December 7, 2014

Toy of the Year Awards Candidates

Every year, the Toy Industry Association (a non-profit that lobbies on behalf of all member toy companies) holds a Toy of the Year competition. Essentially, it's the Oscars of their particular industry. And we have some relevant products among the finalists, if you care enough to vote for them!

Per the Toy of the Year website:
Representatives from any toy-related company are eligible to nominate products and/or properties for the TOTY award categories.

Submitted nominations contain detailed explanations of the product’s play value, creativity/originality, application of new technology, creative manufacturing processes, commentary on how the product is meeting marketplace expectations, and details of outstanding, unusual and/or creative execution of artwork, product/package design, and promotional strategy.  
An unlimited number of products may be submitted per award category, but no more than two products from the same company may appear in an award category on the finalist list.

December 3, 2014

Outsourced: Indian Company Copying Nerf

We've all seen the various flywheel blasters and near perfect copies of blasters coming out of China. Companies like Zecong Toys regularly produce these blasters, often from the same molds as the original blaster products. India, however, seems to have taken this process even further by copying Hasbro's branding strategy to the letter. Meet Mitashi Edutainment Pvt Ltd!

Mitashi's Bang! line of blasters consists of many existing blaster knockoffs, with some recoloring. They were introduced as a promotion for the Bollywood movie "Bang Bang!" in October 2014. More importantly, they have their own versions of the Nstrike and Rebelle brands (Strikers and Electra, respectively).

November 26, 2014

Zuru Xshot Pink Series Review

Zuru's Xshot brand of blasters has done remarkably well, considering their outsider status in the toy blaster universe. Nerf is always the sure bet to be on shelves, followed by Buzz Bee Toys. Even the newer BoomCo blasters have the backing of Mattel behind them. Even so, Zuru has managed to expand their sales to involve some major US store chains - Target, Kmart, ToysRUs, Kroger, Family Dollar, Dollar General. This list goes on, and it's been nice to see the blasters proliferate.

Oh look! These girls are so happy!

Zuru has also been expanding their line, albeit with simple changes in plastic color. White shells for the Zombie blasters, Yellow for the Excel blasters, and the Pink Series, our focus today.There are only two blasters, the Angel Fire (a girly Stalker dart bow) and the Mini (just a pink Micro blaster). But both of them perform well, and are well worth the price if you find them!

November 23, 2014

Lanard "Huntsman" Auto Scout Review

When Lanard brought out their Huntsman line of blasters, one item was seemingly absent in the US. Just two days ago, however, I found the Huntsman Auto Scout in a combo pack at Ollie's Bargain Outlet (somewhat like Big Lots). Finally, I can examine it myself and give my thoughts!

November 20, 2014

Prime Time Toys Talon Review

 Prime Time Toys introduced a new line of blasters this fall, under the Dart Zone: Covert Ops name. With the exception of the Scorpion (a stellar blaster in its own right, possibly the year's best new blaster according to BlasterLabs), all the blasters can be found at Sports Authority. The store closest to me finally got the blasters in stock, which allows me to review the other completely new blaster, the Talon!