After a recent trip to Canada, I was able to buy one of the Adventure Force 100 packs of balls at Walmart Canada. As reported earlier, Prime Time Toys is going to be bringing their, well, rival to Rival out in the United States. Two blasters, masks, and ammo will all be available at Walmart come January. As it turns out, the Adventure Force ammo is slightly heavier, but has comparable performance to Rival balls. And it comes with a better price.
Reddit user LUOFY034 made a nice find earlier today on Walmart’s website, showing that Prime Time Toys’ foray into ball blasting has proven successful. As posted, the Adventure Force line (Walmart’s in-house branding for many toys, like Stats Blast currently is and Air Zone was for ToysRUs) is getting two new blasters. While they may not be innovative, they’re undoubtedly going to be less expensive than the Nerf option.
Another month, another Melbourne HvZ event. A variety of reasons resulted in a reduced amount of enjoyment for me personally, but the event overall went quite well otherwise.
EDIT: PLEASE READ THE ANNOTATIONS AT THE END OF THE REVIEW. THERE WERE ERRORS IN THE ORIGINAL REVIEW, AND I DISCUSS THEM THERE.
I buy lots of impractical, useless blaster products. I keep all of them because I’m learning something from them, plan on using them in wars (because getting a hit with a blaster with 5′ ranges is hilarious), or because there are other fun uses. This, however, is the first time I’ve ever returned a blaster product to the store for a refund. Having bought, modded, and used the original, I wanted to know if the new model was any better. It turns out the model is the exact same, aside from the drum and the new look, but for more money.
It Looks Good, Which is Nice…
The Terrascout Recon comes in black, with all the orange and grey accents you’d want in a Nerf toy. It’s the exact same size as the previous version, and is powered off the same 9.6V NiMH rechargeable battery. However, this version also comes with a 35-round drum. The drum isn’t noticeably different from previous iterations.
Basic operation remains the same – you use the remote control to steer and aim, and press the trigger to fire. Lightly to fire one dart, continuously depressed for a volley. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.
Operations were less than stellar, however it’s quite possible I had a dud. Video streaming to the remote is expected to lag, but seemed to be worse here than in the previous model. Trying to fire single darts is a chore; you have to hold down the trigger a few seconds to even fire a single dart, not “press and release” like the manual says. Rate of fire and dart velocity are comparable to the previous model. It’s still a Rapidstrike on treads, after all.
The camera, meanwhile, is the same 480p camera that was on the original (the original press release advertised 720p, but was in error). It’s serviceable, but ultimately works for guiding the vehicle as opposed to recording your hijinks. While it’s quite possible to get usable footage, given a brightly lit area, in that regard you’re better off strapping an external camera to the blaster.
Test Footage from the Terrascout Recon:
In-game Footage from the Original Terrascout:
Part of my initial confusion and upset attitude came from remembering the 720p tidbit. The below footage from a war was originally rendered in 480p – I even bought an old Terrascout as of 11/15/17 to confirm the operational specs of the camera. But when I went back to the original videos that were spliced together for this montage, they said 720p. I believe I somehow looked at the footage in a video editor program, and somehow saved it over using higher settings. Doesn’t make for better resolution, it merely blows up the original.
I found the Terrascout Recon on the way home from a Humans v Zombies game. One day later, I returned it to ToysRUs. There is no reason for the new version of this to exist, for $229. I should note that the store’s system said this was a promotional price, so the actual price after introduction could be higher, assuming that’s true, At the moment, the old version is still available at discounts down to $129, complete with the better camera. In addition, as of this posting, ToysRUs has all Nerf items at buy one, get one 50% off, meaning you could get two of the original for less than the price of the new version. You can even modify the old blasters, to boot.
After getting comments from a Hasbro engineer that worked on this, I have to apologize about several factual errors on my part. Between mistakes in assuming the camera resolution in the old v. new models, I trashed a feature that wasn’t there in the first place. Aside from cosmetics, the old and new tanks are exactly the same. In addition, my Terrascout had lots of extra noise even when the tank wasn’t moving, but this is in all likelihood a defect in mine, not in the line as a whole. I still take major issue, however, with the pricing. If the new version really does appeal to you, then by all means buy it. However, I’d much rather buy multiples of the original for the same price as one of the new versions.
