POE DAMERON BLASTER
STAR WARS EPISODE VIII: THE LAST JEDI
While the vast majority of the Force Friday haul was action figures for Ethan, I did manage to pick up something for myself, and, big surprise, it’s a Nerf blaster. It is the smallest and cheapest of this year’s Star Wars releases. I am, of course, talking about the Poe Dameron Blaster pistol. Let’s take a look at it.
THE BLASTER ITSELF
The Poe Dameron Blaster was released in 2017 as part of the Force Friday lineup of new products promoting the upcoming Star Wars Episode VIII. The blaster is about as simple as it gets, mechanically. It is a single shot muzzle loaded pistol with a priming tab in the rear of the blaster. The tab is a separate piece from the plunger and has its own return spring so it doesn’t stick out the back of the blaster when primed like the Nitefinder or Firestrike. In addition to priming the action of the blaster, pulling the tab back also activates the Glowstrike feature which is part of every Star Wars branded blaster at this point. There is a single purple LED with a clear inner barrel that “charges” up the dart so it glows in the dark when fired. The light turns off following a trigger pull which, in turn, fires the dart and sets off the blaster’s light effect and sound. I can’t speak for the accuracy of the sound as the film has not yet come out, but I have to say I find the light effect a little disappointing. I wasn’t expecting the same level of light effects as are on higher end blasters, but the single light on only one side of the blaster feels a bit underwhelming. This is only accentuated by the fact that the light stays on for almost a full second after the trigger is pulled. Even with the lackluster setup, I would have much preferred a quick flash of light than the drawn out night light effect the blaster has. Ultimately, it’s kind of a nit-picky criticism to make, but I know Nerf have the capability to deliver better and I wish they had done it just a little different. The form factor of Poe’s blaster, thankfully, brings us back to the positives. Like with most of the prop blasters in Star Wars, Poe’s blaster in the film is built on the frame of a real world firearm, in this case the Sig Sauer P226. This won’t matter to 98% of people who buy the Nerf replica, but what it means is that the grip is exceptionally comfortable. It may seem like a small detail, but if a blaster is genuinely pleasant to hold, even if it’s only so-so otherwise, I’m much more likely to pick it up and pew pew around my house than I am with a functionally superior but less comfortable blaster. The handle also houses the single AA battery that powers the light, sound, and Glowstrike feature. The little bit of extra weight in the grip also helps with comfort. The build quality is good and everything feels solid, as you’d expect from a Nerf blaster. Poe’s blaster has an attachment rail on the top for accessories if you really think it needs them. Unsurprisingly, Poe’s blaster is a bit underpowered compared to the Elite series. This is the case with just about all licensed blasters Nerf makes so it’s not surprising. This is an indoor blaster, plain and simple. It doesn’t pack nearly the same punch as core Nerf blasters, but that just means you’re less likely to accidentally injure your younger siblings when you burst into their room. Besides, the glowing darts and sound effects leave enough of an impression to make up for it, especially for nighttime ambushes. The Poe Dameron Blaster comes packaged with 3 Star Wars branded Glowstrike darts and one AA battery already installed.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
To be completely honest, I was pretty disappointed with this years selection of Star Wars Nerf. I didn’t even buy this blaster just because I wanted it but because Target was giving away freebies if you bought something from Force Friday. That being said, do I regret buying this blaster? No. It has plenty of issues and I wouldn’t put it anywhere near my top 10, but for what it is, I feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of it. And besides, it’s just so dang comfortable.