It’s not that bad. I wouldn’t call it a ripoff. It’s really a trade-off. You’ll be able to buy the new 12-round clips separately so you can still get them. The only reason they’re not including them with the blaster is to keep cost to the consumer low. I think this blaster will be pretty expensive the way it is. And it’s not like you can get the full 144 dart capacity with 8 of the clips they’re providing anyway. I for one hope they start selling the 18-round straight clips separately.
It’s not Hasbro/Nerf that we have to blame for this, it’s high oil prices, and from that, high plastic prices. I was told directly by one of the designers that it’s killing them with plastic prices as they are now, they didn’t expect the prices to rise as high as they have. That’s why many of the newer blasters have higher price points.