Buzz Bee’s newer mag-fed blasters have been a very popular addition to their lineup, typically featuring flawless cross-compatability with Nerf’s mag system as well as easily modifiable internals. The Thermal Hunter feels like a culmination of all their springer work, offering a pump-action, mag-fed blaster which, if their other blasters are any indication, will also boast significant modding potential. Furthermore, the Thermal Hunter also boasts a unique gimmick, in the form of a “heatseeking” scope. Naturally I was very much looking forward to get my hands on one.
Disclaimer: This blaster was sent to me by Buzz Bee Toys for review. I will do my best to ensure that the review remains as objective and unbiased as possible.
It’s been a busy few weeks! But in between regular stints at work, I’ve been doing weekend trips to various HvZ Invitationals. What follows is a brief summary of the games, some video (more to be uploaded later), and some thoughts on the blasters I’ve been testing and seeing.
Le Moyne College – Rick And Morty
This invitational wasn’t originally on my radar, given various car issues. But with some luck, I was able to drive all the way to Syracuse, NY. Seeing as New York State has a rather strong HvZ community, it turned out to be one of the best experiences I’ve had.
The day consisted of missions themed around various elements of Rick and Morty, including retrieving the dog Snowball’s testicles and bringing back Jerry from Jerry Care. The day ended with a battle to take down Unity, where naturally all the remaining humans died. It was also a different experience in game play; zombies simply respawned thirty seconds after being hit. My Ohio-based experience in HvZ means zombies respawning on the fives, or with the help of a special. The constant reappearance of zombies kept me on my toes the entire day.
In addition, I did get the chance to try some other blasters. Mission one split groups into revolvers only and bananas. Yes, bananas are totally great tools for fighting zombies 😛 As such, the first mission was run with a Buzz Bee Zenith/Adventure Force Exact Attack. It performed admirably, as expected.
Later missions I used the Zuru Xshot Turbo Advance, which I reviewed about a month ago. It really is a starter kit for HvZ games, especially the $25, 148 dart package. It doesn’t shoot as far or as accurately as I like, but that’s not a completely fair assessment. As a longtime modder, I usually use or make things that have range and accuracy above what I’d buy in store. Adjusting my expectations and shooting much closer led to the Turbo Advance performing just fine.
Youngstown State University – Also Rick and Morty
Two similarly themed events, two weekends in a row? That’s called having zero coordination for themes 😛
YSU ended up being a smaller invitational, not least of which was because of scheduling issues. The only free weekend was also at the same time as the Athens weeklong game. Even so, it was a fun game, with lots of creative ways to keep the players occupied. From specials we had to find ways to kill (or avoid, only to have them come back and bite us at the finale), to a special Jerry escort mission involving areas going boom, it was a great game. Myself and one other friend ran the Boomco Halo Blaze of Glory, to great success. It’s essentially the perfect HvZ springer, especially with a supply of 40 dart clips.
Ithaca College HvZ
I’m still editing footage from this game, but it was a great one. With a nice wedding theme, it brought the idea of “escort mission” to the extreme. In all cases, though, the escort part made sense, and the NPCs could generally fight back. It also helped that I had a sock ninja copilot for the entire journey – most of my drives are solo, so it was a nice change of pace.
After spending one mission going socks only, and another with the Dart Zone Ballistix Power Ball (which worked splendidly as an HvZ primary), I did something incredibly stupid and got myself killed. Remember, regardless of your interest, if if looks and smells like a trap, it’s probably a trap 😛
After that, though, I spend the rest of the time doing my best zombie impression. After spending part of one mission as a tank (NY style tanks are simply dart immune) and the finale with a sword, I ended up with ten kills out of a total attendance of at least sixty. Not too shabby, for someone who doesn’t like playing zombie. The game itself had some issues as the day went on, but nothing that can’t be solved simply by more experience in balancing the game.
It should be noted that Boomco has a huge following in Ithaca for HvZ, and the Blaze of Glory was everywhere, along with several Flipbows. Games like this make me upset that Mattel didn’t work to bring “normal” blasters out sooner for the Boomco line.
It’s been a great season for Humans v Zombies. All three of these games were great, and it’s been fun seeing how other regions do their games. In addition, it was a nice change of pace at Ithaca playing zombie most of the day. Just because you don’t like doing it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be the best zombie you possibly can be!
We had a really good turnout for this month’s MHvZ event, which allowed for some good games. There was also quite a variety of different blasters present at this event.
All in-game photos courtesy of Dylan McDylan.