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    Tokyo Marui P38 Model Cap Firing Gun

    Five years since the release of the MAT Arrow 1, the supercar boom took place with Tokyo Marui releasing model car kits, such as the 1/24 Porsche Carrera RSR Turbo that is used by the Le Mans 1974 Team Martini and the BMW 3.0 CSL that won the Grand Prize in model car design for that year.

    Other model car kits they produced were the Nissan Fairlady 260ZG Racing, Ferrari 312T, Mclaren M23, and many more. They are motor-powered even if these are "plamodels". Many children got carried away with setting up "plamodels". Nowadays, these are collector items with those unopened kits fetching good prices online.

    Mr. Shimamura gets a flashback on how they sold their toy car models:

    We were not only just making and selling, we also had different packaging ideas. For example, most of the box of plastic toy cars that cost JPY500 were of the same size at that time; but only the boxes of Marui toy cars were twice bigger.  We thought that this will make kids feel happy. For the same price of JPY500, the kids would be more than happy to choose the bigger one. If the car was of the same size but used big box, the cost will be high. However, Marui chose the big box. Because we saw things through children’s eyes and with that, we grabbed the children’s hearts.

    I have vaguely understood Marui’s company culture and their mind from a child. My friend likes other companies, but I like Marui. Because Marui is different from others and have originality.

    Another thing apart from the bigger box, Marui made "plamodels" that included paint and "plamodels" with selectable wheels. With paint included, the cost will be high. Other companies saved on costs and earned money. Marui thought that even though the cost is high, they still wanted kids to be happy with such options. They have a passion not only about product making but also about selling products that provide more value.

    When other companies made "plamodels" powered by one dry cell, Marui’s toys needed 2 or 4 dry cells. When our racing toy car crashed into the wall, it suddenly switched off and stopped the motor, but I also remember other companies' products, broken parts fly off at the impact of crashing into the wall before switching off.

    In 1978, a second factory was established in Chiba prefecture. In this year, something shook the hobby industry --- the arcade game “Space Invaders” sold by Taito. Many people, especially university students to adults were fascinated by it and the atmosphere in the gaming world shifted to playing games individually. Later,  the appearance of the Nintendo Family Computer definitely changed how games are played personally. The playing field has been changed and dramatically shifted to the TV screen with the appearance of video games. The "plamodels" were played by kids passionately, but with the change, these were then treated more as collector's items.

    Tokyo Marui tried many ways to stay relevant, even to lower the price of the toys, as it is important for their policy that“toys must move and toys must be played.” At that time, the situation of the "plamodel" changed to being collectors' items; if they keep making on making "plamodels", their production would be in conflict with their policy. Feeling the pinch of such change in gaming, they started researching for “the hobby that can be played more passionately more than plamodel.”  With that in mind, they found model guns.

    In 1979, they released their first model gun, the 44 Automag. This is a plastic model gun that can be assembled and played. After following the assembly instructions, it can be played with gunpowder. Before they were finished with the series, they encountered many difficulties.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui .44 Automag Model Cap Gun)

    In one story, they first tried a blowback P38 model, producing a prototype that they spent a great cost on only to break into pieces after only one shot. The blowback gives the model gun's body a massive shock effect, even if the  prototype's blowback intensity was low for a plastic model gun.

    A "plamodel"blowback gun is impossible, somebody said. But Marui persisted and with continued with the trial and error process, the company finally achieved success in producing a “model cap gun” with the blowback function.

    Before they released their first model gun, the finished fully assembled model guns from other companies were priced over JPY10,000. However, the Marui "plamodel" can be bought for JPY2,000 to JPY3,000. At such a reasonable price, fun to assemble as a "plamodel" and with  enjoyable blowback motion, the series became big hit.

    The production of the Colt Python Hunter .357 model cap gun which was a long revolver with an attached scope was influenced by an on-air action movie. It proved to be a hit that even after the movie finished its run, Tokyo Marui received customer requests to still sell them.  More model cap guns were released after the Python Hunter .357.

    But their big impact on the toy gun industry does not happen until 6 years later.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui Colt Python Hunter .357 Model Cap Gun)

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui Model Cap Guns)

    (Photos: Tokyo Marui Magnum Model Cap Guns)

    (Photos: Tokyo Marui Colt Government M1911A1 Model Cap Gun)

    The company still built 1/24 toy model cars that were big hits, especially the 1/24 Lamborghini Countach was considered to be a masterpiece even now. The highly detailed reproduction of the cockpit, the gimmick of steering the front tire that coordinates handling, realistic detail of headlight and tail lamp blinking, dashboard instruments, with the unique way of opening the door and then closing it seamlessly to the car body, only Marui was able to do these when compared to competitors.

    This was the peak of Marui "plamodel" car, afterwards that they have not produced another series of "plamodel"cars.

    As they entered RC's golden era which started in 1983 up to 1988, they released their first 1/12 radio controlled monster truck model, the Big Bear Datsun. The Big Bear set the big wheels craze that other manufacturers followed.

    Marui and Tamiya were often compared against each other with the Marui Super Wheelies, such as the CJ-7 Golden Eagle and Toyota Land Cruiser being customer favorites. Tokyo Marui's RC models were lower priced but were praised for the high details in their bodies and chassis versatility.

    (Photos: Tokyo Marui 1/12 RC Super Wheelies)

    They were in the 2WD (Hunter and Galaxy Series) and 4WD (Samurai, Ninja and Shogun) Buggy RC models too, with the Samurai model very much well received and that "many fans will consider it as one of the most beautiful models of its time, both technically and aesthetically"(RC for Old Nuts).

    The lightweight frame made of all ABS resin was equipped with a Marui first “Center Differential.” The sealed slide switch, stripped-down polycarbonate body, red and silver color contrast finishing were brilliant. Mr. Shimamura loved at first sight the Samurai ad (which showed the buggy drifting) and very soon approved it.

    (Photos: Tokyo Marui 2WD and 4WD RC Buggy Series)

    This RC 4WD model product reached a milestone; it was produced before Tokyo Marui started putting more attention to airsoft. Since then, they didn’t release new RC products too. The series is probably the final RC product line from Marui.

    Depending on countries, Marui had a considerable impact over the RC in the 80’s, but most of all, into fans’ hearts. Specifically, this was very significant in France where period magazines are testimonies of Marui’s crucial role on the market. Thanks to website, one can rapidly realize how much period journalists were enthusiasts about Marui’s models, but also that they all seemed unaware about the models fragility.

    Black Hole Sun for RC For Old Nuts. "The Story of Marui"

    In the years 1981 to 1985, the company opened a second distribution centre and factory in Yashio, this was followed by the opening of another factory in Iwai City in Ibaraki Prefecture which later on was moved on to Bando. By 1985, the company formally decided to call itself as "Tokyo Marui", dropping the "Toys" from the official name.

    To be continued... Tomorrow, the company bets on airsoft.

    Read 50 Years Of Tokyo Marui Part 1: The First Ten Years.

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    Tokyo Marui Spring Powered Airsoft Guns

    Through the years, circumstances influenced the change of priorities. The "plamodels" were not selling well to expectations with fully assembled products being better sellers. Tokyo Marui considered designing an airsoft gun to follow up with their model gun production. The customers mindset evolved from buying plastic assembly kits of model guns to having a preference for fully assembled toys. With this development, the company decided to develop fully assembled products.

    20 years after its establishment did the company release their first airsoft gun. In 1985, they released the Luger P-08, their first 6mm airsoft pistol that sold for JPY1,900 at that time and became a best seller in Japan before the authorities tightened the rules on kids purchasing airsoft guns. At that time, airsoft prices were at least JPY5,000 to 6,000. They entered the airsoft industry on a sure footing, releasing a lower cost product that is 1/3 the price of high-quality products. The Luger P-08 became the talk of town among airsoft fans.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui 1985 Luger P-08 Spring Powered Airsoft Gun)

    The Marui Executive Director, Tatsuo Iwasawa, said:

    “Making good products at low cost needed many improvements much more than making expensive items that cost JPY20,000 to 30,000.

     No matter how (a product) it breaks down because it’s cheap, there is no need to care for the quality of cheap items], in product making, this attitude is wrong, the right attitude should be the opposite. There is nothing wrong for customers to think the opposite. For example, kids save money little by little until they will finally buy the JPY1,900 airsoft gun. For the kids, this airsoft gun is special. Even though the price is JPY1,900 if it is not durable enough and well-specified, the customers will be in trouble. Although our development staff should experience difficulties in making the product, we focused our minds to produce a high quality and affordable product. Moreover, and not surprisingly, the pistol often hit the target. Our competitors' products can’t even do it. Even with the price low, we did not ignore the hit probability.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui Spring Powered and Shell-Ejecting Airsoft Guns)

    1986 marked the release of the first airsoft gas blowback pistol, the Tokyo Marui S&W M59 GBB which created the gas blowback segment in the airsoft market. The mechanism of the S&W M59 is different from current gas blowbacks, the back slide is done with the spring and moved forward by gas pressure. This was then followed by the HP Browning Gas Blowback Pistol.

    (Photo: 1986 Tokyo Marui S&W M59 GBB)

    The airsoft gas blowback was adopted to reproduce real gun’s actuation such as the power of firing and realistic feeling. Just firing BB bullet, a blowback function is not really needed. However, people like a more realistic visual effect, operation and function. If much of the product is like the real thing, fans would love it as the always seek realism in airsoft.  Before that, only the model guns (cap guns) had the blowback function. With the blowback function finally adopted in an airsoft gun, the fans went wild about it.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui HP Browning GBB Pistol)

    Tokyo Marui stuck to its principle of making “moving and movable toy models.” They have always thought it interesting to make “the model reproduced in physical appearance and motion”, and they think it’s more fun the model can move. All Marui products including the"plamodels" and RCs have moving parts. For Marui, moving and movable airsoft guns are not surprising as they only pursue realistic motion. With such mindset put into the developing airsoft guns, their gas blowback series was born.

    At this point, airsoft wargaming started getting popular in Japan and spreading out to the region such as the Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong.  From this period up to 1991, the company produced airsoft spring pistols, gas pistols, gas submachine guns that eject shell casings out, and spring rifles but never produced airsoft gas rifles for survival games. Other Japanese airsoft manufacturers, such as MGC, Asahi, JAC, etc. were making their Flon-powered (Freon with Silicone Oil) or HPA-powered airsoft guns that have players hooking up a hose for their airsoft guns to connect to tanks. Even though Tokyo Marui thought playing airsoft that way was attractive; however, they felt something was wrong with those airsoft gun types due to the need to connect to a gas or air tank. 

