The Nerf Stampede is a fully automatic, battery-powered dart assault rifle.
Hasbro has been hyping a mysterious new Nerf gun for months, cryptically talking about "9-9-10" as the release date but saying little else. Last night, at a bar in midtown Manhattan, the company finally showed off this new weapon, and it looks like the wait was worth it.
The Nerf Stampede is a fully automatic, battery-powered dart assault rifle. If the Nerf Vulcan is Hasbro's answer to the M2 Browning, the Stampede is the company's answer to the M16. The rifle uses 6 D batteries, just like the Vulcan, but it's compatible with the Nerf Clip System. In fact, the rifle will come with three new, 18-shot extended magazines, offering much more firepower than the standard 6-shot magazines. Unfortunately, I couldn't confirm whether the Stampede would work with the heavier 35-shot drum magazine that comes with the Nerf Raider.
Besides the full-auto fire and three extra-long magazines, the Stampede will feature a detachable shield and a foregrip that can deploy a bipod for mounted emplacements. Both accessories use Nerf's N-Strike accessory rail, so they should be compatible with any Nerf gun with a similar rail.
The price is going to be the big hitch. The whole package of rifle, magazines, shield, and grip/bipod will retail for a pricey $50, making it the most expensive Nerf gun currently available. That said, based on the time I had with the Stampede, it might just be worth it. It offers the full-auto action of the Vulcan in a much more mobile and versatile package.
While the Stampede is the only new Nerf gun (not counting clear plastic versions of old models), Hasbro also showed off some new melee weapons. Starting in the fall, for $20 each you'll be able to grab the Mace or Stonewall Shield set. The Mace is a huge, three-flanged mace with the same covered-in-foam-but-hard-enough-to-sting shaft as the Warlock axe. The Stonewall Shield is a pretty neat plastic-and-foam shield with a seemingly useless dagger accessory.
Hasbro will also be selling a new Nerf tactical vest, which can hold four magazines, plenty of darts, and even a sword. On one hand, it's probably a very useful piece of equipment in Nerf warfare. On the other hand, if you're over twelve years old and you wear it, you might as well change your life's motto to, "Don't worry, ma'am. I'm from the Internet."