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

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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 #0051: Star-Lord Assembler Gear

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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

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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.

 

The Blaster In Question #0049: Stark Strike Blaster

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STARK STRIKE BLASTER

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (NERF)

starkstrike1Another week, another late review. One of these days I’m going to get the hang of this. And what’s that? April 1st? Time for jokes and pranks and whatnot. Well, kinda, I don’t have quite the same elaborate gag-posts Ethan pulls off, but this week’s blaster is a joke in and of itself in a way. That’s me saying it’s bad. It’s a bad… you know what? Nevermind. On to the review.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

starkstrike2It’s the Marvel Captain America: Civil War Iron Man Stark Strike Gauntlet Blaster… from Hasbro. At least, that’s what the friendly marketing guy in the video ad for this product told me. It’s the longest name for a Nerf blaster I can think of since the Nerf N-Strike Accu-Zombie Elite Strike Fire Mega Fury Strike Rapid Modulus Strike Fire Strike Strike… from Hasbro. The MCA:CWIMSSGB… fH was released in 2016 as a tie-in product for the Captain America: Civil War film. The blaster uses spring power to launch the dart, but instead of using it to push a plunger into a cylinder to create air pressure, the spring just impacts the dart directly. I’ve mentioned this system a couple times I the past, largely in reference to how terrible it is, and that assessment holds true here as well. The body of the blaster is pretty good, actually, the main feature being that the actual blaster part pops up from the rest of the platform before allowing you to fire. The construction feels solid and the sculpt is all new with starkstrike3some painted gold accent work here and there. The only controls on the blaster are the two buttons on the back, one causes the blaster to pop up, the other fires. Interestingly, due to the nature of the firing mechanism, even if the blaster is primed, it can’t be fired without a dart in the barrel, I assume to prevent the spring from beating the crap out of the internals of the blaster. The strap is small but I can still get it around my adult-sized wrist without too much trouble. Unfortunately, the problem with arm-mounted blasters is that aiming is pretty much out of the question. They say you can’t lick your own elbow, and it seems just about as impossible getting a sight-picture with it too, not that aiming would improve your chances of hitting anything with this blaster. As said before, calling the ranges on this blaster “disappointing” would be the understatement of the month, that is, if it fires at all. More often than not, the shock of the top part snapping up into position is enough to shake the dart forward in the barrel to where it no longer presses on the firing lock, meaning you have to re-seat the dart before the blaster will fire. If it does work, then you can watch the dart go flying up to about 10 or 15 feet. Woo… So unless you have some really emotionally fragile siblings, this blaster won’t help much when you decide to bust into their room and light them up. It’s probably best to leave it back in your room. The Marvel Captain America: Civil War Iron Man Stark Strike Gauntlet Blaster… from Hasbro comes with 2 Eilte darts in red and black but I seem to have lost mine, oh well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I think It really says something about a blaster when the most enjoyment I’ve gotten from it is hearing the guy in the ad say the full product name and almost forget to mention it’s from Hasbro. Sure I like gimmicky blasters, but that’s predicated on them being blasters first, and this one is pretty awful. Heyyyy jokes! But seriously, though, I wouldn’t recommend this blaster.

 

The Blaster In Question #0048: Quadrant

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QUADRANT

ACCUSTRIKE

quad1If there’s one staple of Nerf blasters that always comes back, it’s revolvers, ok, revolvers and jolts, but let’s stick with the revolvers for today. All things considered, it’s a good design. There’ve been so many iterations that pretty much any issues have already been ironed out, but if you look at Nerf Revolvers over time, they have this odd trend of steadily getting smaller and smaller cylinders, and in turn, lower capacity. Today’s blaster is the first example of a 4-shot revolver I can think of, but as we’ve seen from Toy Fair last month, it won’t be the last.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