    Also within this period, they completed their Headquarters building in Ayase (1987) and opened a comprehensive distribution centre in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture (1988).

    To be continued... Tomorrow, read about the start of the AEG Revolution in Airsoft.

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    Tokyo Marui 1991 FAMAS (556F1) AEG

    Tokyo Marui's strength is in creating motor-powered toys, as evidenced in their popular line of RC toys during the golden age of RC. With in-depth knowledge of electric toys, they decided to use this to create a revolutionary way of playing airsoft and freeing up the airsoft player from being tethered to tanks. They released their FA-MAS airsoft gun in 1991, the first airsoft Automatic Electric Gun (AEG) that uses an electric gearbox and started the march of the company to be in a dominant position in the airsoft industry.

    Marui thought if cocking can be done with an electric power source, they can make exciting guns. They thought about it in 1981, 10 years before the FA-MAS AEG was released. Back then there was no small-sized and strong electric motor and battery to power that motor. They thought they could achieve producing electric guns with technical advances in electric motor and batteries in future. Thinking long term and always updating themselves in new techniques, they decided after 7 years passed, they could seriously started developing electric guns.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui 1991 FAMAS 556F1 AEG)

    The release of the Tokyo Marui FA-MAS AEG was also great timing for the company, as competitors started melting away due to wrong investments they made when the Japanese economic bubble popped as the real estate and stock markets were greatly inflated. Tokyo Marui had the airsoft technology that no one else had and stood as the strongest survivor.

    The company immediately followed up the FA-MAS AEG, by releasing the Colt M16A1 AEG. Previous to its release, airsoft players were used to shouldering their airsoft rifles that were connected to air or gas tanks and it took a while before they got familiar with the AEG.  Tokyo Marui released innovative electric guns that needed time to be accepted by the fans at that time, which was the experience with the first FA-MAS AEG.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui Colt M16A1 AEG)

    The Colt M16A1 AEG model was launched with a video commercial that features the "Marui member"  armed with the M16A1 AEG outgunning the bad guys using the classic gas-powered and tethered airsoft rifles. This same video introduced wind-up magazines, tracer units, and tracer BBs. With such an introduction and accessories to go with it, this AEG became a big hit in Japan.

    With Marui AEG guns being hits in Japan, other airsoft makers such as JAC, TOYTEC, Marushin, FTC, etc. released their own AEG offerings. These companies used their own mechanisms when they produced their AEG guns; however, Marui’s high-quality mechanism exceeded them.

    Accordingly, some airsoft survival game players criticized Marui AEG guns for “poor power.” They powered up their airsoft guns to shoot far and they were called the “power group.” Back then, Airsoft's legal velocity has not been decided by Japanese authorities. To shoot further, many players customised and powered up their guns. With high-powered airsoft guns, being hit with a BB from one  will be painful and bloody. Many people felt that airsoft survival games were too painful and soon many left the survival game.

    The Marui AEG FA-MAS SV was released in 1993 with the objective of stopping high-powered airsoft shooting. To shoot further, a power-up was required, which then sacrificed hit probability. The first Marui FA-MAS SV with the hop-up system had low power but with a longer reach and a high hit probability using the Magnus effect. The introduction of the hop-up system in airsoft was a wise move, with high-powered airsoft shooting lessened and airsoft survival games shifted to safe low-power shooting. This also increased again the number of airsoft players. For a period, the AEG exceeded other companies' airsoft offerings.

    With such a strong position in the airsoft industry, this afforded the company to put some attention back to create model hobby toys.

    In the same year, they released the 1954 Godzilla model (Shodai-Gojira). It was made with a realistic skin that was used in filming and can be controlled remotely. With the remote hand controller, it can be made to walk forward on its two legs, swing left to right, arms and head that actually moved, and swing the tail. What was even more surprising was that it can open its mouth to let out a load roar. Each of the feature can be managed by the remote controller. Since the Marui Godzilla’s looks and actions are as realistic just like in the movie, it attracted many Godzilla fans. This is a collector's item these days with an unopened box fetching up to US$3,000 on eBay.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui RC 1954 Godzilla)

    The introduction of the AEG made it unnecessary to wield airsoft guns that use air or gas tanks, and with the hop-up to increase range and accuracy for low powered airsoft guns, the situation for airsoft games improved. Novice players could feel free to join in airsoft survival games and player numbers began to increase again. Of course, the players were now playing with Tokyo Marui AEGs.

    By 1995, the gas blowback airsoft pistol became used as back up guns for airsoft survival games. At the same time, they also became valuable as collector items as well as playing at home. Tokyo Marui revealed a new gas blowback system with the release of the Desert Eagle .50AE gas blowback pistol. This system met the expectations of fans who desired “realistic” items and this pistol had good response and strong blowback that an AEG doesn’t have.

    (Photo: Tokyo MArui Desert Eagle .50AE GBB Pistol)

    With many airsoft players using Marui products by the late 1990s, Tokyo Marui grabbed a big share of the airsoft market. This also spurred other companies to start building "Marui Clones" or copies of Tokyo Marui AEGs. Many airsoft products produced by other airsoft manufacturers, especially outside of Japan, usually are labeled "Marui-compatible", meaning that many of their airsoft parts and magazines are compatible with Tokyo Marui airsoft products.

    In 1998, they also completed the expansion of their headquarters in Ayase to what everyone nowadays are familiar with as the Tokyo Marui building.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui Headquarters In Ayase)

    To be continued... Tomorrow, read about the Tokyo Marui heading into the 21st Century.

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    Tokyo Marui AK74MN NEG

    At the start of the new millennium, with their experience in building airsoft guns and RC toys, the company decided to put such experience together to release their first airsoft-firing 1/24 RC Type 90 Kyū-maru Main Battle Tank. This started the series of airsoft tanks which can fire airsoft BBs bullet ad sold over 100,000 pieces.

    In the production of this airsoft battle tank, Mr. Shimamura again tells an interesting story:

    “The Japanese Type 90 battle tank was developed and manufactured by Mitsubishi-Jyukou and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) and they offered drawings and materials for us. However, when we asked them about the color combination for the painting process, they answered they cannot tell because it is a national security secret. Until then, they could only offer us the drawings, but they couldn’t tell the paint. So, we needed to decide the color by ourselves.

    With the release date fast approaching, the only time we can see  the Type 90 tank was at the Fuji Live Firing Exercises conducted by JGSDF.  Two executive officers went there with a color chart and bottled water. They waited for the opportunity to pour the water on the tank and compare the color chart to the color of the tank and find out the correct the color. Why pour the water on the tank? The tank was covered with mud during the exercise that it was difficult to identify the color, so we poured the water to wash the mud and reveal the color. We decided the airsoft RC battle tank Type 90’s by doing this. Nowadays, Marui supplies the JGSDF airsoft guns for training, but we experienced hardships with just identifying 'the color', it was funny."

    (Photos: Tokyo Marui 1/24 RC Type 90 Kyū-maru JGSDF Main Battle Tank)

    The best selling airsoft sniper rifle series, the Tokyo Marui VSR-10, was first released in 2003. This is probably the most modified and upgraded airsoft sniper rifle as it is easy to upgrade it with many affordable and premium parts made by third party makers such as PDI. The VSR-10 uses a patented technology called the “support ring.” Until then, the bolt action needed much strength to pull the bolt, even for adult men, it required some extra power. Thanks to the ring, it became easy to pull the bolt. Before that, the image of bolt action rifles was that it was for expert;  with the support ring, the image has been changed and anyone can find it enjoyable to fire a bolt action airsoft rifle.  Everyone can obtain high hit probability with the sniper rifle just out of the box which can be purchased at a reasonable price. It has been a best-selling airsoft gun for a long time and it still sells well.

    (Photos: Tokyo Marui VSR-10)

    2004 saw the release of a compact Automatic Electric Pistol (AEP), the Glock 18C AEP, and they created another segment of the airsoft market that was followed by the M93R and the USP (10 years later, the M9A1 and Hi-Capa E Government AEPs were added to this line). Such compact electric gearboxes also paved the way for the development of the Tokyo Marui MP7A1 electric machine pistol in 2006.

    (Photos: Tokyo Marui Glock 18C, M93R & USP AEPs)

    2004 saw the release of a compact Automatic Electric Pistol (AEP), the Glock 18C AEP, and they created another segment of the airsoft market that was followed by the M93R and the USP (10 years later, the M9A1 and Hi-Capa E Government AEPs were added to this line). Such compact electric gearboxes also paved the way for the development of the Tokyo Marui MP7A1 electric machine pistol in 2006 which was then followed by the Vz61 Scorpion and Mac 10.

    (Photos: Tokyo Marui MP7A1, Vz61 Scorpion Compact & Mac 10 Electric Machine Pistols)

    With the popularity of airsoft now spreading out to many parts of the globe, more and more airsoft manufacturers were releasing Marui-compatible airsoft guns, many of which were outright copies of their products. All their gearboxes, called Version 1 (FA-MAS), Version 2 (M16, MP5, G3 and other compatible AEGs), Version 3 (SIG, G36, Steyr and other compatible AEGs), Version 4 (PSG-1), Version 5 (Uzi), Version 6 (P90/M1A1), Version 7 (M14), and Version 8 (Type 89) have been copied outright by most airsoft manufacturers. Also, cheaper Marui clones are coming out at a faster rate from Mainland China, flooding airsoft markets around the world with what many airsoft players call "craptastic" airsoft (also known as ACM "All China Made" Airsoft). Many people are now being introduced to airsoft due to such affordable, even if unreliable, airsoft guns.

    Faced with such competition, Tokyo Marui had to do more innovation and be protective of its intellectual property. With the release of the Tokyo Marui AK74MN with the Recoil Shock Engine in 2007, they have introduced their globally patented electric blowback and recoil engine that set another standard in AEG design. For several years, Tokyo Marui, stood alone in new generation electric blowback and recoil AEGs with their premium line of AEGs. Only recently have other manufacturers began releasing their own versions of the electric blowback and recoil AEG, mainly KWA and Bolt Airsoft. Other major airsoft manufacturers have released AEGs with mainly blowback features, no recoil effect included.

