|The new Xploderz XGround Poun...meh who cares?!|
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?