Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

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Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby SSCBen » Wed May 25, 2016 12:34 pm

https://www.thestreet.com/story/1358119 ... ffice.html

Particularly of note:

Nerf, which makes a range of toy guns known as blasters that shoot foam projectiles, has been on a tear for Hasbro for over a year. Sales for Nerf rose a solid 13% last year, and jumped by a double-digit percentage again in the first quarter. According to Hasbro, Nerf was the best-performing brand from its vast portfolio.

Explaining the strength in Nerf in an era where kids play Angry Birds for hours on their iPad boils down to a constant stream of innovation for the brand and relatively affordable prices for the blasters.

"It's about the great innovation and really engaged fan base that we call Nerf Nation -- we inspire them to create the kinds of trick shots to get engaged," Hasbro Chairman and CEO Brian Goldner told TheStreet in a Feb. 12 interview.


Super Soaker hasn't seen innovation in a decade or more. If it works for Nerf then maybe it'll work for Super Soaker...

Given the previous intellectual property issues which seem to have made Hasbro avoid anything invented by Lonnie Johnson, I'm slightly optimistic that Buzz Bee Toys will produce better things given that they have no contract with Lonnie Johnson. But only time will tell.

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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby Tim » Wed May 25, 2016 5:06 pm

Hey Ben,

When was the last time you made contact with Buzz Bee Toys?

Are they lurking silently around these forums?

What do you think is or should be the next frontier for them?

VR,

Tim

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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby SSCBen » Wed May 25, 2016 5:33 pm

isoaker has closer contacts with Buzz Bee and probably would be a better person to answer these questions.

I haven't had any contact with Buzz Bee Toys for over a decade as I recall. I sent Big Bee, their CEO, some emails back in 2004 or so. As I recall the questions I asked were mainly about water gun physics, and I was fairly ignorant at the time. But, as I recall, Big Bee was receptive and helpful.

No idea if anyone else from Buzz Bee is lurking on the forums. If they are, it doesn't seem that they use an account registered here. Big Bee doesn't have a last active time, which indicates that he hasn't logged into here since the board was converted to phpBB, which was in 2010 or so as I recall. His last post was in 2007. I searched the members database for any email address associated with Buzz Bee and only found Big Bee. No one from Hasbro.

My guess would be that Buzz Bee is trying to improve blasters but is limited by being in Hasbro's shadow. I recall Big Bee say back in 2004 that he wanted to make water guns which sold in sporting good stores. Others have suggested the same thing as a way to attract older users. But I suppose the fact that this never happened indicates that the idea wouldn't work.

I wish they did some sort of Kickstarter or something to make a relatively small (say, 500 blaster) run of something better. I think people would be willing to pay a considerable amount for better, more durable water guns now.

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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby HBWW » Thu May 26, 2016 8:51 pm

Based on the results of their merger with Alex Brands, I think we might see more interesting things from them in the future. CPS is back and no lawsuit this time (as of yet), and their dart blaster line completely dumps all over Nerf in terms of raw performance and price. Materials and manufacturing sets them back with many customers being superficial (just see the Sentinel reviews that rant endlessly about the build/plastic quality), but it's proven that their lesser manufacturing capabilities can create superior products.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure retailers are buying it up. The Sentinel only appeared at Kmart (and allegedly at some Walmarts but I never seen evidence of this), and even the Gargantua is not covered across many large retailers. I'm not sure that being the budget brand will help enough especially when it comes to water blasters, as it seems like build quality/handling and styling sells the most blasters. Performance and gimmicks seem to be on-par with each other in terms of how well they make things sell, and Nerf has definitely put out their share of gimmicks on recent dart blasters. (However, these gimmicks are doing much better than their gimmicks of the 2003-2012ish era.)

iSoaker doesn't seem to frequent here very often now. My guess is that not only did the community shrink, it has taken on a direction and life of its own well removed from the way he wished its direction would go. True, robust fanbases of a hobby are not tied to products nor branding but to the essence of the hobby itself.

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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby Tim » Fri May 27, 2016 11:21 am

Ben – Perhaps you could initiate a Kickstarter campaign at some point? Even with a run as low as 99, an item like a Catalina low pressure cylinder can drop in price by over 75%!

HBWW – What direction was isoaker hoping for?

