Besides actually hitting your target with the sphere itself, I think qualifying a tag with this thing is going to be tough. Grass, concrete (that’s why I put the posterboard down, to show the spread a little better) is tough with this style of ammo. A grenade the way I see it is dynamic, and… well… explosive. This isn’t. People throw ballistic balls and socks during Humans Vs. Zombies games, but for $7.99 even that’s a little pricey to act as a replacement for much cheaper alternatives (hell, one game I used large marshmallows.)
In any event, buyer beware on this one…. maybe use them as tossable large ammo, but if you’re looking for a grenade type device this isn’t it.
Store purchased: Meijer (a big box store like Target) Cost: $7.99 Included: 3 “grenades” and 750 rounds of dry ammo (no container, have a bowl handy. Obviously, if you use the xploderz ammo depots you won’t be able to get the ammo back out).
Oh man… what a year! 2012 was a pretty big time for toy blasters. There was just so much that came out and so many things have happened, here we are again.
Some of my fave things:
– New York Toy Fair 2012
– The Nerf Hailfire Release Party (Thanks Nerf!)
– BATTLE OF THE AMAZONS
The Release of the Nerf N-Strike Elite: – Retaliator – Rampage – Hailfire – Triad – Stryfe – Strongarm – Elit Reflex/Eliminator (Though I don’t believe it actually has a range increase) – Elite Rayven – Firestrike – RoughCut 2×4 – Stockade (outside the U.S.)
Nerf Strongarm and Firestrike
Nerf Elite Rayven and Stryfe
Nerf Stockade and 30 pack of darts
Nerf Dart Tag: – Snapfire 8 (outside the U.S.)
Nerf Vortex: – PYRAGON
Whew! It’s been a busy year 🙂
Nevermind that Nerf revamped the Lazer Tag line:
Buzz Bee and Air Zone/Prime Time Toys had some respectable years with new releases of their own, but the most notable was probably the Range Master, an air blaster w/pump that got good ranges and gave some folks out there a non-springer option:
But it wasn’t just the year of the foam dart blasters, not at all. Disposable ammo is part of the game now, past the Max Force spit wads and the first run of Xploderz water pellet blasters, there’s now also BlasterPro, “X2” series Xploderz, and Vapor.
This branch of the toy blaster tree will definitely bear some watching come 2013. I got a feeling we’re in for a whole new level of innovation, between Nerf upping the ante with their increased ranges from the Elite/Vortex lines, now these new companies are going to have to show what they can do next.
Definitely not least, Zing Toys is out there with some great products as well. Definitely keep an eye out for their Air Storm line:
Zing Shot and Pop Rocketz
Zip Bak Bow
WHAT A YEAR, HOLY CRAP. SO MANY TOYS.
On that note… let’s not forget the fallen. Gone, give or take some leftover stock on the shelves. Safe to say these brands aren’t supported in their current forms anymore:
BUT… while two brands dropped out (apparently)… one more has risen. Yup, Launch N Attack
And a more local offering, Bumpa’s Blowguns!
And that, as they say, is that! Sorry if I missed anything, but there’s only so much one can recall! Have a great New Year, and see you in 2013!
Here we go! So the Maya Group thought fit to send over a couple of samples of their latest offerings, the new-revamped X2 Xploderz Mauler 1000 and the BlasterPro S2500.
First things first, let’s talk about the Mauler. Then we’ll go into BlasterPro, more after the jump —->
X2 Xploderz Mauler 1000. What can I say about it? I wasn’t a fan of Xploderz before, and I will admit that this goes a long way to address some of the problems that I had with the original run.
– No jiggly side handle to load ammo before each shot. Yay! – The thing actually shoots. The XGround Pounder was terrible with misfires and barely had a round clear the barrel. I was firing consistently with the Mauler.
