ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY
Alright guys, this is your warning: the Star Wars reviews are coming. Lots of them. You might be aware that recently, the “Force Friday” promotional event took place. Well, I went to the midnight opening of the local TRU to help Ethan snag at least some of the new arrivals and boy did he snag. Now that that’s out of the way, I figured today would be an appropriate time to take a look at one of Nerf’s offerings from the previous Force Friday. So let’s take a look at the signature weapon of one of the most over-hyped class of trooper from Rogue One, the Imperial Death Trooper Blaster.
THE BLASTER ITSELF
The Death Trooper Blaster was released in 2016 as a promotion for the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The blaster uses a 3-barrel smart AR with a pump action prime. The shell of the blaster is completely original tooling and does a good job conveying the look of the E-11D blaster rifle seen in the film. This particular series of Star Wars tie-in blasters were the first to incorporate the “Glowstrike” feature which would activate lights inside the blaster to shine on special Glowstrike darts with glow in the dark bodies. The end result of this was having the darts themselves glow as they were fired, producing a laser blast kind of effect. In the case of the DTB, the lights are activated when the priming slide is pulled back, and deactivated following the trigger pull. We’ve seen similar gimmicks implemented before going all the way back to the N-Strike Firefly REV-8 but this version seems to be the best iteration we’ve had so far. Also, new to the Star Wars branded products, starting with this line, was the added lights and sounds when the trigger is pulled, adding further to the feeling of firing a laser blaster. Pulling the trigger of the DTB plays the sound clip of a laser blast and causes a couple red LEDs along the top of the barrel to flash in succession. It’s nothing terribly special and I was extremely skeptical when I found out it was a feature that couldn’t be turned off, but having played with it thoroughly enough, it does add a bit of enjoyment having a blaster that makes its own sound effects instead of making them myself. I do still make them myself from time to time, though. The lights and sounds as well as the Glowstrike feature require 3 AAA batteries to work, which, conveniently, come installed in the blaster. Actually firing the blaster can be done entirely without batteries, but at that point it just becomes like any other Nerf blaster. The DTB has an attachment rail on the top of the blaster and a stock attachment in the rear. It should be noted that mine is the standard red version, but the TRU exclusive comes with a bright green color scheme as well as matching scope and stock accessories. As just the blaster, it has a nice compact feel, almost like it could pass as an oversized pistol. Everything feels comfortable and solid in the hand. Admittedly, it is still a rather large blaster for only 3 shots, and like with many tie-in products, performance is a hair below par for more core Nerf lines. This is definitely an indoor blaster, and while it doesn’t shoot quite as far or hard as blasters from the Elite series, the flashing lights and laser sound effects leave quite an impression when bursting into your sibling’s room to dispense Imperial justice. The red version of the Imperial Death Trooper Blaster comes with 3 Glowstrike Star Wars branded darts and 3 AAA batteries installed.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I think this particular release of Star Wars Nerf is the best example of how my opinion of something in theory can be completely different from my opinion of it in practice. Like I said, I was expecting to hate the blasters given that they all made pew pew noises and there was no off switch for it. Having had them for a year at this point, I can say they are some of the easiest and most fun to just pick up and pew pew around my house with.