#1954: Dora Milaje

DORA MILAJE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

The Dora Milaje are an all-female special forces group prepared to defend the Black Panther and the people of Wakanda at all costs.”

What good is a toyline without some army builders?  You know, it’s usually the bad guys that get the army building fun, but every so often the good guys get the chance to get in on the game too.  Not super frequently.  Though prominent players in Black Panther, we didn’t get very much toy coverage at all of the Dora Milaje, Panther’s squad of body guards.  We got their general, Okoye, as a Build-A-Figure, and Nakia in one of their uniforms, but that was really it.  Fortunately, it’s Hasbro’s aim to fix that issue in spades.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Dora Milaje is figure 6 in the M’Baku Series of Marvel Legends, and I do believe has the notoriety of being our first proper MCU army builder in this scale (unless we’re counting the Hydra heads that came with Red Skull).  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation.  Like the CW Black Panther in this assortment, the Dora Milaje is heavy on the parts re-use; from the neck down, this figure’s sculpt is identical to the Nakia figure from last year.  Given a) it’s the same suit, and b) that was a pretty fantastic sculpt, you’ll hear no complaints from me on that front.  The body is still one of the best bodies out there in terms of posability, and I’m still very impressed by what Hasbro was able to pull off with it.  In order to keep things fresh, and further facilitate the whole “army building” thing, the Dora Milaje includes not one, not two, but three all-new head sculpts.  The first sculpt (seen in the photo at the top of this review) is particularly notable, because it’s actually a named character.  Yep, that’s Ayo, the head of T’Challa’s security, and the Dora Milaje with the most appearances under her belt, showing up in Civil WarBlack Panther, and Infinity War.  The head sports a solid likeness of actress Florence Kasumba, and seems to really get that stern expression of hers down.  The other two heads don’t appear to be any particular members (at least not ones I could spot when I re-watched the film in anticipation of these reviews), but are rather meant to check a few different boxes, in order to fill up the ranks a bit more quickly.  I really like the calmer of the two; there’s a very lifelike quality to it, which helps it fit in very well with the rest of the more recent MCU stuff.  The teeth-baring one, I’m a little bit less of a fan of, because I think it just looks too cartoony when compared to the other two sculpts.  Still, it’s certainly not a bad offering.  Though the Dora Milaje figure may be using the same body as Nakia, the paintwork on it has been greatly improved.  There’s far more detailing, especially on the red sections of the uniform, and, as a whole, the figure just looks more finished. Nakia wasn’t bad, but this is better.  In addition to the two extra heads mentioned above, the Dora Milaje includes a spear, Nakai’s hoop blade weapons, and a smaller bladed weapon, as well as the last piece of M’Baku.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

With all of the other figures shown off for this line-up, the Dora Milaje was one that kind of slipped under my radar.  I already had Nakia and Okoye, so I had my bases covered, I thought.  But, I wanted M’Baku, so why not give this figure a shot, I thought.  Well, I’m very glad I did, because this figure takes everything I loved about Nakia and builds on it, making for a downright awesome figure.  And, we got an Ayo figure out of it to boot.  Pretty nifty if you ask me!

The Dora Milaje was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

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#1952: Black Panther

BLACK PANTHER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

After the death of his father T’Chaka, T’Challa must assume the Black Panther mantle as the next king of Wakanda.”

Following his appearance in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther was one of the hottest things ever.  It was little surprise that his Marvel Legends release from that movie proved to be by far the most difficult to track down of the series that included him, leaving Panther fans without a figure, at least until his solo flick came along.  But, of course, his main costume for the film, so if you wanted the (admittedly slightly superior) Civil War Black Panther, you were still going to need to find that figure.  Until now, anyways.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Panther is figure 4 in the M’Baku Series of Marvel Legends.  There’s actually no name distinction between this figure and the Kinetic Energy variant, so I can foresee referring to them getting a little confusing in the long run.  Though not his main costume, the CW design’s appearance early in Black Panther gave Hasbro enough leeway to include him in this second Panther-based assortment.  Let’s cut to the chase here: this figure’s sculpt is 100% identical to the Civil War release.  Same height, same articulation, same detailing.  I’m not complaining, mind you, because I loved this sculpt when it was new, and I still really like it now.  Sure, in retrospect the shoulder articulation is a bit more restricted than I’d like, but beyond that, it’s a sculpt that still really holds up.  There are some very minor, and I mean *very* minor, tweaks to the figure’s paint.  The eyes follow the sculpt a little more closely this time, and he does seem to be generally cleaner looking, but there aren’t any really intentional changes.  The only true change to this figure are the accessories included.  Obviously, he swaps out the Giant Man piece for one from M’Baku, but he also trades out the somewhat generic unmasked head for one that looks a fair bit more like Chadwick Bosman.  I don’t like this one quite as much as the one included with the Kinetic Panther; the expression makes him look really goofy.  Still, it’s better than the one we got originally.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

