Interview – Australian Blaster Enthusiasts – Part Two – Now with added Pocket

Hello blaster enthusiasts of Australia and the world once again! The post for this week is a continuation of last week’s interview of Australian Blaster Enthusiasts.

Again, for those of you outside of Australia, please take the opportunity here to see how people outside of your community play. Notice the similarities and differences and hopefully you’ll learn something you can apply within your own community. For my fellow Australians (said in a suspiciously POTUS voice…) have a look at what the other states and groups around the country are doing. We’re a relatively small country population wise but I think we punch well about our weight in the international blaster community. It’s time to give up with the infighting, yeah?

So with all that out of the way, lets reintroduce you to today’s interviewees.

From New South Wales we have Matt, admin with Sydney Nerf Wars (Facebook and Forums), and Chris, admin with Riverina Dart Tag.
From Victoria we have Grep, State Lead Organiser on Australian Nerf (AN).
From Tasmania we have Alex, admin on Squadron of Foam Tasmania (S.O.F.T.).
From South Australia we have FaytZero and Winterstrike, both Admins on Australian Nerf, and AJ, admin on Foam Sports.
From West Australia we have Mohrlock, admin with West Nerf, and Stawsonia, State Lead Organiser on Australian Nerf.
Nobody I could find in the Northern Territory 😦
From Queensland we have Rolley from Street Tag Warfare, Clunk of Clunk Weapons Co and an admin on OzNerf, and Girly Gamer from Nerfenstein (Blog, Facebook, and Twitter).
From my home here in the Australian Capital Territory we have Neil, admin with Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag and Chris from Combustible Props.

Each respondent was sent a series of 10 questions regarding their blaster usage and their thoughts on the Australian community (today we’ll answer questions 6-10). I know I sure found some of the responses particularly interesting and I hope you do too. Big thanks to all those who gave their time in responding; I really hope it improves our little corner of the world.
Cheers,
Joe

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Edit: Hold the press! Late entry from the one and only Pocket of Urban Taggers, again from my very own ACT. We’ll run through Pocket’s first five questions that everyone else answered last week, then add him on the end of questions 6-10.

Go team!

Pocket – Urban Taggers

How did you first get into the hobby? When?
I love toys; always have as a kid and never grew out of it. Also always been a big fan of toy blasters, though I was more into water guns and laser tag than projectiles.

What do you think most attracted you to it originally?
Very much the role play toy element, but also the way a blaster just adds a layer of randomness and hilarity to any situation. I’ve always maintained the fact that leave 2 blasters in the middle of the room, be it an office, lounge or classroom, fill the room with some people, and just wait and see what happens. It’s AWESOME.

What’s your favourite thing about the hobby now?
To be honest, it’s still the same as when I first started. I probably also like the way the kit has evolved and developed over the years, but I still stay true to the toy element and casual fun that comes with them.

How would you describe you main usage of blasters? Do you take part in organised games, mess around with friends, just enjoy modding, mostly in it for the collecting, etc? Why?
As a toy collector I’m a bit of a completionist, but I still believe toys are made to be played with so I don’t keep them in boxes for value. I tend to leave 3-4 lying around my living room area for when guests come over; tend to rotate them every few weeks for a bit of variety. I admit I’m never one for organised wars nor care much for what makes them tick- it’s really for random, impromptu, indoor casual fun.

Do you mod your blasters? Why/why not?
Nope. Mainly because I don’t like opening things up when I’m doubtful of my ability to put them back together again; for my purposes they do their job fine stock in an indoor environment. I am impressed with what people can do with them, but it’s just not my thing. I do love aesthetic mods, but don’t have the patience to do it.

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Ok, and back to our regularly scheduled programming.

First Blaster?

Matt – Sydney Nerf Wars
My first blaster was the Switchshots Max. It was great. While not the best water gun out there, it could send MegaDarts probably about 30ft/10m. Not bad if you ask me. I had the whistling ones, which were always really cool. My first blaster when returning to the hobby was none other than the N-Strike Recon CS-6. I picked it over the Raider because I liked the look of it more. I’ll admit though, I regret keeping the Recon for myself and giving the Raider to my brother. That was one of the worst decisions in my Nerf-ing career.

