So there's the entire Nerf N-Strike Elite Line!  The Hailfire has more clips than we could have imagined.  With the secondary trigger like the Rayven, it's semi-auto flywheel powered.  All the Elite blasters closely resemble something already on the market.  Will we see if they can stand up to the "Up to 75 feet" claim...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator Revealed!

Hey guys and gals, Snake here.  Today we've got the reveal video of the new Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator Blaster.  On first look it appears to be a Recon/ with accessories to make it more closly resemble a Longstrike!  Here's the video:

Nerf says the whole Elite Line, including th Retaliator will launch in Fall 2012, headlined by the Nerf N-Strike Elite Hailfire.  Here's a youtube still I took of the Retaliator:

Fancy Recon or something new?
Honestly, my first impression is a Recon body with a Longstrike style stock.  The removable front barrel is simply a new paintjob on the classic recon barrel extension.  The Assault Grip on the front is modular as well as looks to be an amazing addition to anything that uses a tactical rail. 

As with the entire Nerf N-Strike Elite Line, they advertise the Retaliator will hit up to 75 feet.  I am eager to see what the good folks at Nerf have come up with the get those ranges with a Recon style blaster.
The clip is obviously larger than the standard 6 shot magazine, and looks to be shorter than the 18 round magazines that came with the Stampede.  I'd wager the Elite line will come with 12 shot magazines, just like the Hailfire will.

More to come as it gets released!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Nerf War! April 1 , 2012

When: Palm Sunday April 1, 2012 10:00am - 4:00pm

Where: Centennial Park
9400 S Oak Park Ave
Oak Lawn, IL 60453

Let's let the whole nation know where Nerfing is at!

- Don't be a Jerk or Camper
- Stock Ammo Only
- A "Hit" is defined by the projectile coming to a complete stop and dropping to the ground. Ricochets, grazes, bank shots, etc., do not count. Hits on clothing/accesories count as hits.
- NO homemades, or blowguns
- Shields are allowable up to 5" diameter
- Blasters count as shields. Large ammo breaks shields
- Melee weapons no larger than 12" are allowed in specific rounds
- We provide the darts, but suggested donation to help our group keep going is $5
- Event host has final word on game rulings, bans, etc.

Here's what to bring:
- Nerf Blasters and backups in case of breakage
- Eye Protection, or else you won't be able to play
- Lunch and Drinks

Questions, Comments, Concerns? Feel free to post them in the comments or email us!

**Everyone is welcome.  Our gametypes are fully explained before every round.  Every round is different and fast paced!  It's an experience you'll never forget!**

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gears of War - Board Game Review Part 2!

Hey guys and gals, Snake here.  Since I originally wrote the Gears of War Board Game Review, Part 1, I've had a chance to get my entire gaming crew together to play a full game, which is having four players.

From left to right: Sarge, Crash, Tommy Gunn, and Snake (me)
To keep it simple we played the Emergence mission again.  I chose this time to play at Marcus, Sarge was Cole Train, Crash was Dom, and Tommy Gunn was Baird.  We got through all the setup much easier than the first time and got the map setup.  After setting up the horde and mission specific rules we were ready to start our first turn.

Our brave Gears take to the map and begin to slaughter the horde.  Here's a pic of our first turn:

Our game begins, and the mechanics of the game truly show how the teamwork aspect can really take over.  As I take my turn, I move and play a card which allows me to move and attack.  Tommy Gunn and Sarge play a reaction card that allows them to move with me as to keep the team together.

After my turn, in the Locust activation phase, I draw a card which allows Drones to move up and attack if able.  Before the Locust Grub can even pop out of Cover, Sarge uses his reaction ability to Guard.  Guarding allows him to make an immediate attack again the Locust.  Sarge uses the overkill ability on his Lancer and rolls 3 omen dice and one causing 2 wounds.  The Locust rolls a total of 4 shields.  The 4 shields cancel the 2 wounds, but each omen causes one automatic wound.  The lancers ability of a high rate of fire was more than enough to protect our team from the horde!

