The new N-Strike Elite series blasters adopts the orange-blue colour schemes of the preceding N-Strike Longstrike and Raider blasters.
Seen below with the Raider, both blasters look much the same from casual inspection. Afterall, the Rampage re-uses the Raider mold with design improvements internally to provide the Elite range, speed, accuracy and rate of fire.
Outdoor test firing the Rampage using Elite darts yielded ranges between 50ft / 15m to 60ft / 18m when firing parallel to ground. Firing angled up from ground scored 60ft / 18m to 90ft / 27m. Slam-firing results were between 55ft / 17m to 80ft / 24m. So the 75ft / 23m ranged claimed is indeed achievable.
How much do the new Elite darts actually contribute to range? Testing them in a Raider yielded range around 50ft / 15m, about 10ft / 3m more than using Streamline darts. Unfortunately the dark blue colour of the new darts make them a tad harder to find amongst the park grass, moreso once sunlight gets dim so Elite darts are not recommended for night-time outdoor games.
If you notice something different with the vest in the background of the photos above, you are indeed correct as our NERF Specialists also got hold of the new N-Strike Elite Tactical Vest! Main differences with its precedessor is that this vest uses velcro straps instead of zipper, and replaces the holster with another ammo clip strap and plastic snap hook style clip to hang small blasters or other gear.
The Elite vest set includes new darts for the 2 standard ammo clips, of which 1 side in translucent plastic. Back of the new vest has (sadly) removed the sleeve of N-Force melee "weapons".
Test out the N-Strike Elite Rampage and other new blasters at the upcoming NERF Dart Tag Tournament next weekend on 8 & 9 September 2012.
NERF and associated product trade names are copyright to Hasbro Inc.