    Only Tokyo Marui have implemented this new generation AEG technology to different platforms apart from the AR, having it functioning in their new AK and G36 AEGs. 8 years have already passed since introducing the Recoil Shock Engine, the company remains unsurpassed in this technology as competitors trying to follow them in new generation AEG design remain stuck with AR-type platforms, unable to move on to other weapons platforms.

    In 2007, the new limit in muzzle velocity for airsoft guns (below 0.98 joules) became effective in Japan. Once again, it decreased efforts at customizing airsoft games for an increase in power and range and more reliance on the hop-up system. Before that however, new users continued to modify the airsoft guns for power-ups leading to increasing incidents of airsoft guns misused, and “high powered dangerous airsoft” guns became widespread. Eventually, regulation to change muzzle velocity limits took place.

    Airsoft guns that were 0.98 joules became banned as these could hurt people in Japan. According to Japanese authorities, over 0.98 joules is not airsoft,  and will be considered as a “semi-air gun” without license.

    When the muzzle velocity limit was decided to be set at 0.98 joules, there were rumors that floated around that it had been changed to be less than 0.4 joules or it will be 0.3 joules which later on were found to be false. The airsoft industry and users were really afraid of enforcing the rumored muzzle velocities. If legal muzzle velocity became “0.4J”, the airsoft industry might not have prospered to what it is now. 

    As a top airsoft manufacturer, Tokyo Marui often cooperated with the police and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and made sure that these were not rumors. Sometimes, Marui conducted experiments where the police and METI get invited to demonstrate how Marui cares about safety. In these occasions, they often discussed and conducted experiments about the value of regulations. As the result of their efforts, the legal velocity has been decided to be 0.98 joules which is approximately 325 feet per second.

    (Tokyo Marui Japanese Airsoft Law Posters)

    With products that are over 0.98 joules considered as semi-air guns by law, conversely, a product less than 0.98 joule product was recognized as airsoft gun (Hobby items). To play safe at less than 0.98 joules with an airsoft gun  is sort of winning an endorsement from the government. Airsoft makers, including Tokyo Marui, belonged to the ASGK (Japan Airsoft gun association) and have been selling airsoft guns that fire at less than 0.98 joules by self-regulation even before the new regulation was decided in 2007. When the new regulation took effect, they smoothly adapted. For the airsoft industry, this regulation has contributed to preventing airsoft players from doing reckless custom power-ups.

    Owing to regulation change, airsoft makers that break the law and shops who sold parts for power-up modifications gradually closed shop.

    Before the new regulation, Marui had the idea of the Next Generation AEG which has a recoil unit. However, no one was interested in this idea as most were interested in doing upgrades for power-ups and it was a status symbol amongst players to have a modified airsoft gun that shoots hard. With the new legal muzzle velocities for airsoft guns established,  airsoft players couldn’t make modifications for power-ups. This development presented an opportunity for Marui to supply the “recoil shock” as the new way of playing, and many players were excited to use it.

    After the regulation was established, airsoft survival gamers who recklessly played at riversides and parks were given cold treatment by the public. Airsoft incidents related to the regulation change were covered on TV everyday, and citizens who were not interested in airsoft began to form an image that airsoft is dangerous. Reports by citizens on airsoft players using parks and riversides started to increase leading to even worse image of airsoft. This forced many airsoft survival gamers to start going and paying to play at well managed airsoft survival fields. As of 2015, there are over 200 survival fields in Japan and it’s very common to pay and play on these managed fields.

    With such success in the airsoft market, Tokyo Marui hasn't forgotten it roots of making model toys. Right after the introduction of the Recoil Shock Engine, they also released the Tokyo Marui Pro Z Train Set with a complete Diorama with buildings that have LED lighting.

    Pro Z was different from other train models as this kit makes it very easy to make a diorama even for the novice. There were panels to set up buildings and the trees just need to be put together. To reproduce “train is on" light inside to show continuous operation of the train whether running or stopped, daytime or night time, they developed the “always on light system.” This enjoyable realistic running scene is not seen in other competitors' train models.

    By late 2008, the Recoil Shock series started to appear on the AR-type platform with the announcement of the Tokyo Marui M4 SOPMOD that they revealed during the 2008 All Japan Hobby Show. Also in this same event, they also introduced the full-auto only Hi-Capa Xtreme .45 Gas Blowback Pistol.

    2009 saw the company releasing the Hi-Capa 5.1R Gas Blowback Pistol, together with the “GIN-DAN” series for young children --- the Police Pistol SS and Glock 26 that you can fire on semi-auto mode with 0.12g 6mm plastic BBs.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui Hi-CAPA R GBB Pistol)

    In Japan, people under 18 years old can use airsoft pistols that are less than 0.135J (120fps). Tokyo Marui have made a strong effort to make less it than 0.135J airsoft since the beginning. They made available their extensive AEG BOYS series that are 85% of original model gun and kids can easily use these. There are also electric blowback and low-price air cocking models made for young people under the age of 18.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui BOYS AEG Series)

    They are also low priced and making them affordable for the kids to buy and the pricing had not changed over 20 years. In recent years, those items had their prices increased. Even so, over JPY10,000 products are only a few. Even if the real guns where the design for the kiddie airsoft guns are based don't have certain safety systems, they decided to add such features, rounded the sharp parts, trimmed the weight for easy carry. They took the safety aspect of toy design very seriously.

    Initially, boys buy the toy pistol “Gindama-teppou”, with the Gin-Dan it was designed as arranged it for modern version. It can be fired by finger cocking, and they released models in Red, Blue, and Green to defy conventional wisdom. Nowadays, the image of the generally-acknowledged airsoft gun was not good for parents, especially mothers, teachers and PTA (Parent-Teachers Association). To appeal to them, Marui released models in brighter colors instead of black and silver. Marui thought that if the color of the toy gun is bright, the children can easily ask their parents to buy them these airsoft guns.  

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui "GIN-DAN" Series)

    Mr. Shimamura told that the feedback from mothers and PTA was not bad. However, Marui had surprising feedback from children themselves. The letters from children reminded them to “Not look down on kids.” Although the feedback from parents and PTA became better, however, the kids rebelled against the color change “except black or silver color, it is not a pistol.” Marui never imagined this situation.

    Tokyo Marui also introduced the IRC Swift Helicopters, also known with the "K-On!" co-branding that is based on Japanese comic strip series of a band of school girls joining a high school music club to prevent it from being disbanded. The Tokyo Marui IRC SWIFT Helicopters are equipped with co-axial Gyro that prevents the fuselage from turning around and maintain flight stability that were made by Maruta Manufacturing. These are high performance IRC choppers with metal frames that are more solidly built than those made by the competition which were mainly made of foam.

    (Photos: Tokyo Marui IRC Swift Helicopters "K-On!")

    The SWIFT became a massive hit for the company, and this led the boom in helicopter toys. But soon the market for these toys got flooded with a lot of copies of various sizes and types from overseas.

    Marui’s success is by now, is more synonymous to airsoft rather than model toys.

    Also in the same year, they released the Custom High Cycle Series, starting with the MP5A5 HC and G3 HC AEGs. Normally, an AEG shoots 15 rounds per second, but the HC AEG can shoot 1.5 times faster than normal AEGs at 25 rounds per second.  With the High Cycle AEGs having high rate of fire (ROF) they became favorites for use in indoor airsoft Close Quarter Battles (QCB).

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui Custom High Cycle G3SAS & MP5A5 AEGs)

    In 2010, the company built the zero-emission "Eco-scooter". This is an electric scooter that is aimed at reducing CO2 emissions, making an eco-friendly mode transportation. This was available in three models: Type X, Type S, and the more casual Type C which has also three versions. However, the demand for  electric scooters in Japan did not increase that they decided to withdraw from this market in October, 2012.

    To be continued...  Tomorrow, read about the 20 years of the AEG.

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    Tokyo Marui AA-12 AES 55th All Japan Model & Hobby Show

    2011 marked the 20th year of the AEG, Tokyo Marui teamed up with the popular Japanese airsoft blog Hyperdouraku, Phantom, and Agito Indoor Survival Game field to produce a promotional video of the Tokyo Marui SCAR-L with the new generation Recoil Shock Engine to commemorate this event. To cap this year, they won the Best Airsoft Manufacturer at the 1st Airsoft Players' Choice Awards. It was also in this year that they unveiled the SCAR-H and the Steyr HC AEG version.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui SCAR-H New Generation AEG)

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui Steyr HC AEG)

    Tokyo Marui announced in 2012 the MP7A1 Gas Blowback SMG and signified a departure by the company in producing mainly gas blowback airsoft pistols. Many have been wondering why the company, which has a very mature and popular gas blowback technology, has not produced any gas blowback rifle. The first M4 gas blowback rifle that became a standard is the Western Arms M4 CQB-R Gas Blowback Rifle that was released in 2008 and its technology was eventually adapted by King Arms, G&P, AGM, and Jing Gong.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui MP7A1 Gas Blowback Compact Machine Gun)

    Tokyo Marui explained that they produced GBB MP7A1 before a GBB assault rifle will be made --- they move in phases to develop a blowback engine and to accumulate know-how. A Tokyo Marui development engineer explains further:

    “To enlarge a gas blowback engine is not easy. It is different from enlarging an AEG gun. Generating strong kick-back whilst shooting at a long distance you just need to increase the gas consumption. However, to stabilize round cycle, you must decrease gas consumption. It is difficult to decide the balance. Enormous accumulated know-how from gas blow back hand guns are not very useful for big-sized GBB guns such as the MP7A1.

    Also, once the kick-back became stronger, there is need to enhance durability of various parts. For gas blowbacks, the feature such as operation and motion are more realistic than AEG guns. In order to achieve realistic motion, various parts are needed. There will be more broken parts with an increase in moving parts; the mechanism becomes complicated and internal space will be compressed. The parts need to be thicker and as it was hard to install parts to disperse the impact in a limited space, we struggled to develop GBB MP7A1.

    Making the GBB MP7A1 after GBB handgun, we learned the tendency of encountering trouble when making bigger-sized GBB guns. Thanks to this experience, now we can anticipate the problems in developing and designing, this is an advantage."