FaytZero – SA AN
My first blaster was a Nite-Finder which I took the air restrictors out and added rubber bands to the plunger rod to give it more power. They are great pistols that are great for members who are just starting, cheap and effective.

Chris – Combustible Props
Maverick!

Rolley – Street Tag Warfare
Nerf Nightfinder! I still have it too, but it’s now heavily modded.

Mohrlock – West Nerf
Technically that would be the Nerf Bow & Arrow. In more recent times it would have been buying two Recons at the same time. I still have those two, all the usual basic mods without replacement parts.

Clunk – Clunk Weapons Co
POS Vulcan…

Grep – Victoria SLO AN
My first blaster was a clear Maverick — “because it looks cool”.

Winterstrike – SA AN
Buzz Bee Belt Blaster, don’t judge me.

Swatsonia – WA SLO AN
My first blaster (technically) was a SSPB. That broke quickly (I was around 7 or so, I believe). I then bought a Lanard First Shot, not realising its potential at my age. When I restarted back in ’09, I bought a Recon, as it was the only real rifle sized blaster available locally.

Chris – Riverina Dart Tag
1st one ever, an old twin shot. The first of my new collection was either a yellow tommy 20, or 3 recons.
Neil – Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag
2 Vulcans! I didn’t mess around with Nitefinders and Mavericks.

Girly Gamer – Nerfenstein
I think the first Nerf blaster I purchased was the Nerf Barricade, well that was first in the trolley, I bought two of those and a bunch of others due to the huge sale.

AJ – Foam Sports
N-Strike Recon x 2 closely followed by a maverick. PERFECT NOOB TRI-FECTA!

Alex – SOFT
I started out with the Longshot and Stampede, a bandolier and a flip-clip kit. Bought them from a local Toy World… wayyyy too overpriced, but for the memories and where it has lead me to; priceless ❤

Pocket – Urban Taggers
Depends on how you interpret this question, it would have to be the Nerf NB1- I used to ‘battle’ my cousin with this, and he had the Nerf slingshot. Wars didn’t last very long, nor were very accurate. Following this, my first real DART blaster would be the Nerf Powerclip DX1000 which I still love to this day. What got me into the hobby at this stage of my life, would have to be the 4pack of Nerf Eliminators, which was a staple for our office and inspired us to start an arms war, buying bigger and better kit.

 


 

Favourite blaster? Why?

Matt – Sydney Nerf Wars
My favourite blaster is the Longshot. It’s an iconic blaster within the modding community because of its large plunger tube and the fact that it can use N-strike clips (which I think are one of the best things that Nerf has ever done). It’s just the versatility that does it for me.

FaytZero – SA AN
At present I’m going to have to go with my “Repulser” it’s a Long-Strike with Mortar Pistol air tank installed, and has a clip accepting brass breech which I designed myself. I have painted it red and gold and  it has started a wave of blasters of similar design being seen around several communities now. I’m a fan of blasters that have great accuracy, to me hitting my target the first time has priority over rate of fire and range.

Chris – Combustible Props
The Stampede for sure. Its a fully automatic nerf blaster that has decent modding potential and takes clips. Oh and the rate of fire! When you strap two modded stampedes together and link the triggers you end up with something to be feared. The fun of emptying 2 drums worth of darts only slightly outweighs the time spent loading, and loading and loading…

Rolley – Street Tag Warfare
That’s a tough question. I don’t think I have a blaster that I don’t like, but I have to say that my Xplorer grip Longshot is my current choice although the paintjob isn’t public friendly. For public wars I tend to favour my Nerf Rampage.

Mohrlock – West Nerf
The Recon. I’m yet to be sold on the Retaliator but am sure it may replace this. Why? I love having a clip-fed blaster able to broke down to a pistol size. That being said my preferred Recon at the moment, with the BT Kit, I usually use with a yellow Raider Stock due to the really stiff trigger/catch spring it has and the Spectre barrel to help straighten the odd stray shot.

The other reason I love the Recon? It’s kind of the underdog of the clip system blasters in the N-Strike range. Not many people use them compared to other blasters, like the ever-prevalent Longshot or Stampede, so it normally sets me aside from the crowd.

