Plain and simple, Buzz Bee can not stand around and let Nerf step all over them. In this article, I’ll tell you why this battle needs to happen, and how Buzz Bee can further their cause and close the already large gap between these two large companies.
If Buzz Bee wants to win this battle, it will be extremely difficult. Nerf has been around for about 40 years now with a wide array of popular items. However Buzz Bee does not need to win, it only needs to make this a competition. As fans and users of both of these brands blasters, we want Buzz Bee to give Nerf this competition. If your a basketball fan, we want it to be Lakers vs. Celtics. If your into cars, Mitsubishi vs Subaru. You want more choices and more blasters when you go to the store. It gives your options, more fun, and more to look forward to. For these brands and the store owners, they make more money.
However, Buzz Bee needs to do some things before this can happen, lets take a look at them.
1. First off Buzz Bee needs to make more, better performing blasters. They have some decent ones such as the Tek 6, Tek 10, Beserker/Barbarian, the Ultimate Rapid Blast, and I think thats about it. Thats not very many at all. Also if you count the number of blaster they came out with in 2010, few come to mind. I can only think of the Hunter, 3 Ultimate Blaster system blasters, and that Banana Clip fed Blaster. I wouldn’t count the Beserker/Barbarian remake. Nerf on the other hand has had how many come out this year? 3 Exclusives, (Alpha Trooper, Barrel Break, Spectre) Stampede, Barricade, Deploy, Long Strike, and lets not even forget about their Melee weapons,Tactical Vest, Fast Load Dart Tag Sleeve, and Bandolier Kit.
What also helped is that Nerf released a lot of old blasters in their clear forms to promote their Stampede coming on 9/9/10. And now they have them coming in Sonic Green. Simply put, Nerf has a good amount of items, and Buzz Bee not so much.
2. At the same time Nerf has been pushing the exceptions of their own company by releasing items such as the Raider and Stampede, with there 35 round drum and 18 dart clips. In order to stay in this battle Buzz Bee needs to innovate, which is must easier said then done. Their fly wheel Tommy 20 blaster and ammo case pictured above were solid new ideas. How ever it seemed that Nerf took their ideas and improved on them. Nerf’s fly wheel blaster is the Barricade and their ammo pouch carries Nerf accessories, up to 50 darts, it is bigger, and comes with exclusive ammo. At the same time watch out, because Nerf sued Buzz Bee and Lanard earlier this year.
3. This brings me to my next points, variety, exclusives, and support. Nerf has the Dart Tag line to supplement their N-Strike line. Their blasters often come with exclusive items, such as the Raider drum on the Raider. I’ve bought two Raiders, one last year for the 9/9/09 special day, and the other was a Clear Raider that was about $22 with a coupon from Target. It was clear and cheap, how could I resist? See what I mean with exclusives? Also, my normal six shot clips and 18 dart Stampede clips can be used with the Raider. It also has a Tactical Rail to attach attachments such as sights or lights. Nerf’s Tactical Rail and Clip system allows it to easily support old and new products, and exclusives allows them to make more money.
The only thing close that I’ve seen from Buzz Bee is the Clip Tek. Released in 2009, I didn’t even know about it until I saw the newer, green version in stores.
Older color, thanks to Nerf For Nothing, uses the same clips and shells from the Rapid Fire Rifle
4. I’ve pretty much heard of all the Nerf stuff coming out this year, and you know why? The power is the Internet. Nerf has their own website, a Youtube channel, a Facebook account, their on twitter, and have a tumblr to boot. Buzz Bee Toys has their site, and a hardly used or updated Youtube channel. Nerf also does press releases, releasing info to forums and the internet. I don’t think Buzz Bee does this as all. I only hear about new Blasters because I go to stores or see other people post about them online. Get more active online! Talk to the Buzz Bee users like Nerf does, start a Facebook account and release information there. Go tweet about a secret blaster your working on. Get a voice online Buzz Bee.
5. Last thing, try and improve the look and design of your blasters Buzz Bee. They look a lot like kids toys, which they are, but I’m sure older kids want their blasters to look cool. And when your in the same aisle as Nerf, you gotta stand out.
So re-caping what Buzz Bee needs:
More Blasters, and support them
More Marketing Power using the Internet
Improve design and Look
Don’t get me wrong, I love Buzz Bee. The Rapid Fire Rifle and Tommy 20 were the first dart blasters my best friend and I ever bought in mid 2009. This is just some tough love from a fan. Lets hope for a good year in 2011, both for Nerf and Buzz Bee.