    The HK416D AEG with Recoil Shock Engine first appeared in the radar of many airsoft players when it was announced during the 52nd All Japan Model Show in October 2012. It can also be fitted with the HK M320A1 Airsoft Grenade Launcher that can also be used as a standalone launcher that was released in the following year. It's easy to load BBs into the Marui 40mm gas grenade shell for the M320A1 which is inexpensive and light weight. It is also safer to use as compared to other makes where the gas is injected in the grip and not the cartridge to avoid misfires.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui HK416D New Generation AEG)

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui M320A1 Grenade Launcher)

    Tokyo Marui makes products that are easy and safe to handle during airsoft survival games. Especially in cases that even if the safety feature in their product makes it more unrealistic as compared to the real steel design, they will proceed to install that safety feature. An example is the M1911A1 GBB when de-cocking the hammer, it is stopped at just half cock.

    Tokyo Marui always thinks about player safety in the product development to dispel perceptions against airsoft. Those who don’t know airsoft might feel airsoft to be scary and dangerous, because an airsoft gun looks like a real gun and one can be shot with it even if it is toy. It is for these people that  Tokyo Marui  has made it an effort to make them understand that airsoft is a safe toy to handle, being the number 1 airsoft maker.

    The first in the Tokyo Marui Gas Shotgun Series got unveiled during the 52nd Shizuoka Hobby Show in May 2013 with the M870 Tactical Gas-powered shotgun. This was the first shotgun released in a while ever since their air shotgun series was released.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui M870 Tactical Gas Shotgun)

    Also unveiled was the new VSR-10 Pro Hunter G-Spec that comes with the "Gun Sound" and "Real Shock System". It has a shot detection system which generates a gun sound when the rifle is fired which is then heard by the shooter with the earphone provided in the package. The "Real Shock" gives a recoil that is produced by a heavy weight piston when it is fired.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui VSR-10 Pro Hunter G-Spec With Gun Sound)

    The Gun Sound effect was also a suggestion of a new playing style in common with new generation AEGs. Currently the gun sound attracts attention the same way as the Nintendo Family Computer and the smart phone. With the gun and sound, this prototype was already made just before they released the M92F GBB model. The prototype was installed with a small speaker on gun and when fired, the sound was transmitted via FM radio frequency. Marui thought it was too early to sell this yet, and thus, this prototype did not see the light until they started developing gun sound products.

    Do you know why there is a size difference of the M92F GBB right and left grips? This was made for the purpose of adding a small speaker anytime in it,  so initially they made a slightly different-sized grip.

    Later in the year, the HK416D was followed up with a new version in the form of the HK416D DEVGRU Custom, a more SpecOps looking New Generation AEG. This comes with a suppressor and a crane stock as compared to the first HK416D NEG. They also added another "gun sound system" AEG with the Gun Sound M4A1 Carbine.

    (Photo: Tokyo Hobby Show Winter 2013)

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui HK416D DEVGRU Custom New Generation AEG)

    In the same year, the company also introduced a new series during the Victory Show. This is an affordable line-up called the "Light Pro" Series that can be used by players below 18 years of age. These are 1:1 scale AEGs but are powered with 5 Double A batteries. It has a dual-firing system that apart from battery power, the shooter can use the single shot spring power with the charging handle when they run out batteries.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui Light Pro Series)

    At the 53rd Shizuoka Hobby Show in May 2014, the company finally announced that they are developing their first M4 Gas Blowback Carbine. They call it the M4A1 MWS  or Modular Weapon System and this is compatible with lots of external parts of the M4 New Generation AEG such as the stock.  They also announced the HK417D First Variant New Generation AEG. The latter got released in December 2014 with the MWS delayed in its release as the engineering team for the product continued work on improving performance and durability. With a ZET System for durability and improved performance, they released the M4A1 MWS GBB in late 2015.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui M4A1 MWS Gas Blowback Rifle)

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui HK417 New Generation AEG)

    2014 also saw the company holding their first Tokyo Marui Festival that was held in Akihabara, the Otaku centre of the world. This is the "customer appreciation" version of the company and for those who want try airsoft for the first time. All the models in production of the company can be checked out under one roof and showcased why the company is on top of the airsoft world.

    In 2015, they gave us surprise again at 54th Shizuoka Hobby Show. They announced the world's first Electric Shotgun called the AA-12 AES. It was said that it was impossible to produce this shotgun for the airsoft market; however, they were able to design one that can make 10 shots per second with 3 barrels making it a 30-round shot cycle. The hop-up installed on each barrel can be adjusted separately which is a surprise too. The motor power-operated drum magazine is produced as an optional accessory.

    The development of the AA-12 AES proves that only Marui can produce breakthroughs for new airsoft models.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui AA-12 AES 54th Shizuoka Hobby Show)


    (Photo: Tokyo Marui AA-12 AES)

    As the company celebrates 50 this year, Tokyo Marui continues the tradition of product excellence and innovation. It also reflects the flexibility of the company to adopt to changing times and tastes of their customers. Amongst the companies in Japan that brought us airsoft, Tokyo Marui is the company that  stands tall.

    For those who don’t know much about Marui, many of the model guns that are used in TV dramas and movies are made by Marui. In Hollywood movies, Marui guns are used such as in Bio Hazard/Resident Evil. Their guns are so well-made that it’s hard to find the differences from the real gun. Japanese police also purchase Marui guns for training or parades. When they don’t need to use real guns, they use Marui airsoft guns instead.

    (Photo: Tokyo Marui 50th Year Annivesary Celebration)

    Many of you would wonder how the company determines the next products they are going to produce. Whilst products are discussed between employees, it's really about having their ears on the ground, listening and observing. They will consider the guns that have high exposure in movies and television shows and at the same time listen intently to customer feedback. They do have a knack in selecting winning products and even they deliver even more beyond expectations through their constant innovation.

    In the airsoft market, their products have set the standard, and competitors will grudgingly give them that. As one airsofter posted in Reddit's /r/airsoft pretty much sums up the influence of Tokyo Marui, why their products cost more, and why they perform better than most of the competition:

    If you use a battery-powered gun (that's not a Systema) today, it will owe the vast majority of its design to TM. The various gearbox versions (v.1-7) were specified by TM. TM's pioneering designs, thanks to relentless copying and cloning, fundamentally underpin virtually every AEG on the market today, a large percentage of the GBB pistols and an even larger percentage of the bolt-action springers thanks to the VSR-10 platform.

    TM are also one of the few companies that continue to innovate in airsoft. The M870 Tactical is the first realistically skirmishable gas shotgun platform. The Recoil Shock platform was the first and remains the most successful implementation of 'recoil' in AEGs.

    Unlike virtually every other major airsoft manufacturer, TM actually has to design all its products, whereas other manufacturers just have to wait until TM's stuff comes out and then clone it. R&D is expensive and amortizing that over the cost of the guns means they are also more expensive. TM's stuff is also (again, unlike the vast majority of airsoft manufacturers' guns) made in Japan - not Taiwan or China - where labour costs are high but materials quality and quality control are also high. As a result, TM's stuff is usually exceptionally long-lived and performs exceptionally well. [sic]

    We're looking forward to what the company will offer in the next 50 years. We're pretty much sure that there's more where their products come from.

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    6 APCA 2nd Reminder

    It was a very busy weekend for us as we were in the Netherlands for the Dutch Open International Airsoft Practical Shooting 2015 and boy! We really had a blast there and it was highly successful event. But an even heavier work lies ahead of us as in just a week's time the 6th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards Nominations Process will start.

    Just like in the previous Airsoft Players' Choice Awards, airsoft players around the world get to nominate their favourites in the various awards categories. They can submit in all, or in some of the categories, depending on how they make their list. For those who want to be included in the Nominations, it's up to them to nominate themselves or rely on their fans.

    The Nominations Period is an important phase of the Awards process. If your favourites don't make it to the top 5 nominees in their categories by the end of the Nomination Period, then they don't get to be voted for during the Final/Voting Period.

    How do you make your list? If you are diligent enough, just copy the list of categories at the 6th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards website. From there, make your list of nominees per category. Remember that you don't have to nominate in all the categories, just in categories that you feel confident with your nominees. But no one's stopping you from submitting in all.

    It's a simple process of submitting names and URLs (if asked for). Don't forget also to include some information we require before you can submit your list of nominees.

    Get ready! Start nominating your favourites next week!

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    Parrot BeBop 2

    The drone war is so really intense right now and there is no sign that it will be ebbing soon. The latest to fire a shot is Parrot, the company that pioneered easy to use flying camera drones, and they gave an update with their Bebop drone series, having released the longer flying and lighter Parrot Bebop 2.

    The Bebop 2 Drone weighs 500 grams and is easily transportable as you can just carry one in your backpack. It has 6-inch propellers that are powerful to lift the drone to 180 feet quick. For those who lament on the fact that civilian drones have shorter flight times due to battery capacity, the Bebop 2 can fly longer at 25 minutes with its 2,700mah battery.

    Just like in the first Bebop, Bebop 2 uses a stationary fisheye lens for its camera rather than use gimbal-stabilised cameras like in other drones that can be remotely controlled for panning. Footage taken with the Bebop 2 drone show really wide angle views at 180 degrees. It can record at 1080p HD and stored with its 8GB internal storage.  Sorry folks, there is no 4K option.

    With the free Parrot FreeFlight App 3, you can control the drone using your iOS or Android devices. But to unlock more flight features, such as setting waypoints, you'll have to do in-app purchases. If you want more controls, you can purchase a separate remote control rig with the US$250 Sky Controller Black Edition. It will extend the WiFi range to 2 kilometres, physical controls, and an HDMI port for you to plug the controller to FPV goggles.

    The Parrot BeBop 2 Drone is set for release on the 14th of December 2015 at a price of US$549, and if with the Sky Controller, it will set you back by US$800.00.  Below is a first look video from The Verge:

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    London Metropolitan Police Car (Source: Commons Wikimedia)

    Yesterday, we have been asked by some airsoft players who are based in London if they are affected by the #giveupyourgun campaign by the Metropolitan Police. The Met Police at certain periods, conducts gun amnesty campaigns for people who have come to own unneeded firearms (through inheritance or discovering a rifle used during the war periods buried in the backyard, or not owning a FAC or FireArms Certificate) or antique firearms to prevent them falling into hands of criminal guns.

    For a period of two weeks, firearms owners can surrender their firearms anonymously to their nearest 24-hour local police station. This amnesty period started last 23 November and will end on the 6th of December 2015.

    What concerns airsoft players based in London is that for this year, the Met Police are focusing on "imitation weapons, BB guns and air weapons, and the potential for these items to be mistaken for genuine weapons." And they have a social media campaign ( #secondstodecide) that shows it is hard to distinguish an imitation firearm from the real one even to the eye of a highly trained officer.

