RIVAL (PHANTOM CORPS)
“Hang on a minute, didn’t we just have a Rival review, like, two weeks ago?” I hear you ask. Why yes, sharp-eyed viewer, indeed we did. Ordinarily I’d try and spread stuff out and keep you guessing about what the next blaster will be, like a game, but this is new and hot. The new hotness, you might say. So this week I’m looking at the Kronos. Something that bears the name of the father to the Olympians must be a behemoth of a blaster, right? Actually, it kind of goes the other way, but trust me, it’s not the size that counts, it’s all about the balls.
THE BLASTER ITSELF
The Kronos XVIII-500 was released in 2018 as part of the Phantom Corps subset of Rival blasters. I was initially under the impression that Phantom Corps was a Target exclusive line, but this blaster was purchased from TRU which confounded me to no end, at least for a few minutes. No idea what the deal with that is but whatever, you’re here to read about the blaster. The Kronos is a spring powered pistol with a 5 round integrated magazine à la MEGA Magnus or Star Wars Rey (Jakku) Blaster. Like both of those examples, the Kronos is loaded through a port on the top of the blaster that opens when the slide is primed back. The Kronos also has an additional flap covering the port which I guess isn’t really necessary but it does preserve the silhouette of the blaster a little bit. The shell of the blaster is all new and sports functional front and rear sights as well as 2 Rival accessory rails, one on the slide and one just above the muzzle. Interestingly, while the blaster is labeled “XVIII-500” on both sides, the name Kronos appears nowhere except on the packaging. Something to note about the rails on the Kronos is that, after attaching the Rival red dot sight, I noticed that it could slide back and forth just a little bit, just a few millimeters at most, and the nature of the attachment mechanism means it wasn’t in danger of falling off, but it’s just something I’d never had any of my other Rival blaster do. I doubt that’s going to make or break anyone’s opinion of it, though. Aside from that, everything about the Kronos’ construction is solid. The grip in particular is very comfortable and secure in the hand as it follows much more organic lines than the more hard-lined rest of the blaster body, which is a style I quite like, visually and practically. The slide has a surprising amount of thought and engineering put into it. Priming the blaster is fairly easy with the grip panels that add a good amount of traction as well as providing a more defined surface to pull back on. On the underside of the slide, there are a couple of telescoping flat panels that extend when the slide is pulled back, I assume to either keep the mechanism clean or to prevent kids pinching their fingers in the internals. The very rear of the slide also has a cutout so you can see the orange plunger when it’s primed as well as a button to release the lockup if the blaster jams. Like all other Rival blasters, the Kronos has a safety which locks the trigger when engaged. Unfortunately this particular safety has the same after-the-fact addition kind of feeling that the Zeus’ had. It’s hard to describe verbally, but it feels like it’s flexing before it clicks rather than pivoting and is generally unpleasant to operate, not that it’s a necessary feature per se. For its size, the Kronos holds its own surprisingly well against other Rival blasters in terms of performance. Shots fly and hit with the expected Rival accuracy and power, making it a real terror for younger siblings, especially given how low profile and nimble it is due to its smaller size. I’ve even found that it fits rather handily into standard jeans pockets for holstering, just so long as you have jeans with actual pockets (why are fake pockets even a thing? Sorry, side-tracked). The Kronos comes packaged with another set of red and blue Rival flag/ribbon things, provided you got the Phantom Corps version and didn’t shell out $70 for the Deadpool variants, as well as one Rival round- what’s that? It comes with 5 rounds? Ok.. if you say so. Scratch that, I guess it’s supposed to come with 5 rounds. Hmm…
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Ethan was actually the one who found this blaster at TRU and nicely offered to pick it up for me as I mentioned last week. I went over to his place to pick it up as well as just to generally hang out, but when I opened the box, I found that only one round, specifically the one visible in the little window on the box, was actually inside. Further inspection of the box revealed that the tape on one side had been cut and then taped over again, leading us to believe that someone had swiped the remaining 4 rounds from my box. Normally I’d be rather upset upon finding out that I had been shorted, but I could not for the life of me, think of a more laughably unsubstantial thing to steal. Whoever this chuckle-head is, decided it was worth risking getting kicked out of a Toys R Us or even fired if they were an employee over 4 Nerf Rival rounds. The imbalance of risk to reward was so skewed, I couldn’t even bring myself to be mad about it. If you did it, and you’re reading this, I hope you’re really enjoying playing with my balls.