Clunk – Clunk Weapons Co
Favourite blaster to mod has to be the Longshot. Main reason is the surprising amount of power you can get out of it, and the overall feel when using it.

Favourite blaster’s in my collection would be my; Modded Titan Pegasus for aesthetics and power, ETRL PAS with Raider pistol grip/stock – this blaster justs looks sexy, vacuum loads, and hits over 100ft with phenomenal accuracy.

Grep – Victoria SLO AN
Shortly after that, I bought an Alpha Trooper, which is my favourite because it feels right in the hand; the pump-action is comfortable, and I can either shoot slowly and carefully one shot at a time, or charge in, slam-firing and spray the enemy, shortly before getting out.

Winterstrike – SA AN
Either a Berzerker or a Triple shot. Good long range capabilities, sturdy design and flexible for all situations.

Swatsonia – WA SLO AN
My favourite blaster is hard to pick. It would have to be my Crossbow though. I particularly love mine as it seems to have a bit more punch than other Crossbows in the country with its stock spring and plunger head, but mostly for its laser accuracy.

Chris – Riverina Dart Tag
Well my fav blaster will always be the power clip, it was the first blaster I ever got to play with, and fell in love with straight away. Failing that for games, my trusty OMW’d AT with red dot scope and cut down night finder, because there is no horde big enough that I cannot face them down with those 2 blasters.

Neil – Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag
That’s a tough one. I’m a big fan of the Stampede (as long as it’s got a Black Tactical kit in it). I used an Alpha Trooper almost exclusively for about 8 months as well. These days I just use flywheel stuff like Barricades and Rayvens because a) voltage mods are easy and b) they’re cheap blasters so it doesn’t bother me if I blow one up.

Girly Gamer – Nerfenstein
That is REALLY tough, I have a lot of favorites, all for different reasons. At the moment I love the Rayven, it is such a beautiful design. If the rumors are true I like the look of the Firestrike also.

AJ – Foam Sports
It sucks but damn I just love the shell of the alpha trooper – so streamlined.

Alex – SOFT
Technically speaking it would be a Longshot. However, I modified my first Longshot to keep the internals, but with the exterior shell cross-bred with a Longstrike barrel, shoulder stock and trigger grip. Dubbed the “Longunov” the goal was to make it look like a Nerf-style Dragunov sniper rifle (keeping it in Nerf colours of course :P) while being Nerf-War worthy.

“Why” is a hard one; I also love the Spectre being a revolver-style and for quick draws, the Scout has always been a faithful and compact sidearm, and I’ve really gotten hooked onto my Rayven, and Vulcan “Iron Kurtain” minigun mod is VERY cool… but honestly despite all that, the Longunov still is, and always will be, my favourite and main blaster of choice. It was one of my first, I played around with it a lot and did HOURS of target practice with it, it’s the first blaster I modded, then later was also my first major step into cosmetic and higher level internal mods, it has surpising accuracy despite not shooting as far as some other Longshots I’ve seen, but it has won me MANY battles (especially Free-For-Alls which is astounding for such a slow-rate-of-fire blaster :P)… but most of all I think it’s what I’d define as my crown achievement thus far; my own unique blaster that noone else has, and it describes my Nerf Identity flawlessly 🙂

Pocket – Urban Taggers
A real tough q because it does depend on my mood at the time, i tend to revisit and ‘rekindle the flame’ as they would say. Right now, I’d have to say the Nerf Vortex Pyragon- it’s just awesome on so many levels. Last year I would have said the Alpha Trooper, and before the Alpha Trooper It’d have to be the Raider. I guess I have a thing for pump action slam fire:)


 

What’s missing from the Australian blaster community at the moment? What do you think can be done to fix that?

Matt – Sydney Nerf Wars
What’s missing? That’s really hard to pinpoint. Many other Nerfers around Australia are very keen on interstate events and the like. However, I can’t say I support pushes for those sorts of things. Clashes of egos and discrepancies in rules sets just present too many barriers. If there can be something that can be done to fix it, it’d be a standardised rules set that all the state communities can agree to. It’ll be difficult, but it might become a reality one day, when we’re all ready.

