The Nerf Doomlands Judge! New Nerf Blaster that Needs a Bigger Gear Bag

Test Firing the Nerf “The Judge” for the Doomlands line… a huge blaster in its own right. Sample provided by Nerf, but thoughts and opinions remain my own!

(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $59.99/Available: Fall 2017)
Bring justice to a doomed land with the DOOMLANDS THE JUDGE blaster. With an impressive 30 dart capacity, THE JUDGE blaster can fire three darts at once! This massive blaster is ready for anything the post-apocalyptic wasteland can send its way. Includes 30 DOOMLANDS Elite darts. Available at most major retailers nationwide and

Basic Statistics:

MSRP: $59.99
Available: Now
Capacity: 30 shots (3 shot bursts, shotgun style. No shells. Front-loading in 3 dart groupings)
Includes: Judge, 30 elite streamline darts, HUGE BOX

Test fired the Nerf Doomlands Judge in the above video. Watch the assembly below!

The blaster itself is incredibly…. ridiculous. It’s HUGE. The box itself has an “actual size” photo to shock and awe parents and kids alike in the toy aisle. And with good reason, as an adult the blaster is about the diameter of my torso and definitely eclipses my head when I place it in front of me. On pure aesthetics, this blaster is already quite an imposing image, or maybe a cartoon, depending on your point of view.

Gargantuan in dimension, the blaster is ungainly to wield. Pump-action makes dual-wielding nigh impossible, and and the surface area of the muzzle ensures that going around corners and finding good hiding spots in stealth are not a real consideration. Not when your blaster is the size of a small shrub. Does that make it a scrub, oh no, it makes it visible, and aggrolicious (I find big blasters tend to attract fire and attention from opposing teams and players in a casual game; this can be exploited in the hands of a knowledgeable player.) That being said, the blaster comes off initially as intimidating and with a three round burst is pretty effective in close quarters once it can be brought around to bear.

Performance wise, the blaster can be said to have more bark than bite. The ranges don’t seem much different from the initial product I saw at New York Toy Fair, and that was around 30′-50′. Angled or not, that was the most definite range. Not terribly different from the Sledgefire, but at least it had A WAY LARGER PAYLOAD (30 darts vs. 3+shell) and could be used as a shield (within certain gametypes). The spread wasn’t anything particularly astounding considering the 3 dart burst, and there was some loss of range on at least one dart in those bursts. The loss is usually where the 30′ mark came from. The key point is to consider this a truly close quarters blaster, and use it as such. If rules allow, use it as a shield. If they don’t, then be smart about aiming and when you try to run and gun with this blaster. The pump action is smooth, but the lack of a slamfire feature and again, the size for a short range blaster gives a player some extra tactical considerations.

Ultimately, if you’re let down by the range, then make sure to keep your focus in the Nerf Elite, Nerf Mega, and Nerf Rival areas of consideration. Unless otherwise stated, the thematic lines focus more on roleplay and fantasy/imagination play with blasters than outright performance. And The Judge, as a member of the Doomlands 2169, is highly indicative of that. You’re getting a relatively high capacity “shotgunned” blaster for close quarters and a lot of people as casual Nerf blaster users would love that. Who wouldn’t want to bust this out for some mischief on coworkers, classmates, and possibly unsuspecting family members? The Nerf Doomlands Judge makes an over the top statement about what it does as a blaster, and works the immersive angle of being some wasteland superhero with a large inventory of weapons of even larger construction. That’s the focus, and not squeezing out an extra 10′ on minimizing dead space or barrel fit. Doomlands is how some people play, and it gives them just the fantasy weapon to express themselves with.

The Judge is $60 roughly, available now. Is it worth it? If you can spring it and don’t mind the difference in range to most other blasters, then yes. Heck yes. It’s ridiculous, and that’s enough for me. If you want your accuracy and range a little higher, then it’s better to pass on this for a Rival (like the newly available Hera) or Nerf Elite (the Regulator is a good fun blaster out now as well.)

Hope this review helps, feel free to sound off in the comments! ‘Til next time.

Tek Recon goes to E3! Press Release received!



