STORMTROOPER DELUXE BLASTER
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (GLOWSTRIKE)
Hang on a minute… Haven’t I already reviewed this blaster? Not exactly. This is really just another example of Nerf running out of names for their products. It’s hardly a new problem, just ask the Hornet, Snapfire, or Secret Shot, but this is indeed a different blaster from the previous The Force Awakens model. Being a Stormtrooper blaster, we already know the accuracy is going to be abysmal, but let’s not start the review off biased. Who knows, maybe it’s actually ok?
THE BLASTER ITSELF
The First Order Stormtrooper Deluxe Blaster (I’ll call it the Heavy Blaster for clarity’s sake) was released in 2017 as part of the lineup of Star Wars branded blasters in conjunction with the film Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It’s built on a standard electronic flywheel setup, albeit with the magazine sticking out the left side of the blaster instead of straight down. Functionally it operates just like any of the other semi-auto flywheel blasters out there, but it does it with more pizzaz, just so long as pizzaz doesn’t include good performance (spoilers). The FOSDHB does the same song and dance that all recent Star Wars Nerf products have been doing lately with the Glowstrike and the lights and sounds. Pressing the rev switch turns on the UV LEDs in the chamber of the blaster as well as revving up the flywheels. Pulling the trigger activates the lights and sounds regardless of whether or not the rev switch is pressed. The lights and sounds are decent but could probably have used just a little refinement. The lights along the barrel flash in succession when the trigger is pulled, creating a kind of laser pulse effect, but given how spread out they are on this blaster, they feel sluggish especially for something that should be traveling at light speed. The sounds are similarly disappointing. It seems like Nerf wanted to set the FOSDHB apart by giving it more than one blaster sound effect which sounds good on paper, but less so from the actual blaster. Instead of having three distinct and unique blast sounds, the FOSDHB has a single “pew” but it is just randomly modulated into one of three pitches which sounds less like laying down suppressing fire on some rebel scum and more like you just suck at playing “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Turns out Stormtroopers cant even hit a note. (HOOOOOO!) That joke has probably been made at least a million times but I still went for it. You can’t stop me. The construction of the blaster is mostly pretty solid. The stock feels a little flimsy but I haven’t had any actual problems with it yet. At least it has a nifty feature where it can act as magazine storage if you have a spare lying around somewhere. The ergonomics aren’t bad but it does seem like this blaster has a more modern style grip on it. After digging around online, I believe this blaster is built on a Lewis Gun which has a very different grip and stock shape. The blaster in the film also has a neat foldable stand that extends from the underside to create a mounted machine gun kind of setup. Sadly, the Nerf version doesn’t have this feature but it does at least have a mounting bracket which can be used with the tripod from the Vulcan or RhinoFire if you have one of those. I probably don’t need to say anything about this blaster’s performance given the enormous barrel, single set of batteries powering all the lights and sounds as well as the motors, or just the track record of Star Wars blasters’ performances, but I will anyway. It’s bad. It’s real bad. The darts that leave the barrel when you fire are just not motivated at all. I almost wish that instead of laser pew pew sounds, the blaster just had Alan Rickman’s lines from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. They don’t go far, they don’t hit hard, and by the time they’re out of the barrel, most of the glow-in-the-dark charge has faded. It’s just really not a great blaster. I would not recommend this one for use against younger siblings. It does not have the power to back up how obscenely big and noisy it is so you’re more likely to come across as clownish rather than imposing and scary. Even after all of these issues, I haven’t gotten to the biggest one of them all, the price. I don’t usually mention the price of blasters unless there’s a good reason to, and in this case, for a vastly underpowered, unwieldy, pew pew Stryfe, an MSRP of $80 is imbecilically high. It comes with 4 AA batteries already installed, so I guess you can deduct that from the price, but still. The FOSDHB comes packaged with a 12 round magazine and 12 Glowstrike Elite darts.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Thankfully, I did not pay full price for my blaster. As with so many new purchases these days, this came from ToysRUs, the UK to the toy industry’s European Union. Based on what was said, we really thought they’d be gone by now. What was I talking about? Right, politics, that’s what you want from a toy blog. This blaster is really disappointing, but that being said, if you want one, TRU still has plenty in stock and they’re getting cheaper, so there’s that. Now let me tell you about Trump. What’s that? Ethan has just informed me that I’m fired if I start talking politics. I suppose that’s reasonable. Yay toys!