FaytZero – SA AN
The two most important things that any community needs including ours are organization and co-operation, now we do see it from time to time between all of our communities but no where near the level required to be able to take out sport/hobby to the next level. I think if we all spent a little less time bickering about small things and looked at the Australian community as a whole we could create something great that we could all be proud of.

I would love to see more interstate competitions and wars as I feel that is a great way to start things off in creating a better understanding of each other, and in turn creating more co-operation and then organization will follow as we start to talk more.

Chris – Combustible Props
I’m not sure that anything is missing from the blaster community in Australia, and in particular Canberra. We seem to be the Meca for exclusives. In regards to the prop building community, it seems to be pretty small in Australia. Nerfenstein and myself are the only larger ones Im aware of. In the US it’s a different matter entirely as every man and his dog has jumped on the Volpin props bandwagon (Google for awesome builds) and is highly contested. In Australia it seems to be more open and akin to the US about 5 years ago. So… to fix that? I guess I had better get started 😀

Rolley – Street Tag Warfare
I think a little more community involvement with events and wars would be great. There’s quite a few very talented war organisers out there already, but I feel like if they had a helping hand they’d be able to get a lot more events running in many more areas.

Mohrlock – West Nerf
Officially sanctioned Dart Tag competitions. Dart Tag has always held a fond place in my heart, and I used to try to push it on anyone interested. It requires a similar skill-set to most other Nerf game types, but just adds in a measurable point scoring system and nullifies most of the over-powered blasters.

I have my inclination to believe it may be coming in the future, with Hasbro finally bringing the Dart Tag line for sale into Australia again. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, my hopes high and try not to get to disgruntled if it never happens.

Clunk – Clunk Weapons Co
My biggest issue with the Aussie community is our inability to pick up vintage blasters from secondhand/goodwill stores. When you compare the prices that we have to pay off of ebay as opposed to the couple of $$ that the Americans pay for these blasters, it really does get frustrating. Obviously there’s not much that can be done about that, but a guy can dream. I think if us Aussie’s had more access to rare blasters, then you’d definitely see a greater variety of modifications being produced by our guys.

Also, I think a standardised gaming ruleset and dart type would be advantageous. I have serious doubts that it could ever happen with rulesets, but dart type is possible, especially considering the performance and pricing of the Velocity Tag sili darts.

Grep – Victoria SLO AN
I think it’s a real shame that there are so many different groups, even within one state — sharing interests and members would benefit all the groups and all the people involved. It seems to me that there is a lot of ego-boosting going on in being “The Head Of My Very Own Group”; whereas we’d all get a lot more fun if we had a more diverse range of more people. How do we fix it? I dunno. We’ve got a few ideas in store to attend similar events and invite those people to ours; let’s see how it goes in six months.

Winterstrike – SA AN
Tournaments, tournaments, tournaments. If you inject money/fun into anything, it’ll be a success, no matter how ridiculous the premise. All this stems from a lack of organisation and general enthusiasm. All this would be easily remedied if people stopped asking questions like the one above.

Swatsonia – WA SLO AN
What’s really missing from the Australian community at the moment is the lack of cohesion that we have. Unfortunately past events has meant that different communities have split off from the whole, and we are no longer the national group that was on OzNerf back in early 2010. Otherwise, we just need a larger promotion of researching everything yourself, and exploring alternatives and DIY compared to just buying a kit from OMW or Xplorer. That is just my opinion, however.

Chris – Riverina Dart Tag
I think the blaster community is an up and coming thing. It is starting to be accepted by more and more cities, hell, even WWCC came around in the end, I think it need to be recognised more as a sport by society, and players need to lose that fear of being ridiculed by passers by. AS time goes by, I think these issues will pass.

Neil – Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag
The Nerf community in Australia mimics the issues you’d find in any community. Some groups are insular, some groups think their way is the best way, some groups discriminate against other groups, some want to unite the community, some only play one type of game (like HvZ) etc etc. I don’t see that as a problem that needs to be fixed as such. Considering how geographically spread out we are, and how diverse a bunch we are, it’s inevitable we don’t all agree with each other or get along.