VR,

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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby marauder » Fri May 27, 2016 1:58 pm

With the CPS patent expiring BBT could make a limited edition CPS 2000 like blaster...
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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby SSCBen » Fri May 27, 2016 2:34 pm

Tim wrote:Ben – Perhaps you could initiate a Kickstarter campaign at some point? Even with a run as low as 99, an item like a Catalina low pressure cylinder can drop in price by over 75%!


I'd like to do this, but...

The first and most pressing problem with this is that I don't have the time.

Worse, I have no expertise in manufacturing. If I did then the water guns I build would be considerably better. Right now I have no idea where to begin to even do something like that. I'm sure I could figure it out, but again, there's the lack of time.

Also, a while back at SSC I did consider building custom homemade water guns. There was a good amount of interest. In the end none at all sold. I can't remember all the specifics, but a big problem was that people were not willing to pay the cost. It would have been around $200 (then, more now) for many/most of these blasters for me to break even. I could have made these a lot cheaper if I used real manufacturing techniques instead of things like PVC fittings and valves, which can become very expensive in larger sizes.

If we had a really simple CPH that was designed to be as cheap as possible when made in bulk, it might be profitable for someone to make around 10 of them at once and sell them. I think this would be our best bet. But I wouldn't be the right person to do this due to the lack of time. Edit: One thing I *can* do is make a design like this, and let someone else handle commissions. I am planning a CPH and I'll keep this goal in mind.

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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby marauder » Fri May 27, 2016 3:32 pm

With a CNC we could make more pragmatic homemades. I am looking into getting a CNC machine sometime in the future.
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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby Tim » Fri May 27, 2016 4:12 pm

Ben,

Plenty of people drop way more than $200 on airsoft guns & paintball markers. Why are we water folks so cheap?

Is there any chance you could consult or collaborate with Buzz Bee Toys? They would get to sell a bunch of blasters, and you would get to pick up manufacturing experience (paid internship?). As marauder pointed out, it’s on like Donkey Kong for CPS once the patent expires.

Can’t wait to see the CPH you are working on. Is this going to incorporate the new nozzle design you’ve been hinting at?

Lieutenant (1LT/2LT?) marauder,

I know someone who imported a rather large CNC machine from China for wood carving. If you are looking to save money and import something yourself, I can pick that guy’s brain for you. I could also recommend an import company that has employees in China. CNC-machined nozzles would be awesome!

VR,

Tim

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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby isoaker » Fri May 27, 2016 7:32 pm

Tim wrote:Why are we water folks so cheap?

We water folks are not cheap - the enthusiast crowd is too small. I presented the idea of doing a Kickstarter project with BBT - as they are a mass-market company, to be worthwhile, we would need orders of 5000 to 10000 units. Given that number, there's no way I could spare the time to handle the logistics if the project were successful. Instead, BBT is doing what it can to keep performance their priority, but have limitations of the market (and retailers) as a major stumbling block. Most retailers are simply unwilling to carry a water blaster that is sold for more than $20 unless you happen to have the brand of "Super Soaker" as that brand still convinces uninformed consumers to pay $5-$10 in "Super Soaker" tax. To create something like a CPS 2000 again, you'd be looking at a >$60 USD water blaster - while I'm sure everyone on this board would buy one and many others, believe it or not, it probably won't be able to reach selling 5000 to 10000 units nationwide. From my own research, even the Monster XL barely sold ~10000 units.(Update: My memory is incorrect - my notes list the Monster XL selling ~50000 units to retail in 2001, but actual sales to customers was a slower than expected process. The worse thing for a manufacturer is to sell a lot of units to retail, but then have to pay "markdown money" is the products do not actually sell for full retail price in store.) BBT has looked extensively at the market - if they thought they could make a good blaster and it'd sell well, they wouldn't need our community's prompting to do so. Having worked with them for >10 years, I've obtained a deeper understanding of the challenges of the mass retail market.

I also think there is another problem with spontaneous water blaster fights these days - namely, our cell phones/smart phones. Given that most phones don't deal with water well, the thought of suddenly hosing a friend down and frying their phone is only adding to people's reduced enthusiasm over water fights. Nerf/dart guns do not suffer from this limitation and are more immune than water blasters are.

As for my posting frequency, I'm around, but my interests are water blasters. This place's main focus is water warfare. Similar, but different. While I do consult for BBT, I remain brand agnostic when it comes to testing and recommending water blasters, but the path I'm taking towards my goals do not quite align with here. I figure I can function in a complementary fashion in other areas while not wanting to limit how this group wishes to proceed. I will note that all productive ideas and suggestions are passed along. Your voices are heard, but action, unfortunately, is not always possible to the level this community (and myself) would prefer.