quad2Ok, first things first, I know I give Nerf a decent amount of ribbing over the naming conventions for their blasters, but when the other 3 blasters in a line have names containing “falcon”, ”hawk”, and “raptor”, there’s a pretty clear theme that they’re going for. With that in mind, what the double deuce kind of name is Quadrant? I get the name references the 4 barrels in the cylinder, but it throws off the whole bird-of-prey thing they set up. Anyway, the Quadchickadee was released in 2018 as part of the Accustrike series. As mentioned before, it is a 4-shot revolver that works more or less like any other revolver at this point. The construction is all new and pretty solid, like you’d expect from a Nerf blaster of this size, and the ergonomics are good. The proportions are kind of weird, what with the top half of the blaster being rather large and bulky. quad3At the very least, it’s not terribly top heavy which is a concern I had before it was released. What I don’t quite get is why the barrels are so far apart in the cylinder. Typically, the benefit of lower capacity in a revolver is a lower profile, but the cylinder for the Quadbearded-tit is barely smaller than the one in the Hammershot, which holds 5 rounds normally. But in addition, modders have shown it can handle 7 rounds in the same space quite handily. It just feels needlessly limiting to cap the capacity at 4, especially when it doesn’t even enable some other gimmick or function in the blaster. The performance is on par with other Nerf pistols. It doesn’t have the most power or range ever, but no one expects it to. Being in the Accustrike series, there’s nothing mechanical that separates this from any other blaster, all that means is it’s orange and comes with Accustrike darts as opposed to standard Elites. The darts do actually make it a little easier to hit targets from further away, so they’re good for surprise pot-shots at your younger siblings, with or without busting into their room first. The QuadAndean Cock of the Rock (it’s a real bird, look it up) comes packaged with 4 Accustrike darts.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Once again, I feel it’s important to make the point that I do actually like this blaster. I’ve gotten my money’s worth of fun out of it. Are there some issues? Sure, but I can be critical while still enjoying something. My primary complaints are that I wish it had more capacity or that it had some other gimmick going on. Maybe next time we’ll get one of those things, and you know there’s going to be a next time. There’s always another Nerf Revolver.

 

The Blaster In Question #0047: Tennis Ball Blaster

BlasterInQuestion1TENNIS BALL BLASTER

NERF DOG

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I’m not dead! I swear! Turns out my sister having a sleepover can be almost as disruptive to Nerf reviews as having my world exploded. Almost. Not only that, but have a bit of a weird one for you this week. It turns out Nerf makes a whole line of dog toys which mainly consist of the standard chewy footballs and lengths of rope, but also, as it turns out, a blaster. My family does own a dog but she’s not really the playing type, but that hardly stopped me from picking one of these up.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

dog2It’s a little hard to track down the relevant information, but it seems like the Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster was released in 2015 as part of the Nerf Dog line. The mechanism seems to be unique to this particular blaster as it doesn’t use the traditional air pressure to launch the projectile, in this case a tennis ball, but rather just uses the power of the spring inside the blaster to kick the ball out directly. There aren’t any fancy gimmicks or controls, you just load the ball in the barrel, pull the top handle back to prime it and then pull the trigger. The outer shell is completely original too, which isn’t surprising given the rather purpose-built nature of the blaster. The overall feel of the blaster is that its built so that even a non-Nerf savvy person couldn’t mess it up too badly. The construction is hefty and solid and the grip has plenty of surface to hold onto. I get the feeling it’s meant to be fired one handed like a pistol because the front end is very wide to accommodate the ammo type, but this means it’s a bit awkward trying to hold it as you would a rifle type blaster. There is a ball holder on the underside of the blaster for storing the tennis ball when not dog3loaded into the barrel. While the ball included is Nerf branded, it is dimensionally the same as a regular tennis ball, so you could use any brand you like. Now, obviously, I can’t tell you to go harass any younger siblings you might have with this blaster. That would actually be abuse. But I can tell you that in the amount of range testing I did, I honestly found the performance pretty disappointing. I’m not athletic, like, at all, but I could easily throw a tennis ball farther than this can launch one. Some of you may be thinking that it’s not meant to be better than a functioning human arm, but it will let people who can’t throw (age, injury, etc.) play with their dog. But then I’d say, if you don’t have the physical faculty to throw a ball by hand, priming back the spring in this blaster is likely to be as much if not more of a challenge. Really, it seems like this blaster is meant for people who like gadgets or are fans of Nerf who also like playing with their dog, that or college kids who want to modify it into a big shotgun for HvZ, but that’s a different story altogether. The Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster comes with an orange and blue Nerf Dog branded tennis ball.