Girly Gamer – Nerfenstein
I can’t think of anything huge really, I think it’s a great community full of great / friendly people. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I guess an overarching one website / forum would be great, as it’s hard to visit all the different forums when you’ve got work, family and other commitments. If there was one overarching community forum that all the key members of the many Australian Nerf communities ran or were regulars at, that would be great, a sort of one stop shop. I realize that’s quite difficult as these things tend to splinter via locale or interests (much like the deluge of video game forums), but it would be very handy for users… a sort of one stop shop.

AJ – Foam Sports
Well… I think I’ll just preface this.. take it all with a grain of salt. I’m based in Adelaide and the community down here appears to be quite different to many of the others around Asutralia.

Overall though a ‘lack of unity’is pretty obvious – people need to stop thinking that ‘their’ way to nerf is the ‘right’ way to nerf.. as that concept is laughable. People should give everything a shot and also just accept that some people like different things. We can still support each other and respect each other even if we don’t have the same oppinions on some things.

What can be done: People can stop being butthurt? This one is really up to the people that have ‘the beefs’ to settle, but for everyone else, reach out, expand your horizons, go see how the other side live. Accept people that do different things etc

This also ties into the attitude of some parts of the community:

I really dislike some instances i’ve seen of guys that mod talking down to people that prefer to play stock etc or people calling someone weak because they don’t want to be in a war full of singled titans. At the end of the day, we’re grown ups playing with toy guns, please leave any semeblance of ‘toughness’ or a ‘macho attitude’ at the door, because you really forfeited it when you picked up the bright yellow toy.

What can be done: just drop the tough guy attitude I guess?

Game design- This only really applies to ‘nerf’ as a competitve sport, so many people who are just in it for modding etc probably won’t get much out of this but..

This is a big one – everything is just generally pretty haphazard and messy rules etc wise. One of my biggest pet peeves is boundries and terrain – often clear boundries aren’t set or are broken, or the fields are just generally unbalanced because we’re playing in whatever park we could find at the time. Anyone who’s played FPS can tell you how imortant map design is to the game, and in nerf it’s the same.

At the moment with all the variance; haphazard fields, random teams, rules, blasters, etc etc nerf isn’t something you can ‘learn’, it’s pretty hard to get quantifiably better at, as all of the things change so much between wars. This also makes it really hard for new people coming in – what do they prepare for, how do they propperly ‘learn’ to nerf, is it even possible to ‘practice’? etc

What can be done: In the year 2156 there will be a planetary allignment that will finally enable all players to agree on some common rules.. util then we’re probably boned.

Alex – SOFT
This might sound like an odd answer that may seem like it’s dodging the question… but I think that being based in Tasmania, we’re a little bit cut off from how the Australian community is really like on the mainland. Especially compared to certain other groups with much larger populations and more frequent games.

Pocket – Urban Taggers
The fact that there’s even a blaster community to talk of is incredible- We’ve grown a LOT since I first got into this- I mean other than a few Mavericks and Nitefinders here and there, the extent of a store’s blaster range could be fit into three-four shopping carts (normally those who got to the store before me on the sales!). Now the toy stores are all almost wall to wall.

I admit though I’m not really an active member of the community given I don’t mod nor do I attend organised events, but just from the few things I’ve seen, I think acceptance is important- I’d probably like to see a lil’ more understanding that just because someone else doesn’t play the way you do, doesn’t mean they’re any better/worse than you.

 

How can the manufacturers best improve the hobby? What do you want to see from them in the coming years?

Matt – Sydney Nerf Wars
As a modder, I was delighted to know that Hasbro had returned to something very similar to a “Direct Plunger” design, as seen in the new Elite series. However I was personally disappointed in the number of “Flywheel” blasters that are currently bouncing around in the rumour mill. Manufacturers like Buzzbee and Airzone have been making some good blasters. The Panther, for example, is something the US community has been raving about. If Buzzbee and Airzone were to continue on their current path, I can see the hobby, from a modding and warring perspective, grow into something far less niche.

In the future, I’d like to see more Springer blasters, similar to the Retaliator and Rampage, and less Flywheel blasters. I’d also like to see the returns of blasters similar to the Magstrike. Perhaps even an updated version of the Stampede. But most importantly, I’d like to see all of these new releases from all manufacturers on Australian shelves. Too often do we see new models months (or even years) after the US release. Sometimes, we never see them at all. That needs to change.

