A former flagship makes a case for keeping its crown.
All things considered, the Nerf N-Strike Elite Rapidstrike CS-18 is largely considered to be one of the best engineered–and most readily modifiable–Nerf Elite products to-date. Brought to market in September of 2013, it was widely seen as the successor to the Stampede ECS, but with several key upgrades. The Rapidstrike CS-18 was found to shoot faster, farther, and generally more consistently than its predecessor, and had a gearbox that was more reliable, less complicated, and had fewer mechanical parts. The Rapidstrike was also lighter in weight, easy to modify, and it felt great to use. Fast-forward to 2014, when Hasbro introduced the world to the Nerf Cam ECS-12, a blaster that looked curiously like the Rapidstrike, but featured a built-in camera and a claimed range of up to 85 feet. At an $80 price point, speculation began that the Nerf Cam ECS-12 was being softly positioned as the new “flagship” blaster of the Elite line. So, as we outlined in Part 1 of this head-to-head review, we decided to put the Nerf Came ECS-12 up against the standard-bearing Rapidstrike CS-18 and find out for ourselves.
First it was $79.99, then it was $59.99, now it’s just $45.99!
Back in July we reported that the new-for-2014 Nerf Combat Creatures Terradrone had been spotted at Kmart for the reduced price of $59.99, which was a significant $20 drop versus the original announced price of nearly $80. Now it seems the cuts are going even deeper, as Blaster Labs reader Ralph W. tipped us to the fact that Hasbro is listing the Terradrone at an all-time low of $45.99!
Rhino-Fire to be available exclusively at Walmart on Saturday, November 1, 2014!
Thanks to our friends at Hasbro’s public relations firm, we now know the exact release date of the highly-anticipated Nerf N-Strike Elite Rhino-Fire. The short version is that the Rhino-Fire will be available for pre-order on October 1, 2014, with an in-store availability of November 1, 2014.
Can the new Nerf “flagship” blaster unseat the current king of the Elite?
On paper, the idea of adding a video camera to a Nerf blaster makes all the sense in the world. With GoPro-style videos all the rage, why not add a camera to capture some epic foam battles? And why not have said camera replace the traditional targeting scope to give this blaster some cool, new functionality? Build a zillion, sell ‘em at Christmas, make a bundle, done. Or so it would seem. But the reality of Hasbro’s $79.99 Nerf Cam ECS-12 dream started sinking-in not long after the initial announcement back in January, when Hasbro’s then most expensive blaster to-date received a lukewarm public response, stirred by implications that it was little more than a combination of Stryfe internals in a Rapidstrike CS-18-esque shell with a sub-par camera thrown-in for good measure. So now that we have a Nerf Cam ECS-12 on hand, we decided to put it up against its doppelganger and the former range-topper of the Elite line, the Rapidstrike CS-18. Let the battle begin.
Promoting our fellow bloggers while extending coverage for our readers.
Some of you may have noticed a new addition to our site called “Best of the Rest,” which can be found in the small box just above our “Recent Posts” column on the right-hand side. We wanted to take a moment to explain this new component, as we feel it’s an important feature that both our readers and fellow bloggers should know about. We also want to make sure there’s not any confusion about what it means, or why it has been added.