There’s not much to say about this guy.  I’m not surprised by Hasbro’s move to reissue him, since the original was still tricky to find.  He’s a good enough figure that he doesn’t feel out of place among his peers and the new head’s certainly an improvement.  That said, I bought this guy solely to finish M’Baku, and having already gotten the unmasked head with Kintetic Panther, there’s just not much this guy has to offer me.  But, like Carnage, he’s not really for me, so I guess there’s that.

Panther was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1951: Ulysses Klaue

ULYSSES KLAUE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

An arms dealer obsessed with vibranium, Ulysses Klaue infiltrates the secret nation of Wakanda to steal the sacred metal and sell it for a hefty profit.”

Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue was definitely one of my very favorite parts of Black Panther (and Age of Ultron, for that matter), largely because it was so clear just how much of a blast Serkis was having playing the part.  While he was privy to two Minimates, I honestly wasn’t expecting a Legends release, due to him being just a kind of normal looking guy.  Of course, since we got Everett freaking Ross, I guess it shouldn’t be too shocking that the comparatively more exciting Klaue would be given his due, now should it?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Klaue is figure 3 in the M’Baku Series of Marvel Legends.  Like the Minimate, he’s based on Klaue’s appearance during the sequence at the casino and the ensuing chase scene.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Klaue is built on a variant of the suit body, though no one would blame you for missing that at first glance.  He uses the torso and legs from that body, with an overlay piece on the torso, plus new arms and a new head, in order to give Klaue a sufficiently unique appearance.  I wasn’t sure about the overlay piece at first, because such pieces can end up overly bulky and cumbersome, but this one actually works out alright, and matches Serkis’ build in the movie pretty decently.  By far the best part of this figure’s sculpt is the head, which has to be one of the finest likenesses Hasbro has ever put out.  I feel like I’ve made this claim on a few figures recently, but Hasbro genuinely seems to be getting better and better at this stuff.  Not only does the head look just like Serkis, but it’s also got the mad cackling grin from the movie down pat, which is a nice change of pace on the sometimes overly stern shelves of Marvel Legends.  Klaue’s paintwork has its ups and downs, but the ups definitely prevail.  The base paintwork, especially on the tie, is a little sloppy, but the work on the arm tattoo and especially on the face is really strong.  Normally, scene-specific battle damage can be frustrating on a figure intended to replicate a character’s entire movie appearance, but I can’t help but love how beaten up Klaue looks.  He genuinely looks like he’s stepped right out of the movie.  Klaue is packed with a basic handgun, as well as an alternate left forearm with his sonic cannon in its deployed form, and the torso of M’Baku.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Of the single release figures, Klaue was definitely at the top of my list for this assortment, because how could he not be.  Even with the bar set pretty darn high, this figure still managed to really surprise me, because I just wasn’t expecting to like him so darn much.  He’s just a lot of fun to mess around with, largely because of how well that awesome facial expression lends itself to all sorts of poses.  For me, this guy is definitely a star figure.

Klaue was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1950: Erik Killmonger

ERIK KILLMONGER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Seeking vengeance for his father’s exile from Wakanda, Erik Killmonger returns to challenge T’Challa for the right to the Wakandan throne.”

