The Blaster In Question #0059: Barricade RV-10

BlasterInQuestion1

BARRICADE RV-10

N-STRIKE

barricade1Just about everyone has at least heard of the Stryfe or the RapidStrike or Modulus ECS-10.  Any of the big names in the wide range of electric flywheel blasters Nerf has produced over the years.  The blaster most people these days don’t remember is the one that actually started the entire flywheel class of blasters at Nerf, the Barricade RV-10.  Not the police car from Transformers, this is a different Barricade, both Hasbro properties, though.  Who?  No, Dwayne Johnson played Roadblock from G.I. Joe, another entirely different still Hasbro property.  Anyway, let’s take a look at the blaster.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

barricade2The Barricade RV-10 was released in 2010 as part of the N-Strike line, kind of the only line Nerf had going at the time.  It was the first (I believe) flywheel blaster to come from Nerf.  There was at least one blaster from Buzz Bee Toys that used flywheels before the Barricade, but we don’t talk about that.  I mean, we could, but people will laugh and throw things.  The Barricade uses more or less the same mechanical configuration we’re used to on modern flywheel blasters but with 2 main exceptions.  First, it fires from a 10 round rotating cylinder rather than a magazine.  The second major difference is that instead of having a rev trigger just beneath the firing trigger like we’re used to, it has an on/off toggle switch that sits just above your thumb like a safety or fire selector switch, assuming you’re holding the blaster in your right hand.  The Barricade’s shell is all original, although it was reused in the Prime barricade3variant- I mean, the Elite version, which came with a stock and was renamed the Stockade.  Amazing.  It features a stock attachment lug on the back of the blaster and an accessory rail up top.  There’s also a interesting front sight that has a hole going through it, maybe so you can still see your target when aiming?  Who knows, but it has no rear sight to line up with and it’s on a pre-Elite blaster so it’s about as useful as.. something… not useful.  Wow, good job, Tim.  By today’s standards, the plastic of the shell feels a little thin and creaky, but that was about par for the course with the original N-Strike blasters.  Also somewhat outclassed by modern blasters is the Barricade’s performance.  Yes it is semi-auto, but with old motors running off of only 3 AA batteries, it can’t really keep up with today’s flywheels.  Given the lengthy rev-up time and the lack of any substantial power, I’d recommend setting this one aside as a collection piece rather than trying to bust into your younger sibling’s room with it.  The Barricade RV-10 comes with 10 Sonic Micro darts and requires 3 AA batteries.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

To be honest, I was not excited for the Barricade when it was announced.  I’m still not that into it.  I only bought mine because it came in a value pack with a stock that I really wanted.  I didn’t have it on hand so I left it out of the review.  Regardless, even if I’m not crazy about the Barricade, I do quite enjoy many of the other flywheel blasters that have come out since then, so I guess I can give it credit for that.  And I got a cool stock out of it too.

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The Blaster In Question #0058: Mediator Stock

BlasterInQuestion1

MEDIATOR STOCK

MODULUS

medstock1A couple things recently came to my attention.  First, today is Sunday, but there’s not much I can do to change that.  Second, however, is that I never finished talking about the 3-part kit that composes the Modulus Mediator.  That, I can change, so today I’ll be looking at the third and final piece of the Mediator ensemble, the stock.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

medstock2“How can a stock warrant its own review?” I hear you say.  Well, dear reader, this is no ordinary stock.  It uses a never before seen set of intricate mechanisms in tandem with what I must assume is some kind of ancient magic to achieve the results we can observe.  Not really.  They made it big and hollow and stuck a pistol inside.  Complex?  No.  Useful?  Eeeehhhhmmmmmmaaaaaaaybe.  Anyway, the Mediator Stock was released with the other 2 components in 2018.  It came in two parts, the stock/holster, and the pistol.  The stock itself is pretty straightforward.  It attaches to any Nerf blaster with a stock attachment lug and is simply a fixed stock albeit with a rather long length of pull for a Nerf stock and some extra rubber overlays on the back end to make it grippy.  The rear end of the stock is open to allow the pistol to be inserted or removed and this makes it feel a little odd when pressed against your shoulder, but it’s not uncomfortable.  Just takes a second to get used to.  There is a belt clip on the left side of the stock that allows you to attach it to your pants or belt to act as a dedicated holster for the pistol, if you so choose. The pistol is functionally identical to the  Doublestrike from the Zombie Strike line, using a hammer primed, 2 barrel smart AR setup.  Sure, it’s not much, but I get the feeling this is meant as a backup blaster rather than your primary.  medstock3The shell of the blaster is all new and has been sculpted to allow a fairly firm friction fit into the stock/holster. The performance of the pistol is about what you’d expect from a backup blaster.  The range and power might not be quite on par with a larger blaster but if your younger siblings don’t know that you have a second blaster, the surprise can be rather entertaining.  The Modulus Mediator Stock comes with the stock/holster, the pistol and 4 Modulus Elite darts.  

