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!

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The Blaster In Question #0053: Qi’ra Blaster

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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

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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 #0024: Captain Cassian Andor Deluxe Blaster

CAPTAIN CASSIAN ANDOR DELUXE BLASTER

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

Everything looks better in blue.  Ok, maybe not everything, but a lot of things do, and that goes for Nerf blasters.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at yet another Star Wars blaster.  This time it is the Target exclusive Captain Cassian Andor Deluxe Blaster.  Well, sort of exclusive.  I’ll explain later.  Let’s get into the review

THE BLASTER ITSELF

The Captain Cassian Andor Deluxe Quite A Mouthful Blaster was released in 2016 as a tie-in product for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  This specific blaster is the Target exclusive blue recolor of the Jyn Erso Blaster from the same line.  Plus, this one’s got a bunch of accessories that Jin’s blaster doesn’t.  It’s built on the classic magazine-fed flywheel system we’ve seen on the Stryfe and other blasters.  Holding down the rev trigger spins up the flywheels and pulling the main trigger pushes a single dart into the wheels, sending it flying.  The big difference between the CCADB and the Stryfe is the inclusion of lights and sounds which activate on the trigger pull, regardless of the rev trigger being pressed.  I was actually pretty impressed with the lights on this blaster.  Every time the trigger is pulled, a series of green LEDs in the barrel light up in rapid succession giving the illusion of a laser blast traveling down the barrel.  Accompanied by the sound effects, it really does make just pulling the trigger quite satisfying.  It’s also worth noting that holding down the rev trigger turns on the blue LED in the chamber as part of the blaster’s Glowstrike feature.  The included magazine holds 12 darts and, unlike most standard N-Strike Elite magazines, is completely transparent orange on both sides.  The outer shell of the base blaster is completely new work though shared with the Jyn Erso blaster, and looks a good bit like the blaster in the film which, if anyone cares, was made with an AR-15 as the base of the prop.  Like with the Poe Dameron blaster, the use of real-world firearms parts makes holding the blaster fairly comfortable, though there is some noticeable down-scaling from the real thing, making it a little cramped in the grip.  All the included accessories with the CCADB are recolored attachments from various other blasters.  The stock comes from the N-Strike Raider CS-35, the scope comes from the Modulus Long Range Upgrade Kit, the barrel extension/suppressor comes from the N-Strike/Elite Specter REV-5, and the bumps along the sides of the magazine indicate it comes from the Modulus Flip-Clip Upgrade Kit.  In addition to the grip being a hair small, some sections of the blaster feel a little flimsier than I’m used to from Nerf.  It’s not a lot, but the grey panels on the sides of the grip and the battery tray cover do flex a good bit if you have a firm grasp on the blaster.  This CCADB is not a heavy hitter in terms of performance.  The power of the flywheels is rather limited, either by design or because the batteries also have to power the lights, sounds, and Glowstrike feature when firing.  This is an indoor blaster, no question.  It does fire reliably but shots arc more severely than most other blasters and don’t land with as much force, making it ideal for busting into your sibling’s room and emptying the mag without fear of getting in as much trouble.  The CCADB comes packaged with 12 Glowstrike Star Wars darts, a 12 round magazine, a scope, a stock, a barrel extension, and 4 AA batteries already installed.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This blaster is largely what convinced me that the addition of lights and sounds to the Star Wars Nerf lineup wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.  While the Death Trooper blaster is fine, the effects on this blaster are pretty top notch and, having seen this year’s offerings, set the standard for effects for “deluxe” blasters to follow.

 

The Blaster In Question #0023: Poe Dameron Blaster

POE DAMERON BLASTER

STAR WARS EPISODE VIII: THE LAST JEDI

While the vast majority of the Force Friday haul was action figures for Ethan, I did manage to pick up something for myself, and, big surprise, it’s a Nerf blaster.  It is the smallest and cheapest of this year’s Star Wars releases.  I am, of course, talking about the Poe Dameron Blaster pistol.  Let’s take a look at it.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