Soak on!

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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby marauder » Fri May 27, 2016 9:20 pm

iSoaker, if you want to talk about water blasters here that in no way impedes our ability to talk about water warfare.

We had 14 people at the most recent battle last weekend - and 4 or 5 people brought Gargantuas. There was definite talk about blasters.

isoaker wrote:From my own research, even the Monster XL barely sold ~10000 units.(Update: My memory is incorrect - my notes list the Monster XL selling ~50000 units to retail in 2001, but actual sales to customers was a slower than expected process. The worse thing for a manufacturer is to sell a lot of units to retail, but then have to pay "markdown money" is the products do not actually sell for full retail price in store.) BBT has looked extensively at the market - if they thought they could make a good blaster and it'd sell well, they wouldn't need our community's prompting to do so. Having worked with them for >10 years, I've obtained a deeper understanding of the challenges of the mass retail market.


I always thought of 2001 as the "beginning of the end" for massive sized water blasters and massive quantity of water blasters. I remember row upon row of Monster XLs, Monster Xs, WWF guns, CPS, XPs, and even rereleases, in August-September of 2001; all extremely marked down, and still being too young to be able to buy anything on my own. I remember this extreme sale at Toys R Us where they had Monster XLs for $12. Imagine being able to buy all of that. MXLs were everywhere at that point, I even remember them at some of the drug stores here. Of course, Monster Xs, 3200s, and 2700s were also massive by today's standards.

Fortunately, I'm not actually that nostalgic. It's a great memory, all those guns, testing out new blasters every summer, but in some ways things are better now. Actually, this past weekend, several of us had a good discussion about how now is the golden age. At least, for us.

Speaking of good things in the present. Did you have anything to do with the Gargantua? It's pretty great. The trigger is amazing quick and the body is extremely well balanced. Didn't you have something to do with the development of the Vanquisher? We've actually gained more and more respect for the Vanquisher over time. Chief has actually been choosing it as his primary arm over his 2500, and Gordon used one for every round of this past weekend as well.
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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby SEAL » Fri May 27, 2016 10:29 pm

Nice to see you around isoaker. You can't have a water war without water guns (well, I suppose you can, but it's not the same thing; with water balloons it becomes more like dodgeball), so there will always be blaster discussion here.

I had a thought just earlier today. isoaker, would it be possible to invite the WWN administration to sit in at a BBT board meeting? I'm sure it would be a very interesting and enlightening experience for all of us.
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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby DX » Sat May 28, 2016 12:26 am

Explaining the strength in Nerf in an era where kids play Angry Birds for hours on their iPad boils down to a constant stream of innovation for the brand and relatively affordable prices for the blasters.


Oddly, the NIC more or less takes the exact opposite opinion - that Hasbro's innovation in the Nerf brand has stagnated and their prices have soared out of control. I would be willing to bet that their surge in revenue is more accurately explained by moving from $20-30 top price points to $60-80 top price points (while Buzz Bee has remained in the $20s). Hasbro has discovered that you can rehash an old product and charge 2-3x more for it than the original. That said, there is enough demand that people are snapping this stuff up, so they are doing more than just raising prices.

Good to see you, iSoaker. We definitely still wish to discuss blasters. Blasters and events are not mutually-exclusive subjects. We're just kind of...stuck...in the blaster department. Manufacturers have been unable or unwilling to meet enthusiast needs for such a long period of time that we've been stuck with our vintage products. Thing is, deep down, it's not about size or power, what we really want are quality products that do something better than the competition.

I mean, think about why we still field XP 150s - the range is average, the output is mediocre, refilling is awkward. But, it has unique qualities - the trigger speed, the huge pump, the juicy stream. That, and how they can withstand 20 years and tens of thousands of shots and still be in better internal condition than a 3 month old Waterlord. There are modern blasters in its class that far surpass its stats, but it's the intangibles that still power 150s by them. Buzz Bee still doesn't engineer streams that compare to these two decade old Larami nozzles. Shoot them side-by-side and note the visible difference. Likewise, Buzz Bee's elastic technology doesn't launch streams with the "oomph" of legacy CPS, even when Buzz Bee is using true CPS. Blasters like the Gorgon perform on par with some CPS, but they encounter technical problems and break down. Blasters like the Gargantua perform well, but are missing something...those intangibles of internal engineering and external design that bring on-field success and form bonds between users and blasters that transcend generations.