By far the most glaring omission from most of the Black Panther merch was primary antagonist Killmonger’s tactical gear.  Though it was his primary appearance for the film, the dark-panther-reflection design’s presence in the film’s final battle meant that it was the look that all the toy-makers went for.  So, for this very prominent look, all we had was a minimate.  Our first hint of the second Black Panther assortment was actually the tribal mask from this particular design, because Hasbro knew it was the look most people were wanting.  Now he’s finally here, so how did he fair?  Let’s find out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Killmonger is figure 2 in the M’Baku Series of Marvel Legends.  He pairs with yesterday’s Kinetic Black Panther as the double packs for this assortment.  Given the demand for this particular design, it was definitely a smart choice on Hasbro’s part.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Killmonger is a rather sensible combination of old and new parts.  Obviously, the head is re-used from the two-pack version of Killmonger from last year, which is still one of Hasbro’s best likenesses from the MCU.  The legs are also re-used, this time from the Netflix Punisher figure.  They’re fairly basic combat attire, and again pretty nice pieces from the start.  With a new belt and thigh strap, as well as a new torso and arms, it all ends up looking new and unique, and the whole thing jibes together pretty well to make for a very strong, very spot-on recreation of Killmonger’s tactical appearance from the film.  Topping off the whole thing is a new mask piece, based on the tribal mask he steals in the film.  It fits well over Killmonger’s head, and stays in place surprisingly well.  It also fits nicely over a variety of other similarly sized head sculpts too, should you want to swap it around to other figures.  Killmonger’s paintwork is pretty decent work overall.  The face is printed, and therefore quite lifelike.  The uniform has a nice variety of colors, which makes him more eye-catching than his prior figures to be sure.  Both the camo on his legs and the brushed metal effect on his armor look pretty cool, and are done nice and convincingly.  I was a little bummed by the lack of paint on the belt actually on the figure, but with the add-on in place, this isn’t noticeable.  In addition to his removable mask, Killmonger includes a pistol and an assault rifle (both shared with the Punisher figure), as well as the head and staff of M’Baku.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with most other people, this Killmonger was very high on my want list, so I was happy to see him in this assortment, and was very much looking forward to him.  There’s not a whole lot to report on this guy.  He didn’t surprise me, because I was already expecting him to be pretty cool, and he certainly lived up to that.  As far as single figures go, I foresee him being the most popular in the set, because he’s a nice item all in his own right.

Like yesterday’s Panther figure, I got Killmonger from my friends at All Time Toys, and he’s still available here.  And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

The Blaster In Question #0076: Nailbiter

NAILBITER

ZOMBIE STRIKE

nailbite1Nails. We all love them. Spikes what spike stuff together. Either that or the scratchy bits on the ends of your fingers, or even a band from the 90s that wants to do stuff like an animal. What does this all have to do with Nerf though? Well think about it, if you had to grab a makeshift weapon to use against zombies, wouldn’t you go for a nail gun?  No, not a cricket bat, and not a regular ball-peen hammer and sheer unflinching willpower, a nail gun. If for no other reason than it would be cool if it worked at all. Enter Nerf’s answer to this question that you all (for the sake of the review) answered wrong by picking more wisely, the Nailbiter. Improvised weaponry made from power tools? Let me show you its features. 

THE BLASTER ITSELF

nailbite2The Nailbiter was released in 2019 as part of the Zombie Strike line. It features a double-action trigger, like the Voidcaster from the Alien Menace series, but instead of just a smart AR, the Nailbiter uses an 8 round, vertical ratcheting clip, reminiscent of how, say, a nail gun would feed. I don’t know why Nerf seems to be on such a ratcheting clip kick lately with the Thunderhawk and Rukkus in addition, but it does seem like they’re slowly improving upon the system each time. People hated the Thunderhawk’s clip cuz it stuck out to the side and made it virtually impossible to store the blaster with space efficiency in mind. The Rukkus was a little better but you couldn’t access the whole clip from a single position for nailbite3reloading. Now with the Nailbiter, not only does the clip fit entirely within the silhouette of the blaster, but when it’s ratcheted all the way up, you can reload all 8 barrels. At this rate, in a few more iterations, it’ll hold 200 rounds and have 30% critical chance. Nerf, I’m serious, pick up the Warframe license. I’ll buy everything. Anyway, being a double-action blaster, pulling the trigger not only primes and fires in a single stroke, now it also advances the clip. This makes rapidly firing very easy, especially while dual weighing which I highly recommend if you can manage it. The Nailbiter is fairly large for a pistol. It was certainly bigger than I was expecting. On the plus side, that larger size means that it was big enough to include a stock and barrel attachment point. There’s also a rail on the bottom for… something, Australian scopes?  Who knows? The performance of the Nailbiter isn’t the most amazing in terms of range and power, but it’s definitely respectable in those regards. As I said earlier, the main draw for a blaster like this is rapid fire. Busting into your younger siblings’ room with two Nailbiters and opening fire is a sight they’ll not soon forget. The Nailbiter comes packaged with 8 Zombie Strike Elite darts. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