Using teamwork, we move together and cut through the horde.
A few turns later, we are rolling through the horde, moving together and guarding each other to protect from being wounded.  The game goes well until I, Snake, feel the urge to go and pickup the weapon pickup in the first area of the map.  I leave my team, thinking everything is under control.  No sooner than I move away do the Horde spawn more Locust, open up a new emergence hole, and go on a massive offensive.

In the fighting, Baird goes down.  Sarge had moved up the board to the next area, while I am desperately trying to get back to my squad.  Crash makes a move to run to Baird to save him.  As we as a team are worrying about being overrun, Crash's comedic timing comes to the rescue.  While picking up Baird, he remembers Dom's character searching for his wife Maria.  Crash takes to doing spot on impressions of Dom, inspiring us and making us laugh, by asking, "Have you seen my Wife?" in a kind of whiny voice.

Dom discards a card, picks up Baird and asks, "Have you seen my Wife?"
After this our teamwork got better, because we knew then teamwork is the only way to win.  Crash kept our spirits up with his impressions.  Tommy Gunn got him the perfect prop, the picture of Dom and Maria, included in the Gears of War 2, fancy edition.   Crash loved using the prop, to ask every Locust if they had seen his wife:

"Have you seen my Wife?"
After a few areas and mission changes of no longer trying to beat the level, we all undertook the task of finding Dom's wife...Our crew was enthralled with the aspect of watching Crash ask everyone if they had seen her:

Not again Crash.....
Before we knew it we were simply slaughtering everyone in our path, as fast as we can to reach the doorway and bust through it.  Once the doorway opened in the Emergence mission and the horde attempts to come through, we made a stand.  Whether it was Crash asking every Locust or the simply amazing 2 separate, omen rolling boomshot rounds we fired into the crowd, the Locust perished quickly and we won the mission.  To celebrate we took a final group shot to commemorate our first successful Gears of War playthrough:

Big thanks again to everyone at Fantasy Flight games for hooking us up with this amazing game.  We look forward to playing again, giving everyone another dose of Sarge, Crash, Tommy Gunn, and Snake, and most of all an accurate representation of the game!

Friday, March 9, 2012

New Airzone Blasters - Including Undermounted Arrow Shooter!

Hey guys and gals, Snake here.  During my weekly roundup of new stuff around in stores I came across some new Airzone brand blasters at my local Toys R Us.  Total we've got 4 new blasters that feature a new technology...DUAL SHOOTERS!  The Dual shooters line all shoot two types of ammo - darts and either discs or arrows.  Here are the overall pictures:

AirZone A2 XShot Dual Dart and Disc Shooter
AirZone A2 XShot Dual Ammo Blast (6 dart shooter)

Both of these blasters feature dart and disc shooters.  The pistol sized shooter retails for $6.99USD, while the larger blaster retails for $17.99USD.   The wow factor comes in the way of being able to simultaneously shoot the disc and the dart.  Both parts of the blaster are connected, and cannot be separated.  The simple factor of having a 2-in-1 blaster  is the major selling point.  I would use the dart blaster portion as a primary, and use the discs as a back-up, in case I do not have time to reload. 

Now for the piece I picked up to review:

AirZone 8 Dart Blaster Combo Pack
Wow! It's the back of the box!

The AirZone 8 Dart Blaster Combo Pack retails for $19.99USD and features a bunch of tactical rail accessories.  The blaster is the same model as the AirZone Humans vs Zombie Dart Blaster, which features an 8-shot rotating turret.  The turret rotates on the prime as opposed to rotating on the trigger pull.  It also feels like heavy duty plastic, and works better than the HvZ Dart Blaster.  The main feature of this product lies in the accessories.

Blaster with the Scope and Arrow Shooter attached

In addition to the blaster you get an 8-dart ammo holder, a 2-lens scope, and...drumroll please...the undermounted arrow shooter.  All accessories attach via tactical rail and WILL WORK with Nerf's tactical rail system.  Securing the accessories works by sliding them over the rail and they snap into place.  These attachments are very secure to do not "wobble" like some others.  The scope does look cool, but provides no magnification.  The Ammo holder works very well to hold an additional 8 rounds. 

