N-STRIKE ELITE (MEGA)
Since its inception, the MEGA series of Nerf blasters has lent itself well to oversized, chunky blasters. Sure, there are some actual size constraints given the dimensions of the ammunition, but most MEGA blasters go well beyond what is necessary as far as the size of the actual blaster. The pistols in the line, especially, seem to have steadily gotten bigger and bigger relative to their ammo capacity. Today, I’ll be looking at perhaps the biggest 3-shot pistol in my Nerf arsenal, the MEGA Tri-Break.
THE BLASTER ITSELF
The MEGA Tri-Break was released in 2018, unsurprisingly as part of the MEGA subset of the N-Strike Elite line. It uses a pretty standard 3-round smart AR system with a jolt-style priming bar in the grip. That’s right, for all its bulk and flare, it’s a jolt (triad) reskin. It does go a little beyond just a basic reskin by the use of its primary gimmick, that being the pseudo break-action… thing it has. In the trigger well, there is a button on the forward end that, when pressed, releases the front half of the blaster, allowing it to pivot down like a break-action shotgun, or Hellboy’s Samaritan. This gives you access to the barrels in order to load the blaster, but the overall implementation of this feature raises some design questions. First off, it’s interesting to note that the front end of the Tri-Break is a purely cosmetic piece. It contains none of the mechanism required to operate the blaster. As such, being as short as it is, you can actually load the blaster reasonably easily without breaking it open. Second, the catch that holds the front end locked in the closed position is located right at the pivot. Given the size of the blaster, particularly in the vertical direction, this means there is a lot of mechanical advantage when any force is applied to the upper forward section of the faux barrels. You know, right where the accessory rail is, right where you might be inclined to add extra weight. Now, I’ve seen other reviews of this blaster where the front end drops down after even firing the blaster, and I will say, I’ve not had that issue, but I do still agree that the catch mechanism feels pretty weak. On the more functional side, the blaster has decent ergonomics and feels good in the hand. It might feel a little more imposing if I had more confidence in the barrel catch, but if you can play it off well, it’ll still make quite the impression on any younger siblings who find themselves staring down the barrel. The priming stroke is surprisingly long for this style of plunger tube, but I’m hardly complaining because that extra air flow means the darts hit with the expected oomf you’d want from a MEGA blaster. The MEGA Tri-Break comes packaged with 3 MEGA darts.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I think Nerf likes to tease me on purpose. They must know I have a thing for break-action blasters after hearing me go on and on about the Sledgefire and the Barrel Break. When I first heard about this blaster, I thought, just for a second, that this was going to be just as fun if not more so than those two. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, I do, quite a bit, actually. But in this case, the inclusion of the break-action seems questionable and just pure gimmick whereas it was integral, new, and fun on the Sledgefire and Barrel Break.