by: Blair Stephens
Looking for a great gift for the Paintball enthusiast in your family? Well, fall of 2006 marked the largest debut of new products in Paintball's history. No matter what your budget; there is a hot new product to fit the bill.
Custom Products has always been known for their wide selection of "after-market" items for many different paintball markers. This holiday season they're released their new Air Systems. They will be available in both 48 and 68ci and in high or low pressure. Prices on the air systems start around $220. They also just released 06 Ego Sling and Rake triggers as well as on/off plugs for the DM6. With prices below $30, these will make great stocking stuffers.
As anticipated, Dye rolled out their entire 2007 arsenal at this year's World Cup. They didn't disappoint with a redesigned C7 paintball clothing line, new C7 Slide Shorts, and their flagship marker the DM7. The DM7 is both smaller and lighter than last year's DM6 and now includes a lever locking clamp feed neck. The new DM7s are retailing for $1399.
Dye's daughter company, Proto, has also been hard at work. Their answer to Smart Parts low end / high performance Ion is the Proto Matrix Rail. The Rail retails at a mere $400 but includes BIG features such as anti chop eyes, a super light composite trigger frame, rate of fires in excess of 17 balls per second, and a bolt assembly that can easily be removed and cleaned from the back of the marker. It will be available in Black only through the holidays and additional colors will be available in early 2007.
Kingman and Tippmann are both battling for the entry level crowd. Tippmann's new X7 Marker is designed to be the most customizable marker ever. It has thousands of combinations possible including new barrels, barrel shrouds, stocks, mock magazines, and many other accessories to fit any user's desires. Kingman dropped their new VS line in the 3rd quarter. The VS2 and VS3 are complete revisions of the Spyder line but affordably priced. The VS2 starts at only $190 and includes high end features including low pressure operation and anti chop eyes.
Planet Eclipse completely redid their amazingly popular 06 Ego in the newly release 07 Ego. The 07 Ego isn't just a revision; it's a complete redesign of the Ego platform. The paintball marker is nearly a half pound lighter and has a new solenoid, grip frame, trigger, shaft barrel, totally revamped internals, and much more. This is the "must have" marker for 2007. Prices start at $1250. They will begin shipping to dealers on December 8th.
This year Empire released a full line of new paintball clothing and most notably their new marker the Invert Mini. The Invert is scheduled to begin shipping December 1st and has a laundry list of features including a gas through grip frame (a first for paintball) that allows the air in your bottom line to feed directly through your grip and into the marker. No more external hoses! It is both small and light and at only $400, it offers features comparable to markers double its cost!
Smart Parts has astonished the Paintball world with a complete revamp of their product line in the last 2 years. The introduction of the Ion in 2004 was their first step into the high performance low cost market at only $285. Only 2 years later, they've released the Epiphany. The Epiphany is based off the Ion design but includes a metal body, newly redesigned trigger frame, freak barrel, fire bolt, and a new adjustable firing chamber for increased efficiency. At only $400 this will be one of the hottest sellers this holiday season. Epiphanys begin shipping December 10th.
Other notable releases include VForce's new Grillz system, Draxxus's new 30+ balls per second Pulse Loader, and DerDer's Soldiers of Misfortune DVD.