Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Preview: Nerf N-Strike Rayven CS-18. Tacticool just got cooler.


You'd have to suggest the hottest blaster this year that just came out of nowhere is this upcoming Nerf Rayven N-Strike CS-18. Speculation has been thick and fast over the past few weeks since we posted links to blasted.de of the upcoming blaster; I can confirm on the whole our switched on readers were pretty accurate in their observations from a few blurry pics. It IS a rear vertical flywheel blaster but one that uses an 18 round clip to fire streamlines.

When the opportunity came for us to get our hands on one to test, I don't think anyone would have said no:) Regardless of whether you're a fan of flywheel blasters or not, we have to admit the Rayven is pretty damn cool.. tacticool even:P

(For the record this is our 666th post on UT.. whooooooooooo spooky!)




 The first thing you'll notice about the Rayven CS-18 is the new colour scheme, replacing the traditional gold N-Strike scheme with a sort of cross between a lime and olive green. It's got some design cues from the Stampede ECS but what most fans will point out is the Rayven essentially looks rather "Bullpup-esque" and appears to be made to look like a sub-machine gun.


The blaster uses a flywheel mechanism but unlike the revolving barrel of the Barricade RV-10, the Rayven is standard clip fed compatible. It can fit all of the standard sizes with clips and drums, but it comes with it's own special 18 round clip.


As rightfully pointed out by many of you, the Rayven CS-18 accommodates barrel extensions from other N-Strike blasters such as the Recon, Longstrike and Spectre which can come in handy if you are not a fan of the short muzzle.. just need somewhere to put your other hand:)



The Rayven CS-18 has two tactical rails- one on top of the blaster and one on the right hand side. I'm particularly a fan of the side one, which allows for a practical use for those mission kit lights.


The built in stock is a little short for my liking, but I got used to it after a while. The Rayven also has loop holes for shoulder straps, which I thought made sense given the design of the blaster. The styling also makes it pretty uncomfortable to dual wield- sure being semi automatic in theory you COULD, but I found the stock sort of gets in the way and doesn't allow for the greatest in mobility for those who like to use two blasters simultaneously. 


The blaster itself requires four AA batteries behind the black screw in door. No doubt this will be the first point of call for voltage modders:)


 Powering the blaster up requires the use of the small button located under the trigger, in similar fashion to the Vortex Nitron. Simply hold it in for the flywheels to power up to full speed. It doesn't however work without a clip inserted, nor if the jam door is open. Unlike the Nitron, the Rayven IS genuinely semi automatic- holding the trigger down will just leave you with that flywheel sound and not much else other than draining your batteries:)


The jam door is located at the rear of the Rayven CS-18 and uses a unique hinged mechanism to open rather than the traditional slide of other N-Strike blasters.


Clip release is found in a protected button found in the stock of the blaster. Interesting design choice; I'm sure they had their reasons rather than the standard release on the side of the blaster.


Now onto the clip. The Rayven CS-18 boasts Firefly technology- that is that it exposes bright light to the glow in the dark darts, therefore.. well allowing you to shoot.. in the dark. There was a lot of speculation on how this would work- as many of you know, the Firefly used an interesting "flash" mechanism that would light the dart up just before firing. 

The power switch on the clip. Once on, it just stays on. Note the "firefly" logo
Not so innovative with the Rayven; I admit I found the way the Rayven light up the darts to be a tad.. low tech. Essentially all that it is (from what I can tell so far anyway) is the Rayven's clip merely has a 3 AA battery powered torch that just turns on with a flick of the switch, thus shining a bright blue light through the clip and against the darts. Nothing else to it. It's THAT simple.


 It's a cool looking clip, and it's grey rather than orange, but to accommodate the three AA's, it does add some weight to the blaster. I HONESTLY cannot see this gimmick being that appealing in the long run. It's fun for a short period of time, but chances are most Nerfers will just go back to traditional clips and not bother.

The LED's inside the clip. Look cool admittedly.
 The clip is otherwise similar to the Stampedes- it is 18 round capacity and it says it all over the clip just like the way the Stampede's does. For first time use it's also taped up with those annoying "18 MAX" words which you have to remove prior to use just like with the Stampede.


