FIRST ORDER STROMTROOPER DELUXE BLASTER
Look at this post. Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so punctual. Ok ok, technically this week’s blaster isn’t from the “empire” so to speak, but the First Order is basically the Empire 2.0, so yeah. Also, I know there is a more recent First Order Stormtrooper Deluxe Blaster on the market now, but I couldn’t justify hefty price tag on that one just yet so we’re going with the older one. But that’s enough about that, on with the review!
THE BLASTER ITSELF
The First Order Stormtrooper Deluxe Blaster (the first one) was released in 2015 as part of Nerf’s Star Wars tie-in products, at the time, corresponding with the release of The Force Awakens. Functionally, the blaster operates just like the N-Strike Elite Rampage, or Raider before it as it built on virtually the same internal mechanism using a pump-action magazine fed setup. This makes a lot of sense as a design choice since it probably saved the good people at Hasbro some time and therefore money working out how the blaster was going to work. Also, given that the Sterling Mk. IV SMG (the real steel firearm on which the F-11D Stormtrooper rifle is based) loads magazines from the side, I’d say the decision practically made itself. The blaster looks and feels pretty good. Leaving enough to clearly denoted it as a toy, the blaster resembles the prop from the film pretty closely. Being modeled after a real world firearm, the ergonomics are pretty good. The pistol grip is simple but does the job well. The pump grip could be a little more rounded for comfort in my opinion, but it’s understandable squaring it off to accommodate the proportions of the blaster body. As a fun side-note, most of the official promotional images for the blaster show it with the pump grip installed backwards. The FOSDB also comes with a scope and stock accessories that fit onto standard Nerf attachment rails and lugs, respectively. The scope is very low-profile and actually provides quite a nice sight picture for what that’s worth in a Nerf attachment. The stock is nice and solid, if a bit short on its own but the way the body of the blaster extends back past the grip means it’s at least a useable length when attached. At the very least, it fits with the overall compact size of the blaster. Without the stock, the blaster itself is really sized more like a large handgun than a rifle, something that it has over the Rampage. That and the fun primed indicator disguised as a vent that changes from black to red when the blaster is primed. Both of these little improvements make it that much more disappointing that the performance isn’t up to the same standard as Elite blasters. I’ve been over the reasons why this is the case, but it still bums me out sometimes, especially with blasters that should be awesome by all rights. Even if you’re not getting exactly the same range and power, at least you can throw out movie quotes as you bust into your younger sibling’s room and start blasting. Good luck hitting anything, though. It is a Stormtrooper rifle, after all. The FOSDB comes packaged with a scope, a stock, an all-white 12 round magazine, and 12 red Star Wars branded Elite darts with transparent red tips.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This blaster was really the first Star Wars Nerf blaster I can remember seeing and getting excited about. Before this series, the best we got always seemed to be single shot, muzzle loaders, so it was really great to see tie-in blasters get more serious designs, even if they’re almost direct copies of existing blasters. Clones, maybe. Wait, no, we’ve confirmed the First Order doesn’t do clones. Only bad movies do that, that’d be stupid.