Do you ever find one of those movies where you have to watch it over and over in order to really understand everything, but on that last watch, it all clicks and you have an a-ha moment? Well, that’s pretty much the Nerf community and the Firestrike in a nutshell. If you were under the impression that this was just an Elite reskin of the Nite Finder, allow me to explode your brain patterns. On to the review!
THE BLASTER ITSELF
The Firestrike was released in 2013 as part of the N-Strike Elite series. Being one of the earlier releases in the line, it was more of an update to an existing blaster than a wholly new idea, that blaster being the N-Strike Nite Finder EX-3. All of the functionality of the Nite Finder was preserved, using the same single shot muzzle-loading design and even keeping the “laser” sight and dart storage under the barrel. Overall, the Firestrike is significantly more compact than its predecessor, most of the bulk being trimmed off the grip and under-barrel area. The feature that stumped almost everyone for quite a while was the peculiar shape of the butt of the pistol grip. There’s just this weird spike sticking down from the bottom and no one I know could say for certain why it was there. As I recall, it took someone finding the actual design documents for the blaster to realize that the spike is to help dual-wield Firestrikes. Every so often, those brainy types over at Nerf come up with some elaborate system to add a feature to a blaster and everyone gets mad hype about it. This time they put a peg on the grip so you can prime the blaster with another blaster and everyone got mad hype, well after the release of the blaster itself. I suppose it may have gotten a little blown out of proportion but I think people were just excited by a reason to buy a second Firestrike and for good reason. Everything about the blaster works well. It’s small size and relatively few moving parts make it feel sturdy in the hand, though I can see the small grips being an issue for some people. As with the Nite Finder before it, the plunger rod sticks out the back of the blaster quite a ways when primed. I’m not a fan of this from a purely visual perspective but it’s definitely simple and effective. There’s an attachment rail on the top of the blaster, but I don’t know why you would want to put a scope on the Firestrike since it has a built in “laser” sight. Sure it’s just an LED and is too dim to use outdoors or in a brightly lit room but it works as well as can be expected and performs admirably as an ominous signal to your younger siblings of what is pointed right at them. The light requires 2 AAA batteries to work but it has no real bearing on the function of the blaster itself. In keeping with Nite Finder tradition, the Firestrike actually packs quite a punch for its size, shooting a little farther and harder than some of the larger blasters out there. The Firestrike comes packaged with 3 Elite darts.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Up until very recently, I only had one Firestrike in my entire collection, even knowing about the potential for dual-wielding. I just happened upon a handful of older Nerf blasters at a local thrift store while browsing with my boy Ethan. For $2, it’s almost not even a question if it’s worth buying, though I could easily have justified paying more.