The latest Blackhole Show Review (2004-08-26)
Reporting to you again on location from Japan, RedWolf Airsoft attended the 3rd Blackhole show of 2004 in Tokyo. Either there have been too many shows this year or that there simply is not much to show, this show was visibly smaller than some of the earlier Blackhole shows we attended. For those of you who have never heard of Blackhole, it is an airsoft show that is held approximately 4 times per year in Tokyo. Although mostly dedicated to airsoft, many related hobbies such as 12 inch military figures and models are also seen at the event. Past years have even seen Samurai swords and historic Japanese weapons on display.
Having said that, the show did serve as a launch-pad for a few exciting products that some airsoft enthusiasts may be waiting for. As usual, the largest booth at the show belonged to Tokyo Marui. Protected from curious fingers in a display case were two soon-to-be-released pistols - the 10 inch Desert Eagle and the Sig Sauer P226. As a personal fan of the Sig Sauer from Tanaka, it is definitely exciting to see another quality manufactuer take to making this beautiful pistol. The display model seems very well done with nicely textured grips. We cannot tell how heavy or solid the pistol will be at this point but the density of the plastic will likely be very similar to that found on other Marui gas pistols like the Tactical Master and M9. For the 10 Inch Desert Eagle, it is simply a longer version of the existing Desert Eagle. A new RC tank was also on display at the Marui booth - for those of you who are fans of vehicle skirmishing! As expected, the detail and quality of the tank is very high - and they shoot 0.2g BBs with a 25 meter range as with the earlier models. Marui also showcased various new accessories they are bringing out, including a VSR-10 outer barrel and a tactical bipod - although frankly nothing exciting compared with the vast spectrum of accessories offered by other aftermarket manufacturers.
For fans of the XM177, we have terrific news. G&P is soon to release a full metal version of the XM177 as shown in these photos here. Of course, G&P is located in Hong Kong and we did not need to go to Blackhole to see the gun - but G&P chose to officially unveil this new AEG at the show. For those of you who already own a Marui XM177, we will actually be getting full metal barrel and foregrips from G&P in the next several days. And yes, the barrel will be threaded so that you can replace the metal flash-hider with a silencer!
But the biggest news was the KSC HK33 (an AEG) which attendees of the show were allowed to shoot and try out. We shot the new HK33 and it gets high points from us for fit and finish and minimal trigger pull delay. KSC also has not been content to stick with Marui's AEG design and has innovated a manual cocking function into this AEG. There is a switch near the trigger which you can use to disengage the gearbox when you run out of batteries and allow you to switch to manual cocking with the front cocking lever! This seems to be an immensely useful feature if you are caught in the middle of a skirmish with a dead battery - at least you can resort to sniping and avoid being caught defenseless!
There were much fewer custom-made and rare pieces on display this time as compared to previous shows. Hopefully the next Blackhole show might reveal some glimpses of Tokyo Marui's much anticipated M14 AEG sniper rifle, or TOP's MP40 AEG! Till next time, this is RedWolf Airsoft reporting from Tokyo!