It's these intangibles that enthusiasts crave most, not high range or output. We've been chasing things we can't get and missed the bigger picture. Now, we've lost things we had. Brand new internals rust, brand new screws rust and strip, triggers stick and pumps lag right out of the box. I love my Waterlord, but I had to lube the valve after just one use. I love my Gorgons, but neither one has a functioning pump. I want to replace my old blasters when better ones come out, but how can I trust them to last or even work properly? Longevity is not a concern of the general consumer base, neither is quality control. But, these are huge enthusiast concerns. Buzz Bee's best product ever imo (Big Blast) was initially botched due to the O-rings being such the wrong size that they didn't even touch the walls of the pump shaft. I only paid like $10 for that, and its air tank is still in service in my 4BR, but still, it should have worked out of the box. This week, I fixed a Cricket that had a wrong sized O-ring. My 2nd favorite Buzz Bee product is the Sentinel, which has soft screws that strip easily, so replacing them with Raider screws is the first thing I do to them. The metal pin that holds the lever in is weakly glued and comes right out, it also bends - it's been replaced with a lathed nail and better adhesive. This isn't meant to be a bash BBT's quality control post, but QC is really a problem, like basic QC relating to the ordinary operation of vital parts.

As an enthusiast user, I will never be perfectly happy with mass-produced consumer toys, but what I expect out of one has shifted to just providing the basics, a product that works out of the box and may still continue to work for years to come. I certainly don't expect 20 years, but I do expect to not see widespread rust in the 3rd month or have to make mint condition fixes for something I paid $20 for. Both Hasbro and Buzz Bee are headquartered in the northeast, we have a proud history of producing high quality products going back to the Industrial Revolution. The superior quality of our goods stunned the western world and put us on the map. It's really sad to watch this heritage rust.
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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby isoaker » Sat May 28, 2016 6:38 am

Duxburian wrote:Good to see you, iSoaker. We definitely still wish to discuss blasters. Blasters and events are not mutually-exclusive subjects. We're just kind of...stuck...in the blaster department. Manufacturers have been unable or unwilling to meet enthusiast needs for such a long period of time that we've been stuck with our vintage products. Thing is, deep down, it's not about size or power, what we really want are quality products that do something better than the competition.


I never stated nor implied that this group wasn't interested in water blaster discussion. As SEAL noted, it is quite difficult to have a water war without a water blaster (balloons and hoses only get you so far). If you are looking deep down for quality products that do something better than the competition, in the retail space, the Water Warriors brand already does that for its upper end water blasters. Success??

The discussions here are, rightfully so, more focused on what water blasters work best for the games you guys play, particularly for group events. That all makes sense. But what would you guys think is the best new water guns this year? What are your top picks?

My feeling is that what members prefer here versus my interests are only partially overlapping.

As for attending a BBT Board Meeting, considering how compressed those are (and factoring in the recent change on ownership), adding in any more non-employees to the meeting would be impossible. I tried to expand who could join in these manufacturer meetings once-upon-a-time, but that backfired in a horrible way and I am now much more cautious on making introductions, but I digress. Beyond that, I am no longer sure how many more I'll be able to attend since things are changing in uncertain ways. What I do have going for me is a good build up of trust and reputation amongst their group; there is no analogous external consultant on their dart blaster side. I'll continue to do what I can to pass along our community's wants, concerns, and desires while I can and try to share my insights. Granted, I've tried to explain challenges of the manufacturing world before.

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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby SEAL » Sat May 28, 2016 1:17 pm

isoaker wrote:But what would you guys think is the best new water guns this year? What are your top picks?

:cool:


That's easy. Gargantua. :p Sadly that's about the only noteworthy blaster released this year. I barely even remember the other ones. I guess Hasbro brought back pressurized guns, but knowing them, they'll scrap it next year in favor of a new gimmick. That seems to be how they work over there. But I have a feeling we'll start to see new and improved CPS blasters from BBT in the future. I think the Gargantua is a sign of things to come. Hopefully they solve the reliability issues that seem to plague their more recent models. Our Vanquisher has been bulletproof so far, and it's seen it's fair share of abuse, so I know they can do it.