FaytZero – SA AN
I think what they are doing know is fine, what we have to remember is that these are toys made for general enthusiasts and kids. The best thing they could do is create a secondary label and create gear marketed at us the warring and modding community so that it is clearly separated from the general kids toys and therefore allows parents and us to make better decisions in regards to purchases.

Equipment wise I would love to see some improvements on clip technology, I feel that at present they are far to unreliable for effective use. Unfortunately they are prone to jamming and that is something you don’t want in the middle of a fire fight. Other than that I’m also a big fan of multiple shot blasters and Sci-Fi looking equipment, I would love to see more blasters with these characteristics coming out.

Chris – Combustible Props
Stop with the repaints. Seriously.
I understand that you make money by creating demand but enough is enough. Though this being said at least they have stopped with the reverse plunger clones and gone with direct plungers in the Elite line. In the future id like to see more unique blasters that have modding potential.

Rolley – Street Tag Warfare
Aftermarket parts, replacement parts and full blasters. I think for continued development and expansion there needs to be a manufacturer that develops products target directly for the older people that get involved in outdoor wars. Right now, the only manufacturer doing anything like this is Nerf with the elite line, but their stuff is still geared for kids. I would love to see a blaster designed specifically for competition. That said, stuff that’s coming out from Slydev and Xplorer is fantastic!

Mohrlock – West Nerf
Take blasters back to the base line! Don’t kill our local retailers by releasing different versions for Australia in comparison to other countries. I hate the whole Blue Trigger & Grey Trigger game we have to play here in Australia; they’re basically asking us to open our blasters to make them measure up to the rest of the world. I like it when we all got the same thing in every box the world over.

Things I’d like to see in years to come? I’d love to see N-Strike under-barrel ball launcher (grenade launcher) and shotgun (masterkey); something officially made by Hasbro – I prefer to be able to buy what I want not have to fabricate it. Seeing the old Tactical Vest 6 clips sold seperately. The Fury Fire to receive some Elite treatment. Digital pressure-sensitive dart tag vests so we can use streamlines for Dart Tag. Just a few things on my wishlist 🙂

Clunk – Clunk Weapons Co
I think Hasbro need to change their age demographic and start targetting the 20 to 35 yr bracket. Some more DP systems like the Longshot would be greatly appreciated.

Grep – Victoria SLO AN
On all the internet sites that I’ve seen, there has been zero obvious interest or involvement from manufacturers. I find it hard to believe that they are unaware of interest groups and/or blaster modifications. It would benefit both them and us, I feel, to have some level of involvement from the people who actually design, test, and manufacture the goods — to see how the customers feel about their product, and to make those customers feel privileged by being interested in them.

Winterstrike – SA AN
They can hold their own tournaments. They’ve had some success in Singapore/USA but they need to publicise it more and market it to an older demographic. What I’d like to see is Hasbro actually create an entire department based on nothing but event management. They’ve already created a very popular sub culture and all they need to do to greatly profit from it is to organise events.

Swatsonia – WA SLO AN
In terms of what the manufacturers can do to help improve the hobby, I’d like to see more innovation. While more power can be nice, by modifying that point is moot anyway. Different feeding mechanisms, priming actions, etc, are what I’d like to see in the future. If Hasbro could make a clip fed lever action rifle, I’d be in on that in a heartbeat. That, or a proper shotgun type blaster that achieves more than the Triple Shots measly 10ft.

Chris – Riverina Dart Tag
I am starting to think that the hobby has hit that point in regards to manufactures, that they really can’t improve it much, without continuing to rehash old ideas. When you cut right down to the meat, the elite series are only slightly improved n-strike blasters. I think that over time all they are going to be able to do is keep improving the materials that they use. Though I don’t think that this will change the game up very much, think about what we were all saying before the release of the Vortex range… A real game changer we thought. I have seen blasters that will always out perform anything on the market, yes, I am talking about your long strike Joe, but even then, they don’t change it too much.

Neil – Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag
I think with the release of the Elite line it’s clear that Nerf are certainly listening to the fans, and that’s a really positive development. Overall I think the more community engagement they have, the better the result for everyone. We’ve started to see Hasbro Australia make their first few tentative steps in that direction, and going forward that makes me very optimistic about the future of the hobby in Australia.