Now, I feel I should take the time to introduce Nerf Dog. Not the product line, the tennis ball. ND will be filling in for Penn for the time being while he’s away on holiday, that is to say, until I figure out where the heck Penn even went. But fear not, for I have it on good authority that ND is exactly the same size and therefore will do a fine job as a stand-in. Who knows, if he does a good job, there might be a more permanent position opening.dog4

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t planning to buy a Nerf blaster when I walked into the local grocery store with my girlfriend. I didn’t even expect to see any aside from the usual array of Jolt reskins. I had seen this blaster online before and thought it looked fun, even if I didn’t have the recommended dog with which to play, but I never bought it until I saw it in person for a substantially reduced price. Most people have impulse grocery purchases like a pack of Oreos or a cake or something. I walked out with an impulse Nerf blaster, because of course I did.

The Blaster In Question #0046: Dauntless

BlasterInQuestion1

DAUNTLESS

REBELLE (CHARMED)

dauntless1For those who are familiar with the typical catalog of Nerf blasters over the years, it’s clear that they aren’t strangers to the idea of repackaging old ideas. Oftentimes this becomes pretty tiresome after seeing the same design rehashed with countless iterations (I’m looking at you, Jolt), but every so often, the redesign is significant enough that it warrants buying the new blaster. This week’s case in point is the Rebelle Dauntless pistol. Let’s see what makes this blaster so special.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

dauntless2The Dauntless was released in 2015 as part of the Charmed set of Rebelle blasters. It uses a 3-shot inline smart AR system, just like the Lumanate or Messenger blasters, also from the Rebelle line. Nothing new with the mechanics of the blaster, but what really stands out is the design. Using a lot of the same elements as the Fair Fortune Crossbow, the Dauntless has a slightly regal but also vaguely piratical feel to it. The profile is definitely evocative of an old flintlock, albeit far more streamlined. The gold filigree pattern on the side lends itself to the highly decorative nature of the blaster and is echoed in the truss along the underside of the barrel. This truss also contains a hook by which you can attach the included charm bracelet, connecting the other end to the butt of the grip. I raved just a little bit in my review of the Fair Fortune Crossbow about how much I dauntless4enjoyed the inclusion of the charm bracelet and the same is true here. While it’s far too small for adult wrists, it is a satisfying little accessory to have hanging from the blaster. Paired with the décor of the blaster itself, when combined, the full kit feels like it was pulled right out of one of the Bayonetta games. I’ve not seen it, but I really hope someone else noticed this and made a pair of heels out of a couple Dauntlesses. While the aesthetics are certainly very strong, ergonomics take a bit of a hit. The grip is quite wide and the way it curves forward, while very elegant looking, makes it rather hard to get a firm grip. It’s also pretty short for a pistol grip which isn’t unheard of, especially in Rebelle blasters, but it does raise another issue. In order to try and get better purchase on the grip, I tend to place my hand further up toward the rear of the blaster. The problem is that there’s no scoop or beavertail to catch the webbing of your hand between your thumb and forefinger, so it’s pretty easy to get pinched if your skin is in contact with the priming bar when you fire the blaster. There are sights along the top of the blaster, I guess to make you think it’ll help with aim. As much as sights can ever be useful on a Nerf blaster, these ones are especially no good as the Dauntless doesn’t have the same power that many other Nerf blasters have. It’s certainly usable, but shots definitely hit softer and don’t travel as far. You do feel pretty cool looking down the sights at your younger dauntless3sibling after you’ve just burst into their room announcing that ye be takin’ none o’ them landlubbers as prisoners, rather ye be here to demand this week’s allowance. So I suppose there’s that. The Dauntless comes packaged with 3 of the collectible Rebelle darts and the charm bracelet in an old bronze kind of finish.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After initially buying the Fair Fortune Crossbow, I was pretty much sold on the Charmed series of blasters. Not long after that, I found the Dauntless at a local Target. It may not be the most effective blaster out there, but as a prop for playing pretend that actually shoots, I’d say it’s way ahead of the other blasters on the market.

