Yeah, that's quick. Actually, quite a lot changed, but only really on the foam side of things. Buzz Bee under Alex Brands clearly recieved a huge infusion of resources in their dart blasters. They completely overhauled their mag system, going from shells in ugly staircase mags to 20rd standard mags that are interchangeable with most nerf blasters. Their Ultra Tek line of high performance blasters set a higher bar than Hasbro's elite line, where you have stock Sentinels shooting over 100 FPS with some types of darts without modification. They've tried cool concepts like the Monorail, where you load darts shotgun style, and the Thermal Hunter, with a heatseeking scope and front pump action. They also went from having ugly, green sticky head darts to magfed darts, some of which are extremely aerodynamic like the new B2P2s.
As for activity, Buzz Bee went to ToyFair and interacted with the community, but it feels like they haven't done much due to competition in big box stores. Swimways ate their lunch at Target and I dunno what's going down with Walmart. The only place I can find a full lineup of their offerings is at Kmart, and that's rapidly going out of business / closing locations.
Now that they are independent again, my obvious fear is that they won't have the resources to continue pushing the envelope in dart blasters. Returning to active production of good water guns is probably unlikely if they retreat on that front, so we'll just have to wait and see.
marauder wrote:You have to explain things in terms that kids will understand, like videogames^ That's how I got Sam to stop using piston pumpers