If I had to attribute my love for toy blasters to one thing, it’s wanting to recreate my favorite video games in real life, one of the most notable examples being the Halo franchise. These two were brought together a couple years ago when Mattel gained the Halo license for its BoomCo line of blasters. The thing is, while trying to create accurate replicas of the in-game weapons while also fitting them around recycled, but mostly functional mechanics, they ended up being pretty disappointing, not really doing a good job on either front. Cue Hasbro who launched the Alien Menace Nerf line, seemingly as a direct counter to Boomco’s Halo branded products. I’ve already reviewed the Ravager from the series, but today I’ll be taking a look at one of the line’s brand new additions, the Voidcaster.
THE BLASTER ITSELF
The Voidcaster was released in 2017 as part of the TRU exclusive Alien Menace line. If you’ve read my review of the Ravager from the same line, you’ll know that one of the blaster’s highlights were the amount of fine detail and texture work put into the shell. The same is true for the Voidcaster which sports faux ray skin, bone, and even crystalline elements throughout it’s uniquely molded shell. Internally, the Voidcaster borrows its primary mechanism from the Snapfire 8 of the Dart Tag line. Unlike most other blasters, the Voidcaster does not require batteries nor does it need to be manually cycled between shots. The large trigger —which takes up almost the entire length of the grip— uses its long pull to push the plunger back, releasing it once the trigger has been compressed fully. Aside from using stored air pressure in a tank, this is the only way I am aware of to achieve a semi-automatic blaster without the need for batteries. The blaster has 4 barrels linked via smart AR. The overall shape of the blaster is reminiscent of the iconic plasma rifle from the Halo series and the 8 dart holders on the bottom portion of the blaster, when fully loaded, resemble design features of the needler from the same games. The blaster feels solid in the hand but it does suffer from a lack of secondary grip points, making one-handed firing practically the only option, however, the semi-auto nature of the blaster means that dual wielding is not a problem. Accuracy is a bit of a weak point for the blaster. By extending the trigger down the front of the grip, compressing the spring is much easier than with a single finger trigger, but it also means the blaster jostles around a fair bit when firing, more so if firing in rapid succession. Because priming the blaster relies on the grip strength of the user, and because it is a toy for children, the spring driving the plunger is not especially strong and as such, power and distance are noticeably sub-par compared to more conventional blasters. This is definitely an indoor blaster and if you can manage to get your hands on two of them, I highly recommend dual wielding for busting into your younger siblings’ rooms and blasting away. The included darts are a little frustrating for someone like me who has to keep blasters with the darts they are meant to use. In this case, given the 4 barrels and 8 dart holders on the blaster, I would have like it to include enough to completely fill all available spaces, but sadly it only comes packaged with 8. Additionally, the previous 2 Alien Menace blasters came with darts that had grey bodies and purple tips. The Voidcaster’s included darts are grey with blue tips and, as of me writing this, are the only ones with this color scheme. Available Alien Menace dart packs only feature purple tips.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I was very excited for this blaster since it was announced in Nerf’s pre-Toy Fair press release. Between then and now, though, there had been basically no word on it. I was caught quite off guard when I found it at a TRU in South Carolina, so much so that I bought it then and there without a second thought. It’s a really fun snappy little blaster with some really cool aesthetics, and it’s only enhance by the addition of a second for your other hand.