TORONTO, May 21, 2013 – TEK RECON, one of the most anticipated new product launches of 2013 will be available for demonstration and sampling by fans and consumers for the first time at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, California June 11-13, 2013.
E3 will immediately follow a crowd funding campaign hosted on Kickstarter that began May 9th.  The response to TEK RECON from gamers, tech enthusiasts, and blaster fans has been exceptional as backers and players from all over the world have reached out to provide valuable feedback, insight and support. The campaign is currently more than 50% funded and tracking to exceed the kickstarter goal of $50,000.
Gamers, adventure seekers and fans of technology, get off the couch and into the game as we need your help to create a revolutionary new way to connect and play! TEK RECON Blasters feature a first of its kind design with real trigger action, authentic recoil and specially designed reusable “NRG Rounds”.
To optimize the battle and team experience TEK RECON developed a free “Live Action Online Gaming” app to enhance blaster battles. Simply connect your mobile device to the blaster to bring video game styled play to life through mobile and GPS technology.  The free TEK RECON App will be available for iOS and Android devices, enhancing real battle experience through an interactive heads up display, live chat, vision modes, and more.
“Bringing TEK RECON to market is the most ambitious and exciting launch in our company history,” stated Brad Pedersen CEO of TEK RECON Inc. “Two years ago we set out on a mission to bring video games, online connectivity and social interactive play together through innovation and great product design. The outcome, TEK RECON has come to life and created a phenomenal play experience that has exceeded our expectations.”
The time is now to be one of the first to experience Live Action Online Gaming and change the way you play. For more information on this product and the KICKSTARTER campaign please visit
Take a live look at the Tek Recon Blasters during the E3 2013 Show in Los Angeles, CA at Booth #5636 in the West Hall.”
And the buzz just keeps on going for Tek Recon! From Toy Fair now to E3… who knows what’s next?

Tek Recon Update #3: Firing demo and Trigger explanation!

Fresh update from Tek Recon.  Pretty much says it all right there.  And holy crap.  A proper semi-auto trigger pull OR pump-action fires the blaster, you can use either mode.  The pump-action works a bit better for rapid fire, while the trigger I guess allows for that steady shot.

What I wonder is if there is a range distance between either mechanism, as that is what it sounded like in some earlier updates.  No priming the blaster like a shotgun then pulling the trigger as I initially reported/thought, but just straight up semi-auto action.  No flywheels, no priming, no additional steps.  Just point and shoot.  Havok or Hammer Head, take your pick.

Well done, Tek Recon.  Well done.


$19,000+ raised with 24 days to go!  Not too shabby at all.

And from their FAQ:

“I have had a number of questions as it relates to the NRG Rounds with there performance and safety. First off know that the product will meet all the safety requirements for CPSIA, CHPA and EN protocols. The NRG Rounds not only describes the shape and performance of the product but stands for: N – Non Marking R – Reusable G – Gaming They make a firm impact but are safe
There will be refills available and they will retail for $4.99 for a pack of 25 units.”

BlasterPro (S2500) and Xploderz X2 (Mauler 1000) Product Review – 2 for 1 Friday!

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.

What’s new:

– 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

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:

And a closer look at that zombie target:


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 🙂

Thanks to the Maya Group for the samples!

Vapor Day – the gallery!

This was a heck of an event – Razor, makers of the new Vapor line of blasters, provided a bunch of blasters and ammo my way to hold an event with the CLDTS, a local group of folks of all ages who like to get together and play dart tag with other toy blasters.  The gel ammo and blasters were a really different way to play from the usual diet of foam darts, so they decided to give it a try.  Disposable ammo and ammo capacity rivaling anything we’ve seen before?  Worth a try!

Thus the take-away event happened!  We were able to keep the blasters and ammo, and had some targets to try out before going after each other.  We tried the game types like capture the flag, elimination, and just some plain old shoot ’til we’re tired.  We took a swing at HvZ, but without boundaries it usually ended up with a team running out of the park.

Click the slideshow to go to the full gallery, and count on videos and more to follow!  Keep an eye out for the commercial soon, and for more info on when to buy these blasters keep an eye out on the Vapor facebook page!

Razor steps into the ring – their new toy blaster, the Vapor Atlas 250!

Vapor Atlas 250 – approx. $15
Available – Fall 2011 online via the Vapor website- coming soon!

“Like” them on facebook!



* Instruction manual
* Atlas blaster and 250 rounds of Vapor Gel Ammo (ready-made, no waiting!)


* Length: approx. 12” from tip of muzzle back of blaster


Say hello to a new entry in the blaster category, the Vapor Atlas 250. A pistol, vibrant red colors, and very good ergonomics. Brought to you by Razor (, better known for scooters and other vehicles, the Vapor line is their attempt at bringing a new way to play when launching projectiles at your friends. And no, it doesn’t mean you get to mount a blaster onto your scooter or motorcycle.


The blaster is a single shot pistol, but with a twist. It has a hopper on top with a small door and holds about 50 “Vapor Gel” rounds (more on the ammo in a bit). The priming action of the blaster is a slide on the back of the handle pulls back and primes the blaster, opening the breech in the hopper that loads a sphere into the barrel. The slide must be pushed forward back into place to seal the breech and allow the trigger pull. The action is as follows: pull the slide back, push it forward to original position, and then pull the trigger to fire the round. Experience suggests giving the blaster a little shake to ensure proper loading of ammo.