What I DON’T want to see in the future from dart blaster manufacturers is that they start to cater for the gun fetishists and COD losers by producing blasters that look more and more like ‘real’ guns. I know from speaking to my parents that as soon as that happens, Nerf are going to lose a lot of sales to the under 12’s. And let’s be clear about this, they’re toys. For kids.

Girly Gamer – Nerfenstein
I think they’re doing pretty well 🙂 It would be nice to see them open up a little more in their advertising, we’re not all teenaged boys lol.

AJ – Foam Sports
I think that overall, blaster wise, things are going okay. The areas they could imporve in are accessories and consumables.

A lot of really cool things have come out in the last couple years – new Dart Tag, N-Strike Elite and Vortex – but the way these lines are supported and distributed hurt their chances of being widely adopted by the organised or competitve nerf community.

If hasbro were serious about dart tage being a ‘sport’ rather than a line of toys… give us the option to buy darts in larger packets than 16 and get out SOME GODDAM ADULT SIZE JERSEYS.

Vortex has the potential to be the defacto indoor war weapons, as they have great range and using stock blasters presents a lot less risk, but they need to make the accessories and consumables more widely available – disks are super expensive, only availabel in small QTY’s and WHY CAN I NOT BUY A 20 CLIP SEPERATELY HASBRO… WHY?

Elite also promises to offer a better ‘stock’ experience, but again the way they distribute the accessories is wierd… why can I only get 12 clips with a Retaliator? Why can’t we just buy stocks, sights etc?

Modders will always be disapointed… nothing will shoot 100ft out of the box, or with just an AR removal. Just deal with it, learn to mod well and it’s not a problem anymore.

Also, Hasbro Australia are a bit of a joke.. then again Nerf is only one product line of many for them.. but it does suck how little support we receive compared to say SG.

Alex – SOFT
I could rant on about a few things such as certain Nerf blasters never getting released into Australia (Firefly, Quick 16, etc) or how certain blasters are shop brand exclusives making them harder or more expensive to purchase, or the whole ‘detuned’ Elite series mess… but I think despite those setbacks, there is always ways around it like buying online or for those who can; modding. However it would be nice to see some sort of resolution where;
–  Blasters are easier to obtain
– Fewer new blasters that come out aren’t just simple re-shells or re-paints, and more original designs and unique mechanics
– Better availability of purchasing accessories seperately
– Getting blasters ‘generally’ powerful enough to perform better in outdoor conditions, where modding would not be necessary or required. (The Vortex and Elite ranges are good steps in that direction… although there is still some ways to go yet, but understandably the Australian toy safety regulations kind of decided that for us =_=)

As much as this may seem fanciful, I really like the idea of having regular official Tournaments (like the Dart Tag ones… although I think they’ve stopped now?) and other local events / group incentives to try and promote it more like a sport rather than just a hobby or a kids toy; in my opinion it has just as much potential as Paint Ball or Airsoft and certainly could gain enough interest if more events were organised by Nerf in Australia.

Pocket – Urban Taggers
I actually think manufacturers are doing a pretty decent job to be honest. I would like to see them have a stronger, smarter marketing pressence here in Australia to keep us in the loop on what is going on in the blaster world, BUT I also know as we are such a small market worldwide, it’s an issue we have in all areas, not just the toy blaster one. And I guess UT wouldn’t have grown so much if that HAD been the case:)


How do you describe the hobby to other people? Do you flaunt your enthusiasm or would most of your acquaintances in real life not know about it?

 Matt – Sydney Nerf Wars
I’m not afraid to say that I’m a big fan of Nerf and that it’s my hobby. It bring in all the ladies!!! (it actually does the opposite). However, that doesn’t deter me because everyone is entitled to have their interests and hobbies. If a person will oust you or label you as socially awkward because you have a hobby that is different to theirs, then they aren’t worth being acquainted with. On the flip side, there are some who believe the quirky and unique hobby is an interesting conversation point.

FaytZero – SA AN
I definitely do not hide the fact I Nerf, almost everyone I know is fully aware of what I do and about the sport. Yes it can be a little hard at first to try to describe what we do as it’s so out there; I generally start be saying think of paint ball but more safe and less expensive. You also have more choice in your equipment than paint ball as you get to customize and modify it yourself.