The undermounted arrow shooter has finally given me (and many others), what I've been wanting for years.  It's a modular attachable secondary, similar to a real-life masterkey shotgun, or undermounted grenade launcher.  The arrow shooter works extremely well and has range the same as the blaster.  In our wars, ammo larger than a dart can break through shields and blaster-blocks.  So having large ammo at the ready is an amazing advantage!  Even having a backup shot of something, that can be attached to any blaster is a huge advantage. 

Without further ado, here's the firing video:

Overall I would totally recommend this product to anyone.  The blaster many not be anything super special, but the undermounted arrow shooter is well worth the price.  This is the first time that a blaster has a modular accessory that can function as a blaster!  Truly unique and well done!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Nerf Pinpoint Sight (Red Dot Sight) Coming Back!

Hey guys and gals, Snake here.  Over on SG Nerf, a reader of his found the pinpoint sight, which is a fancy name for a true red dot sight.  It appears that Nerf will be re-releasing the pinpoint sight again.  The Red Dot Sight has been the most sought after accessory Nerf has ever made.  At the moment, the only way to get these are for insane prices on eBay and Amazon.  Hands down, it's the one I use all the time. Here's a pic:

Taken by XCon at the SGNerf Forums

I'm heading out in a bit to see if anything like this has struck at any toy stores stateside!  Updates to come later today!  Here's on more of the box:

It really does fit all blasters and truly work!

So the deal in Singapore, where SGNerf and XCon are from, if you spend $40 you can get a Pinpoint sight for free!  Check it out:

Courtesy of SGNerf
I'll post updates when I do my weekly toy reconnaissance run!  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Humans vs Zombies Loadout and Blasters!

Hey guys and gals Snake here.  Since the other HvZ article I wrote, I've been getting a lot of requests to see what I use at HvZ events.  Here's the full shot of everything all packed up:

Everything you need to eradicate any Zombie threat!
Starting from the top we have my Secret Shot I, Eagle Industries Mini Chest Rig, and White-out series maverick.  Next is my first line gear all mounted on an ATS Tactical War Belt.  Finally we get to my Special edition red Nerf Recon, which has been customized.

Typically I play in HvZ's that are one day events, or have set playing times throughout the day.  When playing I am always wearing my first line gear on the War Belt.  Here's a pic of the War Belt with everything displayed:

Starting from the left, in the M16 pouch I keep 2, 5-Hour Energy Drinks and 2, 6 shot magazines.  The 5-Hour Energy works well for me, and you never know when you'll need a boost to keep running.  In the Green GP pouch I keep my flashlight, hand sanitizer (Killing zombies are unsanitary and gross!), my boo-boo kit, Cliff bars, and most importantly the Doodle Roll.

The Doodle Roll Activity Kit is 15' of paper, crayons and the case, which has an awesome easy tear notch.  I ran into the Doodle Roll folks at a few fairs, cool product, cooler people!  Quick shout out to my boy at Doodle Roll, you know who you are :) I use this super rad product to leave messages for teammates, sketching maps, and, if the horde is slow, to alleviate boredom.  This is a must have in the field!  Check them out at!

The canteen is necessary to stay hydrated!  Finally, the dump pouch is used to carry my sidearm, extra ammo I find on the ground, and empty magazines.

Found at Flying Tigers II Army/Navy Surplus

The Mini Chest Rig is compact and simply holds a total of 5, 6 shot magazines.  I can also stuff my keys, wallet, and phone in the Velcro bib pocket.  It attaches easy and comes off easy.  When doing a mission to save survivors, I always can use the extra ammo this rig provides.

My "Little Friends"
Finally we come to the blasters.  My primary is a Special edition Red Nerf Recon and 35 round drum magazine, completely customized.  It features a first-generation plunger tube (so it will not break), air restrictors removed, deadspace removed, and a new spring custom made by a moderator at Nerf Revolution.  It hits huge range and puts aftermarket kits to shame.  Tutorial to come soon on how to make this baby for yourself!

The White Out Series Nerf Maverick features air restrictors removed as well being able to open all the way to make reloading easier.  Lastly, my Secret Shot I; this beauty has been converted to have CPVC barrels to be able to shoot all ammo.  The secret barrel on the bottom is still completely functional and works like a charm.