 I do note there are a few design details on the clip- other than the big 'Firefly' logo on the battery pack, the end of the clip is also fitted with two rubber pads, I guess for protection given it's placement does make it prone to more bangs and drops. Also the orange lines on the side make it very reminiscent of the Vortex line, and with the weird green colour, I can't help come back to my comment I made a few weeks ago that the Rayven-CS-18 looks like a love child between N-Strike and Vortex:)


 Attaching the clip is as easy as.. well slapping it into the slot. If your jam door is closed properly and your clip is secure, you should be ready to fire. I alas had some mix up with my unit, and was sent standard streamlines rather than these glow in the dark ones which was a shame but... oh well:P


The clip release switch WITH clip attached
Soo now the all important performances. It's pretty similar to the Barricade RV-10 to be honest; I found it a little more on the quieter side though and probably more of a Nitron style hum to it all. Ranges and accuracy weren't bad, passing those standard 30-40 feet marks (or up my stairs hitting the ceiling) but I admit my initial tests weren't using the best batteries I could find so I will probably be amending this review as I give the Rayven CS-18 more of a go.

With mission kit pinpoint sight and green light
To be brutally honest though, the thing that sells this blaster isn't the performances (which are a bonus) but the sheer COOL factor of it. Fans have been screaming for a sub machine gun style blaster for ages and Nerf have come up with something pretty darn cool.


The Rayven looks amazing and the fact that you can do so much with how changing it's styling will be a big hit with tacticool fans and aesthetic modders alike. I love this thing, it just looks tough and while I can't really care much for the "Firefly tech", the clip does look mean and all I keep coming back to is the styling and aesthetics that went behind this pup. It's sort of Stampede, sort of Deploy, sort of Barricade all in one and it just works. I'm unsure of why they chose the green, but I really don't mind it.

Adding a Recon CS-6 barrel
Adding a Whiteout Longstrike CS-6 barrel
Adding a sonic Recon barrel with Stampede bipod

Size compared to the Barricade RV-10
With a Raider 35 round drum. Uncomfortable.
I'd imagine these would be coming out for the Christmas period so not long to go. As I learn more intel I'll post it, but for now I think this definitely gives a great preview of what we have in store from Nerf's new NStrike range. Rayven CS-18 gets the thumbs up from us:)

82 comments:

  1. I hope I get first post
    This looks really neat! It seems to work well with the drum.

    CrazyCon

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  2. BEAUTIFUL... I Would LOVE this gun!!!

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  3. I. Want. This. Gun. Now!

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  4. Awesome, finally a gun that makes even the recon barrel look cool - even though the longstrike barrel still wins (as always^^). But as the flywheels are sitting in the back, there must already be more friction compared to the Barricade, and an extendend barrel would increase that...

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  5. I wish it was N-Strike yellow and came with normal non-firefly 18 round clips. It looks like it would look great with the Specter silencer, ignoring the colors. Would you mind taking a picture of that? At first I was annoyed that it is flywheels but in this gun I think they will work well. It's just begging for a repaint in some black grey color to be a space marine gun.

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  6. Just 2 cents more to add:
    The Rayven takes 1 battery more than the barricade, thus it will easily deal with the increased friction. And you forgot about one blaster that also has a hinge-type jam door: the Recon;)
    And the dart pusher looks tiny, the mechanism to push the darts to the flywheels has to feature a very tricky lever...

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  7. What is the attachment you've fitted to the side rail?