Don’t worry about ammo falling out of the barrel, either. A little trap door opens at the front of the barrel when you pull the TRIGGER, allowing the gel ammo to fire but keeping it in place while running around.

The blaster is advertised to hit up to 60’ but you’ll also get anywhere from 40’ to 50’ as well. Fired level at the shoulder, the blaster was getting around 40’. The ammo did hook a little left or right but for the most part the accuracy decent from 40’ and closer. Above that made aiming a bit trickier to compensate for movement left or right reliably. Having used foam blasters for so long, I’m already used to 30’ out of the box so this was pretty normal performance for a toy, if not better.
The instructions tell you that the blaster operates best when the hopper is filled to 50% or better; and they’re right. I experienced some instances where I would fire the first 30 or so shots pretty consistently, but after that the blaster would misfire. This means that I would prime it but a round wouldn’t load. Also, it’s better to prime the blaster only when you’re ready to fire. It was even odds if the blaster experienced any dip in performance if primed while running around or primed after running and/or rolling.

All this said, you still have around 50 shots to use before having to reload at a pretty good distance. That’s not too bad and beats a few of the other same types of pistols out there, capacity-wise.


The ammo seems a bit bigger than the Xploderz ammo, but time is the biggest difference in this case. The manual does not include any growing instructions for the ammo. The Vapor gel rounds are to be sold ready-to-use with no waiting. The Atlas comes with 250 round ready AND the blaster for $15, and that’s a good number of reloads right there. As indicated in the instructions if the ammo is kept cool and out of direct sunlight, it should stay usable for a long time. Only if it shrinks is when a 3 hour waiting period comes up which is unlikely if you are using your Vapor a lot.

The ammo dries almost immediately when it breaks apart, and does not stain clothing. I fired the shirt onto a white shirt, and the only noticeable change to the shirt was it seemed hardened where the Vapor ammo hit. Easily washed out. It would be interesting to see if this medium would work indoors on a gym floor considering how quickly it dries. The bright yellow coloring also made it easier to spot flying out of the barrel. One thing was the ammo breaks apart sometimes on firing. This is an inherent issue with the ammo type but hopefully can be addressed in the future. Maybe being left to soak or in outdoor heat are contributing factors to the Vapor ammo integrity. If you need to store the leftover ammo or want to carry additional ammo, a simple empty bottle will do just fine. If possible, get one that won’t crush easily, to be sure your ammo stays undamaged while inside it.

There is a bit of a sting when hit from approximately 20 feet out, but no worse than anything on the market right now (spitwads, foam darts). Against instructions I put the barrel right against my skin and fired. There was a small ring on my skin but nothing terrible. Therefore, you have approximately the pain factor of a foam dart but with a higher rate of fire than most foam blasters of this size and comparable range. This will be interesting to see with higher-powered blasters that have range AND high capacity.. The real test will be visually spotting if a player hits their intended target, but some initial testing shows there is a visible splatter most of the ammo when making contact most of the time. This is still less painful than paintball or airsoft, a plus for some families and even users who can’t afford to get black and blue every weekend.


IT HAS A TRIGGER. WOW. FANTASTIC. This makes operating SO MUCH EASIER. The Xploderz blasters (which use the same ammo) were awkward to handle with the pull-handle. I found my hands would jam together, or it was tough to aim while holding the priming arm down. The trigger and traditional slide action make using the Atlas so much easier by leaps and bounds. The pistol is also very streamlined, and comfortable to hold so holstering and drawing the blaster worked just fine. It slid in and out of my grabit pack easily, if you need a comparison. A very comfortable blaster and I was very pleased with how the Atlas handled and its portability.


* Vibrant color (this is arbitrary to me, I like brightly colored blasters and other users going for the milsim experience might not).
* Handle is comfortable
* Biodegradable ammo; no staining after getting hit
* Easy to slip into my pocket or holster
* Lots of ammo included in blaster
* Easy to carry
* Trap door on the front barrel is a nice touch to prevent losing ammo while running around with a primed blaster
* Slide action is comfortable to repeatedly perform unlike some blasters with a similar mechanism


* Nothing included to carry extra ammo
* Ammo would break apart in-flight
* Not a noticeably refreshing water blaster for hot summer days (drenched vs hit with a small splatter of water)
* Harder to spot hits at long distances (with the ammo, the blaster itself still keeps the action up close and personal)
* Natural tendency of many might be to run around with the blaster ready to fire which might reduce performance vs. running, prime and shooting
* Some misfires and jamming, but only when really low on ammo in hopper as the instructions indicate

Stay tuned! The blaster will be available this Fall, and I’ll be coming out with videos and demos of it pretty quickly! Also, something big this way comes labor day weekend in relation to this blaster…

Definitely worth a look when these are available this fall!