Hope everyone enjoyed seeing how I roll at HvZ!  If you have any comment or questions leave them here or email me at ttagschicago at  I'll have some more pics and a video of me with the gear up soon!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

New Hailfire Pictures and New Nitron!

Hey guys and gals, Snake here.  Today floating around the internet are some new pics and box art for the Hailfire and Nitron.  Without further ado here they are:

We've got the concept photo from secret sources!
The above pic is the concept photo of the Hailfire!  So between that and the picture from Neo Creations we have a pretty accurate representation of it.

Photo from Neo Creations
From what we know, it will be semi-automatic, flywheel powered.  The clip platform will hold a total of 4 clips and appears to rotate when magazines are empty.  Any more updates, I'll post here!

Moving on, we have a new pictures of the possibly new Nitron.  This one comes with a Stampede-like shield on the top.  More news upcoming!

Now with 100% more shield!

New box art!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Humans vs Zombies: To "Mod" or not to "Mod"

Hey guys and gals Snake here.  I came across this article as posted in the NC State newspaper, Technician Online.  The full article can be found here: College Students Build Better Blasters

Here is an excerpt from the article:
"Really the only tools I need are a screwdriver and a hand-drill," Collins said. "Typically I crack [the blasters] open and there's this thing inside called an air-restrictor… I drill it right out."

The air restrictor is a part of a Nerf blaster added to slow down air flow, and according to Collins it should be the first thing to go.

"The air restrictor is something that virtually every Nerf [blaster] has," Michael Ramos, a junior in human biology and an owner of a Nerf Raider Collins has modified, said. "It restricts the air coming inside so that if you're a child… it keeps the [velocity of the dart] very low."

Other optional modifications include spring compression or replacements, jam door removals and replacement of the internals. However, according to Collins, the modification that improves blasters most is a spring replacement.
Even in our TTAGS Chicago outings, we run into a lot of modifications.  Most of these are simple, involving simply removing the air restrictor, or rebarreling a blaster.  My personal Secret Shot I (SS1) has been modified to be able to use the current darts.  When the SS1 came out, the darts used at the time were different sized.  I rebarreled my blaster using a bit of CPVC piping to make it useable.  However, I did not modify my blaster to shoot further, but to make it more reliable and able use all the darts available today.

A Secret Shot I in all its beauty!
Here at TTAGS Chicago, our rules concerning all modifications are that they need to be safe for the user as well as safe for those on the receiving end of the blaster.  A quick side-note here, we always use eye protection regardless of the blaster being used.  Eye protection is mandatory at all our events, you only get one pair of eyes!  Back to the discussion at hand...The majority of our members modify blasters not so much to gain range as they are about making blasters more reliable.

Modifying a blaster with more power presents a whole new challenge.  The internals were only meant to handle a certain power load.  By overloading it, you can break the fragile parts like the plunger tube on a raider, recon, or alpha trooper.  Using drop in kits from other companies will give you ranges of 100 feet or more.  But they carry a price tag of $60 plus the cost of the blaster, and darts.  Additionally you'll need to install it yourself which can present its own problems.  

Let's think about what we're doing for a minute.  Modifying a toy blaster to make it shoot as far as what? an airsoft gun? a paintball gun? Any modifications that breaks 50', can become hurtful at close range.  Launching a soft foam dart with accuracy at that distance is very difficult.  Most darts are so unbalanced, they spiral and loop through the air when used.  If I want extreme range and accuracy, I'll paintball.  When I play HvZ I'm there to have fun, not to win at all costs by having the most uber-modded blaster than can snipe people 100 feet away.  

The TL;DR version: Modify at your own risk.  Soft foam blasters should be fun and safe, anything done to a toy to make it even the slightest bit dangerous should be banned from events.  HvZ is about having fun, not showing off who can shoot a dart the furthest!

Feel free to post comments here or email me (Snake) at ttagschicago(at) 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fresh From Toy Fair: Westminster Toys!

