TOY REVIEW: VMD Cannon Commando – Skyrocket Toys


  • 16 shot turret
  • Includes 24 darts
  • Requires 6 x AA batteries for tank, 1 x 9v for remote (batteries not included).
  • Ages 8+
  • MSRP: $39.99
  • Available now at major retailers.
  • Range: 50 max. at lowest angle, 20′-30′ at highest
  • Fired Nerf brand streamlines (elite, suction cup, zombiestrike) as well as included darts.  Did NOT launch Buzz Bee or “extreme air zone” darts.
Includes: Remote, darts, Cannon Commando, and tailpiece for stability. (GoPro Mount is my own)

The turret raises/lowers manually.

Dart comparison between VMD darts (far left) and other brands.

Tail piece to prevent the VMD from tipping backward (optional).

Tank treads made driving through gravel and some grass ok, directions note DO NOT drive through heavily loose ground, as this may interfere with motorized internals.

Thanks to Skyrocket Toys for the sample! (All opinions are my own.) So I’ve seen the Cannon Commando before, but this is the first time I’ve actually been able to check it out for myself. Click Click BAMF did a review of their own, so feel free to check that out. As for my my own thoughts, they follow below.

FIRST: The VMD is obviously remote controlled. There are 3 frequencies (A, B, and C) that it uses to sync a VMD Tank unit with the control. There is a switch on the control, and a similar switch on the underside of the tank. This is to help 3 people each with a Cannon Commando each use theirs to shoot independently. I am not sure if more than 3 at one time is possible, though. And you set the frequency when you turn on the Cannon Commando, so it is not possible to hijack another player’s tank mid-game by flipping the switch on your controller.

You fire the VMD by flipping the “armed” switch cover to reveal the “arm” switch underneath, and flip that to light up the red skull on the control. Press down the top right bumper switch on the control, and you can fire away. Firing AND moving isn’t built in the functions though, one function or the other at a time.

The VMD also has to be aimed manually. You set the angle you want to fire, and then drive around. the lowest angle would hit around 50′ (the video above is set in a high wind, fair warning) while the highest elevation reduced range to about 20′-30′. Also, this is a flywheel blaster (see the above breakdown at the beginning of the article for what darts did/did not work) so launching a variety of darts is a bit easier than with a blaster that uses a magazine. They market this as one of the hardest firing launchers out there, and it’s true (stock). There is definitely some pop in the flywheel launcher, more than I initially expected when I first saw this. Definitely a lot of surprise in such a little package.
Reloading the VMD is a bit tricky, from what I could tell the dart cylinder doesn’t pop out, so you have to manually (and somewhat gently) rotate the chambers if you choose to reload darts that way. Besides the rotation mechanism though, the rest of the tank feels pretty solid in construction. It’s hefty, and the treads are a decent rubber. As you can see it rolled along on pavement pretty quickly, and low grass wasn’t a problem. I really wish it could aim with the remote, but chances are that would have taken it above the attractive $40 price tag.

While this isn’t the normal type of dart shooter and maybe not one I’d use for a normal running around type of dart blaster game, I still found it a lot of fun to play with and there are some interesting ideas I have to use this for in the coming weeks. For a motorized dart launcher with a lot of replay value, I think this is worth the $40. In the office, at home, or just because, definitely worth a look! 

TOY REVIEW: Spy Gear Sonic Distractors (GEAR)

GEAR REVIEW:  Spy Gear Sonic Distractors – Thanks to Spin Master Toys for the sample!  The opinions and thoughts are my own, however.

MSRP: $9.99
Available: Now
Range: As far as you can throw it

2 x Sonic Distractor spheres (1 black, 1 grey – 4 different sounds apiece.  See the video for the different sounds)
1 x belt clip/holder

This is an interesting little gadget from Spy Gear. Relatively inexpensive (some stores have them on clearance), and in the right scenario/gametype, maybe these would be of some use if you have a particularly sneaky style of play. 

2 spheres, and you hold the button down to trigger a timer, and after a few seconds the distractor makes 1 of 4 noises.  If you can remember the sequence of the noises on each sphere, you can readily select which one you’re using (birds cawing, a cat yeowling, laser blasts) but in some instances maybe just a sudden noise of any kind would be enough).

Maybe even a game like this:

I didn’t whip these around on concrete (also I would NOT suggest throwing these at people) so I couldn’t tell you how durable they are from a dropped height.  I believe ideally you would roll these into position to use them, though rather than throw them around.  They are of a hard plastic construction so they would definitely bounce around.  Still, the amount of sound effects available, the compact build, included holster, and easy to use button are nice little touches. 

You might even find these on clearance at the moment, so if you have the right group and location, these could be a handy fun roleplay (spy vs counterspy, thief vs guard) element for your game types.  What do you think?  Would you try them?