What’s still there: – Still no trigger. Word has it something to do with using stored energy (such as a trigger) makes it a toy safety regulation issue. Not totally sure on the phrasing , but that’s what they say. – Gel-ammo. It’s fun! No colors, no splotches, no getting soaked. It breaks apart and dries up. Pickup not necessary. – Hopper sits on top of the blaster…. so… sights… there are none. – High ranges. It does get pretty close to 100′, but hitting that range with accuracy is the real issue. – Still grow your ammo in the included ammo depot, then link that up with you hopper when you want to reload.
Comes with: 1 Mauler 1000 rounds of ammo Ammo Depot Hopper Instructions
Ok, now to get to it. If the Mauler is any indicator about the X2 line, the Maya Group got some things right with this. They have range and output. However, the triggerless system feels a bit awkward for me to use, and the design of the blaster, while futuristic, is uncomfortable to wield.
The Mauler works like this: You pull the handle back which causes ammo to load into the barrel (before you had to jiggle a handle to open the loading door that dropped ammo in), hold the handle, and release it when ready to fire. A little simpler, a lot easier to shoot. And more relable! Definitely better than the Ground Pounder.
A bit more focused picture of the trigger guard
The trigger-guard’s square shape was a bit uncomfortable to hold for extended usage not to mention trying to hold the blaster steady while shooting was difficult because of the pull and release. Trying to stiffen my arm holding the blaster, like a bow and aroow, was less than effective because the pull arm is sized for the target market, kids. It’s like trying to shoot something that’s a hybrid bow and arrow and gun. The smooth knob of the handle on the “power arm” doesn’t lend itself well to consistent pull; my hand did slip off now and again from test-firing it. Unfortunately, my aim was kind of all over the place because of this.
The Bow N Mallow shooter has a good example of a form that works. I would have liked a rounder grip to fit my hands, and once again… the ability to aim down the sights. The power arm makes me want to the position the blaster along my arm already, (again, the bow and arrow comparison) so aiming right down the top of the blaster happens naturally for me. Trying to fire from the waist is just a little more awkward with the power arm and where my arm gets positioned to use it.
NEXT UP: BlasterPro S2500 (manual pump-action shooter)
Ah, the new stuff! The smaller-ammoed, harder hitting, less-time growing entry to more advanced tactical blastersports from Maya Group. It sells a paintball and/or airsoft experience with none of the mess and splatter. At approx. $30 for the S2500 and approx. $50 for the electric (Es5000) version, it is certainly cost-effective compared to a day on a paintball field.
It comes with a zombie color-change target, 170 rounds ready-grown, the S2500, 5 bags of 500 pieces of dry ammo (grows in 90 mins with water) and the box.
It works by pumping the handle, pushing down a safety button (and keeping it pushed when you want to fire), and pulling the trigger. The video below demonstrates.
First off, the thing definitely gets near the 100′ mark angled, and hits around 70′ flat. Maya Group isn’t kidding though about the ages on this thing, it hits pretty hard. Here’s a shot I took from a little more than 10′ away –
A little too close at range? Maybe. But this is what the thing can do. Having played paintball before, the welt is nothing but wanted to share for anyone who was curious. 14+ is definitely the market this sits in.
It does have range, output, a triggered experience, and the aesthetics of a shotgun. While it may be a bit too dark-colored for some folks, make sure you are responsible with it.
A couple of notes about the design: the pump-handle is a bit herky-jerky when popping off shots, I think to ensure the ammo drops in and to prime the gun. There was this consistent point in the motion that I really had to pull on the handle to move it, and you can hear it in the video I think. Additionally, the pump-handle struck me as a little undersized, I really felt like my hands wrapped around it and even pinched my hand a couple of times when it went flush with the rest of the gun. It could stand to be a bit bigger, but at that point I’m being nitpicky.
Unlike Xploderz, the hopper can be reloaded via a door at the top of the ammo container:
You’ll most likely find this in the paintball/airsoft section of your local stores, and if you feel like you want to paintball but don’t have the time/money to hit a field, give these a try. Definitely less cleanup and cheaper than a paintball field, but remember these aren’t toys and should be respected as such. Watch your eyes, your aim, and most importantly the other side 🙂