Hey guys and gals, Snake here!  Today we have a real treat.  At Toy Fair 2012 in New York, I was lucky enough to get to meet the people at Westminster Toys.  Westminster is a distributor of novelty toys, plush animals, and so much more.  They were kind enough to give me samples of Basket Case and their best selling Electronic Sound Bites!

The Original Basket Case, headband hoop game and Electronic Sound bite
First up let's talk about The Original Basket Case.  Basket Case comes with the headband, the basket, the stilts to hold up the basket, and 20 balls (10 white and 10 red).  Assembly is a breeze, and the headband attaches with Velcro to perfectly fit anyone's head.  The best part is the novelty aspect.  How many times have you called, or been called crazy, aka, a basket case?  Being able to surprise someone with such a gift will get priceless reactions and memories to last forever!  The game itself is pretty fun, you can try to make the shots, or in the video later, have someone shoot to make the baskets. 

With a little practice, you too can become a pro!
Before we move on...How many times have you been out and about wondering, "Why can't my life have sound effects like on TV?"  Well thanks to Electronic Sound Bites, you can!  Hands down this was the coolest, most unique thing I saw at Toy Fair.  Many similar devices boast a few sounds.  Electronic Sound Bites has 20 different sounds.  From sirens, drumrolls, and soap opera dramas, to whistles, farts and applause, this toy can do it all.  Before writing this review I used it all the time, much to my fiancee's amusement and more often, chagrin.

Electronic Sound Bites gives your life the soundtrack it needs!
As a special bonus, here is the video demoing both the Original basket Case as well as the Electronic Sound Bites!  Big thanks to everyone at Westminster!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Marshmallow Shooters Galore!

Hey guys and gals, today I've got some more Toy Fair 2012 swag to show off and review!  Both are from the Marshmallow Fun Company.  Both of these blasters shoot marshmallows, which are fun and safe for all!

Marshmallows, the new weapon to stop the Zombie Horde!

First up let's go over the marshmallow blaster.  The blaster is a breech-loading, air tank powered blaster.  To use, you need to first open the breech and load a large marshmallow.  Then, pump it 10-15 times; in the video below I pump it a total of 15 times.  Then point in the direction you want to shoot and pull the trigger.  The blaster has a bit of recoil, but wow does it have range.  In the video the marshmallow lands on the far side of my pool, which is over 50 feet away!  Without further ado here's the video:

Now for the double shooter...WOW is my first reaction.  It's a true shotgun action shooter.  No other company on the market has the functionality of a shotgun spread style with every shot.  In humans vs. zombie games, this is the go to blaster when you need to put down a horde fast!  The shooter is manual powered and with each pump you unload anywhere from 2-5 marshmallows.  I've found the harder you pump, the more you shoot.  In the video below you'll be able to see the spread of the marshmallows and the range.  The majority of the marshmallows fell just short of swimming in the pool.

Overall both are very solidly made and amazing to use.  The Blaster is very accurate and has good range, but only has one shot.  Reloading is not much of a problem and can be done while running.   The shotgun (Double Shooter) can handle itself with range and spray potential.  However, the reload time is absolutely killer.  Having to individually load around 15 marshmallows in each tube, then snap the tubes back into the double shooter could get you tagged.  Barring someone covering your reload or having a safe place to reload, the shotgun is more of a "panic shooter" that can get you out of a big jam.

As requested, here is the video with how far the marshmallows flew:

Ready to show the horde who's really in charge with these launchers!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Nerf Snapfire 8 and Firevision Sports Line

Hey guys, at Toy fair 2012, Vas (from Foam From Above) and I were able to get into Hasbro's private showroom and see the newest in the way of Nerf.  The highlight from the trip has to be the Snapfire 8, in the Dart Tag line.

