Monday, August 30, 2010

Preview: Countdown to the Stampede..

screw the minigun- if Blane had one of these...
The much anticipated new Nerf N-Strike Stampede ECS has got everyone in Nerf land practically wetting themselves in excitement in anticipation. 9-9-10 couldn't come any sooner; but for some it already has, with reports of various stores worldwide selling them early to some uber lucky customers. Given this is the flagship blaster of the year, all signs indicate Australia WILL get the Stampede in a similar time frame to everywhere else..give or take a few weeks. Soo.. what do you need to know about it? Let's pretend you know nothing.. cos it allows me to write a phat post:)

Last year Nerf made serious headway in foam blasters with the release of their N-Strike Vulcan EBF-25. Not just with the Nerf community, but mainstream media lapped it up, as parents, girlfriends and casual browsers would just stop in their tracks and go "WTF"- you'd never seen a dart blaster look that awesome before. What set the Vulcan apart from its smaller Nerf blaster brothers was the fact it was motorised- running off 6 D cell batteries compared to the normal pump action spring/air pressure loading blasters Nerf had been known for.

SO how do you top that?

The rumours came a flyin', it was confirmed the new blaster would be released in the latter half of 2010, it would be another motorised electronic blaster, and it would be.. well.. awesome. Avid followers looked to the Nerf N-Strike Wii video game for clues, which featured several unreleased (ie make believe/fantasy) blasters that hit the "wouldn't it be cool if they WERE real" nerve in all.  A few possible leaked images, and there became much speculation that Nerf would be releasing the N-Strike Wii game's "Spartan NCS-12" (actually many fanboys still believe it's going to be released!)

This is SPARRRRTAAAA.. actually it's a video game blaster.
Closer to the date, more leaked images (mostly from Asian toy fairs) and a kid from New Zealand  revealed more accurate data.  Images of the blaster revealed it would allegedly be called the "Stampede ECS 50"

The blaster was definitely using a clip system for ammunition, it fired relatively rapidly, and came with some pretty sweet attachments like a tactical shield and bipod.

Whoooo.. although called the "Blazing Blitz" In Japan. ???
And then.. the official press release came, product launches at shwanky par-tays in Manhattan were had and the Nerf Stampede ECS was publicised with a 9-9-10 launch date. The "50" part of the rumoured name had been dropped.. mainly because it made no sense:) From the release:

"The first fully automatic NERF Clip System blaster to date, the N-STRIKE STAMPEDE ECS blaster features a new pop-out bipod, which doubles as a handle, and a removable shield allowing players to transition to Attack Mode. The NERF N-STRIKE STAMPEDE ECS blaster also comes complete with one six dart Clip and three extended Clips which hold 18 darts each, offering the highest Clip capacity from NERF yet.

"The NERF N-STRIKE ECS blaster is one of the most awesome and exciting N-STRIKE developments released in over 40 years of NERF brand history. Includes 60 Clip System darts. Requires six “D” batteries; not included. Available at most major retailers nationwide and beginning 9.9.10."

Stampede shooting range.. Need Bridget Nielsen..
Nerf blog SGNerf from Singapore managed to get their hands on a preliminary unit and did a pretty in depth review on the blaster.

Courtesy of SGNerf.. obviously:)

Crunch gear also has a quick video on the Stampede in action:

While the official dates are 9-9-10 worldwide, some countries will obviously get it sooner rather than later. There are a handful of people who already have them (pegs..shocks.. lucky!) but for the rest of us, we're going to have to wait till then. US ticket prices are around 55-65US;  in Australia, there have been rumours of K-Mart have released tags for them to sell at $78.00; otherwise most e-tailers have them for pre-order for between $99-$120AUS.

So what's going to be so cool about the Stampede ECS? I think the buzz is mainly because it's fully automatic and looks like it'll be easier to wield than the Vulcan.

Things I'm looking forward to are mainly the bipod and tactical shield- from someone who plays a lot of Army of Two; I think these are two attachments that really pushed my buttons, and it's good to use the tactical rails for things other than useless scopes. It's apparently got decent range which'll be nice.. and it's just a good looking blaster. The 18 round clip is also very cool:)

My reservations would be that unlike the Vulcan, the Stampede has no manual cocking mechanism- no batteries means no firing. The Vulcan also had more versatility in it's use of ammunition; the Stampede uses the clip system so you're limited to streamline darts, which I personally find to be less accurate. And while the 18 round clip is very cool.. I think the 18round Alpha trooper drum makes more sense:)

So there's my round up on what to expect for the new Stampede ECS- I'll endeavour to get one as soon as I can and post a detailed review on my findings. 9-9-10.. can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. I love my stampede. I just got for Christmas and I'll tell you what it makes this kidults little heart sing...Woohoo.