If there’s one universal truth that Todd McFarlane knows, it’s that kids love chains, and I think we can all learn from that. It seems like Nerf certainly has, with the recent release of their second belt-fed blaster. So with this much Nerf chain out on the market for kids to love, this blaster obviously needs a name in line with something from the McFarlane universe. Let’s see, Overt-kill is already taken, so we’ll have to go with Ripchain.
THE BLASTER ITSELF
The Zombie Strike Ripchain was released in 2018 and features a 25-round loop belt which is fed through the blaster by pump-action. The system bares some similarity to the manual fire mode from the Vulcan EBF-25, but without the option for automatic fire. Sorry Todd, no wires on this one. Also, I did try, but sadly the belts from the Vulcan are not compatible in the Ripclaw. To load the Riptor, you fill the belt with 25 darts, lift the hatch on the upper front portion of the blaster, slip the belt over and into place, close the hatch and you can then proceed with firing. Like the Vulcan before it, the Riptide has a mechanism that locks the hatch in place when closed over the belt, however it also has a switch that can unlock the hatch, making unloading the blaster much easier. The ergonomics of the Cy-Gor aren’t exactly its strong suit, but they’re functional, at least. Having the belt all the way in the front makes loading and unloading much easier but it also makes the blaster very front heavy. Additionally, the plastic piece imitating a cloth wrap on the pistol grip isn’t completely locked into the rest of the grip and wobbles just enough to make me concerned about the grip’s structural integrity, particularly if you try holding it by just the pistol grip. The pump grip is a little blocky but it’s a decent enough shape overall. The shell of the Malebogia is completely original and features a single accessory rail on the top. Performance-wise, the Necrid actually has decent range and power given the potential for a poor air seal between the plunger tube and the individual links on the belt. The belt itself is all plastic with pins connecting the individual links, rather than the cloth strap the Vulcan belts use. This means turning quickly while holding the blaster causes the belt to swing side to side with a rather distinctive clacking sound. This can either come across as silly if it’s unintended or can be a foreboding herald just before you bust into your younger siblings’ room and open fire. The Ripchain come packaged with a 25-round loop belt, and 25 Zombie Strike Elite darts.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Ok, first things first, I know all of the goofy names I used weren’t McFarlane properties but I felt it was more important to gradually warm you up to the joke with other “Rip” names first. I suppose I could have used Rip Torn in there but I actually like stuff he was in so he gets a pass. Anyway, I think it’s a cool, slightly gimmicky blaster. Should you get it to be a purely practical blaster? Probably not. Should you get it to be fun and because it’s belt fed? Aw heck, yeah.