    The reason why they are focusing on imitation weapon is the danger of misusing such replica firearms that may cause panic in the populace given the recent terrorist attack in Paris and ongoing anti-terrorist operations in Europe. According to Detective Superintendent Stephen Clayman of the Trident and Area Crime Command:

    “We are asking Londoners to hand in firearms and imitation weapons to avoid them falling into the wrong hands. In an inappropriate setting, imitation weapons will cause fear and panic, and could lead to a police response involving the deployment of armed police officers, with potentially tragic results. Using an imitation firearm inappropriately may lead to a conviction for a serious criminal offence.

    Last weekend’s tragic events in Paris have inevitably led to a heightened state of alert on the capital’s streets. Gun crime, whilst low in London compared to other world cities, has a devastating impact on communities. Trident is committed to ridding the capital’s streets of firearms, and last year Met officers recovered over 600 ‘lethal barrelled’ firearms.”

    Airsoft players in London who are 18 years of age and above really have no need to worry about surrendering their airsoft guns to the Metropolitan Police as they have a need to use them for airsoft gaming/skirmishing which is a valid defence under the Violent Crime Reduction Act of 2006 (VCRA). The VCRA.

    We got in touch with UK Airsoft Players Union (UKAPU) to find out what their position and advice to their members in the light of this campaign, and here is their statement:

    We’ve been asked about the new Met Police firearms surrender campaign.

    One of the things the police are asking people to do is hand in Airsoft Replicas because they are ‘dangerous’. UKAPU refutes this assertion. Replicas can create a dangerous situation if you do something foolish like brandishing them in public, but we believe that educating people on how to use them legitimately is a more effective way to prevent incidents. We would also like to see the police or another body take responsibility for following up on traders who sell replicas to members of the public who can’t buy them legally.

    If anyone is confused about whether it is legal to possess a realistic imitation firearm (RIF) or imitation firearm (IF), you should know that there are no laws which punish ownership. Buying and selling them is a bit trickier though, as this is restricted by the Violent Crime Reduction Act (VCRA 2006).

    You can sell an IF (two tone) to anyone over 18 years old.

    You can’t legally sell a RIF to most people but you are allowed to sell one to an airsoft player over 18 years old (Regulation 3 of SI 2606). To check that they are a genuine player, you could ask their local site if they are registered, or ask a retailer to see if their site membership is registered on the UKARA, PASS or BAC databases. There’s some other groups that can buy and sell RIFs but I won’t go into that today.

    If you only carry your airsoft replica to games (and keep it covered on the way), and only use it on insured, organised game sites, you won’t be breaking any laws and have nothing to worry about.

    You can find a list of organised sites on

    If you are still confused about the legal situation, please feel free to drop us a message on the UK Airsoft Players Union Facebook page.

    If you are on Twitter, make sure you use the #giveupyourgun hashtag alongside #airsoft, and let people know they shouldn't be giving sports equipment away, they should be bringing it along to an organised site for a friendly and thrilling airsoft skirmish! The hashtag is being pushed by the Met Police for the next fortnight so use it as an opportunity to promote our game in a positive light to the public.

    - Matt Furey-King, Chairman

    What is important here for airsoft players is the safe transport of their airsoft guns when going to and from airsoft games. Given the tragic terrorist attack in Paris last 13 November 2015, and other terrorist attacks that occurred around the world recently, security forces are on high alert. As always, we strongly stress on airsoft players to not show their airsoft guns in public as it will cause panic and elicit a quick armed response from the Met Police that can have fatal consequences. We also would like to advise that they refrain from wearing military or tactical clothing in public and wear civilian clothing until they reach the airsoft game site.

    Always stay safe and use common sense when owning an airsoft gun. In this troubled times, please take extra care for your own safety and the preservation of airsoft as a sport and a hobby.

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    European Union Flag with Gun Silhouette

    Airsoft players in the European Union should take heed the call to action by our friends from the NABV (Nederlandse Airsoft Belangen Vereniging or the Dutch Airsoft Association) that the European Commission are proposing amendments to Council Directive 91/477/EEC on control of the acquisition and possession of weapons.

    The European Airsoft Association, UKAPU, and the NABV are calling all EU -based airsoft association and airsoft players to act now to state their opposition in having replicas, which will include airsoft guns as Category C weapons.

    In light of the recent events of terrorist attacks in Paris and ongoing anti-terrorist operations in the European Union, the European Commission last 18 November have proposed amendments to make it more difficult to acquire firearms within the EU.

    In a press release by the European Commission, President Juncker said:"The recent terrorist attacks on Europe's people and values were coordinated across borders, showing that we must work together to resist these threats. Today's proposal, prepared jointly by Commissioners Elżbieta Bieńkowska and Dimitris Avramopoulos, will help us tackle the threat of weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. We are proposing stricter controls on sale and registration of firearms, and stronger rules to irrevocably deactivate weapons. We will also come forward with an Action Plan in the near future to tackle illicit arms trafficking. Organised criminals accessing and trading military grade firearms in Europe cannot and will not be tolerated."

    The NABV are vigilant, being on the watch for attempts to regulate airsoft replicas by the European Commission and found in the proposed amendments showing the inclusion of replicas, airsoft guns included, as Category C weapons and thus will need to be declared.  This means that airsoft guns would then be classified in the same category such as shotguns and hunting rifles. That also means that airsoft guns are seen to be equally dangerous as these firearms.
    If that happens, owners of airsoft guns should declare their ownership and register their guns. Non-compliance can result into penalties and a criminal record.

    You can read the document here or click here to download the PDF file containing the whole document.

    So what can you do to prevent the classification of airsoft replicas as Category C weapons? NABV have issued a call to action that everyone concerned can follow:


    To all airsoft players of the EU: Your action is required.

    After the horrific attacks in Paris the the European Commission has expressed the desire to adopt:

    Compulsory Registration for Airsoft Replicas

     Not registering you airsoft replica's will result in criminal penalties and a criminal record.

    The European Commission wants to amend the EU firearms directive so as to classify any replica with the form of a firearm as a Category C weapon, this would mean they would at a minimum fall into the same category as most hunting rifles and shotguns in your respective home countries.

    Needless to say with the amount of airsoft replicas on the market such a measure would be turning millions of EU citizens in to criminals over night. Airsoft players are in no way responsible for the attacks in Paris! And you cannot stop terrorists by punishing law abiding EU citizens!

    Airsofters: You can do something!

    The European Commission is asking for comments on the proposal so let the European Commission know what you think in your own words.

    You can give your feedback right now by using this link.

    Your main demand should be that: Non-convertible replica's should not be placed in Category C of directive 91/477/EEC.

    Your talking points need to polite and to the point and could for instance address:

    • Airsoft players are not responsible for terrorism.
    • You cannot covert airsoft replica's in to real firearms.
    • The EU would turn millions of EU citizens in to criminals.
    • The cost of such an EU wide system would be astronomical.
    • It would take way police capacity away from actual terrorist investigations.
    • It would punish law abiding EU citizens for Terrorism.
    • Airsoft replicas are safe
    • Terrorists are not worried by things like registration anyway.
    • Such a database would never be complete considering there are tens of millions of replica's in the EU.

    Fellow airsofters do not waste time and start sending you comments to the EU RIGHT NOW! Numbers are important so make sure as many people as possible send in their comments.

    Icarus van der Kolk
    Board of directors
    NABV (Dutch Airsoft Association)

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    Black Friday Confusion

    After all the turkeys have been eaten, all liquor have been drank, yesterday we either get up early in the morning to line-up at the nearest store or grab our computer mice to check out on the best deals that we can find. It's Black Friday and together with Cyber Monday, the weekend is going to be the last great shopping spree madness before the Holiday Season.

    With all the deals, bargains, price drops, offers, and discounts being offered by retailers, even in airsoft, we get confused on where and what to buy. At Popular Airsoft, we have been posting all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale offers from airsoft retailers around the world, but still dazed and confused where to start.

    So we decided to post all the Black Friday Sale Promo Videos in this story rather than you Googling or checking various websites and wasting your time and effort with multiple browser tabs open. Check the videos below to find out where you think you can get the best deal. What we would suggest is that you based your decisions on how fast do you need the product or if not on a hurry, the best bargains you can find.

    All the videos have their links to vendor websites and do your homework first before start clicking "add to cart" since you can stretch your budget even further. If you need more promo apart from video, click here to read all the news about Black Friday Sales here.

    Good luck watching the videos and happy shopping!

    RedWolf Airsoft Black Friday & Super Holiday Sale

    Amped Airsoft's Black Friday Sales!

    Airsoft GI: Black Friday & Cyber Monday Details Are Here!

    Black Madness at Gunfire

    Airsoft Atlanta - Black Friday 2015 Announcement!

    Airsoft Megastore Black Friday Sale | Share To Win A KRISS Vector!

    Black Friday Deals Sneak Peek

    Battalion Pro Shop Commercial for Black Friday 2015

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    Dutch Open 2015 ROs and Shooters

    Ever since airsoft became legal in the Netherlands on the 1st of January 2013, the Dutch airsoft community, with the NABV (Nederlandse Airsoft Belangen Vereniging or the Dutch Airsoft Association) leading the way, went on to quickly to establish airsoft as a viable and thriving sport in the  country. Many airsoft skirmish ("skirm") sites appeared and dotted the country from north to south, more shops catering the airsoft players opened, and airsoft teams got themselves organised.

    From weekend airsoft skirmishes to milsim, various airsoft disciplines blossomed, including a highly competitive form of airsoft that takes inspiration real steel practical shooting --- airsoft practical shooting. Now established in several countries in Europe, airsoft practical shooting is the most well-developed competitive sport in airsoft, with clear cut rules, divisions, and levels, many airsoft players are now taking up this sport. In the Netherlands, the NABV has the International Airsoft Practical Shooting group dedicated to promoting the discipline. With such a development, it is all but logical for the Dutch airsoft practical shooters to host their first Dutch Open International Airsoft Practical Shooting event with Action Sport Games being the main sponsor of the event.

    Modest with a target of 80 shooters coming from neighbouring European countries, the event took place last 21-22 November at the National Sports Centre Papendal, located in Arnhem. An excellent location for sporting events, the Sports Centre is an official training centre for elite athletes, including olympians and paralympians, since the 1970s.