I found the Nailbiter entirely by chance at my local target since I was under the impression they hadn’t come out yet. Needless to say, I bought 2 and I regret nothing. As much fun as the Voidcaster was to dual wield for the vague Halo-esque feeling it inspired, the Nailbiter is functionally the better blaster, and having 16 rounds of semi-auto foam on tap is quite a feeling of its own. I recommend greatly

#1949: Black Panther

BLACK PANTHER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

With the safety of Earth threatened by the powerful titan, Thanos, Black Panther joins forces with the Avengers to protect the world from certain destruction.”

There was a time not that long ago when an MCU movie was lucky to get *any* 6-inch coverage.  Heck, Thor: The Dark World had literally none before the 10th Anniversary sets hit.  Black Panther was actually pretty fortunate in its first go, with four movie based Legends in its main assortment, plus a two-pack to augment.  However, that wasn’t enough for the fanbase, and so, for the first time, a solo MCU movie is getting a second series, a year after the movie no less.  I’ll be kicking things off with the main guy himself!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Black Panther is the first figure in the M’Baku Series of Marvel Legends.  Though the whole series is based on Black Panther, Hasbro decided to mix things up when packaging the figures, so Panther’s packaging actually lists him as hailing from Infinity War, and he’s got a bio to match.  Since the Panther costume was the same between the two film’s, it’s a perfectly reasonable choice.  This guy is wearing the same costume as the last one, but this one shows it fully charged up with kinetic energy, so he’s all fancy and purple.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  His sculpt is, unsurprisingly, completely shared with the previous figure.  It is the same suit, after all.  While I have some slight reservations about the design, and its implementation (still not crazy about those shoulders), I will admit that it’s grown on me.  The new paint definitely helps in that respect.  In addition to the slight bit of silver accenting, this one also gets a bunch of funky metallic purple, which I feel better frames the sculpt, and helps to distract from some of the odder aspects of the articulation.  Panther is packed with an unmasked head and two sets of hands.  The hands are the same as the prior figure, but the head is an all-new piece.  The last head wasn’t stellar, and definitely work with the body, but this one actually gives us a pretty spot-on Chadwick Bosman as seen in his solo film, and it looks pretty solid when placed on the body.  Not bad!  In addition to the character-specific items, Panther is also packed with the right arm of M’Baku.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I loved the Civil War Panther, and I was left sort of luke warm by the solo film release from last year.  When this assortment was first shown off, I was more focused on the other figures within it, so I wasn’t eagerly waiting for this guy.  But, since I wanted an M’Baku, I was in for him no matter my feelings on the figure itself.  I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this figure.  The new kinetic detailing gives him a much needed pop, and I really dig the unmasked head.  There are certainly worse figures to release.

As with most of my recent Legends purchases, Panther is from my friends at All Time Toys, and can be purchased here.  Or, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1946: Rio Durant

RIO DURANT

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (HASBRO)