I figured as much about the board meeting. Still, it would be cool if we could someday at least meet some of the people in charge of Water Warriors.
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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby marauder » Sat May 28, 2016 1:58 pm

The Gargantua is very good. It's only been a little over 3 months, but mine is still in great shape. There is only 1 thing about the Gargantua that I wish was different, which is that it had a larger PC, even if it was only slightly larger. I am going to nozzle mod the smallest nozzle soon, to give it a nice juicy 4x blast. As for screws, replace them with machine screws! If it helps BBT to save money by using inferior screws, I am ok with that because in February DX and I discovered something so basic that it's really sad we weren't already doing this. Replace your stock screws with machine screws as soon as you get a new gun.

The Waterlord has a really nice stream and the PC size and reservoir size are great. The pump seems to come out rather easily, and it is kind of difficult to maneuver with.

What SEAL said about the Vanquisher (HP version) is true. iSoaker, you still didn't answer whether or not you helped advise that blaster.

I actually have no problem with only 1 blaster coming out per year that is useful for the majority of us here. We already have tons of blasters to use. Would I prefer more than 1 capable primary per year? Absolutely. But mostly I want other people to be interested and to have fun.
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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby SSCBen » Sat May 28, 2016 2:17 pm

Tim wrote:Plenty of people drop way more than $200 on airsoft guns & paintball markers. Why are we water folks so cheap?

Is there any chance you could consult or collaborate with Buzz Bee Toys? They would get to sell a bunch of blasters, and you would get to pick up manufacturing experience (paid internship?). As marauder pointed out, it’s on like Donkey Kong for CPS once the patent expires.

Can’t wait to see the CPH you are working on. Is this going to incorporate the new nozzle design you’ve been hinting at?


Not sure why people who are interested in more powerful water guns are so cheap. I think part of the problem is that manufacturers sell things for $20, so maybe people expect the cost to be around there, not 10 times higher. Another part of the problem is that people might expect to get a lot of use out of paintball markers, but water guns are built less durably and there are usually less people to play with. Both would make playing frequently more difficult.

I'll agree with isoaker, too. It's important to clarify between say, people on WaterWar.net, and people who are interested in more powerful water guns in general. I think many people here would pay $200 or so for a water gun if they knew it was good. But people who post here are more dedicated than the people who emailed me. I recall that most of the interested folks were not members of the forums at the time.

At least some of the CPS patents have expired or else Buzz Bee couldn't have made the Gargantua. I don't know which ones in particular have expired, but I imagine that Buzz Bee is more limited by the price of water blasters they can sell than by technology. For example, there never was any problem with them making something similar to the SS 300, which would be a very welcome addition. Yet, they never did even this.

The CPH design I have in mind would not have any special technology in the way of nozzles, valves, or pressure systems. The goal would be to make a reliable, compact, relatively lightweight, reasonably inexpensive, and high powered water gun using proven technology. What I said in the nozzle thread is not part of this as the ideas involved need to be worked out.

marauder wrote:I remember row upon row of Monster XLs, Monster Xs, WWF guns, CPS, XPs, and even rereleases, in August-September of 2001; all extremely marked down, and still being too young to be able to buy anything on my own. I remember this extreme sale at Toys R Us where they had Monster XLs for $12. Imagine being able to buy all of that. MXLs were everywhere at that point, I even remember them at some of the drug stores here. Of course, Monster Xs, 3200s, and 2700s were also massive by today's standards.


I find this to be very interesting. My first response to that would have been "This is incredible, I need to buy as many as possible." But on second thought, you had to consider why things are like that. If the water guns need to be marked down that much then they must not be selling too well.

There was a similar thing with CPS 2100s at Sports Authorities in 2004. I can't remember precisely, but there were tons of them and I think they were selling for around $7. I guess Sports Authority bought too many CPS 2100s and wanted to get rid of them.

Duxburian wrote:Oddly, the NIC more or less takes the exact opposite opinion - that Hasbro's innovation in the Nerf brand has stagnated and their prices have soared out of control. I would be willing to bet that their surge in revenue is more accurately explained by moving from $20-30 top price points to $60-80 top price points (while Buzz Bee has remained in the $20s). Hasbro has discovered that you can rehash an old product and charge 2-3x more for it than the original. That said, there is enough demand that people are snapping this stuff up, so they are doing more than just raising prices.


