Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rant: X-Ploderz in Australia: Have they missed the boat?

The new Xploderz XGround Poun...meh who cares?!
A friend of mine finally got his hands on one of the "new" X-ploderz blasters for me to look at; we've been getting various reports over the last month that the line of wet ball projectile blasters from the Maya group have been finally making their way to Australian shelves.

While this is good and well, I really wonder if there are that many people in Australia that actually really care. To be honest, I can't help think that the Maya Group may have missed the boat in bringing them here to a market that may have already moved on.

When we first started reporting on the X-ploderz line, we were very interested in what was hailed as a new "projectile, foam alternative with innovative ammo that shot further out of the box than any Nerf blaster."  They looked interesting, and while the ammo of choice was basically the stuff you find in table decoration vases at weddings, we still thought there was something to worth while investigating and managed to generate a fair amount of buzz around the new product.  For long time readers of UT, you'll recall we were reporting on X-Ploderz waaaaaaay earlier than the Jakks Pacific Max Force gear.

Problem was the moderate interest went begging.. we got nothin' Down Under. The first line of X-Ploderz blasters came and went elsewhere; reviews from other blogs and forums were mixed, and the only official word was that there were no immediate plans to bring the line to Australia. Thanks for playin'.

Now.. to present day: If I was to mention to a casual toy blaster fan in Australia of a new "projectile, foam alternative with innovative ammo that shot further out of the box than any Nerf blaster", there's a VERY strong chance Max Force is going to be what comes to mind and an even stronger chance most Mums and Dads (the main consumer of toy blasters believe it or not) would have never even heard of X-Ploderz . Hell even my boss knew of Max Force; AND they're available all over Australia at the same time as they are in the US. Try mentioning X-ploderz to anyone who's not been actually following them and you often find your response will be "Oh yeah, those are those spitwad guns I've heard about"...

As far as we internet toy blaster geeks are concerned, the X-ploderz came out first, but their delay in bringing them out here in Australia meant the likes of Max Force, (who DID market pretty impressively I might add) to very easily come in and take that interest for anyone who was looking for something new and different. The market is strong, but NOT that big to really accommodate that many players, let alone one that shoots wet balls you need to soak for several hours. X-Ploderz blasters do feel flimsy to hold; the type of ammo is even more messy than the Max Force gear and again are lacking in a functioning trigger.

Australia may not be the biggest market in the world, but hells yeah we're a rowdy vocal bunch and you can see how even the likes of dems conservative Nerf distributors have realised this and saturated our shores with bootloads of Nerf blasters compared to this time last year. Newcomers to the blaster game like Max Force or WowWee's Light Strike have embraced the market and very cleverly have included the Australian market in their marketing and distribution strategies; sure the total end unit sales of Australia might not even amount to that of the US state of Texas, but the positive buzz and discussion of a new product can help influence and promote the product to be successful in the long run and that sort of publicity is gold.

The Maya Group admittedly may be a lot smaller than Hasbro and Jakks Pacific, but you have to wonder if waiting this late in the game to bring X-Ploderz to the Australian market is going to amount to much at all.

For what it's worth, we've heard X-ploderz have a new XGround Pounder 250 available but honestly..I'm not convinced it will even make it here, or if it does, if anyone will actually care.

So what do you reckon? Are we being too harsh? Have you, or will you be buying the X-Ploderz blasters?


  1. X-Ploderz were never my cup of tea. I admit I was interested when they first came out, but when I found there was no trigger and essentially a glorified slingshot, I didn't want one. You're not missing anything.

  2. HAHAHA your post- its so funny you should say that because I have had the xploderz xranger on my wishlist for ages and when it was my birthday in last week my dad bought me a shadowhawk and thought that it was the same thing! shadowhawk is cool though so i not going to bother with the xranger. i also live in TX!

  3. You guys never got the X-Ploderz? They're really cheap now anyway. I hate the fact they don't use triggers and the design of them looks like they never got off the prototype stage. My kids have never been interested in them.

    Australia is a pretty small market though in the grand scale of things. Small companies have to make a choice where to spend their dollars. They should however be more clever with their marketing then. I should offer my services!

  4. Why would anyone want this?

  5. I thought they couldn't come to Australia due to our strict firearm laws or something like that.

    But then, if I was going to get something that could shoot hard pellets, I'd want an airsoft.

  6. Never seen them before nor inclined to care. Even dubious enough over the Max Force range at first, but I don't mind them now. You're right though, we don't need TWO alternative to foam blasters that do the same thing (and neither have triggers..that's a fail right there)


    all of the news and reviews on their site are from mainstream media- that is by adult reviewers who would never use these for more than 5 minutes. "Aimed at those who have outgrown Nerf foam dart blasters". Pa-lease. And use spring loaded flimsy crap to hurl squishy balls? So grown up.

  8. I have seen the xploders here for a while now and never once had an tiny bit of interest to purchase one. And as far as I can tell they don't seem to be moving off the shelf very well. While max force may be a similar concept I think they may have packages it better. I am vey interest in getting my hands on max force but have yet to see any here on the east coast.

  9. have to say, when I first heard of xploders, i was mildly interested but the lack of availability killed it for me, then came max force. better looks, better build, available everywhere INCLUDING their online store... max force takes the win in my mind.

  10. Actually, in the middle of the US, I have not heard of or seen Max Force at all. Xploderz, however, have run a commercial and are available. And they aren't that bad. If you do everything right, you have a gun that fires 75 rounds with little to no jams. Even with the extended prep time(I only soak mine for about 2 hours anyway) these can still be fun. However, I haven't gotten a Max Force gun yet, but I told my friends about Xploderz and Max Force, and they were interested in Xploderz but said spit wads were stupid. Of course, my friends are weird.

  11. Xploders seem not so great to me, if they added a trigger mechanism i would consider buying one, And another thing we aussies should really get more stock down here so we dont have to go on amazon and ebay.


  12. X-Ploderz look cheap and they're also not a nice ammo to shoot. They almost look home made.