Saturday 2 March 2013

Elite Alpha Trooper released, sort of!

Argos officially released the Elite Alpha Trooper yesterday, although currently has as far as I can tell, no stock of it! This is because of a combination of high demand, and distribution issues. You should be able to order online for home delivery on the 30th March. Update: Rumour has it that many stores won't get any stock in until the 6th April. [Source]

The blaster is priced at £19.99, which is alright value, but there are two offers on which make it well worth getting. These are as follows:
  • Buy any 2 selected toys for £30.00. Offer ends 26 July 2013. - This makes each AT £15. Great value for people new to Nerf because you can have one blaster to mod (or break..), one to use stock, and a spare clip.
  • 3 for 2 on selected Hasbro toys. Offer ends 12 March 2013. - Each AT would be £13.33. Good value, and the cheapest way to get 12-dart clips at the moment.
Some notes on the blaster:
  • The store page does not mention slam fire, but it's there. You'll get through the 12 darts pretty quick though!
  • Argos calls the blaster the "Nerf N-Strike Elite Alpha". It's not clear yet whether or not this is the actual new name, dropping the "Trooper". Argos fixed the name.
  • The blaster is significantly more compact, and lighter, than the Rampage. (Tested by comparing the old AT with 12-dart clip to a Rampage with it's drum.)
  • You might be able to very simply upgrade the Elite AT with this spring from OMW. It's not guaranteed to work, but it makes sense for Nerf to put in pretty much the same internals in all it's medium-sized spring blasters. This picture shows the prototypes internals for comparison.
  • You can use stocks on this thing. They're mainly for aesthetics, but if you've got a stronger spring (i.e. it's harder to prime), resting it against your shoulder can help with control/accuracy. The Recon stock cannot fit 12-dart clips in. The Raider stock (image thanks to SGNerf) is still the best Nerf stock out there, if you can get a hold of one. The Raiders 35-dart drum works in the Elite AT.
  • You can get Elite 18-dart clips and darts for £10.99 on, or for £9.99 from Toys'r'us (if you can find them in store). These are expensive, but a couple of those would make a great addition to an Elite AT.
Overall I'd like to say thank you to Hasbro for another great blaster! It's a shame about the exclusivity, but that could change in the future. The old Alpha Trooper was very popular amongst HvZ players and other Nerf enthusiasts, despite seemingly low sales (this is a guess based on words from Argos employees and how they've basically been on offer their entire lifetime, don't take my word on it), so it's great that Hasbro listened to our positiveness towards the blaster and re-made it. Of course they re-did the Barrel Break as well, so maybe they're just re-doing everything. I like to think otherwise.

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