Thursday 8 August 2013

Hasbro Christmas Party, and Updates

It's been a while, but then I've been busy (and ill).

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Hasbro's 'Christmas in July' event in London. This event was a chance for the press (and me) to have a look at all of the wonderful goodies that Hasbro would be releasing in the run up to Christmas. This would obviously include NERF stuff so naturally I was keen to attend.

Arriving at the even at The House of st Barnabas in London, it was clear that I was in the right place. There was less of a Christmas theme than I had hoped but then again, it was July! This old nerfer was glad he didn't wear a Santa hat.

There were many exciting new products on display there but let's face it, I was only there for NERF.

I walked out into the courtyard and was immediately greeted by nerfy goodness. There were two stands showcasing both the Rapidstrike CS-18 and the Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow. I was a little disappointed not to see the MEGA Centurion on display. I was later informed that there would be a separate event in September solely for this blaster (watch out for that post!).

The Rapidstrike was there in all it's glory along with a huge tub of darts and about 4 spare clips. It was set up next to a large target which we were encouraged to shoot at. The scores were recorded on a score board and I am happy to say that my score of 200 points remained at the top of the leader board for a good few hours. I was later supplanted by a bunch of kids. Not that I'm bitter of course (pesky kids! I'm sure they were cheating or something ).

By now, most of you already own a Rapidstrike since it was released in the 1st August so I won't bore you with how awesome it is. If you don't own one yet, you should definitely go get one.

Next to the RS stand were the Rebelle blasters including the Heartbreaker Bow (review coming soon), Pink Crush and the Guardian Crossbow which I have already reviewed.

Now, on to the nitty gritty.

I spoke at length with the UK Brand Manager for NERF and asked him some questions that I know you are all eager to hear the answers to:

MEGA Centurion release date?

 By now I'm sure you all know that the MEGA Centurion will be released in the UK on 1st October. Interestingly not the 9/9 release that I was expecting. It turns out that there will not be a big 9/9 release this year. Instead the Rapidstrike CS-18 and the MEGA Centurion will be released either side of these dates. Leading to my next set of questions...

Will the UK see a weedy version of the MEGA Centurion?

The short answer is, yes.

The UK (and indeed, European) Centurion will have a max range of about 80', slightly higher than that already boasted by the Elite range and nowhere near the 100' the blaster was designed for. This is mainly due to EU regulations. The actual reasoning is far too dull for me to really care about but I was interested to hear that part of the reason for the downgrade was that the spring was "too loud" when fired. 

Does this mean that Europeans have more sensitive hearing than our cousins in the US?

Personally I'm already over the Centurion. I've never really been that keen on it and now with a reduction in power, it's just an ugly, over sized Elite blaster with really expensive ammo.

Vortex Revonix 360 and N-Strike Elite Blazin' Bow.

The Revonix 360 will be (was) released on 1st August but will not get much publicity. Hasbro have decided to push the Rapidstrike and Centurion instead sine these represent significant breakthroughs in technology (the RS being the 1st full auto Elite blaster and the Centurion having the longest range)

Sadly, the Blazin' Bow will not be released in the UK by Hasbro, mainly for the reasons above. It is possible that this blaster will be imported directly by a retailer and sold as an exclusive but I wouldn't hold your breath. As sad as it is that the UK market is denied access to this blaster, I agree with the decision that it does not really fit into an already saturated range of products.


Get ready to write some angry letters, the Zombiestrike Range will not be coming to the UK!

Shock Horror!

Hasbro UK feel that the NERF brand is already saturated with some excellent blasters and the ZS range would not add a great deal of value to the brand... or something like that.

As odd as this may sound from as dedicated nerfer as me, I tend to agree.

There is a lot of NERF to be had these days and although we try, no one can ever really own it all. I see it as the good people of Hasbro UK saving me a lot of money and for that, my wife thanks them. Plus with all of the reviews I have seen of the ZS range so far, we're not really missing much!

On the bright side, there is still the posibility that it will be picked up by a retailer and imported as a store exclusive but this won't happen for at least a year. If you are desperate for some Zombiestrike goodness, retailers in France and Germany have already picked it up. Shipping is likely to be a bit pricey but at least it'll be cheaper than buying from the US.

All in all it was a great day. Catching up with the good people on the NERF team at Hasbro is always good fun. It was also good to catch up with Ash form MyLastDart and sneak off for a cheeky pint and a bite to eat. It's always more fun with a fellow nerd there.

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