Hasbro has been on an all-out blitz to get their Modulus series of Nerf blaster products in front of consumers. But when we first get our hands on the Modulus ECS-10 blaster and a collection of Modulus component accessories, we were underwhelmed. For its part, the Modulus ECS-10 core blaster kit ($49.99) is being promoted as “a whole arsenal in one blaster,” with over 30 blaster combinations possible from the core blaster and its bundled accessories.
But if you stock-up on all the Modulus Upgrade kits and individual accessories ($7.99-$11.99), over 1,000 unique blaster configurations are possible. In theory, it sounds like every child and every Nerf fan’s dream come true. In reality, The Modulus blaster itself was very similar in functionality to the much older (and far less expensive) Nerf N-Strike Elite Stryfe, and the available accessories added little in the way of useful functionality. In addition, the Upgrade Kits were initially only available as bundles, forcing consumers to purchase items they may or may not want. Fortunately for Hasbro, that’s not the end of the story, and our initial misgivings about Nerf Modulus have given way to a more optimistic look at the line. Two additional Modulus blasters highlight our change of opinion: the Nerf Modulus Recon MKII, and the Nerf Modulus IonFire.
During a recent trip to Hasbro headquarters in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, we met with folks on the Nerf team responsible for the Modulus series, and learned a few interesting things.
For starters, Modulus accessories are now be available for individual purchase via an exclusive agreement with Amazon.com. In addition--and perhaps of most importance--it was made clear that the Nerf team was continuing to invest in development for the Modulus platform. And while we can't yet reveal all of what we learned, Hasbro recently unveiled the Nerf Modulus Recon MKII and Nerf Modulus IonFire, both of which are clear indicators that Hasbro isn't about to let Modulus languish on retailer shelves as a mere curiosity in the blaster space.
Here are the official details of the two additional, core Modulus blasters:
Nerf Modulus Recon MKII Blaster ($29.99)
Reconfigure your battles with the Nerf Modulus Recon MKII Blaster! This thrilling gun has six darts and an ammo clip, plus places to connect even more fun parts. Ages 8 and up. Shoots darts up to 90 feet.
Nerf Modulus IonFire Blaster ($18.99)
Reconfigure your battles with the Nerf Modulus IonFire Blaster! This thrilling gun has four darts.
What does this mean for the future of Nerf? It's clear to us that the Nerf team at Hasbro sees the concept of accessorizing blasters as an idea whose time has come. Consumer feedback told them kids wanted more customization options for their blasters, and the Nerf team has been listening. So while the initial models in the Modulus series are, for all intents and purposes, fairly straightforward re-shells of existing blasters, we believe this was merely a stop-gap on the way toward more creative blasters with accessory options beyond what any of us are expecting. And if Modulus is a success, we wouldn't be surprised to see the blaster accessorizing concept rolled out to other Nerf products (we could certainly see Modulus-branded Nerf MEGA products as a logical next, for instance).
And for enthusiasts, just know that the Nerf team at Hasbro has heard your cries for more functional accessories, and these are being considered.
So if you're on the fence about Modulus like we were initially, it's time to consider making the jump. For parents or even enthusiasts who are looking for maximum value in a toy blaster, Modulus might not seem like a logical choice, but given the myriad of upgrade options available both now and in the future, the initial investment in a core blaster doesn't seem too steep. And now that the Modulus Recon MKII and Modulus IonFire blasters have been added to the line at lower price-points, jumping into the Modulus ecosystem just got a whole lot easier.