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  8. "Fans have been screaming for a sub machine gun style blaster for ages" Really? If by fans you mean kids who know about guns from CoD No, that's not an M82 you idiot! It's a Barrett fifty cal! It's in Call of Duty! and think they're cool because of it. Maybe it is everyone but the modding community. First page on NH's mods forum: Proton with safety removals and lit up, a few Recon cosmetic mods, Nitefinder with integrated magazine, questions about old air guns and a longshot issue, and a singled longstrike. Most of those are discontinued, or are the nitefinder, as in the easiest to mod blaster ever. Nothing about the new N-strike blasters, other than a longstrike thread. Honestly, I'd like to see nerf go back to the days of classic blasters (the Air Tech X000s, Supermaxx, LnL, Crossbow) and make them FUN instead of tacticool. I understand that, yes, many people like this sort of thing, and yes, they have to appeal to their target audiences, but it honestly feels lazy. The following is what the N-strike designers thought. Probably.
    2004(?): "Look guys! We made this pistol! It has a cool laser on it!"
    2005(?): "Guys! Check it out! Revolver! Woo!"
    2005 or 6: "Guys! Check it out! It's a rocket launcher, BUT WITH GUNS ON IT! LET'S DO THIS!"
    2005 or 6: "It's a super revolver, but it's GLOW IN THE DARK!"
    2006: "Check it out! Sniper rifle! Pew pew pew!"
    2007: "Machine guns are cool!"
    2008: "It's like the sniper rifle, BUT NOW IT'S MODULAR! BLARGH"
    2009: "I got it! Let's take the modular pistol, and make it a shotgun!"
    2010: "Okay, let's make another sniper rifle, another shotgun, another revolver, and a... briefcase gun? We can just recycle old designs and make them fancy on the outside. We will save so much money on patents. As long as looks like Medal of Battlefield, or Call of Honor, or whatever those kids are playing nowadays. Then let's make another machine gun, and a semi-auto revolver, so it's like the other ones, but not really..."
    2011: "Okay, let's take everything we've made so far and... (gasp) make them different colors! We'll, like, increase our profits!"
    2012: "Okay, so now we're gonna introduce the Rainbow Series. Now every blaster is going to be the primary and secondary colors, plus white and black AND rainbow. Our profits will significantly increase. Then, we should make a nerf gatling gun. Take the old machine gun everyone forgot about, and make it fancier. Then, we should make a magazine fed pistol that can accept attachments, but they're all sold seperately."
    On the one hand, this is a totally new design (I haven't seen any magazine fed flywheel blasters ever) but on the other hand, it tries too hard to be cool. I don't like where nerf is going to be honest...

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  9. Man that with the longstrike barrel and pin-point sight looks sweet.I thing this would be a good digital camo paint scheme.

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  10. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHhhhhh.........thing this is begging to have 1-2 9V's hooked up to it.... :D
    -skullface1818

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  11. Yes... I like this new blaster...

    IT SHALL BE MINE! D:<

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  12. Pocket, the questions I've been dying to know the answers to are where are the flywheels located in the blaster (back by the mag or in that bump in the front), and is the trigger mechanical like the Barricade or is it electronic like the Stampede/Nitron (ie does pulling the trigger fire a dart, or is there a delay)?

    Thank you for making this information/pictures available to us!!!

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  13. Nice rant to the guy a few above, hopefully you will be able to sell the movie rights to someone.

    I don't think Urban Taggers is for the modding community. There are heaps of blogs for those types, and they frankly can stay there. Or not even bother reading web sites and just stroke their Longshots at night and leave it as that.

    This Rayven is going to sell and sell big. It's exactly what the real market for Nerf want: something new. It looks boss and as long as it has decent ranges which it sounds like it does from the review, I think it'll be very popular.

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  14. Tracer ammo doesn`t make much sense with a semi-automatic, but that magazine would be ace in a volted-up Stampede.
    Apart from that, this is a really handsome gun!

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  15. Any chance of a picture down the barrel, please?

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  16. As for the Recon barrel mentioned above, that one already looks cool on the Spectre. In fact, the Spectre looks way cooler with the Recon barrel than with its own.
    I second the motion to see the Rayven with a Spectre barrel though. That just might work.

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  17. ... might try to make a DMR type rifle... sorta like i want to do to an airsoft tavor (TAR) 21.

    LOVING THE BULPUP!

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  18. Mr. Pocket, could you humour a long-time reader, and take a photo of the Rayven equipped with an Alpha Trooper drum? That would be tops.

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  19. For the 7th Anonymous who complained about eight paragraphs NONSTOP, Nerf is AWESOME. If you don't like it then go make your'e own failure offbrand. Nobody cares about you or your'e stupid perspective. Go away and take your primitive thought process with you.