Though a minor part of the overall film, Tobias Beckett’s plucky pilot Rio Durant was an entertaining character with one of the niftiest modern Star Wars designs, making him a prime pick for just all of the toys ever.  Or, at the very least, two of the toys ever.  I’ve looked at one of his two figures, so today I’ll be looking at the other one.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Rio is part of the fourth series of Hasbro’s tie-in line for Solo.  As I’ve noted in my last two reviews, this assortment proved to be the one with the most actual Solo characters featured within it, making Rio a natural choice for the line-up, especially with Beckett and Val shipping right alongside him.  The figure stands 3 inches tall and with 12 points of articulation, he’s one of the best articulated basic 3 3/4-inch figures we’ve gotten in quite a while.  As with his larger counterpart, it’s those extra limbs that rally give him the advantage.  Rio’s sculpt is, unsurprisingly, an all-new affair, and it’s by far the best of the three I’ve looked at from this assortment.  Obviously, it’s slightly stepped down from the Black Series release, but not quite as much as you might think.  It’s an accurate rendition of his model from the film, and it includes some of the best detail work you can find at this scale.  While he’s slightly pre-posed, it’s just enough to give him a little bit of extra character, without proving itself too limiting.  The arms in particular are cleverly posed to work with the articulation and offer up a couple of acceptable poses for each of them.  Rio’s paintwork is fairly basic, but the application is clean, and all of the important details are there.  On top of that, he maintains the bright, eye-catching colors of his larger figure, and is just generally a nice figure to look at.  While the larger Rio includes two different blasters, this one instead only carries the smaller one, which, given the lower price point isn’t terrible.  It can be stowed in his holster on his belt, or held in any of his four hands, so you’ve definitely got some display options cut out for you.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I did *not* find Rio at the same Walmart as Beckett and Val.  However, after having found them, and knowing that they were being clearanced, I made a point to swing by another Walmart on my way home, and I was able to grab a discounted Rio there.  I thought this guy might be another situation like with Val, where getting the Black Series figure first kind of left me feeling lukewarm about the basic release, but I have to say, Rio is just a really, really nice figure, and one of the best things to come out of this basic line.  Sure, the larger figure is more poseable and has the extra weapon, but this guy is absolutely no slouch in his own right, and the smaller scale means he’s a pilot who will actually be able to pilot things, even if we don’t actually have the ship he flies in the movie.

#1945: Val (Mimiban)

VAL (MIMIBAN)

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (HASBRO)

Conspicuously absent from the early product for Solo were figures of Tobias Beckett’s distinctive crew of smugglers from the beginning of the film.  Though their roles weren’t huge, both Thandie Newton and Jon Favreau delivered really strong performances.  Newton in particular was praised by the film’s writer as being “too good for her role”, and famously wore a dress bearing images of action figures of all of the Star Wars-verse’s black characters (I believe from her own personal collection, though I may be misremembering that) to the film’s red carpet premiere.  I hope she gets the chance to add her own figure to that selection!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Val (Mimiban) is part of the fourth series of the Solo line, which happens to be most actually Solo-themed assortment, and likely will prove the most difficult assortment to find in the long run.  What’s interesting about this Val is that, though she’s wearing the same outfit as her 6-inch counterpart, they’re listed as being from two different locals.  This one is billed as being from Mimiban, which isn’t quite accurate, since she was wearing an Imperial disguise while there.  I mean, she does *technically* wear this gear right as they’re leaving Mimiban, but it seems odd to list this one as specifically her “Mimiban” appearance, especially if there’s any chance at releasing versions of Beckett’s crew in their Imperial get-ups (please?).  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and she has 7 points of articulation.  Like a good number of the Solo figures, she has wrist joints included, which certainly make themselves handy.  She also has a much easier time keeping standing than her partner Tobias, which I’m certainly counting as a plus.  Her sculpt is a decent enough offering.  I’d rank it above Beckett in terms of detailing and accuracy, though I can’t say the likeness is one of their best.  Black Series Val was spot-on, but this one seems a little off.  Still, she’s certainly passable.  Val’s paintwork is, like the sculpt, definitely serviceable.  There are some slightly un-even spots, but for the scale, she’s really not bad.  The figure is packed only with a single blaster, just like her larger counterpart.  However, at the lower price and smaller scale, this is less of an issue.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed Val at the same time as I grabbed Beckett, largely due to that whole thing with Walmart clearancing them out.  Admittedly, she’s a better figure than he is, but she had the misfortune of being added to my collection just a few days after I got the much more technically impressive Black Series release, which did sort of steal this one’s thunder.

#1944: Tobias Beckett

TOBIAS BECKETT

SOLO: A STAR WARS (HASBRO)

