|Here's a story..|
We have over 780 uploaded images on our blog since we posted our first post on the 30 June 2010, over 1200 comments from our readers and over 440 people like our official Facebook page. Kinda cool really:) We're averaging around 3500 unique visits a day to the blog, which isn't massive but is pretty damn decent for a few guys in the armpit of the world:)
2010 was probably the best year for Australian Nerfers to date. Nerf's decision to discontinue the Longshot wasn't a popular one worldwide, but but for us in Australia, we wouldn't have known it as we've actually had regular shipments of Longshots in stores all year! Australians also got to get their hands on blasters previously difficult to acquire, like Longstrikes, Magstrikes and the Furyfire dart tag blasters. Our call for Nerf arms was finally heard, with the new Nerf blasters actually making it to our shores in a timely manner for a change.
August was the month that Urban Taggers really started to get some traction after we managed to get our hands on the year's worst kept secret in the Barricade RV-10. We also were lucky to pick up Nerf's new blasters in the Alpha Trooper CS-18 and Barrel Break IX-2 well before the domestic Australian release. The Alpha Trooper very quickly became a versatile fan favourite and managed to improve on the previous year's Raider CS-35. It introduced the much coveted 18 round drum and also came with the Raider's slamfire capabilities, while also appearing to perform just that little bit better, as with all of Nerf's new 2010 releases.
The Barrel Break IX-2 was Nerf's more unique and original blaster of the year and proved to be a whole lot of fun, also making it into fans' favourite lists.
In September the much anticipated Stampede ECS was launched and talk about giving the fans what they wanted in spades! A fully automatic clip system blaster with higher ammo capacity with more accessories than one person could carry with both hands? AWESOME! We ended up with not one but two of the new Stampede ECS flagship blasters and they did not fail to impress. We also managed to get our hands on the new Spectre REV-5 which while underwhelming at first, became a very quick UT side arm of choice.
We also got our hands on some N-Force gear, just for something different. We were pretty impressed with the Warlock axe and Battlemaster Mace, found the Stonewall shield ok and found the Thunder Fury sword to be pretty rubbish. We managed to somehow scoop on the Klaw Hatchets.. nothing like eBay really:)
Clear series blasters also started popping up, and we got our hands on the Deploy, Recon, Maverick, Raider and Nitefinder. The Vulcan alas eluded us... but ONE day...
By November, we were finally starting to get some pretty decent traffic to the blog and gained a good reputation amongst the Nerf community, not just within Australia but overseas as well. We established pretty good friendships with other key Nerf blogs and groups with the likes of Basic Nerf, Nerf Mods and Reviews and the Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag crew to name a few. We also managed to gain solid intel from contacts in Taiwan, who agreed to supply us not only with intel on new blasters, but with the blasters themselves..
Nerf's new unreleased dart tag blaster was the hot news of the month and we were lucky enough to acquire a unit for testing and be the first blog to report on the "Dart Tag 20" blaster first hand. This really put us on the international Nerf map and our contacts continued to feed us with more intel, confirming it to be officially called the new "Swarmfire".
The new Sonic Series also went from rumour to fact very quickly, and we managed to get our hands on a Sonic Maverick, Recon and Vulcan almost immediately; within weeks of it appearing on the US Toys R Us website as speculation, they appeared on Australian Toys R Us shelves. A few weeks later the Sonic Nitefinder reared its head and we managed to snap up one of those too!
We were also able to report on the hot new news of Hasbro's new Super Soaker blaster line with the fully automatic "Thunderstorm" and then received more word on the new water blasters with the Point Break, Tornado Strike and Hydro Cannon. Again Australia got lucky and we received the Point Break and Thunderstorm in local Targets! Water blasters was pretty much where we first got into blasters in the first place, so we're very excited at the prospect of new water blaster tech..
Ubisoft released their new Laser tag game in "Battle Tag" and while it's original press release was a great big flop, the technology and aesthetics were enough to have us at UT drooling at the idea of picking up a set of these. While only available in Texas and Canada, we have great hopes one day we'll get a pair.
In a nutshell for us:
Strangest Nerf decision for 2010: The shunning of the Deploy CS-6 to Australia, releasing them officially AFTER the Stampede, Alpha Trooper and Barrel Break. Still no Sonic version.
Funniest Nerf related moment for 2010: Watching Neil from the Canberra + Southern NSW Dart Tag crew try to unsuccessfully put on a Tactical Vest:)
Dumbest keyboard warrior comment we received: The one about us being 50 and playing with toys and thus we "fail at life". We were told.. by an 11 yo.. cos 11yo's know heaps about life:)
If I had a dollar for.. : every time we were asked "where can I get..**insert blaster here** in the US"
Favourite Nerf related moment for 2010: The day we released intel on the new Dart Tag Quick 16 and 6 shot sidearm: we slammed all site visit records to date with a whopping 6 thousand unique visits worldwide. (closely followed by the day the Barricade RV-10 hit Australian shelves almost 2 months before the US!)
Overall blaster for 2010: Nerf Alpha Trooper CS-18
Thanks for all of your support over the past 6 months guys, it's been an amazing journey thus far and we hope to continue sharing the toy blaster love into the new year and beyond. Get ready for 2011 though folks, we're about to kick it off with a BANG... :)