You know what this page needs? It needs more balls. Like, just a little pile over there, like 2 cubic tons. Ok, maybe not that many, more like just a few ounces. And obviously, I’m talking about the Nerf Rival High-Impact Rounds. What else could it be, you weirdo. Yes, it’s another Rival review, and this time we’re looking at part 2 of the line’s debut release, named for the king of the gods himself, the Zeus MXV-1200. Let’s check it out.
THE BLASTER ITSELF
Here’s a fun fact, the names of the Rival blasters are actually quite informative. Let me break it down for you. So far they all are named for a deity from the ancient Greek pantheon and that’s just to sound cool. After that, if the first letter is an M, that stands for “motorized.” If there’s no M, you can assume it’s spring powered. The next letters are the Roman numerals for the last 2 digits of the blaster’s release year. XV is 15, hence, the Zeus and Apollo came out in 2015. Lastly, the number after the hyphen is the blaster’s initial magazine capacity multiplied by 100. All clear? Good, let’s move on. As the name suggests, the Zeus is a semi-automatic flywheel powered blaster with a 12 round capacity using the included magazine. The flywheel mechanism itself is nothing new, though it has been substantially beefed up to deliver the expected Rival performance. The shell of the Zeus is completely original and features a unique in-line side loaded orientation for the magazine, using the magazine spring itself to feed rounds into the flywheels rather than some other pusher mechanism. Exchanging magazines is a little tricky at first because of how unconventional the layout is, but with a little time you get used to it. Something worth noting is that the Rival 12 round magazines are the only ones that will work with the Zeus. The Zeus’s handling is pretty good, though I do have some minor gripes. The blaster feels solid and rather hefty in the hand, but the housing for the motors sticks out kind of abruptly from the left side and can dig into your palm if you’re not holding it just right. Also, the pistol grip feels a little slim and I might have preferred just a bit more there to hold onto. There is a lever safety above the trigger that prevents the rev switch from being pressed when it’s engaged, but it’s got a lot of play before it actually clicks into place and feels like it was probably a last minute addition. The Zeus sports 3 Rival attachment rails (not the standard Nerf rail, these are specific to Rival), one on each side and a longer one along the top of the blaster. It also has flip-up sights to help with aiming but they sit a little low compared to the back end of the blaster so you have to really mash your face into the cheek rest to get a decent sight picture. Functionally, the only complaint I have is that I wish inserting a magazine didn’t automatically make it push a round into the blaster. Again, these are minor issues that I have and don’t affect my overall opinion of the blaster that much. That’s because actually shooting the Zeus is a joy. Unlike other flywheel dart blasters, the Zeus revs up with a sound I’ve often described as a bag of angry hornets, and that sound is very much understandable once you pull the trigger a few times. It launches rounds on more or less a straight line trajectory for a good 50 feet before they exhibit any noticeable drop. Rounds also hit hard, making indoor shooting kind of a bad idea if you don’t want to risk breaking anything. The plus side of this is that usually, you don’t even need to shoot anything to freak out your sibling when you bust into their room. Just rev the darn thing like a mother-something chainsaw (what?) and that’ll get your point across. The Zeus MXV-1200 requires 6 C batteries and comes packaged with 12 High-Impact Rounds and a 12 round magazine.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The Zeus isn’t perfect. Almost no blasters out there are, but it’s easily in the top 10% and very much a force to be reckoned with. It sounds like thunder when it revs up, buzzy, high pitched thunder. It hits like lightning. There might be some hyperbole in there but you get the point. It seems “Zeus” is an appropriate name for this blaster. It’s not much of a womanizer though, so I guess that’s probably a point in it’s favor.