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

As soon as I bought the first 2 components of the larger Mediator set, I was basically guaranteed to grab the last one eventually.  If I recall, I got mine from a local TRU, which is something only Canadians can say now.  There’s really not much to say about this set.  The stock is pretty decent quality and is a good size.  The pistol shoots.  Really, the one thing I might have liked to see is if they had redesigned the grip of the pistol to have a stock attachment lug so you could put the stock on it rather than it just being a holster on its own.  Stocked pistols are totally a thing and I would have been so excited to have that as an option, but oh well.  It does what it does well enough.

The Blaster In Question #0057: Vigilon

BlasterInQuestion1

VIGILON

VORTEX

vigilon1I know what you’re about to ask, so let me go ahead and answer it before you do.  No, I’ve still not heard anything from Mads but I’m staying optimistic.  That’s not what you were gonna ask?  Ok, weirdo.  Oh, right, that.  Yeah, I have no idea what the heck a vigilon is either but it’s the name of this week’s blaster.  Maybe taking a look at the blaster will inform us on the matter.  Let’s find out if that’s the case.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

vigilon2It’s not the case, it’s a made up word.  Anyway, the Vigilon was released in 2011 as part of the Vortex series of blasters.  It then disappeared with the apparent death of the Vortex line a few years later, only to be brought back in 2018 in the Target exclusive Vortex VTX line-up.  Really all that changed is the colors, so I’ll be reviewing them both as the same blaster here.  The Vigilon uses the same mechanism for launching the Vortex discs as most blasters in the line but with the added bonus of an integrated internal magazine that holds (officially) 5 discs.  I find it odd that the Vigilon has only ever been marketed as a 5-round blaster despite the fact that I can fit 6 discs in the magazine just fine without using any trickery, plus, you can keep another disc in the chamber, effectively giving the blaster a 7-round capacity.  The magazine vigilon3itself is an interesting design in which you open the loading gate with the release levers just above the trigger and load rounds in the side of the blaster rather than the top or front like we’re used to seeing on dart blasters.  Releasing the magazine cover is also rather satisfyingly snappy and makes it feel like something akin to a plasma weapon from the Halo franchise venting heat.  The outer shell is all original to the Vigilon, and while the green and orange color scheme of the first wave was fine at the time, the sky blue/neon green VTX colors really do it for me.  Just- MM, so good.  Naturally, the new colors are also carried over to the ammo which also looks quite nice and again, an improvement over the older version.  I mean, they work the same, they just look nicer while they do it.  The Vigilon gets the same performance as just about every other Vortex blaster out there.  The discs do travel far, but they vigilon4slow down as they fly through the air and end up floating a bit near the end of their flight path.  If you’re planning on using this as a weapon against your younger siblings, just make sure they’re not too far away, otherwise, even if your shots hit, they won’t have nearly the same impact as they would at closer range.  Plus, with some practice, you can do crazy stuff like bank shots off the wall and whatnot.  Then you can really make them feel like they’ll never be safe again, and isn’t that really the goal?  What do you mean that sounds abusive?  I’m just saying they shouldn’t feel completely at ease in their own home cuz they’ll never see the radtastic VTX discs coming.  Well, yeah, when you say it like that, you can make anything sound like abuse.  Anyway, the original Vigilon came packaged with just 5 Vortex discs, but the new VTX version comes with 10 and they look way cooler to boot.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

I don’t normally care too much about straight recolors, but the Vortex series was different and innovative in a way not often seen in the toy blaster market.  Moreover, it seemed to garner a decent fan base over traditional darts, so it’s fairly unique in that regard.  In reality, though, I just think the folks over at Nerf did a great job with the new colors.  I wish this had been what Vortex looked like from the get-go.  It’s just so- MMM, I love it.