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  20. I see, it is a little bigger and longer than I expected... hmmm... I'll buy two anyway. Even if they're not good for traditional dual-wielding... Anyone remember the end of the first full Stampede ECS commercial? That's what I'm going for... ;D
    The Firefly Tech clip is arguably as big a piece of news at the blaster itself. When I saw the blue glow coming out of the jam door on the box art, I immediately guessed that that was real and not merely designer artsy-ness. UV lights are the best way to charge glow-in-the-dark things, but, such technology being more than a little expensive, blue LEDs are as close as one can get. Personally, I like the Firefly Tech insignia. Very stylized, and a far cry from the first-gen N-Strike badge... ;P The FT clip may add a lot of functionality, but I find that looks a little bulky on this blaster. The regular 18-dart clip would look a bit long, the 6-dart clip is too small capacity to exercise the semi-auto capabilities, and the 35-drum is just ridiculous (as it is on anything except the Raider and Stampede). Sooooo... I feel like the perfect secondary magazine for the Rayven would be the 18-dart drum. Compact, yet high capacity. Perhaps that's the real purpose of the single-packgaged example SG Nerf found. And if Nerf ever decides to release Firefly Tech on its own (fingers crossed...), I see the versatile 18-drum as the best unit for the job.

    Brilliant review, Pocket! There was no doubt in my mind that you would be the first to get your hands on one, and you certainly are the best suited to review it. :)

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  21. ya dog... this things l@@ks awesome. my only prob. though is that it's flywheels, which r krap in my opinion. although i might just get this because it looks sheer awesome

    p.s. where'd u get this??????

    p.p.s can u make a range test vid.?

    -nerfpwner18

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  22. Pocket,
    Would you mind my asking how the firing mechanism of this blaster feels? As far as trigger resistance, pull depth, and overall potential rate of fire as compared to a Barricade.

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  23. i know you don't mod but can you open it up so we can see the internals?

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  24. Geez, I was jokingwhen I said you would have this within a week! I Frickin' love you!(No homo)

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  25. does clip work on any blasters
    sorry if i didnt read it all the way

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  26. Can you add a picture of it with the spectre barrel on it?

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  27. Flywheels have their advantage: easy voltage mods. However, I do find flywheel blasters less satisfying to fire than the plunger system or torsion spring system blasters because there's not much sound or mechanical feedback with each trigger pull. There's nothing like the "snap!" sound of a spring discharge.

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  28. weird that there is only one rail on a side on one and each side, i wonder why? the trigger looks the same as the barricade which might tells us that it pushes the darts in the same way the barricade does, prepare for tired fingers.

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  29. Someone go grab a Sonic Longstrike barrel for this thing... then put that little cowling from first gen Vulcans on the tip.

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  30. @ harupia:

    I assume you're thinking of the Stampede's and Vulcan's dual side rails. However, with both of those, the rails themselves are much further from the user. With longer attachments like the Dual-Mode Light Beam Projector or Tactical Light, the accessory might contact the chest of the user, hindering mobility. Hence, as most people are right-handed, I suppose they only saw fit to place one on the outer side. I'd have preferred it on the inner side, where I could control a Tactical Accessory more easily... Of course, as on the Stampede, tactical rails that are not part of the shell take up a bit of space on the inside, so perhaps the firing mechanism did not allow for two.

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  31. No video... boo! :-(

    Looks great though, although after your black and white photo it would look great in black and white.

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  32. I like it.

    Except Pocket is incorrect on one point; A hinged jam door is also found on the Recon CS-6.

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  33. oh wow, that's some pretty damn good work UT! does the addition of a barrel kill the performance? also I second MacTrekkie's and Gunkata's call for a photo of the rayven with a spectre barrel.

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  34. nice gun. seems alright. flywheels. eh,I've got other nerf guns to mod.

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  35. I'd really like to know how the glow darts work because the firefly cheated and just used glow in the dark stickers

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  36. This blaster looks beast! Can't wait to get my hands on one! That would be cool being able to put glow darts in another CS gun. Maybe in a sonic or clear blaster? Oooo (8-o
    My only question is how much would it cost in American dollars?

    C-dog (8-D

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  37. Very cool write-up pocket! Did they mention any kind of a release date for these? Maybe I ran to the photos too fast and missed that bit. Also, any expected pricepoints? I'm guessing 25-30.00USD from the looks of it.

    Oh and gimmie that CQC nerf scope you used in the photos! ;)

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  38. please show us a video, and the darts, you're the only reference for info about this so everyone is depending on you for all the information on this blaster

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  39. PUT A REVIEW ON YOU TUBE! I want to see how it works lol

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  40. What's going to be really fun is modding the 18 drums that are coming out so they can also have the glow, for the glow in the dark darts, shooting regular darts with tracers would be so EPIC!

