With sincere thanks to our friends at Hasbro, we're pleased to provide readers with this exclusive reveal of the all-new, Nerf N-Strike Modulus Battlescout ICS-10 blaster! A nicely styled, mid-sized model, the Battlescout features several innovative twists--not the least of which is a new, integrated clip system. And as the Nerf Modulus line continues to expand, the benefits of a modular blaster concept are also becoming more and more clear, with the new Battlescout offering a removable camera that shoots in true, 720p, HD!
Following is the official description from Hasbro, followed by our analysis:
(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $69.99/Available: Fall 2016)
Dominate the battlefield and record every victory with the NERF N-STRIKE MODULUS BATTLESCOUT ICS-10 Blaster! Featuring a high definition MODULUS camera, this 10-dart integrated clip-fed blaster captures the excitement of every mission. Share videos and photos of battles with friends to see who has the best shot! Includes detachable 720p HD camera and 10 MODULUS darts. Available at most major retailers nationwide and HasbroToyshop.com.
The most obvious feature of the Battlescout ICS-10 is the detachable, HD camera. But that's selling the Battlescout short, as it's the first Nerf products since the Nerf Dart Tag days to include an integrated clip system (hence the "ICS"). Whether this is a pro or con depends on your play style and personal preferences.
By eliminating detachable, external clips (or magazines), the Battlescout forgoes the need to carry half-a-dozen or more extra clips. Of course, the same can be said of any non-clip system blaster, but the Battlescout meets somewhere in the middle--no need to reload after every shot or two, but also no immediate ammo reloading via spare clips.
The Nerf N-Strike Modulus Battlescout ICS-10 blaster is also battery-free, meaning those who like "springers" (and the upgrade potential therein) will have something new to consider. And not requiring batteries means a lighter overall blaster, with no need to worry about battery replacement. The tactical-rail mounted camera will require batteries, of course, to the tune of 4 "AAA" cells.
Speaking of cameras, the Battlescout is also notable for being only the second Nerf blaster to feature a camera (not counting cell phone mounts or non-blaster, "Nerf" re-branded items from Sakar). The first blaster to feature a camera was the N-Strike Elite Nerf Cam ECS-12, which was introduced in 2014 to lukewarm reviews. The Nerf Cam concept was interesting, but the built-in camera was plagued by a resolution of just 480p, poor audio quality due to the whirring of the blaster to which it was integrated, and retailed at a lofty $80 price point. The Nerf Cam blaster itself was good, but the camera wasn't, and the two could not be purchased separately.
But with the Battlescout ICS-10, the Nerf team at Hasbro has fixed all that. Not only does the new camera record in 720p HD video quality (which, let's be honest, doesn't need to be 4k for the kinds of videos we're talking about), it's also completely removable, so you can put it on whatever tac rail-equipped Nerf blaster you like--or presumably use it without any blaster at all.
They've also mounted it to a non-flywheel blaster this time around, so there are no motor noises to work about. And it comes in at a price point that is lower by $10 than its forbear.
All things considered, the Nerf N-Strike Modulus Battlescout ICS-10 has some interesting things going for it, with its introduction of a new, internal clip system, and the completely removable HD video camera. The price still swings to the high-end for a Nerf product (adding an HD video camera will do that), but the value equation is certainly stronger than it was for the Nerf Cam ECS-12--particularly with the built-in modularity. Consider us officially excited for the release of the Battlescout ICS-10 this fall. And in the meantime, look for our hands-on impressions of the Battlescout from Toy Fair in a few weeks!