I was mostly talking about the fact that the average member of our community equals probably 15 regular consumers in terms of sales, and that does have an impact. The most important impact we have is that when new guns come out, our members are usually buying them up once they hit shelves, which results in the stores ordering more of them which means that the guns we purchase in higher amounts are more likely to be on the shelf when parents come to buy their kids a new blaster.
Ok, from the mouth of OMC's Hasbro contact before an '06 MA war; this is just not true. There are several engineers that really enjoy watching what we do, but they are the minority, and any contact they make with us is essentially their own decision and not encouraged by the company. We are not a significant enough blip on the sales radar of Hasbro to influence the direction of their products. On the other hand, as you said earlier in your post, we might be able to achieve far greater influence with our information than we ever could with our wallets. While only a minority of consumers actually modify their blasters to the point where this site is absolutely neccessary, product reviews on popular sites and the various office nerfers who might have enough interest in their maverick to give us a look lend us an audiance that MAY be able to wield some influence with their collective purchase power.
Though personally, I think it's not worth worrying about. Just enjoy what we have and continue to find new and intriguing ways to turn their half-assed products into the full-assed foam deliverance.