The Blaster In Question #0056: Vagabond

BlasterInQuestion1

VAGABOND

DOOMLANDS 2169

vagabond1I had an idea for a game show the other day.  It would be a similar structure to Who Wants To Be A Millionaire but instead of answering general knowledge and trivia questions, you have to memorize details of a persona that you’re given and then Mads Mikkelson interrogates you about it while being as menacing as possible.  What does this have to do with Nerf?  I have no idea but I could not think of an intro for this blaster to save my life, so here we are.  This week we’ll be taking a look at another entry in the “we can’t legally just call it Borderlands” series, a.k.a. Doomlands 2169,  Specifically, let’s talk about the Vagabond.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

vagabond2The Vagabond was released in 2015 as part of the Border- Doomlands 2169 series of blasters, a full 154 years before when the name suggests.  It uses a 6-round rotating cylinder like the Strongarm or Disruptor, but in the case of the Vagabond, it is pump action instead of slide action.  The shell of the Vagabond is all original, including the cylinder itself which is way longer than it needs to be.  In keeping with the Doomlands look, there is a panel on the right side of the blaster that is clear and allows you to see the internals, which is a nice touch.  With the cylinder being as crazy long as it is, the barrels have openings almost all the way down their length so you can put a dart in the side and push it to the back to seat it ready for firing.  It’s an odd choice and vagabond3makes me wonder why they didn’t just shorten it down and have it load from the front like a normal revolver style blaster, not to mention all the plastic and weight they’d save by getting rid of the enormous front end.  It really seems like Nerf was going for a shotgun here, given the pump action and the sharply angled grip, but without any ability to fire multiple darts at once, it just ends up being a really big revolver in need of a nose job.  The pump grip itself is large and nicely textured so you can get a solid hold of it.  There’s a rail along the top of the blaster for accessories like scopes and whatnot, at least in theory.  The angle of the grip makes aiming down the barrel kind of hard to do comfortably, but it too is well sized and has enough texture to provide the necessary traction.  Performance-wise, the Vagabond gets a resounding “it’s fine.”  It shoots just a little softer than most other blasters on average, probably in part due to the internals being taken directly from the Rebelle Guardian Crossbow.  It’s not a huge difference, and it will probably get overlooked by your younger siblings when you bust into their room, plus there’s that great big front end that’ll most likely leave an impression.  The Vagabond comes packaged with 6 Doomlands colored Elite darts.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

I really can’t think of any reason why the front of the Vagabond is that huge.  I guess it’s just a stylistic choice.  I mean, we’ve seen similar enormous extraneous pieces of plastic on other Doomlands blasters like the Negotiator, but I didn’t really care for those either.  As long as it doesn’t affect the blaster’s ability to, you know, blast, I suppose it can stay.  But seriously though, Mads, if you’re reading this, hit me up about that game show.

The Blaster In Question #0055: Proton

BlasterInQuestion1

PROTON

VORTEX

proton1You may have heard that Vortex is back.  Yes, it seems the once-thought dead line of blasters has miraculous come back to life like Jesus, or Dracula.  While my money is squarely on this being a hasty rejiggering of an intended TRU exclusive, the Vortex VTX line seems to be solely in Target’s hands now.  So while the hype train is just slowly starting to pull away from the station, I figured I’d jump on board in order to bring you today’s review of the Proton.  I’m feeling pretty positive about this one.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

proton2Ok, while this is a Vortex blaster, it’s not part of the VTX lineup, so I’m less of a passenger on the hype train and more of that guy with the accordion who just walks from car to car demanding money in exchange for giving you tinnitus.  The Proton was released in 2011 as the smallest (at the time) entry in the newly unveiled Vortex series of blasters.  The big draw for Vortex blasters was their supposed super long ranges thanks to the mini-frisbee type of ammo instead of traditional darts.  The disks use their aerofoil shape to glide through the air which does allow them to travel pretty far, all things considered, but it also means that they lose speed quite quickly.  I’ve talked about this before in my Revonix 360 review and it holds true here and across the line.  The Proton, specifically, is a single shot pistol which is loaded through the rear of the blaster by pulling back the slide, placing a diskproton3 in the tray, and hitting the slide release lever on the side of the blaster.  Honestly, this was the feature that made me buy the Proton in the first place.  Regardless of performance, I just wanted a blaster with a functional slide release lever so I could do dramatic reloads while creeping around the house at 2:00 AM.  The shell of the Proton is all original which you’d kind of expect given how vastly different the internals of this blaster are compared to something like the NiteFinder.  There is at least a standard Nerf rail on the top of the barrel, but there’s not really anything you can put on it without making the blaster really top and front heavy, and that’s no good.  The Proton is meant to be nice and light, right around 1.67×10-27kg.  Not literally light, that’s photon, with an h.  Running the action of the Proton is nice and smooth and unless you did something really wrong, it’s very uncommon to have any kind of jam or malfunction, so that’s a positive.  The ergonomics are decent with all the controls where it makes sense for them to be.  The grip is a little skinny but not so much that it’s really a problem.  As with most Vortex blasters, there are a lot of safety locks inside the Proton, the most important of which prevents the trigger from being pulled when the chamber is empty. proton4 It’s good to know so that, if you’re storing the blaster somewhere for more than a day, it’s probably smart to fire off one round just to de-prime the blaster so you won’t wear out the spring.  If that happens, it’s like it loses its charge, and you’re left with a neutron.  It’s also a good idea to keep it away from stray electrons, because then it just becomes hydrogen, and that  tends to poof away into the air.  As far as using the Proton against younger siblings, I’d recommend it for longer-distance pot shots rather than the whole busting into their room method.  The Proton comes packaged with 3 Vortex disks in the classic Vortex green.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