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  41. forget the gun, gimme the clip :)

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  42. Pocket, this clip CAN be used in all other blasters if what i see is correct, meaning that we can use glow in the dark darts on all kinds of cs blasters such as the stampede or the longshot/strike.

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  43. We'd like a video , sir.

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  44. I assume it fires glow in the dark streamlines? Where are they? You didn't get them with the blaster?

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  45. He ate them.

    Pocket wrote in the review that he didn't get the glow in the dark streamlines. Why don't you try reading before you ask stupid questions.

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  46. Just one thing.
    "what most fans will point out is the Rayven essentially looks rather "Bullpup-esque" and appears to be made to look like a sub-machine gun."

    By definition it /is/ bullpup. Bullpup simply means the magazine and most of the firing mechanism is behind the shooter's trigger hand.

    As a side note, this is an awesome looking blaster and I want one. I will probably not even use it for combat, I just want to buy one, stick a barrel attachment on there, maybe one of Nerf's five round mags, and then steampunk the shit out of that.

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  47. If you take the cursor and highlight the 2nd picture in blue, the Rayven looks Nerf yellow!

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  48. is there any way you guys could post a bigger pic of the blaster? I draw line art of them and you guys seem to be the only people with any pictures of this blaster.

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  49. Huh?If it's electronic shouldn't it be an ECS?

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  50. when can this be realeased at sg?if so how much will it cost?

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  51. how much is it gonna be us dollars?

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  52. How are the ranges?

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  53. this is just my opinion but this thing looks ridiculous the large over-sized clip throws the hole thing off try again nerf... try again

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  54. do you know the release date? Mybe around christms I think

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  55. I have a question for Pocket- Before I enter another upcoming HvZ game later this year, I need to know which gun is better: The Stampede ECS or this gun the Rayven CS-18? I know that the Stampede DOES give a generous 60 darts (With the 18 round clips, bipod, and blast shield), but there's a delay and that can be fatal (and I'm not a fan of modding blasters) AND you need 6 D-Cell Batteries (Which makes it pretty heavy), but the Rayven prevents delays since it's semi auto,has 3-4 AA Batteries (which makes it lighter), but only comes with one 18-round clip. I'm at a loss and I have a budget so I can only buy one of them so please reply me and help!!! Thanks

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  56. Not sure why these guys (commenting) think that the modding community won't like this - but there is a HUGEEE buzz around this on OzNerf and Australian Nerf.

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  57. bullpup nerf gun. sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  58. Honestly, don't like the clip. While the technology in it is cool and the concept is cool, it just doesn't fit the gun. Its an enormous, bulky thing for a relatively small package. I'd rather stick with the smaller six shots clips than have that enormous thing clunking around.

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  59. Im so getting this :D

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  60. hope this comes out in canada befor chritmas

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  61. this is freaken coooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool blaster

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  62. hope its coming to new zealand........

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  63. i want that thing so bad i would pay 100 dollars for it

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  64. oh man cant wait to see the future paint jobs on this badboy!

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  65. Whoever it was that said highlighting it makes it n-strike yellow is right! try it!

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  66. Some Guy was Right, It would be clad the Rayven ECS-18

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  67. coolest gun look but the stampede has it with auto firing

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  68. nice bullpup desighn

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  69. Aw man, this looks sick! I'm going to buy two and go all akimbo on my friends' arses.

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  70. but will it blend?

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  71. The 4th last pic is funny because the longstrike barrel extension is almost as long as the gun itself:D LOL
    whayw5

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  72. where can u get it at?

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  73. GIMMIE GIMMIE GIMM1E!!!!!!!

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  74. AWESOME SAUCE!!!!!

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  75. i saw one in walmart i live in canada so get one they are around 20 -25 bucks now go get one they are so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  76. it, looks like the nerf version of a P-90.

    I always wanted to have a P-90 style nerf gun. Can't wait to get my hands on 2 of them (1 to attempt to mod)

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  77. if you were given standard full orange darts its likley you wont get the full range out of the gun. The new blue elite darts are about 1-2 mm longer, in which sealing up the air piston better, but adds 10+ feet to all blaster's distance.

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