Sometimes, it is pretty clear when Hasbro, and more specifically Nerf, take criticisms to heart and fix problems with their products. The Recon Mk.II comes to mind. Other times, it seems more like they hear the criticism and offer a solution that isn’t exactly what people had in mind. One of the most widespread gripes about Nerf lately is their tendency to only paint one side of a blaster, leaving the design lopsided. I can’t help but feel they heard this and said “You don’t like how we paint our blasters? Well how about we just don’t?” Introducing the Surgefire. Ok, there’s more to it than that, but I just had to get it out of the way. On to the review!
THE BLASTER ITSELF
The Surgefire was released in 2018 as part of the core N-Strike Elite series. It operates on a pump-action revolver design that holds 15 darts in the cylinder. It’s hardly the first time we’ve seen these mechanics used in a blaster. I suppose if you wanted to make the leap, you could say it’s an update to the Furyfire from the old Dart Tag line, though most people go with calling it the Elite version of the MEGA Rotofury. Both descriptions work. The shell is all new work and features one Nerf attachment rail along with some pretty interesting body detailing. The dark grey area just above the trigger assembly actually has the word “Elite” carved out of it revealing the blue plastic underneath through the letters. The use of dark blue text sunken into a dark grey panel does make it probably a little more subtle than they might have intended, but I do like that it suggests more intricate builds and sculpts to come. This also plays into the aforementioned lack of paint, save for the Nerf logo and the name “Surgefire” above the barrel. All variation in color is achieved via layering and inlaying separate pieces of plastic. It does lend itself to a higher quality feel to the blaster over something that might rely on paint or decals. Overall, the style is pulled off pretty well with just a couple drawbacks. First and foremost is in the pistol grip. Along the front seam where the two light grey halves meet, the screws are placed just far enough that the plastic can flex and produce a hard edge where it splits. At the best, its abrasive over time or if you’re holding onto the blaster tightly, and at worst it can actually pinch my fingers. It seems like adding another internal support wouldn’t have been too much trouble so it’s irksome to find it absent from the design. Ultimately it’s a minor complaint, and my second complaint is even more so. I’ll sum it up here: “By the goddess, that’s a lot of orange in one place.” Yes, it might have been nice to see some other colors on the front end, but it is what it is, I guess. Barring the issue with the grip, the blaster feels good in the hand. It’s stout but solid, giving it a sort of combat shotgun kind of feel. I do wish the cylinder could be loaded from the rear and that the ratchet on the cylinder could be indexed by hand a little easier, but ultimately it’s functional so I can’t really complain. For all its petty aesthetic and operational quirks, the Surgefire actually makes up for most of it in performance. Shots feel like they have more energy behind them than a lot of other recent blasters, flying far and hitting hard. You should really think about whether or not your younger sibling has earned it before you bust into their room and open fire with the Surgefire. Not as much as with, say, a Rival blaster, but more than just popping them in the head with a Jolt. The Surgefire comes packaged with the cylinder which snaps into the blaster and 15 Elite darts.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The Surgefire was another purchase from one of my regular toy runs with my boy, Ethan, specifically to Target in this instance. Spurred on by my recent success with finding the Mediator and Kronos, I made a point of checking what was in stock more frequently in the following week or so. I actually found just about all the new releases I was looking for but settled on my 2 top choices, or else I feel I would have been subject to a sudden rush of ire at my unchecked spending. A surge of ire, if you will. A surge ‘f ire.