Hey, whoa, remember yesterday, when I reviewed a figure of a character played by Woody Harrelson?  Well, if you liked that, you’re in luck, because I’m totally going to be doing that again today.  What sort of crazy person would put these things back to back?  This sort of a crazy person, that’s who!  Yesterday’s review looked at one of Harrelson’s earliest on-screen roles.  Today, we’re jumping forward to 2018, with his turn as Han’s mentor Tobias Beckett in Solo.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Tobias Beckett was released in Series 4 of the Solo line from Hasbro.  As a pretty major player in the film, it’s a bit surprising it took so long to get him, but at least he actually showed up at (some) retail.  Beckett is based on his main smuggler’s appearance from the film, same as his 6-inch figure.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation.  A number of the Solo figures added wrist joints, and Beckett furthers this by also adding swivels at the tops of the boots.  Despite these extra joints, I still found Beckett to be almost impossible to keep standing. I’m not sure why he’s so different from others in the line, but it does appear that the feet are angled a little too far back.  It’s possible this issue is limited to my figure, but it’s still frustrating nonetheless.  The figure’s sculpt is decent enough, though I don’t find it to be quite as strong as the rest of the main characters. The detailing is generally a little softer, and I don’t think there’s really much of Woody Harrelson in the likeness on the head.  It’s certainly not as good as the spot-on likeness of his larger counterpart.  Also not quite as strong as the larger figure?  The paint.  Obviously, there’s less of a canvas to work with on the smaller figure, so less detail is expected, and for the body, that’s not so bad.  It’s really the head that gets the worst of it, because they’ve transformed Harrelson’s scruff into more of a Van Dyke looking thing.  It just makes the whole figure look rather off.  Beckett is packed with his dual blaster pistols, which he can hold or store in his working holsters.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Beckett’s a figure a very nearly missed at retail.  None of the stores in my area have carried anything past the second wave of Solo product, and even that was scarce.  I ended up finding this one at the Walmart near where my family was vacationing over the winter holiday, just as they put all of their Star Wars stuff on clearance, at which point pretty much every figure they had disappeared overnight.  If you really just want a Beckett, the Black Series figure is the better offering, and may just be easier to find in the long-run.  Had I not found this guy when I did, I don’t know he would have warranted tracking down after the fact.

The Blaster In Question #0075: Shadow ICS-6

BlasterInQuestion1

SHADOW ICS-6

MODULUS (GHOST OPS)

So it turns out I’m not dead and I’m still on this site. Sorry. But speaking of dead things, ghosts, like the Modulus Ghost Ops line of blasters, and yes it is a line now.  You only need 2 points to make a line and we now have the second point. Also apparently not dead is the old style of giving Nerf blasters alphanumeric designations along with their name, so today I’ll be looking at the Shadow ICS-6. 

THE BLASTER ITSELF

The Shadow was released in 2019 as the second only blaster entry into the Ghost Ops subset of the Modulus line. It uses the internal magazine system we’ve seen on blasters like the Magnus and Rey/Han blasters. Functionally, however, it has a slightly different loading system which allows the magazine to be loaded when the blaster is unprimed. Additionally, other external features like copious accessory rails, a barrel attachment point and stock attachment point separate the Shadow from other internal magazine type blasters. Perhaps most notable about the Shadow, somewhat counterintuitively, is its light up feature, much like the Evader that came before it.  The secondary trigger on the grip activates the lights, which create a pretty cool effect especially in low light. I don’t know if it’s just my blaster, but one of the lights is placed in just the right position to shine right into my face when I try to aim the blaster with the lights on, so that’s a little irksome but by no means a deal breaker. Like the Evader, the Shadow has a tiny little switch on the front end that activates one more light inside the barrel when an extension is put on. This won’t affect 95% of barrels out there, but any of the Ghost Ops barrels light up like fiber optics. Performance-wise, the Shadow does more or less how you’d expect a modern Nerf blaster. Shots fly reasonably far and hit equally as hard, maybe not as much as a full-sized blaster, but it is a pistol, kind of. Now we come to my main complaint about the Shadow. When you take into account that it is a 6 shot pistol, it’s huge, a detail not helped by the entirely clear body. This means you can see all of the dead space inside the blaster, which makes the size all the more baffling. I guess it’s not a huge issue, but it bugs me. I guess the extra size does make it just that little bit more intimidating when you bust into your younger sibling’s room and double tap them in the head like a Nerf hitman. The Shadow ICS-6 comes packaged with a barrel attachment and 6 Modulus Elite darts. The light up feature requires 3 AAA batteries but is not needed to operate the blaster otherwise. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

I want to be clear on one thing, no pun intended. I really like the Shadow as a blaster. That being said, my knack for picking out blasters that not many other people like seems to be in effect again. From what I’ve been able to find, not many people are really thrilled with the Shadow and I can’t quite understand why. It’s a decent blaster with just a few things that are less than optimal.