Here's the official press release on it:

(HASBRO/Ages 8 & up/Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: Fall 2012)
The NERF DART TAG SNAPFIRE 8 blaster features one-hand firing, an essential element when players are on the move during competition battle.  This semi-automatic blaster allows competitors to load darts into the front and then cock and fire darts as the front barrel revolves with each trigger pull.  The DART TAG SNAPFIRE 8 blaster also enables players to adjust the tension level for increased speed and distance.  Includes 8 Velcro tipped DART TAG darts.  Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on"

We even got to play with it a bit...Here's the teaser video of us using it before we had to stop filming :)

Here are some stills we were able to grab:

The Snapfire 8, the guy's hand is on the knob to adjust for more power/speed

The Box for the Snapfire 8
Here is the Firevision and Heatgear information! Press Release:


The NERF brand brings fans a completely new way to play with its sports gear in 2012 with the introduction of FIREVISION technology, an innovative enhancement featured in the debut FIREVISION SPORTS collection which allows for play in both daytime and dusk. To turn up the heat on throws, catches, and dunks, users simply put on the FIREVISION SPORTS FRAMES eyewear and flip the switch on the bridge to see reflective graphics and skins on the FIREVISION SPORTS products. Only those wearing NERF FIREVISION SPORTS FRAMES eyewear will be able to see the action once the lights are out, so whether fans want to enter into casual games with friends or test their skills in competitive challenges one thing is for certain: You don’t want to get left in the dark.
@vasthestampede looking menacing with the Firevision on!
(HASBRO/Ages 6 years & up/Approximate Retail Price: $19.99/Available: August 1, 2012)
No sunlight? No problem. Put on the FIREVISION SPORTS FRAMES eyewear and turn on the switch to see this awesome football soar. Set includes one FIREVISION SPORTS football and two pairs of FIRE FRAMES eyewear. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and

(HASBRO/Ages 6 years & up/Approximate Retail Price: $14.99/Available: August 1, 2012)
Convert your room into the coolest court with the NERF FIREVISION SPORTS NERFOOP basketball set.  Hang the set’s oversized backboard over almost any door, put on the FIREVISION SPORTS FRAMES eyewear, and turn down the lights. The darker the room, the brighter the reflective graphics on both the backboard and basketball glow, setting you up for a serious slam-dunk! Set includes one mini NERF FIREVISION SPORTS basketball and one pair of FIREVISION SPORTS FRAMES eyewear. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and

(HASBRO/Ages 6 years & up/Approximate Retail Price: $9.99/Available: August 1, 2012)
The NERF FIREVISIONL SPORTS HYPER BOUNCE BALL ball shines new light on the game of catch. Wear the FIREVISION SPORTS FRAMES eyewear to see the ball’s reflective skin glow in green or red and track how far and fast throws fly when the sun goes down. Includes one HYPER BOUNCE  ball and one set of FIRE FRAMES eyewear. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and

(HASBRO/Ages 6 years & up/Approximate Retail Price: $5.99/Available: August 1, 2012)
Give everyone a chance to get in your FIREVISION SPORTS game and stock up on FIREVISION SPORTS FRAMES eyewear. The new assortment includes one pair of FRAMES eyewear (choose from green or red). Players place on the FRAMES eyewear and flip the switch on the bridge to see FIREVISION gear in a whole new light. Each sold separately. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and

Red or Green, they both work beautifully!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gears of War - Board Game Review Part 1

Hello everyone!  While at Toy Fair 2012, I ran into Fantasy Flight Games, the leading publisher of board, card, and role playing games.  Most recently they released the Gears of War Board game.  They were super awesome at Toy Fair and let me have a copy of the Gears of War Board Game to review!  So let's get started:

Here's the box as it appears.  As with all FF products, it's sturdy, coated cardboard!
Here's all the contents of the box:

 Inside the box you get:
- 4 CoG figures w/ Character Cards
- 28 Grey Locust Figures w/ 10 Enemy Cards
- 35 Locust AI Cards
- 27 Mission Cards
- 54 Order Cards
- 38 Weapon Cards
- 34 Location Cards
- 4 Reference Cards
- 17 Double-Sided Map Tiles
- 2 Door Tokens w/ clear plastic stands
- 23 Wound/Dropped Weapon Tokens
- 8 Emergence Hole/Sealed Tokens
- 36 Ammo and 12 Grenade Tokens
- 1 Mission Reference Sheet
- 9 Dice: 5 Attack and 4 Defense
- 1 Line of Sight Ruler

The models are simply phenomenal!  Best I've seen in a board game!
All of the included cards are very sturdy and of the same material as their Anima card game (Also by FF).  Even though they recommend using sleeves, these cards are more than durable on their own.  The card art is beautiful and true to the GoW universe.