Ah, I see you made it past my science jokes.  Good for you.  All in all, for as lukewarm as I am to the Vortex series as a whole, I actually quite like the Proton.  It’s fairly compact and has that really unique loading mechanism, which is honestly fun to play with just that.  While I don’t usually go for recolors of existing blasters, I must admit, the blue and green VTX color scheme looks pretty sharp, so I might not mind picking up another Proton if they come out with it.  Then I just need some neutrons and I can whip up some helium.

The Blaster In Question #0054: First Order Stormtrooper Deluxe Blaster (Heavy)

BlasterInQuestion1

STORMTROOPER DELUXE BLASTER

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (GLOWSTRIKE)

stormheavy1Hang 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

stormheavy2The 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 stormheavy4unique 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.  stormheavy3The 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!

The Blaster In Question #0053: Qi’ra Blaster

BlasterInQuestion1

QI’RA BLASTER

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (GLOWSTRIKE)

qira1For the last couple rounds of Star Wars Nerf products, it seems like Hasbro has really settled on the formula of releasing a big show off blaster, a medium one with some features, and then a dinky little pistol that is really just there to have a cheaper offering.  More often than not, the pistol gets shafted in terms of quality, typically winding up being a woefully underpowered (even for the Star Wars blasters) single-shot and that’s it.  Now imagine my pleasant surprise when I saw that the pistol offering from the latest wave not only has legitimate range claims on the box, but also can be fired TWICE before reloading.  Sure, it’s hardly groundbreaking as far as Nerf goes, but it’s nice to see Hasbro going just that little bit beyond the bare minimum.  With all that said, let’s take a look at the Qi’ra blaster pistol.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

qira2Hi guys.  Thanks for tuning in to another video on Forgotten Weapons, I’m Ian and today I’ll be looking at this, the Steyr Mannlicher model of 1905 militar— wait, wrong blog.  Let’s try that again.  The Qi’ra blaster pistol was released in 2018 as part of Hasbro’s wave of Nerf merch tying in to the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story film.  It uses a 2-barrel smart AR system like that on the DoubleDown or DoubleStrike or basically any Nerf blaster that starts with “double” (except the DoubleDealer but we don’t talk about that).  Even though I got the wrong intro, it is true that the blaster in the film appears to be based on the aforementioned Steyr Mannlicher 1905 military pistol with a long toe.  You gotta remember that long toe.  I, personally, am quite a fan of the choice here.  It’s nice seeing the prop department for the film taking cues from the original trilogy by using WW1 and WW2 era small arms as the base for most of the blasters you see on screen.  Like all Nerf Star Wars blasters now, the Qi’ra blaster features lights and sounds every time you pull the trigger.  The lights are rudimentary, only lighting up one side of the blaster, but do show a bit more finesse than previous models by fading out rather than just turning on and turning off abruptly.  The pew pew sound effect in this blaster is the same as on the Poe Dameron blaster from the Last Jedi line of products.  It’s a little qira3disappointing that this blaster couldn’t get its own unique sound, but if it plays into Hasbro’s game of halfway decent but still economical Star Wars products, I can get over it.  The blaster also uses the Glowstrike system with UV LEDs in the barrel and glow-in-the-dark darts.  This and the lights and sounds requires just a single AA battery, but this does not effect the actual dart-launching functionality of the blaster.  Being built on a real-world firearm, the ergonomics are decent on this blaster.  The grip is maybe a little blocky but there’s nothing I would really call out as being unpleasant.  The length of the prime is quite short, but the spring feels reasonably powerful and as such, the blaster actually performs pretty well, only just underperforming blasters from the Elite series.  Similar to the Chewbacca blaster, I’d say this blaster is probably best suited for clandestine attacks or ambushes on your younger siblings, preferably at night so they get the full effect with the glowing darts and whatnot.  The Qi’ra blaster comes packaged with 4 Glowstrike Elite darts and 1 AA battery already installed. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

