Sometimes a really good idea isn’t something entirely brand new, but rather, a refinement of something that already exists. Up till this point, we’ve had the Raider CS-35, the Alpha Trooper CS-18, the Rampage, Elite Alpha Trooper, and Stormtrooper Deluxe blaster (the first one) that all fill the role of pump-action magazine fed blasters. Well, with Nerf’s latest wave of products, we have yet another to check off those boxes and then some. Let’s have a look at the Modulus Mediator.
THE BLASTER ITSELF
First things first, I have no idea why they went with “Mediator” for the name of a blaster. It doesn’t have quite the same sort of imposing punchy quality as something like the Rampage or Retaliator. Even in the context of a conflict, a mediator is supposed to be a neutral third party that gets two opposing sides to agree on something. I don’t know, just feels like a weird choice, but that’s what it’s called so I guess let’s just roll with it. The Mediator was released in 2018 as part of the Modulus line of products, Like I said, the Mediator operates much like other pump mag blasters but with 2 major differences. I would say they’re improvements, but I’m sure there are people who aren’t fans. Probably the same weirdos that thought The Last Jedi was the worst thing ever, but that’s neither here nor there. The shell of the Mediator is all new work apart from the standard Nerf barrel and stock attachment points. That actually brings us to the first big improvement, that being customizability. While you could expect to find a stock attachment and a rail on pretty much all other pump mag blasters, what you never found was a second rail (I’m counting the Raider/Rampage’s rails as one big one, fight me) or a barrel attachment lug, both of which the Mediator provides quite handily. The extra rail on the right side obviously grants you greater potential for decking out your blaster with tactics. That’s all well and good, but the inclusion of the barrel lug is really what’s new. Given blasters like the Rampage and Alpha Trooper needed already pretty lengthy front ends to accommodate the pump action, extending the barrel further doesn’t make much sense as it would only work to slow the dart after being fired. As such, they never had barrel extension lugs, but the Mediator pulls it off thanks to it’s second major improvement over previous blasters. The whole thing is super compact with just a short little barrel. This means adding extra barrels doesn’t drastically reduce performance, which in turn means even more customization. The ergonomics of the Mediator are pretty great. I’d say it’s probably the best we’ve seen from the Modulus line so far. The pistol grip is a good size and has a really nice grippy texture to it that I haven’t seen before but certainly hope to see again. The same texture is also on the pump grip, which is a little short, but not enough to hinder, and I can understand the desire to not have it protrude too far from the body of the blaster. Everything feels nice and solid, though I wish the ratcheting on the pump grip was a little quieter when cycling the bolt. Nothing a little light modification can’t fix, though. My last gripe is purely aesthetic. I wish the blaster had a raised front sight parallel to the very prominent rear one. While this would have looked better in my opinion, it turns out the little stubby nub at the front end IS a front sight and is even relatively well calibrated to give slightly arced shots for a subtle boost to the range. On that note, the performance of the Mediator is decent. Shots fly and impact right on par with those of other comparable blasters. The ability to slam-fire is also a plus when busting into your younger sibling’s room and laying down heavy fire. The Mediator comes packaged with the magazine well detached (needs to be installed to operate the blaster), a 6 round magazine, and 6 white Modulus styled Elite darts.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I got the Mediator on a trip to Target with my boi, Ethan. I didn’t expect to come out with it, but I knew I had to buy something and there it was. See, the night before, Ethan texted me that he had come across another blaster that I was looking for (more on that next week) and offered to grab it for me and I would pay him back. I didn’t have any cash on me, so when we were hanging out the next day, I suggested we stop by Target so I could get some cash back. Long story short, I bought a Nerf blaster so I could pay for another Nerf blaster.