Additionally, the miniatures included are the best I've ever seen in a board game, and among the best of some companies who only make model miniatures.  The figures included in this game are highly detailed and made of what feels like a plastic-resin material.  The models are somewhat flexible, so no breakage will occur.  As a hobby gamer, I will be off to paint my GoW miniatures as soon as I get room on my painting table!

The Cole Train ready to crush some grubs!
The rulebook is highly detailed and covers all questions you can run into.  The rulebook is large, but it uses pictures and visuals to explain all the rules, making learning the game a breeze.  The game play system is based on "Doom"'s engine.  Game play basics work off playing cards in your hand and executing the actions on the cards.  Most cards involve moving and then attacking or some combination of the two.  Other cards allow you to explore areas to pickup dropped weapons or activate map features.  More on the game mechanics later...

The maps are truly unique.  The game comes with 5 missions and horde mode!  Each mission lists the map tiles needed for the game.  Then the map cards and shuffled and the map assembled in that order.  This allows the maps to always be different to create a different game and eliminate monotony in repeating missions.   The missions always have a primary objective, that when completed the second part of the mission is revealed.  This can include kicking down a door to clear a new area, new emergence holes opening or having to fight a boss!

Here's our map setup using the "Emergence" mission.  We move on to the board to start the first turn.
The mission reference sheet with all the cards setup, ready to see our CoG's beat some locust!
As our mission starts, our objective is to get to the last tile with the door and seal the emergence hole.  As we fight through the rooms and the locust unleash their fury on our beloved Gears, my partner gets attacked and takes wounds.  The attacks in this game work off of rolling attack dice as listed on the stat cards vs defense dice which are affected by cover.

This locust got the jump on the Cole Train, but you can't keep the Train down baby!
In this situation shown above, the locust moved up a few areas and attacks Cole Train, who is hanging out in the open.  To see if you have line-of-sight you would take the provided stick and connect the figures.  In this case Cole and Boomer are in the same area and there is no cover.  Therefore Cole, unable to dodge the attack, only gets 1 red defense dice.  The locust Boomer attacks with 4 attack dice.  The player who controls Cole rolls all the dice together and checks the results.  As shown above, Cole does not roll any shields on the defense dice.  However, the Boomer rolls a total of 4 bullets, meaning he causes 4 wounds.  You would take bullets - shields = wounds taken.  Since Cole didn't block any, he takes 4 wounds.  For each wound a CoG takes, the player must discard a card.  Since Cole's controlling player only has 3 cards, Cole is "bleeding out".  Just like the game Cole falls down and must wait for a fellow CoG to revive him.

Cole's controlling player, Crash, is distraught at the Cole Train bleeding out.
After Cole went down, we ran into a spat of trouble and were unable to complete the mission...However, being our first play through, it was a great game.  The dynamics of the board game truly capture the fast paced action of the video game.  The board games cover system is the difference between life and death, just like the games.  We ran into trouble when we were caught in the open.  But in the second review, we get a full team of 4 CoG's to eradicate the locust threat!

Here are the highlights:
- Awesome miniatures
- Tiles, counters, and cards are all top quality; sleeves are recommended
- Rules are well laid out, easy to follow and the rulebook uses pictures and diagrams to explain points
- True to GoW story and source material through in-game mechanics
- Easy, no argument Line of Sight and Cover System
- Total customizable missions and horde mode; always a new experience
- Game play is fast-paced and always changing through mission cards (changing objectives, adding new map tiles etc.)
- Single Player, Co-op, and horde never leaves you without a way to play
- Nobody has to be the "game master" or play the bad guy, since you roll all dice pertaining to your character (when attacking and being attacked)

- Occasionally enemy activation cards can chain together, giving tons of attacks to locust, to cripple a less than 4 player game
- Without a full game of 4 CoGs, some order cards are useless, but the rules give you a chance to discard them and re-draw new cards
- Sometimes "bleedout" and pickup of characters becomes cumbersome w/ crowding and LoS, but nothing gamebreaking

Stay tuned for Part 2!