I told you I was bad at this whole scheduled posting thing but you didn’t believe me. Well here we are, BIQ review #50 and boy is it a good one. It’s not my ultra-rare black chrome rubber band gun (teaser for #100), but it’s still quite a special blaster. If you read the title of the post or looked at any of the pictures before you started reading this like a normal person might do, then you’re probably aware that I’m reviewing the Nerf N-Strike Vulcan EBF-25 machine gun. Aside from blasters like the Centurion, this is probably one of the most specialized, purpose-built blasters in my collection, and that purpose is absurdity. Let’s take a look at that absurdity.
THE BLASTER ITSELF
The Vulcan EBF-25 was released waaaay back in 2008 as part of the original N-Strike line. No Elite here. The whole thing is just… I mean, it’s a machine gun. What more do you want? Instead of using a magazine or rotating cylinder, the Vulcan actually uses a belt to feed darts into the action which, itself, can be operated in two ways. The primary method being full auto because come on, it’s a machine gun. Provided you had installed the 6 D cell batteries in the tray, you could then load in the belt, flick the switch just above the firing grip, and hold the trigger down making the blaster fire repeatedly with a rather noisy “wheeee-CHUNK! wheeee-CHUNK! wheeee-CHUNK!” While it was technically full-auto, the rate of fire was not exactly impressive. With good coordination, you could easily out-pace it by cycling the bolt manually which had the added benefit of not requiring the aforementioned 2 cubic tons of batteries to work. You could, in theory, run the blaster entirely without batteries. Just leave them in a little pile over there… just 2 cubic tons. While it undoubtedly made the internals of the blaster a lot more complex, it is a feature I’m disappointed didn’t make it to later electronic blasters like the Stampede. The ammo belts, I feel a little differently about. There is a certain level of novelty in using a legit ammo belt in a toy blaster, but man, are they a pain to reload. Maybe if there had been another blaster that also used the same belts, I might like them a bit more, but the novel factor goes away after the third or fourth time you have to reload the dang things. It’s not just a matter of putting the darts back, when the belt is emptied, it falls out the right side of the blaster, or if you want to reload without firing off all 25 shots, you need to pull the remaining belt out of the action in order to reset it. Once you have a loaded belt, there’s still the process of setting it in the ammo box attached to the left side of the blaster in just the right way that the feed gear can actually pull the belt into the blaster, and THEN you have to open the top hatch on the blaster body to seat the first link onto the feed gear, close everything up again and prime the bolt. Once you’ve done all of that, now you can shoot. BUT WAIT! Now you have to decide, are you going to carry the blaster by hand and fire from the hip like some kind of sexual tyrannosaurus, or are you going to mount it on the included tripod, realize the tripod kinda sucks, and opt for the Blaine method anyway? But what does Mr. “The Lovebird” Ventura have to say about that body? Probably something rambling and largely incoherent about having to keep him away from it, but it’s worth noting that the Vulcan has all original sculpt work which includes a hinged top handle for use in the “Old Painless” style of carry and a detachable ammo box for holding the belt while in or out of use. The front end of the Vulcan also sports 3 Nerf accessory rails, but I can’t honestly think of what you could possibly want to put on them. There are, in fact, a set of sights along the top of the blaster that you’re welcome to use if you think it’ll help. Sadly, these days, the Vulcan doesn’t quite stand up to other blasters in terms of range or power. If you play your cards right and rely mainly on the shock value of busting into your younger siblings’ room holding this, they might not even notice that the shots aren’t hitting very hard. The Vulcan comes packaged with the tripod, the ammo box, two belts, a sling which I have since lost, and 50 whistler micro darts.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Oh how times have changed. I remember going to purchase this blaster from a local Wal-Mart and thinking to myself, “Wow, $50 for a Nerf blaster sure is a lot. I can’t possibly imagine spending more than that on a Nerf Blaster.” BAHAHA foolish child. While the performance isn’t quite where I’d like it to be, the Vulcan succeeds on raw novelty and gimmicks and I think that’s part of why I like it so much. That and the potential to stick it to the roof of my car and drive around with someone standing up through the sunroof.