On the eve of the 2014 London Toy Fair I would like to talk a little bit about what I hope to see there. Unusually this year Hasbro have quashed all the usual speculation and rumour by giving us an official look at some of this year's hot new blasters but we can only hope that there is more they aren't telling us.
So far a lot of the rumour I have heard has panned out to be correct.
Around October 2013, we got word that NERF were working on a new semi-auto MEGA blaster. There was some speculation that this would be a flywheel blaster but there was also some speculation that Hasbro would be ramping up their new 'Smart AR' technology to MEGA proportions. To me, this made a lot of sense. A MEGA flywheel blaster will need big flywheels to overcome the inertia of the darts and big batteries to power them.
Low and behold a couple of days ago, Comic Book website Mania.com gave us an exclusive first look at the new MEGA Thunderbow.
|Image courtesy of Prop Weapons Co-op|
All we have so far are these images and the blurb from Hasbro but we can speculate this. It does use a smart AR system and according to Hasbro, it has "dynamic arms" which some have taken to mean "bow powered". To me it looks like the top arm articulates when you pull back on the string, priming the blaster but I guess we'll have to wait and see.
In early December whilst visiting some friends, I was told that the Zombiestrike line would be getting some new editions this year. I was told that the one of interest would be a lever action, clip fed rifle. Something that a lot of us had always wanted since the Buzzbee RFR proved to be a bit of a let down.
Less than a week ago, Hasbro made an announcement via some of the US blogs that this autumn, we would have a new edition to the Zombiestrike range and guess what... it's a lever action, clip fed rifle.
A little smaller than I was hoping for but none the less, a very nice looking beastie indeed. At first I wasn't very impressed. The stubby look of the barrel actually made me a little angry but like a wart on the end of my nose, I eventually got used to it.
During the same visit in December, I was also told that NERF were developing a curved clip. This 'banana clip' had been spotted during a recent meeting but it was unclear at this point if this would be released with the aforementioned Zombiestrike blaster.
Low and behold, this morning we were treated to this little gem.
Popular Mechanics broke the news on this blaster this morning. We know very little about this as it is just a prototype but we can guage several things from the info we have. It is an electronic, semi auto blaster so it will work just like the Stryfe or Rayven, but this puppy has an underslung grenade launcher... Yes, you read that right.
We can only speculate how this materkey works but it is either a springer with direct propulsion or an air blaster. Either way it will be awesome. Let's just hope they aren't skimping on the ranges.
The last thing I expect to see at the Toy Fair is something I posted about a long time ago.
Cast your minds back to September and UK Nerf were tipped off that NERF robots had been sighted.
With Hasbro signing a lot of licensing agreements of late, this tip off has actually gained some credence. It is just possible that Hasbro has signed such an agreement with the Attacknid's owners since we have not yet seen the 'Snyper Darts' varient hit the shelves yet. During the 2013 Toy Fair, UK Nerf managed to catch up with these guys. The Attacknid is an awesome toy. Let's just see what it's like with a NERF T-Shirt on.
For now this is pretty much all we have to go on. I can't think of any other credible rumours to go on but let's hope that Hasbro have something else up their sleeves.
Have Your Say
UK Nerf will be heading over to the 2014 London Toy Fair over the next few days. If there are any questions you'd like us to ask Hasbro on your behalf, leave a question in the comments or on out Facebook page and we'll get back to you with the answers.