Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rant: 'Official' Rayven madness

Rayven assault! Pic courtesy of Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag 
The question we at UT get more than anything is "when will *insert blaster here* be available in *insert place here*. We for the life of us can never predict- and a classic example of this is the last 48 hrs, which were pretty crazy for Australian Nerf fans and the much anticipated Rayven CS-18...

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:)


  1. We have Rayvens in all our Targets in Florida.

  2. I hear that! Here in Colorado Springs, USA it seems like several of the Walmarts and especially the Toys'R'Us are rather behind the game. Since it seems that the releases are really getting controlled by the regional distributors here, I'd really like to get contacts in those organizations! They seem almost scared at the store when I ask. . .

    1. I know right! My cousin lives in colorado springs also and he says the exact same things to.

  3. Sometimes the best intel comes from the night stocker at Wal-Mart.


  4. Same here in Massachusetts... I know of at least one Target with Rayvens.

  5. We have them at Targets here in Minnesota.

  6. We have Rayvens in store at Targets in Michigan. None sighted at Toys R Us or Walmart yet.

  7. Chatswood have them too - not lots - but a few!

  8. Canada reporting in. We have Rayvens, but so far no sight of Jolts.

  9. sweet jesus!

    I hope there's one left at Belcompton.

  10. hey i know theres rayvens at the k-mart in altona gate shopping centre in Victoria Australia for all the guys in vic looking as i just picked one up

  11. I live in Central Queensland, Australia and have yet to personally see a Rayven, plenty of Longshots scattered around though(at least 5 in every store that stocks nerf) about 20 that I've seen, they're not cheap mind. BUT STILL NO RAYVENS!!!!!:( It's so frustrating!

  12. I checked Belco after this post and I had a sad :(

    I didn't see any :(

    ( I has to wait for mine )

  13. it's not that good, my trigger jams alot, moreso than any other nerf gun i have. im gonna open it up and remove all the locks and put some lithium batteries in it. I would say its def not worth it if you already have a stampede, alpha trooper or any of the vortex blasters...

  14. ^^In response to my last post, I just talked to hasbro and they are letting me return it for a new one, so i will be less harsh as I dont have to fix it myself. It is however similar to the stampede in range, although the AA batteries are a plus as it more lightweight. I def got a defective blaster tho, so if any of you guys have a similar problem with the trigger sticking and firing every two-three shots, I would def recommend contacting hasbro, they were polite and I will be getting a new one soon:)

  15. Pretty late in the Nerf collection.

    I got myself a second hand N-Strike Rayven. It was either this or the Blockade or the Stryfe. Since the last two are early models, there should still be enough supplies so I decided on the Rayven. I could not find the elite version so I got the original.

    Fortunate for me it works pretty well. Unmodded - it shoots at least 20-25 feet - PTG (using new batteries, elite darts and making sure the flywheel is really revved up well). Having a bullpup design really helps since it allows a compact blaster while having a decent length barrel. Sometimes jams - mostly because I use the old streamlines.

    Firing too quickly does affect the distance. I have tried the glow darts and regular streamlines and personally the elite darts do better. Unfortunately without batteries, you can use it.

    At 33USD, not bad for my first blaster. Being clip system makes it easier to replenish ammo. You sometimes kind of wish that you can fire it manually.

    Recommended good deal.