I picked this blaster up on a run to Target with Ethan.  I had just bought the Chewbacca blaster only minutes prior and decided liked it enough to keep the ball rolling, so to speak.  As soon as I opened it, there was something familiar about it that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, so naturally I consulted the video library of Forgotten Weapons and voila, I had my answer.  While admittedly there would be an incredibly niche chuckle to be had if they had chosen to use the Steyr Hahn pistol in a movie about Han, I think this one works out better aesthetically.  It’s that long toe, man, gotta have that long toe.

The Blaster In Question #0052: Chewbacca Blaster

BlasterInQuestion1

CHEWBACCA BLASTER  

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (GLOWSTRIKE)

chew1Changing gears only slightly from last week, I have another movie tie-in blaster for you.  I mean, it’s mine, it’s for me.  You can’t have this one.  The review is for you, though, so you’re welcome.  With the building hype surrounding the upcoming Solo film, of course Hasbro brought some goodies to the table.  Today, I’ll be looking at the supposed primary weapon of everyone’s favorite space-faring shag carpet, at least for this movie (we don’t like to talk about the Nerf Bowcaster).  As a bonus, I’ll be reviewing this blaster entirely in Chewie’s native tongue.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

chew2Rara arrarRA RARA rara rARAAA rrrrrr  aa A r AR A a RR r RRRR A AAAA ra ARRAARAA aarararra raar ar ra rarar rrr aa ra raa rarra ararr aara ok, that’s enough of that.  What I said was, this blaster was released in 2018 as branded merch for the movie Solo: A Star Wars Story.  Despite its size, it’s actually a very simple blaster, mechanically speaking.  It’s effectively a muzzle-loading shotgun that fires two darts at once.  It might have been nice to have a staggered trigger on the blaster like the Roughcut, but that would have added a significant amount of additional bulk and moving pieces, and subsequently driven the price up.  It does seem like Hasbro are trying to be a little more wallet friendly with this round of Star Wars products, probably after seeing how slowly the more recent Deluxe Stormtrooper blaster and its $80 price tag moved.  As with all Star Wars blasters now, the Chewbacca blaster features lights and sounds and uses the Glowstrike darts to approximate the feeling of firing a laser weapon.  The sound effect in this blaster is fairly satisfying and bass-y which is definitely fitting.  The use of real-world firearms as the bases for the movie props once again gives this blaster pretty good ergonomics.  This blaster in particular is built on the receiver and stock of an M60 machine gun.  I feel confident that the Nerf version is substantially scaled down from the original but they’ve kept the grips a good size so it’s not bad.  The stock of the blaster has a storage area under the butt plate, and is removable, using the chew3standard Nerf stock attachment lug.  There’s also a rail on the top of the blaster for the included scope if you want, or you could remove it and leave it off forever.  That’s valid too, especially with a scope like this.  At least you have the option to take it off without using a hacksaw.  I know it’s meant to look like the movie prop, so I can’t fault Hasbro for including it, but it’s just a narrow tube in a weirdly shaped shell.  The scope on the Han Solo blaster pistol has a sight front post so you can at least pretend you’re aiming it properly.  It might have been nice to have something like that here, but sadly no.   Something noteworthy about this wave of Star Wars blasters is that the boxes actually advertise range claims.  Historically, Nerf only bothers doing this if the performance is at least halfway decent, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when that turned out to be the case here too.  It’s almost even more impressive when you remember this blaster fires two darts at once using a single plunger tube (we also don’t like to talk about the DoubleDealer).  Having to reload 2 darts for every trigger pull does slow down your potential for follow-ups, the decent amount of power, the lights, the sounds and the Glowstrike darts make this a great blaster for ambushing your younger siblings, especially at night.  The Chewbacca Blaster comes packaged with the stock, the scope, and 6 Glowstrike Elite darts.  Batteries are only required for the lights and sounds, and the Glowstrike functionality.  Fortunately, they come already installed in the blaster.chew4

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I bought this blaster on one of the regular scavenging trips Ethan and I make to TRU.  While I was initially a little disappointed by how simple the mechanism was, I did gradually stop caring too much about that given how nice the other features are.  Not including the scope.  Sure, it’s not super-efficient or practical as far as Nerf blasters go, but is it fun?   ARr r R RRRaaa arar raarr RA RAR A rr a raraara raa rara.  That’s a “yes.”

