The Demolisher 2-in-1 isn't the only badass blaster Nerf is releasing this year. Say hello to the N-Strike Elite CS-12 CAM Blaster. In the past, Nerf's messed around with iPhone attachments that turn the phone into a heads-up display, but this year, it's double downing on video recording by integrating a camera and screen right into the blaster.
From a shooting standpoint, the CAM Blaster is pretty standard stuff. It has the familiar white, orange and gray paint job it's battery powered, which means firing foam ammo from its 12-dart clip is as easy as pressing and holding the trigger. as always, the Elite darts are capable of reaching 90 feet (real-world elements such as wind resistance will affect that).
That's all fine and dandy, but the main attractions are the built-in 1.77-inch color LCD and camera — a first for any Nerf blaster. Why would you want a camera on your Nerf blaster? For bragging rights, duh. Who doesn't want to record their foam rampage?
The screen is located right where a scope would normally be and just below it are four buttons for controlling playback and media deletion. The camera is right above the barrel, and while it doesn't take HD videos (only 0.3-megapixels/20fps), Hasbro says the bundled in 4GB SD card will store 2,000 photos and three hours of recorded video. The screen isn't particularly sharp, either, but it's good-enough for reviewing photos and videos…if you're a kid. And let's face it, kids don't care about Retina displays or pixels per inch.
Running and gunning isn't easy. Running, gunning and recording is even tougher. So we appreciate the placement of the start/stop shutter button for recording video and taking photos: on the forestock (that little orange pill-shaped button).
We can't judge the CAM Blaster since we only got to play briefly with a prototype model, but there's a certain charm to the low-res screen and camera. Being able to put a digital crosshair on your mark via the screen adds a sense of immersion. One thing we will say, though: the built-in screen and camera sure beats attaching a heavy iPhone onto the tactical rail.
Just like the Demolisher, you'll have to wait until the Fall to snag an Elite CAM Blaster for $79.99.
(All photos by Raymond Wong for DVICE.)