    The shooting venue itself is one of the best I've seen. I've been to a good number of airsoft practical shooting events, whether outdoor or indoor events, but so far this is the best indoor shooting venue that was setup for airsoft practical shooting. Even with the temperature outside at single digits, it was warm inside, allowing us to shed off our winter clothing and for the shooters into more comfortable shooting attire. The 4-Star Papendal Sports Hotel was able to accommodate all visiting shooters and the centre has everything to offer for the NABV's IAPS to pull off a successful event.

    The NABV's organisation and preparation for the event was superb and if there were hiccups in the preparations, most didn't notice. More than adequate staff support was in place and everything went according to plan.

    The Dutch Open 2015 is comprised of 18 stages, whilst originally divided into 9 stages per day, the first day had more stages completed. Shooters were able to zeroin or test their airsoft pistols at the designated test area which is high-tech enough with self-standing poppers and the daVinci Dynamics WiFi Airsoft Precision Target. By around 0930H, all the shooters were briefed on the rules and procedures for the tournament by Bart Verwijst, the Chief RO.  The squads went through the first stages slowly, warming until they became more comfortable and began to unleash their shooting skills as they try to best the times of their fellow competitors

    There were difficult stages wherein it took creativity apart from agility to go through such stages at the best time possible. Airsoft practical shooters also have to be fit as they will be running and going through obstacles in 18 stages for two days.

    Given the excellent facilities, including lighting, the shooters were able to complete as many stages as they can in the first day.

    By the first day's conclusion at 1830H, most of the shooting squads were able to accomplish over 10 stages. They could have continued on, but then there is still a second day that which the remaining stages can be accomplished. At 2000H everyone was treated a buffet dinner hosted by the NABV at the Papendal Hotel Sports Bar where we all helped ourselves to warm and delicious food. The first day of course didn't end with the buffet dinner as we moved on the Sports Bar to fill ourselves up with beer and whatever liquor to keep us warm before calling it a night.

    The second day saw all the shooters starting at 0900H, and as mentioned previously, just several more stages left for the all the squads to go through with a lot of time to spare. One Course of Fire/COF which I always chuckle seeing the shooters carry an inflatable crocodile as they move from one part of the COF to another. As Chief RO Bart Verwijst said,"I love the pics with grown up men running around with a plastic Crocodile....priceless. I think nobody would believe me if I told them I could make 75 men running around with a croc." But of course, these grown up men would rather carry another type of inflatable, if Danny Yau of RedWolf Airsoft UK and also a shooter at the event, had his way.

    The second day also meant that all shooters had to do their best to get the best times and scores to move higher to the leaderboard and with that the possibility of coming home with the trophy. By around 1500H, all the squads were done with all the stages and it all that remained was for them  to wait for the results as the ROs submitted their final results and have all the forms computed to find out who came out on top.

    The Awarding Ceremonies was a very much straightforward affair, as the organisers are conscious of the need for the shooters to get on their way back home, especially for those who are will be driving back home as it was already getting dark and snowing outside. Not much speeches, and rather a mark of Dutch efficiency, the raffle prizes were given away and finally, the winners of the Dutch Open 2015 were announced.

    There is much to praise the NABV for the Dutch Open 2015, preparations went well, the facilities were excellent, accommodations within walking distance, and everything was well provided for. I would recommend to those organising airsoft practical shooting events to learn from what the NABV. 80 shooters, is a modest number, but then it is the first time for them to organise the an international airsoft practical shooting event, and they pulled it off with flying colours.

    Learning from the first Dutch Open, I bet the NABV will be "gunning" for a bigger event next year and we recommend to the European airsoft practical shooters, and even the other airsoft practical shooters outside of Europe, especially those from Asia, to take put this tournament as one of their "must attend" events for their next year's game calendar.

    Congratulations to all the winners of the Dutch Open International Airsoft Practical Shooting 2015, as well as the organisers of the event, the NABV. See you all again next year for another and much bigger Dutch Open.

    Photos of the Dutch Open are now online at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page. Videos will follow and posted at the Popular Airsoft YouTube Channel.

    Below are the final results of tournament:

    Nederlands kampioenschap Open Divisie:

    1. Chi Hong Ho
    2. Johan Koek
    3. David Meuken

    Nederlands kampioenschap Standaard Divisie:

    1. Marco van der Meulen
    2. Ingmar Bouhuis
    3. Wai Lam

    Dutch Open 2015 Open Divisie:

    1. Jurgen Ronsse (BEL)
    2. Chi Hong Ho (NED)
    3. Johan Koek (NED)

    Dutch Open 2015 Standaard Division:

    1. Joeri de Haes (BEL)
    2. Justin Cooper (GBR)
    3. Mario Chan (GBR)

    Dutch Open 2015 Super Senior Open Division:

    1. Alphone Defgnee (BEL)
    2. Paul van den Bosch (GBR)
    3. Trevor Sinclair (GBR)

    Dutch Open 2015 Super Senior Standard Division:

    1. Marcel Smeers (BEL)
    2. Guy De Backer (BEL)

    Dutch open 2015 Senior Open Division:

    1. Tim Wyborn (GBR)
    2. Gino Fasseau (BEL)
    3. Ronald e Hoog (NED)

    Dutch Open 2015 Senior Standard Division:

    1. Rene Hoeck (BEL)
    2. Danny Yau (GBR)
    3. Jean Michel Jansen (BEL)

    Dutch Open 2015 Ladies Division:

    1. Dionne Reugenbrink

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    6 APCA Nominationst 1st Week

    The biggest online airsoft event is now on! The Nominations Period for the 6th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards is now open and here is your chance to start giving recognition to those you think have contributed to the growth and popular of airsoft. 20 categories are up for grabs again for this awards period with the Nomination Period taking place from the 30th of November to the 30th of December 2015.

    If you haven't made your list of nominees yet, you have 4 weeks to do so, but the earlier you do, the better. Even better, after submitting your list of nominees, invite friends and team mates to start submitting their own list as well. Just remember that the top 5 nominees (nominees with the most number of nominations) in each category will move to the Final Voting Period to determine the best of the best for the 6th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards.


    There will be raffle prizes that will be awarded after the Awards period which means that if you nominate and vote during the awards period, you get two chances of your name entered into the raffle! How about that! We won't announce what these raffle prizes are yet as we usually unveil them during the Voting Period (04 January to 01 February 2016) and we guarantee that the raffle prizes are some of the most sought after stuff in the market.

    Go now! Submit your nominees and have fun seeing your favourites go through the Awards process. Also, don't forget to visit the sponsors of the awards who have made it possible to make this more exciting, with their contributions and raffle prizes:






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    Milsim West Josh Warren

    Before any good conversation or interview in this case could start we needed some beer. I chose a nice seasonal Octoberfest beer and Josh would have a traditional lager. Few people may realize this but I've actually known Josh for a while. I knew him back before Milsim West was a house hold name and he spent time running around an indoor arena in Tacoma Washington that isn't even in business anymore. Those were the days when the Pacific North West seemed like the Wild West of airsoft to an East Coast guy like me. Now we are hardly bros and I was no Ranger, just a grunt out of the Army who ended up in the PNW for a while.

    So tonight and a few beers was a bit of a reunion for guys that are far from where they first met. I'm running solo a semi-known airsoft blog that plenty enjoy and even more hate, after having left an airsoft podcast I co-founded, hahahaha!

    Josh is one of the co-founders of the wildly successful Milsim West and co-founder of arguably the largest fraternity of players in the country, the Rushing Russians. It's safe to say we have both stirred up some controversy in our time but there is no doubt that Josh owns the national stand right now when it comes to controversy in the community. Now, some might see this as a turnoff because they say they are tired of the drama but like a wreck on the side of the road, you can't help but slow down to look.

    Josh has become the Vince McMahon of the airsoft world with his theatrically aggressive approach to tough subjects, his competition and his attitude to those that just don't get it. Now what was the powder keg that exploded releasing Josh Warren on to the national airsoft scene in such a dynamic way? It wasn't just that Milsim West was growing in the Pacific North West and slowly expanding. The true catalyst was Blacksheep Milsim and its PTSD program that to many, many, many vets in the community including this grunt seemed just a little fishy. It all boiled down to what appeared and still appears to just be a marketing play to help a struggling event promoter. Being the gung-ho Ranger that Josh is he wasn't just going to stand by idle while he felt people were being taken advantage of.

    As these events unfolded, Milsim West would catapult itself aggressively on the national stage going after the Blacksheep customers that once thought they had experienced the pinnacle of milsim gaming. So it would seem like this was a two-pronged attack on Blacksheep Milsim in an effort to eliminate a competitor. That's surely what Blacksheep would have you believe and his biggest supporters will also say. Josh admits to mounting a personal offensive against the Major and his PTSD program but never has Milsim West done anything other than compete and overcome a major competitor. If Milsim West is to continue to succeed and grow it must aggressively go after market share that may have once belonged to another producer.

    Now I asked Josh about crossing the line or going too far to the point that it affects MSW. He explained how he is not MSW just like he is not the Rushing Russians. He is neither above nor beneath but another part of the organization that answers to his team mates and partner. Josh pushes the boundaries and Brian Clarkson reins him in if he feels Josh is going too far. In this way, they work together to decide what's best for their company’s growth. Now Josh did say a few rumors had gotten out of hand. Like him physically threatening Blacksheep and his family. If there's anything he wants to harm it's Blacksheep's business. Now that in itself may sound harsh but it is a business and there isn't room for everyone on the national stage. So sooner or later the new kid on the block is going to call you out.

    Time for a refill and to switch gears a bit. So it's no secret Josh is the loudest most outspoken opponent to the Blacksheep PTSD program. But I asked if he was against the concept or just the program. He believes that he is not an expert to say what does and doesn't work but is not going to deny guys that say it helps. He does see a danger with living in the past when life is not just what you were once, a soldier, a Ranger, and so on. Because that in itself is what holds many vets back from finding a new way after the military. In a lot of ways I found Josh to be a great example of how a combat vet can retool their mind and identity to move forward away from who they were to who they can be. All those attributes that made him a great Ranger have made him a successful event producer and businessman. So he says not to forget about who you were and what you did for your country but realize that it is okay to find an identity beyond that. Because what comes after the uniform is meant to be the good stuff.