 

The Blaster In Question #0051: Star-Lord Assembler Gear

BlasterInQuestion1

STAR-LORD BLASTER

ASSEMBLER GEAR (INFINITY WAR)

assemblelord1Sometimes performance isn’t the end-all be-all for having a fun Nerf blaster.  If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you may have seen a review I did way back in the way back for the Star-Lord Quad Blaster.  That’s a great example of fun despite pretty lackluster performance.  Well, today, I’m looking at yet another Star-Lord themed blaster, this time coinciding with the release of Marvel’s latest film, Infinity War.  Now I should warn you, I have seen the movie but I’ll try my best to stay away from spoilers.  Let’s get into it.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

assemblelord2Snape kills Dumbledore.  DAMMIT!  Sorry, I tried.  Anyways, the Star-Lord Assembler Gear blaster kit… thingy was released in 2018 alongside similar compatible kits themed around other characters like Iron Man, Captain America, and Bruce Willis who was a ghost the whole time.  GAHHH! Sorry, sorry.  The idea is that each kit comes with one core blaster component and then a bunch of other parts that can be attached in a number of different ways, kind of like the idea behind the Modulus series, but even crazier.  The blaster piece for the Star-Lord kit has 2 female barrel sockets, 2 male barrel sockets, 3 short little rails, and a rail clip on the bottom.  In addition, the two included extra parts each have a male and female barrel socket and rail and rail clip.  It’s rather a lot, to be honest but it does definitely lend itself to coming up with some pretty crazy combinations which is fun.  It is important to note that the barrel sockets on the Assembler Gear blasters are not compatible with regular Nerf barrel attachments.  It seems the extra parts aren’t really modeled after anything, just shaped vaguely like sci-fi blaster pieces. The core blaster is definitely intended to be modeled after assemblelord3Star-Lord’s signature blaster pistols from the films though it seems like they may have put the top on backwards as it slopes the wrong way.  This could have been an accident or could have been intentional for a number of reasons, but I can tell you it was not so they could fit halfway decent internals in this thing.  The mechanism that launches the dart out of the blaster is the bane of my existence as a Nerf fan.  I can only be talking about the dart flicker style of blaster like that in the Marvel’s Captain America Civil War Iron Man Stark Strike gauntlet blaster… from Hasbro that I looked at a few weeks ago.  I’ve already ranted on this subject before so I’ll spare you, good reader, this time, but it really is just terrible.  One potential argument you could make is that maybe a non-trash based mechanism would take too much space, to which I’d reply “Kevin Spacey is Keyser Soze.”  Then I’d go on to say that maybe scaling up the blaster as a whole wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world because as it is now, the ergonomics are atrocious.  I understand these are meant for children, but so was the Quad-Blaster and that was perfectly fine to hold.  This, on the other hand, is just not remotely comfortable.  A slightly larger blaster could mean a better grip and halfway decent internals, but sadly, it is not so.  Given the ergo and the performance, I feel justified saying it’s just not worth taking this blaster if you’re planning to bust into your younger siblings’ room and open fire.  Pick something else.  The Star-Lord Assembler Gear blaster kit comes with 2 attachments and 3 Star-Lord colored Elite Darts.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked this blaster up on a trip to a local TRU.  I don’t recall if this was before or after the whole going out of business thing took effect, but I had seen them online and was curious enough so I picked it up.  Having done so, I don’t think I can really recommend a blaster this uncomfortable to use with such pitiful performance.  Maybe that’s the point though.  Maybe it’s meant to make you feel like Star-Lord.  Just get your biggest friend to hot glue some Jolly Ranchers to their hand and tell them to start punching as hard as they can while you try and keep them away by shooting.  I don’t see how this could possibly go wrong.

On a side note, I’m pleased to announce that after their hiatus, the fine folks at Timsical Thoughts have partnered with The Blaster In Question to bring you some degree of “content.”  I know the guy who runs the site personally and he’s just great so feel free to check that out.

The Blaster In Question #0050: Vulcan EBF-25

BlasterInQuestion1

VULCAN EBF-25               

N-STRIKE

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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

vulcan2The 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 vulcan3they 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 vulcan4hinged 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.vulcan5

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.