Nothing you've said I disagree with, but I think you and I are using the word "innovation" in different senses. Hasbro has introduced a lot of new types of blasters, e.g., flywheel blasters were limited to off brands in the early 2000s as far as I know, but they have a significant following now. I think Hasbro stagnated more recently, yes, by over the past decade there have been major innovations which definitely have contributed to the expansion of the market. And once the demand is there, they can increase the price, etc.

Most of the new types of water blasters we've seen since the early 2000s have been from Buzz Bee Toys. For example, consider prechargers and diaphragms. But I don't really think of these as major innovations, as they seem to have been attempts to make a CPS competitor without using CPS patents, and they never were better than or even very different from CPS. Hasbro has had some interested ideas too (using cold water is one) but most of their ideas have been basically gimmicks like the Hydroblade.

Duxburian wrote:I mean, think about why we still field XP 150s - the range is average, the output is mediocre, refilling is awkward. But, it has unique qualities - the trigger speed, the huge pump, the juicy stream. That, and how they can withstand 20 years and tens of thousands of shots and still be in better internal condition than a 3 month old Waterlord. There are modern blasters in its class that far surpass its stats, but it's the intangibles that still power 150s by them. Buzz Bee still doesn't engineer streams that compare to these two decade old Larami nozzles. Shoot them side-by-side and note the visible difference. Likewise, Buzz Bee's elastic technology doesn't launch streams with the "oomph" of legacy CPS, even when Buzz Bee is using true CPS. Blasters like the Gorgon perform on par with some CPS, but they encounter technical problems and break down. Blasters like the Gargantua perform well, but are missing something...those intangibles of internal engineering and external design that bring on-field success and form bonds between users and blasters that transcend generations.


I think some of this comes down to the age groups the companies are targeting. In the 90s, my guess is that Larami assumed that older kids would be using the water guns too. The water guns made now frequently have bad ergonomics for anyone older than 12. And I imagine the power is limited by cost and the strength of the users, so if you're designing for a 12 year old, the blaster will be weaker than if you're designing for a teenager or adult.

Also, I've read some people suggest that bladders get stronger as they age. This might be true for age alone, but I strongly doubt it's true with use. Use only wears out the bladder best I can tell. The age factor might help explain why Buzz Bee's true CPS line seems underpowered.

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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby marauder » Sat May 28, 2016 8:18 pm

I'm not so sure that Super Soaker's new guns have poor ergonomics for older users. The target audience is younger than nerf, yes, and younger than it was around the turn of the century; but in my experience, the new guns have improved somewhat over the last 2-3 years at least in terms of having more space for bigger hands.
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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby SSCBen » Sun May 29, 2016 7:24 pm

I was thinking about the Tornado Scream, which at least iSoaker indicates has lousy handles. Though he does not complain about the size of the handle, so you're right.

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Re: Nerf is "best-performing brand" at Hasbro

Postby isoaker » Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:19 pm

When it comes to creating water blasters that the WWn community would prefer, the biggest stumbling block is the general upper limit of $20 for non-"Super Soaker"-branded water blasters. BBT's forays into slightly more expensive water blasters have resulted in fairly flat returns. Making a new product only to break even in sales is problematic for a company. One needs profits to cover costs when other products end up costing more than they bring in. To make the sort of blasters members here are seeking, retail price would need to be at least in the $30-$40 range which, again, just would not be supported by the larger consumer market. If anyone here can guarantee sales of 10000 units (with the money to back that guarantee up), I'll happily help with getting that desired product made. Manufacturers can, obviously, make better products, but they cost more and the general consumer simply isn't willing to pay the price - you hear a lot of talk from people wanting water blasters to perform like the used to, but sales figures for better performing water blasters just don't match this supposed demand. People talk of their desires, but not enough actually commit to the purchase.

Update: and anyone who thinks BBT just needs to run more commercials, while it would be helpful, you really need ~$1 Million to get a decent advertisement out; if your sales generally do not pull that level of profit in, video advertising just is not an option.

As for blasters I've gotten to influence, I've been able to help steer the direction of many products after I began helping them out with their website back in 2006. One day, I'll go into more detail on particular models I had the opportunity to help more substantially on. The reason I don't talk about it much is that I like seeing/reading what the community things of the various water blasters without potential bias introduced if my involvement in its development was known. Besides, I'm probably one of the few who still continues to test other brands of water blasters, looking to see if anyone else is making a good water blaster. I try to separate my fondness for my own creations from my desire to seek out the best performing water blasters available.

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