Next-Gen Nerf: Pomp and Firepower with the Stampede

By Will Greenwald

Last night in Manhattan, Hasbro showed off its newest and arguably most impressive Nerf gun, the Stampede ECS.

Last night in Manhattan, Hasbro held a promotional Nerf party, bringing together various members of the press to look at the company's upcoming lineup. Specifically, Hasbro showed off its newest and arguably most impressive Nerf gun, the Stampede ECS.  
The Stampede is a Nerf assault rifle that uses a motor system powered by 6 D batteries to fire foam darts without cocking or pumping. It's hardly the first fully automatic Nerf gun; a few years ago, Hasbro released the Vulcan EBF-25, a belt-fed, optional-tripod-mounted machine gun. The Stampede is smaller, lighter, and more mobile, and adds a few new features. Instead of a belt, the gun uses Nerf's N-Strike Clip System magazines, making reloading much faster. Standard N-Strike magazines carry only 6 darts, but the Stampede will come with three extended magazines that can hold 18. The rifle also includes a detachable gun shield for blocking enemy shots, and a foregrip that can deploy into a bipod for mounted emplacements.  



Admittedly, these are still toys, and are generally marketed to kids and teenagers. However, the product line has found popularity among adults in offices and at social activities. Nerf guns have sparked an entire past-time of cubicle warfare in open-minded offices, and spawned an entire generation of enterprising "modders" who alter their Nerf guns for aesthetics and performance. The " Great Office War" video on YouTube became an Internet sensation, and Harcos Labs, the creators of Mana Potion energy shots, found some fame with their Nerf Vulcan chaingun modification.  
For more information on Nerf warfare and a more detailed look at the products Hasbro showed off last night, please visit my video game news site, Aggrogate. We have a semi-regular " Cube Warfare" feature that covers Nerf guns and similar products. 
Photos courtesy of the author.