 

The Blaster in Question #0045: Battlescout ECS-10

BlasterInQuestion1

BATTLESCOUT ICS-10

MODULUS

battlescout1Sometimes Nerf will announce or unveil a blaster with a particular gimmick to it and all you can do is nod in acknowledgment and hope it at least shoots well. Sometimes it does, but sometimes it really doesn’t. Not to give anything away prematurely, but this week’s blaster is the latter of the two. I’m talking about the Modulus Battlescout. Let’s scope it out.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

battlescout3The Battlescout ICS-10 was released in 2016 under the Modulus line and was intended to bring 2 cool new features to the brand. The first was the use of a new horizontally-feeding clip as opposed to the more traditional Nerf magazines (despite Nerf themselves referring to them as “clip systems”). The clip holds 10 rounds and automatically advances one position when the blaster is primed via the angled front grip. This means the clip starts by sticking out the right side of the blaster and eventually ends up sticking out the right side or potentially even just fully ejecting from the blaster itself if you’re a little too vigorous with the pump action. I was reasonably interested in having a Nerf blaster with this style of feeding mechanism when I first heard about it, and I still think it has potential, it just seems like the execution left a little to be desired. The clip is just too bulky for only holding 10 rounds, and the ratcheting mechanism in the blaster doesn’t hold onto the clip very securely so it’s possible for it to get bumped out of position. The second feature the Battlescout was meant to showcase was the included attachable Nerf “action cam” that could clip onto a Nerf accessory rail. I’m pretty sure no one was excited about this. After the Elite Cam ECS-12 blaster, everyone was familiar with the quality of cameras Nerf was working with and they weren’t great. At least the Cam blaster had a screen so you could pretend the camera was just a scope instead of a dedicated recording device. Not so with the Battlescout. I only took a couple test videos just to see what it was like, but the picture quality was dark and grainy, the sound was tinny and sounded like it was being recorded through several blankets, that is, until you tried shooting the blaster while recording upon which you were treated to one of the most battlescout4horrific sounds I’ve experienced as the noise from all the blaster’s mechanical parts moving was transferred through the plastic to the mic. There also seemed to be some discrepancy between the video and audio recording, as every time I played back a recording on the computer, the longer the video went on, the further and further out of sync the audio got. Long story short, the camera was just bad. What was worse, though, was the fact that its inclusion jacked up the price of the Battlescout to almost $70. Yikes, indeed. “But does it shoot well, at least?” I hear you ask. Well, dear reader, no. No it doesn’t. I can’t quite tell where the problem is, but it’s one of the weakest shooting blasters I can recall from recently. Flaccid is a generous term. More than once, I’ve had shots just tumble out of the barrel followed by the slab of orange plastic getting spat out the side of the blaster, sometimes travelling further than the dart. Not great. I can’t say I’d recommend this one for attacking your siblings unless you’ve got enough of a presence that you don’t have to actually shoot to get your point across, because at the very least, the Battlescout looks cool, and with places to attach a barrel, a stock and anything else besides that camera onto the top rail, you can really dress it up. The Battlescout ICS-10 comes packaged with the Camera, a 10-round clip, and 10 Elite Modulus darts.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wanted to like the Battlescout, I really did. It looked so cool and interesting in the pictures. Sadly, it just couldn’t live up to my expectations. Although, I will say, since its initial release, there’s been a Walmart exclusive “battle camo” version with no camera, a stock, and what seems to be reasonable performance. Sure, it doesn’t really match any other blasters, but at least it works, so if you’re determined to get a Battlescout, I’d say go for that one.