    I won't deny the logic in his view because I find myself in that very position some times. Stuck on who I used to be to the point that I over glorify the life I think I still need. But the reality is that nothing was easy about being a grunt and being miserable way too often the reality of the situation. Yet I put on my gear and get on the field with my BB gun to pretend. I do feel better, like I'm connecting but am I really moving on? That's a tough question and since PTSD is about shades, it can all mean something different to each vet.

    I told Josh I worry that the high level of negative exposure could hurt any future attempts by someone to come along and do things right with a program that does help some. While he may never totally jump on board as an outspoken supporter, he will not deny someone else the opportunity to find comfort or therapy in airsoft if it works for them. He just won't pretend to be an expert or tolerate those that say they are as they sell snake oil to the veteran community.

    More beer and another topic. There seems to be a growing dislike or resentment of celebrity players at events. This is especially visible when they go to events in large numbers together. I've heard plenty of comments on the field and from the everyday Joe player. I wanted to know how Milsim West handled this and what Josh thought of this. He sees it as simply the Joe player trench talk. Soldiers in the field always gripe about the higher ups or units better equipped because that’s what they just do. It makes their time and experience feel more hardened. So they'll be like, it wasn't easy for me like it is for the celebs being taken care of. Now their experience is that more memorable or honest in their mind. I do want to point out that I’ve seen plenty of celebs in the mud getting dirty too. They fight shoulder to shoulder or even lead the charge at times. This growing dislike or resentment isn’t necessarily a bad thing either when you think about it. It is just another part of a culture that is forming around airsoft/milsim.

    If that odd aspect of the culture that makes an individual’s experience that much better then everyone is happy. What could be more milsim than not just the look but a cultural similarity? Josh called it trench talk and it is a part of military life, no reason to be ashamed of it existing in milsim. Now there's no opportunity for this at MSW since there is no preferential treatment or illusion of it to be had. When you're a player on the roster you're a member of a unit and you better fall in or get left out in the wind without support. When you're going at it for over 40 hours you need friends and a unit watching your back as you sleep. Any internal animosity is directed outward to the enemy of adjacent units at it would be in the real military. That’s what you want in creating as accurate military simulation. There will be peaks in valleys at a Milsim West event but you are all there together in the mud ready to overcome anything.

    For some, the enemy is the challenge, and for others the 40 hours outside their comfort zone becomes the real challenge. You stop being just another BB slinger and have to be prepared --- ready to fight and survive as a team participant. Any other event you have a choice, a choice to be an individual or a choice to be part of team. While many pay for their tickets and sign up for a side, they still see themselves as individuals. They are customers paying for an experience that they believe has value. So they expect to see and experience that value in the event being hosted. MSW does not seem to let it happen that way. Sign up, fall in and hang on for the ride if you can is Milsim West. That’s what Josh is selling folks. It is the experience driven by immersion he wants and that takes you buying all the way in. You cannot just be another customer expecting the host to hold your hand to see you happy.

    Josh compared Milsim West to becoming the Go Ruck of airsoft. It is just more than achieving victory, that’s why they do not keep any kind of score he said. You will go into the weekend not knowing where the enemy is and what will happen but no matter what; when you finally take that group photo at the end you will feel a sense of achievement. Sounds like a good time and over beers very exciting to someone that has yet to make it out to one.

    Obviously, I had to know what the future holds for Josh and Milsim West. What is the next step and where’s the next frontier you might say? He mentioned the Tactical Tailor line of MSW products and the growing partnerships within the industry that now are very much drawn to the MSW brand of milsim. I had to agree with that too, the industry is paying close attention to what Milsim West is doing. 2015 truly was the year of Milsim West and I guarantee you that 2016 will be reshaped based on what they have done. You can see it already in how the big brands lend their support to their style of milsim and game producers taking cues to redirect their own game play style. But as for Milsim Wests own future it is to keep gaining market share and brining people a form of milsim many have been waiting for. That achievement or Go Ruck style of experience is in Josh’s mind the next step. The masses are craving more and more of an in depth experience that challenges them personally and physically. MSW blazed the path and is only looking to take it farther. It is not for everyone but it is worth everyone trying. Much like the many beers we enjoyed tonight. I look forward to trying them in 2016 and reflecting on that experience.


    One Grunt's Opinion,

    Javier "Darkhorse"

    All photos from Josh Warren's Facebook Page.


    About The Author

    Javier "Darkhorse" Franco, formerly from This Week In Airsoft, runs his own Airsoft Blog on Facebook called "One Grunt's Opinion." This article has been posted here with the author's permission.

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    BO MTO Phantom Magnetic Airsoft Rifle Teaser

    It looks like 2016 will be the year in which a big thing in airsoft development will be finally unveiled. If the report of 0'20 Magazine on what BO Manufacture of France are developing is accurate, we shall be seeing something revolutionary that is as significant as the release of the AEG in 1991 by Tokyo Marui --- the BO MTO, the Magnetic Airsoft Rifle.

    Seeing the video teaser of the first model that is going to come out next year, 0'20 Magazine has this to say:

    This is just unbelievable, a true revolution in the airsoft industry. BO Manufacture invented the ultimate airsoft system, it is based on a magnetic source of energy, no more gears, no more motors, no more failures after a few thousand rounds, BO Manufacture guarantee 1 million rounds. The battery will last one week.

    The instant trigger response is about milliseconds and everything is completely silent except the airflow of course. The MTO project is a two years R&D process that is now worlwide patented, the whole thing is made in Bordeaux (France) in the brand new BO Manufacture factory.

    As Eric Gautier, Founder of BO, used t o say: "In Bordeaux, we had no airsoft ecosystem to build airsoft guns but we had a great aeronautics ecosystem, then I used this one and we are now obviously building much more advanced products".

    We heard that MTO goes far beyond airsoft but that is another story... We will bring more to you very soon with a complete detailed product review.

    After watching the video, we sent a message via Facebook to BO Manufacture, hoping that Eric would provide more information just enough to whet our appetites. The reply of the company is that they cannot give more information for the meantime and that the externals would be classic whilst the internals are really new with more potential in terms of information.

    Checking on the comments on the YouTube video, one said that it must be an airsoft rail gun, since it uses magnetic energy, but then it might be not be called an airsoft gun anymore given that propelling a 6mm plastic BB would need air or gas, which is pneumatic and that is the principle of airsoft guns. But since BO Manufacture still calls it an airsoft rifle, then it is still pneumatic with the magnetic aspect being how air is harnessed to propel the BB through the inner barrel and towards the intended target. And if it is a "rail airsoft gun" then BO Manufacture must have developed a most efficient and high capacity battery that can be installed in an airsoft gun, as we've seen other rail gun developments (whether homemade/DIY or military) still relying on banks of batteries just to make them work.

    But then, 0'20 Magazine writes that the "MTO goes far beyond airsoft…" so it must have other potential applications apart from being used in airsoft guns.

    My understanding of what 0'20 magazine said is that the BO MTO either has fewer or does not have any moving parts at all which makes it reliable and energy efficient, guaranteeing that it will fire up to a million rounds of BBs. Indeed, this is what really got our attention, even searching some patent registries (we came up empty) to see if we can get some more information.

    The idea of magnetic airsoft guns is not new at all.  Here is YouTube user mpoT3CHY detailing his ideas of  a magnetic airsoft gun back in 2009:

    Now, this might pose a dilemma for BO Manufacture if the principle or design of their BO MTO is the same or almost similar to what mpoT3CHY described in his videos. This means that there is already "prior art" and  their patent might be rendered invalid.

    Another theory is that it might be an a Coil Gun though this will have to use ferromagnetic projectiles and 6mm plastic BBs are not ferromagnetic. Here is an example of a coil gun built with an airsoft gun:

    Real Sword were reported to be developing an AEG that uses electromagnetic process that works like a Gas Blowback rifle, with minimum parts and also has recoil. But it looks like there is no progress on the product given that there has been no news about it since. Here, Arclight of RedWolf Airsoft talks about the technology in a video taken during the IWA Outdoor Classics 2011 in Germany:

    I am just speculating here since there is hype now building on this announcement. We all have to look forward to knowing more about the BO MTO next year or with 0'20 Magazine's promised review. For Popular Airsoft, we might be able to have a hands-on and closer look at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2016. Any new airsoft technology that will improve the playing experience of airsoft players in terms of realism and performance is always welcome anytime.

    Will the BO MTO be a new revolution in airsoft technology? It remains to be seen.

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    MagWedge Angel Eye Vision Accessory

    Check your six always. That's what we are reminded always when doing tactical training or in an actual force on force action such as an airsoft game. One of the things that we don't want to happen to us is being hit from behind, failing to do one of the basic actions for individual or team security. In small units, we usually have a man (or a woman) who is in charge of our rear, but what if you're alone and in a situation where there are lots of corners, like in CQB game, where anyone will just jump on you from behind?

    A product that is exclusively available at MagWedge tries to answer that problem by taking one device that is common in vehicles and putting on rail systems --- the rear view mirror. A simple solution, or is it?

    Called the Angel Eye Vision Accessory, it helps increase your situational awareness since using this will allow you to spot dangers or threats from behind or on the side. Just like the side view mirror in vehicles, you can easily adjust it where you're satisfied that it covers the angles that you need to keep an eye on without turning around and having your eyes always looking up front. When not in use or going through tight spaces, you just fold it.

    MagWedge is recommending that when ordering the Angle Eye Vision Accessory, which costs $99.95 each at their website, you get two so you can install the Angel Eye on both the left and right sides of your rifle, so you can have an even better view of your surroundings just like driving a car.

    The only problem that we see with the Angle Eye Vision Accessory is that it is another contraption to your rifle. Just imagine all the aiming devices, tactical light, laser, magnifiers, and even suppressors that you attach to your rifle, it may add to the total weight. But then, if it is something that will make you less worry about your six, then it might be something to be considered.

    With the Angle Eye, you will see the OPFOR approaching your rear and allowing you to react quickly, or see your team mate making faces behind your back when on a Direct Action Mission in a milsim event.

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    Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege Official Plane Scenario

    The months of November and December have been stressful for many video gamers, which many airsoft players are. Why do I say that? Well, with all the big titles releasing in these months, for a video gamer on a budget, it's hard where to put that hard-earned money as these are not the cheap 99 cent mobile app games that you can download to your mobile device but big budget video games designed for the latest gaming consoles and for those super expensive gaming PCs.

    Just go through the list: Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Fallout 4, Star Wars Battlefront, StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void, and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege. These are all compelling video game titles that if I have just the money to plunk into all these titles, then I would. My mind has been into a reset mode unable to decide which video game title to get and I'm pretty much sure that many are in the same situation.