The Poe Dameron Blaster was released in 2017 as part of the Force Friday lineup of new products promoting the upcoming Star Wars Episode VIII.  The blaster is about as simple as it gets, mechanically.  It is a single shot muzzle loaded pistol with a priming tab in the rear of the blaster.  The tab is a separate piece from the plunger and has its own return spring so it doesn’t stick out the back of the blaster when primed like the Nitefinder or Firestrike.  In addition to priming the action of the blaster, pulling the tab back also activates the Glowstrike feature which is part of every Star Wars branded blaster at this point.  There is a single purple LED with a clear inner barrel that “charges” up the dart so it glows in the dark when fired.  The light turns off following a trigger pull which, in turn, fires the dart and sets off the blaster’s light effect and sound.  I can’t speak for the accuracy of the sound as the film has not yet come out, but I have to say I find the light effect a little disappointing.  I wasn’t expecting the same level of light effects as are on higher end blasters, but the single light on only one side of the blaster feels a bit underwhelming.  This is only accentuated by the fact that the light stays on for almost a full second after the trigger is pulled.  Even with the lackluster setup, I would have much preferred a quick flash of light than the drawn out night light effect the blaster has.  Ultimately, it’s kind of a nit-picky criticism to make, but I know Nerf have the capability to deliver better and I wish they had done it just a little different.  The form factor of Poe’s blaster, thankfully, brings us back to the positives.  Like with most of the prop blasters in Star Wars, Poe’s blaster in the film is built on the frame of a real world firearm, in this case the Sig Sauer P226.  This won’t matter to 98% of people who buy the Nerf replica, but what it means is that the grip is exceptionally comfortable.  It may seem like a small detail, but if a blaster is genuinely pleasant to hold, even if it’s only so-so otherwise, I’m much more likely to pick it up and pew pew around my house than I am with a functionally superior but less comfortable blaster.  The handle also houses the single AA battery that powers the light, sound, and Glowstrike feature.  The little bit of extra weight in the grip also helps with comfort.  The build quality is good and everything feels solid, as you’d expect from a Nerf blaster.  Poe’s blaster has an attachment rail on the top for accessories if you really think it needs them.  Unsurprisingly, Poe’s blaster is a bit underpowered compared to the Elite series.  This is the case with just about all licensed blasters Nerf makes so it’s not surprising.  This is an indoor blaster, plain and simple.  It doesn’t pack nearly the same punch as core Nerf blasters, but that just means you’re less likely to accidentally injure your younger siblings when you burst into their room.  Besides, the glowing darts and sound effects leave enough of an impression to make up for it, especially for nighttime ambushes.  The Poe Dameron Blaster comes packaged with 3 Star Wars branded Glowstrike darts and one AA battery already installed.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

To be completely honest, I was pretty disappointed with this years selection of Star Wars Nerf.  I didn’t even buy this blaster just because I wanted it but because Target was giving away freebies if you bought something from Force Friday.  That being said, do I regret buying this blaster?  No.  It has plenty of issues and I wouldn’t put it anywhere near my top 10, but for what it is, I feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of it.  And besides, it’s just so dang comfortable.

 

The Blaster In Question #0022: Imperial Death Trooper Blaster

IMPERIAL DEATH TROOPER BLASTER

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

Alright guys, this is your warning: the Star Wars reviews are coming.  Lots of them.  You might be aware that recently, the “Force Friday” promotional event took place.  Well, I went to the midnight opening of the local TRU to help Ethan snag at least some of the new arrivals and boy did he snag.  Now that that’s out of the way, I figured today would be an appropriate time to take a look at one of Nerf’s offerings from the previous Force Friday.  So let’s take a look at the signature weapon of one of the most over-hyped class of trooper from Rogue One, the Imperial Death Trooper Blaster.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

The Death Trooper Blaster was released in 2016 as a promotion for the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  The blaster uses a 3-barrel smart AR with a pump action prime.  The shell of the blaster is completely original tooling and does a good job conveying the look of the E-11D blaster rifle seen in the film.  This particular series of Star Wars tie-in blasters were the first to incorporate the “Glowstrike” feature which would activate lights inside the blaster to shine on special Glowstrike darts with glow in the dark bodies.  The end result of this was having the darts themselves glow as they were fired, producing a laser blast kind of effect.  In the case of the DTB, the lights are activated when the priming slide is pulled back, and deactivated following the trigger pull.  We’ve seen similar gimmicks implemented before going all the way back to the N-Strike Firefly REV-8 but this version seems to be the best iteration we’ve had so far.  Also, new to the Star Wars branded products, starting with this line, was the added lights and sounds when the trigger is pulled, adding further to the feeling of firing a laser blaster.  Pulling the trigger of the DTB plays the sound clip of a laser blast and causes a couple red LEDs along the top of the barrel to flash in succession.  It’s nothing terribly special and I was extremely skeptical when I found out it was a feature that couldn’t be turned off, but having played with it thoroughly enough, it does add a bit of enjoyment having a blaster that makes its own sound effects instead of making them myself.  I do still make them myself from time to time, though.  The lights and sounds as well as the Glowstrike feature require 3 AAA batteries to work, which, conveniently, come installed in the blaster.  Actually firing the blaster can be done entirely without batteries, but at that point it just becomes like any other Nerf blaster.  The DTB has an attachment rail on the top of the blaster and a stock attachment in the rear.  It should be noted that mine is the standard red version, but the TRU exclusive comes with a bright green color scheme as well as matching scope and stock accessories.  As just the blaster, it has a nice compact feel, almost like it could pass as an oversized pistol.  Everything feels comfortable and solid in the hand.  Admittedly, it is still a rather large blaster for only 3 shots, and like with many tie-in products, performance is a hair below par for more core Nerf lines.  This is definitely an indoor blaster, and while it doesn’t shoot quite as far or hard as blasters from the Elite series, the flashing lights and laser sound effects leave quite an impression when bursting into your sibling’s room to dispense Imperial justice.  The red version of the Imperial Death Trooper Blaster comes with 3 Glowstrike Star Wars branded darts and 3 AAA batteries installed.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I think this particular release of Star Wars Nerf is the best example of how my opinion of something in theory can be completely different from my opinion of it in practice.  Like I said, I was expecting to hate the blasters given that they all made pew pew noises and there was no off switch for it.  Having had them for a year at this point, I can say they are some of the easiest and most fun to just pick up and pew pew around my house with.