Chris – Combustible Props
Depends on who im describing it to, for example if its to someone who has no idea id say something like “Its like cheap and accessible paintball”. If it were to someone who had similar interests I’d grab them while shaking them ask “WHY ARENT YOU PLAYING THIS AWESOME GAME YET?” lol

Rolley – Street Tag Warfare
I usually just show them a picture or two of my modded blasters, it’s easier than explaining. I often flaunt my latest gear and quite often I get the reaction of “WOW that’s so cool! how do I do that!”

Mohrlock – West Nerf
I’m not too shy to share my passion for it. It’s kind of hard to hide when I get tagged in photos on Facebook anyways, so most people have seen me pulling “derp” faces holding Nerf blasters many times online *laughs*.

How do I describe the hobby though? I normally let people know that it’s just like any sport, you run around and have objectives or “win conditions” and play all sorts of games. I call it a “community sporting group”, because functionally that’s really what West Nerf is. We just shoot eachother rather than using some kind of ball is all.

Clunk – Clunk Weapons Co
Most of my good mates and family are all aware of the hobby – it’s a bit hard for them not to when my workshop is loaded full of Nerf parts, and there’s about 50 blaster’s hanging off racks on the walls. I wouldn’t say that I flaunt it, but certainly don’t hide it. It’s not a bad ice-breaker when meeting new people either – I think the majority of people are closet Nerf fans!!

Grep – Victoria SLO AN
It’s a strategy game where we use toy guns which launch soft darts to score points. I try to be careful to point out that we’re not gun nuts and careful about safety — we have fewer injuries in a single day than the average football or tennis club.

Some people are interested, some aren’t. That’s ok, I’m not interested in football or cricket; but having a variety of interests gives the guys at work something to talk about during the day.

Winterstrike – SA AN
It’s a sport, same as soccer, football or cricket to me. The second question smacks of condescension, as you would not ask the same question of a tennis, Grand Prix or basketball fan.

Swatsonia – WA SLO AN
Introducing the hobby is always tricky. I always make a point of differentiating it from stock blaster muck-abouts at home, especially if talking to guys about high school/uni age.

Chris – Riverina Dart Tag
Oh, I flaunt the hell out of it. When I am describing it, I tend to describe it as either poor mans paintball, a form of advanced tag with blasters, or just a great excuse to get out and run around with a fun group of people.

Neil – Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag
All of my non-Nerf/HvZ/’battle sports’ friends are aware of my hobbies to some degree. They’re all supportive or at least accepting of it – to my face at least

I tried explaining this stuff to work colleagues once. Once.

Girly Gamer – Nerfenstein
I don’t really describe it, but all my family and friends know I’m into it due to my incessant updates on what I’m working on. My family are fantastic and all involve themselves in different ways. Strangers find it a little strange, I’ve had a cashier in a store say “Who’s the lucky boy” when I’ve bought loads of Nerf, when I’ve replied “I am” for amusements sake, being a woman I’ve had the judgmental look… I just find that a little sad and think it says more about that cashier than it does about me. Keep your inner child alive I say 🙂

AJ – Foam Sports
All of my friends know about it, for me it’s not something to be ashamed of. At the same time, I rarely try and ‘convert’ any of my friends into becoming full on nerfers, as at its present state the hobby/scene requires a lot of commitment to be a part of and I think people need to decide to go down that path themselves rather than being pushed. I’ll happily show my friends some blasters, let them play with some of the cool ones, but I don’t hustle them into joining the war or modding scene etc.

Alex – SOFT
I think I’m 50/50; some people I don’t talk to them about it either due to they wouldn’t understand or be interested, or may be inappropriate. However to the others who do know and understand me… then yeh I guess I do flaunt / get carried away with it 😛 especially my work colleagues; its kind of like a big ongoing joke to everyone (except the boss… who doesn’t seem to know *yet* 😛

Pocket – Urban Taggers
After obvious media exposure early this year, most of my non-nerf friends KNOW about my hobby. I normally just say I’m a toy collector and write a blog about toy guns. Everyone knows me well enough to know this isn’t abnormal behaviour for me:) I don’t flaunt it per se, it’s just something I do and enjoy.

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