    But one game does really get my curiosity, given that I did start in FPS multiplayer gaming with Counter Strike and Rainbow Six Rouge Spear (yes, yes, but don't call me grandpa yet.) The latter, Counter Strike is still going strong and probably the all time best. Will Rainbow Six Siege give that added thrill that Rouge Spear did during the early days of online FPS multiplayer gaming?

    Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege got released on the 1st of December 2015 and just like Star Wars Battlefront, it has no single player campaign and you are immediately set for a multiplayer game.  What makes Rainbow Six Siege Different is that players have many tools to use, many ways to ingress and egress, and of course can blast their way through walls and floors. This means that all players will have to be on their toes at all times and the issue of camping becomes moot with such features.

    Will I decide on getting Rainbow Six Siege instead? I'll be going through these video reviews done by authoritative websites this week if their experience will convince me to get a copy. If you haven't decided yet, join me then in check this video reviews and find out if indeed Rainbow Six Siege is the tactical shooter game that we want going into 2016:

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    Celcius AKM CTW

    Another milestone in airsoft training weapons has been reached as we see for the first time the first AK training weapon released from Celcius Technology. While it is in fact an airsoft gun and can be used for airsoft skirmishes, airsoft training weapons are marketed towards for LEO and military training organizations. Systema Engineering started this segment as they defined the PTW (Professional Training Weapon) and made a conscious effort to have distinct PTW for the Mil/LE communities.

    Before the release the Celcius AKM CTW, there were only two weapons platforms that have airsoft training weapon versions, the AR and the MP5. Both were started by Systema Engineering and their AR version was copied but many say have never been equaled or surpassed by their copies or clones. Nowadays, it's mainly the AR training weapons that are on the market right and we don’t know why Systema discontinued the MP5 line and only Celcius and Systema are actively producing the AR training weapons. The clones that we know of are the DTW and A&K PTWs.

    Usually, the PTWs are 1:1 replicas of the real steel ones, and thus, any existing weapons accessory made for the real steel ARs can readily fit the PTWs, especially the Systema PTWs. In the case of the Celcius AKM CTW, they made a real effort that the exact details are replicated to come up with a 1:1 scale AKM CTW, traveling to Russia to study the real AK before they started developing a prototype.

    As for the price, it is US$1,000 with the first 100 units of the AKM CTW immediately snapped up on the day of its release and the next 100 set for a 15 December release already pre-sold. If you want to own one of these, the next 100 units are set for release on the 3rd of January 2016.

    Is the AKM CTW the AK you want either for training or airsoft milsim? Or should you stick to the GHK AK Gas Blowbacks which also give another option especially if you're looking for the blowback and recoil.  If you can't decide yet, then go over the specifications of the AKM CTW if it will sell itself to you:

    ECU & Motor:

    • Celcius Dynamic ECU™ - Semi & Full Auto (Compatible with aftermarket M4 ECU)
    • Race MOSFET board with Silver-Plated conductors (Compatible with aftermarket M4 MOSFET)
    • Typhoon IV Motor (Compatible with M4 Training Weapon)


    • 6.03mm Reformation Barrel IV for AKM – Stainless Steel
    • One Piece CNC processed Steel Outer Barrel

    Cylinder - Muzzle Velocity

    • 450FPS 1.9 Joule or above (Assembled in Russia)
    • 400FPS 1.5 Joule (Standard)
    • 360FPS 1.2 Joule (UK Version)
    • 320FPS 1 Joule (Spain Version)

    *All AKM Cylinder Components are compatible with CTW M4 Series cylinder, except the Case, Cylinder Head, Spring Guide, and Nozzle A


    • CELCIUS AKM Stamped Receiver


    • CTW AKM Planetary Gearbox


    • AKM 150 Rounds High Speed Magazine Inner Case (Compatible with Real AKM Steel Magazine Case)
    • AKM Steel Case (Russian Spine Stamped Version)

    Recommended Battery:

    • 300-400FPS | 1 – 1.4 Joule: Lipo 11.1v 1200mAh 20C
    • 450-600FPS | 1.5 – 3.3 Joule: Lipo 11.1v 2400mAh 20C / 14.8v 1400mAh 25C

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    6 APCA Nominationst 2nd Week

    We're now into the second week into the Nominations Period of the 6th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards and we have now over a thousand airsoft players have already submitted their full of partial list of nominees. The earlier that you submit your list, have your favourites' chances of making it to the final voting round would even get better.

    As we always remind our readers, just submitting your list of nominees would not be enough. We encourage everyone to invite every airsoft team mate or player that they know of to participate in the Awards process as the success of the awards it totally up to the readers of Popular Airsoft. You can publicly share your list in social media to compare notes with other players, if that means your favourites can get more exposure to potential voters.


    There will be raffle prizes that will be awarded after the Awards period which means that if you nominate and vote during the awards period, you get two chances of your name entered into the raffle! How about that! We won't announce what these raffle prizes are yet as we usually unveil them during the Voting Period (04 January to 01 February 2016) and we guarantee that the raffle prizes are some of the most sought after stuff in the market.

    Go now! Submit your nominees and have fun seeing your favourites go through the Awards process. Also, don't forget to visit the sponsors of the awards who have made it possible to make this more exciting, with their contributions and raffle prizes:






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    U.S. Army Woman

    Last week, the U.S. Military finally approved opening up combat roles, which have been closed before to women. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, last Thursday, 3rd of December 2015, approved combat roles open to women with no exceptions, as long as they meet the standards required for those roles.

    All branches of the U.S. Military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard) will implement the decision. The U.S. Marine Corps asked that they be exempted from such but the request was not granted by the Defense Secretary.

    With this decision, Secretary Carter said that,“They’ll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars and lead infantry soldiers into combat. They’ll be able to serve as Army rangers and green berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers and everything else that was previously open only to men.”

    The decision will take effect within 30 days, in line with the plan of the U.S. Military of opening up more roles for women. In this case, only 10% of roles in the military still remained closed to women, with 90% of other roles already have women able to fill up the positions. That’s about 220,000 positions all across the branches.

    Over 200 women have died in the Afghan and Iraq wars, especially during height of the U.S. government’s “War on Terror.” Thus, it is not exact to say that U.S. servicewomen have not tasted combat. One prominent case is Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois’s 8th District who is a veteran.  She is a double amputee due to combat injuries when the Blackhawk chopper she was flying was hit by an RPG fired by Iraqi insurgents.

    The integration into new combat roles will take time will be done deliberately and methodically following the seven guidelines issued by the DOD:

    1. Implementation will be pursued with the objective of improved force effectiveness.
    2. Leaders must assign tasks and jobs throughout the force based on ability, not gender.
    3. Equal opportunity likely will not mean equal participation by men and women in all specialties, and there will be no quotas.
    4. Studies conducted by the services and Socom indicate that on average there are physical and other differences between men and women, and implementation will take this into account.
    5. The department will address the fact that some surveys suggest that some service members, men and women, will perceive that integration could damage combat effectiveness.
    6. Particularly in the specialties that are newly open to women, survey data and the judgment of service leaders indicate that the performance of small teams is important.
    7. The United States and some of its closest friends and allies are committed to having militaries that include men and women, but not all nations share this perspective.

    There are of course opposition to this decision of allowing women into more combat roles, citing studies wherein men are physically stronger than women (though women also have their own distinct physical advantages as well, or just outright refusal to recognize that women can perform combat roles either due to religious or cultural concerns. But it’s like trying to turn back the hands of time as other countries have opened up combat roles to women.

    Now, if we can get gender-equal military without sexual prejudices, then women will have no problem of integrated into various roles and units. This thought always reminds me of Starship Troopers where the servicemen and women in the Terran Federation get equal opportunities in training and rank.

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    Tom Clancy's The Division (Ubisoft)

    Bad news to airsoft players who have been looking forward to be part of  upcoming Tom Clancy’s The Division Beta. Ubisoft has decided to push the date of the Beta into early 2016 with not much explanation. Even with this change in schedules, they still are maintaining their release schedule on the 8th of March 2016.

    I am not counting yet on that announced released date. The Division was announced in 2013 with an initial expectation that they will be releasing the title in 2014. Some quarters found it to be too optimistic as the game is ambitious with its characters requiring complex animations. But then, by May 2014, they pushed back the date, targeting autumn of 2015. Now, it is going to be March 2016 and so far my expectations now are low.

    But if the push back in release dates will mean a video game title that has been put well together on its release date, avoiding the Battlefield 4 debacle, then I am all for it.

    The only consolation is that Xbox players will have access to the Alpha:

    We know many of you have been patiently awaiting the arrival of The Division Beta, and we appreciate your patience as the team remains committed to delivering an open-world action-RPG experience that exceeds your expectations on March 8, 2016. With that in mind, we’re changing some of our beta plans to reach that goal, and your participation plays an important part.

    The Division Beta planned for December will now take place in early 2016. However, we’re excited to announce that players who preordered the Xbox One version will have priority access to an exclusive closed Xbox One alpha testing phase, taking place from December 9 to 12. Those of you on the waitlist for the Xbox One alpha may be granted access on an as needed basis. In addition, players who pre-ordered the Xbox One, PS4, or PC version of The Division will have access to a closed beta on their respective platforms in early 2016.

    This exclusive Xbox One alpha testing phase in December will be the first time the public gets to play a version of The Division that includes more than the Dark Zone PvP enabled areas. This means the moment you and other players sign into the game, you’ll be giving us valuable insight into how our infrastructure performs under pressure that we can’t replicate internally or at a tradeshow. This process allows us to monitor and gather additional feedback on other aspects of The Division, as well. However, due to the early stage of this alpha, we ask that all participants do not share images, video, or descriptions of the game’s content outside of the official Division alpha forum. Players will be prompted to accept a non-disclosure agreement before playing the alpha.

    We know that you probably have more questions, so we’ve put together a FAQ on The Division Alpha that hopefully answers them. If you still have any questions or concerns, feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

    We thank you again for your patience and value your enthusiasm for The Division. The team is working hard to deliver a great experience and can’t wait to show you more in the coming months.

    Well, lucky are the Xbox players, if they are ok with signing an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement). Or else, they will have to wait for the actual release date.

    Tom Clancy's The Division is an upcoming open world third-person shooter role-playing video game with survival elements. Upon its release, versions will be available for the XBox, Playstation, and Windows PC.

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