Right for the purposes of this blog, I will be calling the above-mentioned company MAS as its easier to type out. So who is MAS? They are a company that a few years ago came up with an idea to launch a project to create a new blank firing grenade into the airsoft market, this device was going to be very different to other devices already in the market. Usually, a device will only either go bang when a timer has run down or when the grenade impacts a hard surface. The MAS grenade was going to do both of them plus have sensors that would allow it to go off if it was moved by a door. You could also set it up as a tripwire device via inferred lasers. Sounds good, doesn’t it? You want one, don’t you? Well before you get too excited let us delve into some history on grenades in airsoft.
As some of you may know there are some players that have grenades as part of there kit. These devices are either a blank firing grenade (BFG) or a CO2 device. The BFG usually uses a mixture of blanks to simulate a grenade going off. You can have different blanks put into these devices which will put out different levels of bang. All these levels are put under the club rules at the site you are going to play at. Some sites will allow for louder blanks and some sites will not. Most devices are single shot so basically when they go BANG you have to take out the old used blank and change it for a new one. However, some grenades now come with multi blank bases. What this means is that instead of one blank the device now has five or six. All you have to do is pick up your grenade and spin the base around to a new blank and your grenade is ready for use again. This does mean that there can be a bit of grenade spam in a match but I will leave that for another blog.
So where does MAS sit in all this?
Well like I said earlier a few years ago they started a project for there grenade, they listed all the specs of there device and all the things that it should be able to do and to be honest if it could do all the things they say then this device would be a world beater in the airsoft market. As with all projects like this they needed funding to get the project off the ground, they wanted 500 backers to back 500 devices at a very low price. Needless to say, they got their backers very quickly as like me other airsofters quickly realised just what this device could do. The device was already developed to use a simple flashbang type cartridge but the backers that we had at the time wanted it to use primers because the 70p (approx) per bang cost was too high compared to a 5p primer. So we then set about developing the Blank Firing Base. This is what has taken so long and so much of their time consuming resources and the relatively small amount of money that was backed. They promised to get down to work and develop the device. Obviously, this was going to take time as there was no device like this in the current airsoft market. There was not only the matter of building the device but also developing the technology inside it. A lot of airsofters were getting excited about this device and there was lots of hype surrounding it not only from normal players but also from other airsoft retailers and clubs.
So where has this all gone wrong?
Well now it’s three years on from the original date and there is the grand total of one device. The other 499 do not exist yet. There are a few slightly miffed backers as they have been waiting all this time for there devices. Most backers just backed one device but some backers have backed a lot more then one unit, one backer I found out recently has backed 11 units. I have kept abreast of the developments from the MAS Facebook page and it does make for good reading, all though probably not for any of the original backers.
Obviously, MAS started off with an idea and all though they have had dealings with making other items which may I add have nothing to do with airsoft they decided to plow on with this new grenade idea with the support and financial backing of the original 500 backers.
As for me creating this blog, there has been no sign of the original backers getting their devices. All that has come out of MAS has been excuses after excuses, there have been a few dates put onto the Facebook page but these have been the dates that MAS have said they are going to be making the devices. Now that I am typing this blog there is a date that MAS hope to have the first batch of devices made by and that is February 2018, a long time since early 2015 when the idea was put out there into the airsoft community.
MAS has been taking flack from what seems like 90% of the original backers, only a few still seem to support them and show that support on the Facebook page. Most people are putting up very negative comments aimed at the grenades designers and some of them have become very rude.
So what is going to happen?
We just don’t know, I like to keep up to date on these new technologies that might come out into the airsoft market and even I don’t know where this will lead. If I was a backer I would be very worried about where my money has gone. Now obviously if they do manage to release them I honestly do think that the original 500 devices will be the only devices that they make. There has been a retail price put out at nearly £169.99 now the normal price for a TRMR device is around £90, if you want to have to have the multi blank extension you are looking for another £30.
So what is next?
Well, quite simply we have to wait and see. I know there are a lot of backers that getting quite desperate to see their new devices but all they can do is wait for one of two possible outcomes. One is that the device is made and released to them, the second is that MAS openly admit that they have completely miss calculated just how they were to make these devices. I personally hope that second way is not going to happen. Even if the original 500 devices are the only devices that are made I hope that at least the original backers get their devices. As for the rest of us, I just can't really see anyone paying £300 for a device that you chuck around an airsoft site.
Has MAS lost the plot? No, I don’t think so, they started all this off with an idea that was very new to airsoft. Yes, they have hit massive difficulties with this idea but they are working to get a solution. I understand that some people are getting tired of waiting and only getting more delays on top of delays but MAS is a very small company and this grenade project is not there primary project to work on. They also only have a very small crew of people who are working on the device so in short everyone just has to wait.
Obviously, I would like to take this time to say that this blog was not sponsored in any way by MAS, this was written just by an airsofter who keeps an eye on what’s going on in the airsoft community.