First, from my wife, daughter and myself; Thank you. Thank you for your support, and your passion for all things Nerf modding related! Your support of my shop quite literally puts food on my table, clothing on my daughter, and HIRs in my Proton Pack (even though it's empty again after EndWar)! We are beyond grateful for the support from the Nerf community. I feel so fortunate to have joined this amazing community just six and a half years ago. I've never felt more passionate about a job than I have while running Out of Darts!
2018 was an amazing, yet challenging year. My wife and I had our first baby girl Hazel, launched this new website, completed the Nerf Modification Guide and simultaneously took Out of Darts full-time. The last year has been a sleep-deprived blur, but we are beyond thankful for chaos.
I really enjoyed writing and photographing the Nerf Modification Guide Book. I greatly appreciate all of positive reinforcement I've received about my book. I never thought that, "write a book" would be a bucket list item for me, but I feel accomplished and relieved to have a physical body of work to look back on. Especially after all of the time and energy I spent writing and photographing the Nerf Mod Guide Book.
While I wish I could write a second book, the process is simply too involved to do again anytime soon. I didn't track all of the time spent on the process, but it was at least a few hundred hours of my time. Between work on the book, customer service questions, running the shop and enjoying family time it's been a whirlwind. Between all of the chaos it has been a struggle to focus on my true passion which is designing new products and modding more blasters! With the help of my team and providing additional resources for the community (including this blog), I hope to free up some more time to provide more unique products and tutorials to the community.
This blog will serve as a continued outlet for mod guides and resources. I plan to offer a huge range of topics, but to start it will expand greatly on my book. I will do my best to keep things short and to the point, using as many quality photos and links as possible. Additionally, I've reached out to some fantastic guest contributors who will write some content for the blog - I am just one person after all!
The first half of 2019 is off to an incredible start! In April, I moved the Out of Darts 'shop' and 'shipping department' out of my home. We were bursting at the seams in my home, occupying 100% of our three car garage and two large additional rooms. At the end of working from home, the inventory had completely taken over all the common space in my home. Michelle and Adrianna from FoamBlast stayed with us towards just before the move and they literally had to crawl around a maze of boxes to find their bed in our guest bedroom. Thanks again for all of your help with the warehouse move FB ladies!
2019 is the year of new changes for OOD. Queue blog title, Out of Darts 2.0. This blog is also the start of something new. I want to bring you both articles about new product releases, Nerf News, design updates and additional resources. My LiPo safety page is an example of the type of content I'd like to post going forward, as it helps answer the most common questions I receive on a weekly basis. I'll also add an index of all mod guides on the site, to allow both new modders and veterans find modding information more easily.
I spend a great deal of time chatting with customers, sending out build lists and giving modding advice - literally hours each day. I hope to make this whole process even easier for all of you, and to offer new original content at the same time. I would also like to offer opportunities for guest collaborations on our blog to provide unique content for the community. Interested in guest collaborating? please contact me directly.
This hobby gets more amazing by the week. I'm blown away by the communities' creativity and passion. I'm also thrilled to see the huge leaps taken by companies like Dart Zone, with the creation of their 'Dart Zone Pro' line. Our hobby is growing steadily, and with it comes more amazing products, opportunity and most importantly more modding.
2019 has been amazing already, with the Minnesota Blaster Battle and EndWar completed, I'm now back to working on new products and a few top-secret mods. On a project update note, I have a LOT of projects going on. One project I have been working on for nearly two years without sharing anything publicly (which believe me it has been a hard secret to keep!) There is also Olympus, a mountable version of Jupiter that will be coming soon, along with the highly anticipated Proton Pack kits. I also have some fantastic electronic products in the works that I'm sure will knock your socks off.
Happy modding from Luke, Pamela, Hazel (AKA Baby darts) and the team here at Out of Darts!