Nerf Vortex Diatron. When I first saw it, I thought:
And as far as Nerf blasters get, this is about as close as I feel you can get to one without buying this:
Price: Approx $19.99
Ranges: 30-40′ @ Flat shooting (See video)
Ammo Type: Vortex Discs
Ammo Capacity: 12 discs (load 10, prime, then load 2 more)
Orientation: One-handed, ambidextrous handling possible
Tactical rails? Yes, but not very comfortable (Read on)
Stock Attachment? Possible
Dual-Wield? Not really
The Nerf Vortex Diatron looks cool, first and foremost. At least, I think so. The Vortex discs give it decent range, and it’s part of the “MultiShot Madness” campaign that Nerf is running with it’s RoughCut and Triad, but that being said it’s a great thought but not without some reservations.
First, let’s take care of the good. The MultiShot function works! It fires 2 discs, and they both launch out of the top barrel.
|Top barrel, only one disc shown but needs 2 to fire.
Also, higher capacity than a Vigilon, hence the common misconception that there are 2 barrel and one disc flies out of each. It’s shaped as such to make room for the higher-capacity internal magazine:
There’s a tac rail on top, and if you’re aiming the blaster the priming lever is on the left, the disc release/jam clear is on the right. The mag release switch is on both sides of the handle. The rear part of the blaster can have stocks and such attached, adding to the customizable options of the blaster.
So the blaster’s multishot is a nice change of pace from what we’ve seen with the Vortex line so far, the paintjob is pretty cool, and the design is fresh from science fiction. It fires pretty decently too, within the normal tolerances of a stock blaster, hitting anywhere from 40-50′. The discs are stacked vertically when they exit the barrel and spread apart, with the bottom disc getting the lower end of the range, while the top-stacked disc goes a few feet further. The thing is Vortex discs are so unpredictable in flight sometimes you do run the risk of getting tagged no matter what you do.
That being said, there are some issues to consider about the Nerf Vortex Diatron. While the mag release IS on both sides, the priming lever and jam release placements might be problematic for lefties. Also, the Diatron’s a bit tougher to reload than the Vigilon. It’s a lot easier to palm 5 discs and slam them all in at once as opposed to the 10, 6 of which you might be able to bunch in, and individually reload the rest. Thankfully, the extra shot trick still works (check the video for that). The Diatron REQUIRES 2 discs loaded to fire, and it jams if there’s only one. In the video I show how to troubleshoot the Diatron if only one disc loads on accident for some reason, but I see many people not reading the manual and wondering why their blaster is broken and the trigger is not pulling. So, it’s a bit touchy. One concern I have read about on other reviews is the Nerf Vortex Diatron’s priming lever is flimsy and counterintuitive. I agree that the priming lever is definitely not something I saw from this blaster in the preliminary photos, but what’s done is done, and if you can fit this with your playing style, then game on. As for the arm being flimsy, I disagree on that. I think it feels pretty robust and don’t see it breaking on me in the heat of the game.
Range-wise, the Diatron was on the low side for Vortex blasters I thought. One of the discs only flies about 30′ while the other gets standard Vortex ranges, and I would have liked to see similar power put on both discs. There’s an inherent inaccuracy with Vortex ammo, so that’s no surprise that the effective range is maybe 30-40′, and the discs slice severely after that.
One final thought is that I really would rather use this as a sidearm, but the Diatron’s so big it won’t even fit in my super-sized Grabit Pack.
Overall, is this worth the $20? It’s no Pyragon, but the Diatron could be a fun little blaster in its own right. If you liked the Vigilon, this is right up your alley. If you like Dead Space but can’t afford a replica Plasma Cutter, this is your option right here (my cousin worked on the game and he agreed it looks pretty close). The multishot feature is a bit disappointing in the disparate ranges between the fired discs, but I had no problems with the feature actually working. And… ultimately, the Nerf Vortex Diatron looks really cool! Whether you use Vortex discs or not or you play indoors or out, try it out and maybe you’ll find it does in fact work for you. Try before you buy, if you can!