|Rayven assault! Pic courtesy of Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag|
Let's recap. Originally, we'd heard from official sources (ie Hasbro Australia) that the Rayven was not due in Australia till mid-late 2012 which came as quite the disappointment to Australian Nerfers everywhere. Many Australians had resorted to hitting up sources such as eBay and picking up Rayvens for big $$ because of said official intel...
..and then there were mysterious rumours of odd sightings of the Rayven at odd stores, but noone could provide photos to prove it.
Until in the last 24 hrs, where not only did they show up in K-Marts in Australia, they showed up in K-Marts in Canberra:D We were all madly sneaking out of work to tear out to K-Marts all over town to pick up a much coveted Rayven CS-18. 45 dollars AUS. Go.
Nuts huh? I am forever shaking my head at what is considered "official" intel these days. You hear one thing, and while you're still halfway through blogging about it, someone else comes to you and says "I already saw that". Or worse, it may have officially been released in your neck of the woods, but still you cannot find them as they're all sold out so that "official" word means dick to be honest.
Going by a trip to my local Big W today, you'd not be misguided to think barely ANY Nerf is available anymore. A far cry from several months ago where the shelves were almost falling over with the amount of Nerf that was available- a stellar effort from the retailers Australia wide. And not even just Nerf- where the hell did those X-Shot Turbofires come from? Before the rest of the world, we ended up with not just one, but two in a pack of one of the coolest dark horse blasters of 2011 that just popped up out of nowhere for a ridiculously cool price on K-Mart shelves. Max Force also sort of showed up without warning and became another contender, but interestingly enough the more established gear in the US like X-Ploderz and even Nerf's N-Force stuff? Not for ages.
Toy distribution seems to be a tricky business- as is the PR to go with it. Even the big boys in the US seem to get it wrong and so often it really is a case of the left hand having no idea of what the right hand is doing.
At the end of the day, the one thing we can be sure of is- once the knowledge of a blaster is made public by someone ('official or otherwise'), it's gotta be available SOMEWHERE. in the world but everything else- well it's luck of the draw.
What's more important is what sort of consumer are you; there's nothing wrong with supporting your local retail industry (god knows it needs it!) and just waiting to see what happens on the shelf, but it honestly doesn't have a whole lot to do with what's been "officially" released and what's actually there to buy. These days if you want something, it doesn't really matter what country you're in, but how much you want it and what you'll pay to get it:)
Thanks to Neil for his intel on the Rayven CS-18 in the writing of this post:)