[Review]: Nerf Ultra One – Latest in Blasting, with an Important Caveat

Nerf Ultra One

  • MSRP: $49.99
  • Ammo: Nerf Ultra Aerofin darts
  • Capacity: 25 darts
  • Batteries: 4 C batteries
  • Range: Claim is 120’, observed 50’-60’ BUT, angling of course would increase.
  • Features: Semiauto firing
  • Mechanism: Flywheels
  • Available: Now
  • Ages: 8+

SUMMARY:

When I first heard about the Nerf Ultra One I wasn’t sure what to think. 120’ (Rival style ranges? Higher “power” than Elite? What?) but being around blasters for so long I know not to buy 100% into the marketing. And when I saw the Ultra One press copy read that the blasters were for “8+”, that told me how to dial in my expectations. Honestly, Rival is designed for 14+. What would you expect?

The Nerf Ultra One to me doesn’t seem that revolutionary. I reliably hit my target (which you can hear in the video), the Ultra darts don’t seem to have the same wacky flight patterns as Nerf streamline darts, and it achieves better range than Nerf Accustrike.

But it’s a semiauto blaster with a drum you load. Nothing we haven’t seen from Nerf or other brands, and for a first blaster it’s underwhelming. I remember not a lot of people too impressed with the Apollo in the beginning, so the naysayers with Ultra isn’t surprising. Maybe future designs will be more innovative to that end, but that remains to be seen.

Controlling Dart Usage

The “dart DRM” as it’s been called is discussed in the video. I don’t really like that Nerf went with this kind of mechanic to enforce using Nerf darts only, but outside the fandom I don’t think it matters to consumers. I’ve seen a number of non-hobbyist posts about the Ultra One (not just the sponsored ads) that like the blaster. And more casual consumers don’t have a hoard of ammo that won’t work or the myriad of other complaints about the DRM. Hobbyists, arena/mobile party owners, game groups with a communal supply will be affected. I will hazard a guess that most consumers will be outside those populations, buy the Ultra One and an extra pack of ammo, and call it a day.

I had this very conversation in the toy aisle. A mom and her child were trying to find a Nerf blaster to buy. They looked at the Ultra One and remarked at how it was a new blaster. I informed them that the Ultra One would only work with the darts it comes with, so the mom told her child that they would get it on his birthday, with extra ammo. No remarks about how unfair it was, Hasbro market share, stock quotes, nothing. Just a promise to get it as a gift and a pack of ammo.

Different Darts Happens

In addition, PUT THOSE TORCHES AND PITCHFORKS DOWN. Yes, You too. And you. STOP.

THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME HASBRO HAS INTRODUCED NEW AMMO.

THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME HASBRO HAS MADE AMMO THAT FITS ONLY IN CERTAIN BLASTERS.

Back in the 90s, you had micro darts, old school megas, Arrows of Unusual Size, and all sorts of other stuff. Let’s look at some history.

Even before Nerf Ultra, Nerf released streamlines, the original mega darts, rip rockets, whatever the darts were that came with the SM 3000, arrows, Dart Tag Darts (of various incarnations), whistler darts, suction darts, Vortex discs, Mega darts, Elite Streamlines, Accustrikes, Mega Accustrikes, Rival rounds, the list goes on. Every few years they release something new to fire. In the case of Vortex, Mega, and Rival those only fit their specified brands unless otherwise noted. Not just any dart into an n-strike magazine and make it work, and you definitely couldn’t cross other brand ammo in other blasters unless they were front-loading. If Nerf were taking existing ammo off the market, that would be another story. As it stands, the Ultra ammo segment is an addition, not a whole paradigm shift leading to the elimination of everything we already have.

Nerf Rival is also not sold everywhere in the world. I don’t work for Hasbro, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Nerf Ultra satisfies demand for a “higher range” blaster in areas where Rival cannot go, such as Australia. Now the range is questionable, but as long as Nerf can make it to other areas with a new segment, that may not matter to most consumers. They’ll just be happy to see the latest Nerf blasters in their stores.

The Ultra One, Where to Next?

Again, I’m glad that Hasbro sent me a sample and saved me the trouble of buying one. The blaster features aren’t revolutionary and the dart type is interesting for something new, but past the first pack of ammo I am not sold on this line yet. Yeah, you can snap the ammo in half and some of it even got gouged by my Dart Rover but it’s not super brittle and in your pocket it’ll keep shape better than current Nerf darts. My favorite segment from Nerf is still Rival, but that’s a different market from Ultra, ultimately.

I recognize that the blaster is made for 8+ and is intended for younger users, like everything else in this hobby. My biggest complaint is the drum and the trigger working with the new dart recognition mechanism. It’s pretty uncomfortable to slam my finger against the trigger when a dart isn’t correct or loaded properly, which happens a noticeable amount of times. When in the thick of a blaster battle or trying to shoot targets, that jolt against your finger from a missing/jammed dart really sucks.

In the end, I can’t give the Ultra One a high recommendation like the Nerf Perses. It looks cool, but needing C batteries, the annoyance of the Nerf-only dart mechanism, and the overall cost are problematic. There are a lot of other great, more reliable blasters out there worth your money, Nerf or not Nerf brand. I would suggest waiting for the Nerf Ultra One to drop in price as a sale (probably Black Friday) before dropping your money on it. And you may not want an Ultra One for any number of reasons, THAT IS TOTALLY OK.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading! Totally appreciate your coming by and getting through my rambling. Make sure to check me out on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for continued updates, reviews, and other content! Thanks again to Click Click BAMF as well for putting in some work on the video.

 

Parting Shot (middle comment):

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[Nerf Press Release] Nerf Ultra One

NERF ULTRA ONE BLASTER

(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $49.99/Available: Fall 2019)

NERF is changing the game with NERF ULTRA blasters and darts! NERF ULTRA blasters have advanced design and performance to deliver extreme distance, accuracy, and speed. They include ground-breaking NERF ULTRA darts — the farthest flying NERF darts EVER, featuring lightweight foam material, an innovative flight tip and Aerofin Technology. Take your game to the next level with NERF ULTRA blasters and darts! NERF ULTRA blasters work only with NERF ULTRA darts. The NERF ULTRA ONE motorized blaster has a high-capacity 25-dart dart drum and comes with 25 NERF ULTRA darts. Fire more than 2 dozen darts with the high-performance advantages of this NERF ULTRA blaster. Send darts flying through the air up to 120 feet (36 meters). There’s on-board dart storage for quick reloading. You have the skills and the expertise as a NERF battler, now you have the blaster and darts for game-changing superiority! Includes: blaster, drum, 25 darts, and instructions. Requires 4 C alkaline batteries. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide.

I have thoughts. Watch this space for additional content.

Yes, I was actually sent content this time and am actually, legitimately posting as myself.

Nerf NEWS: Fortnite X Nerf! AR-L blaster announced!

“NERF FORTNITE AR-L Blaster

(HASBRO/Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $49.99/ Available: June 1, 2019)

When it comes to creating epic Fortnite battles in real life, it’s NERF OR NOTHIN’! Inspired by the iconic weapon used in the popular Fortnite video game, the NERF FORTNITE AR-L blaster boasts rapid-fire motorized blasting and flip-up sights that allow players to focus their aim as they eliminate opponents and attempt to survive the “Storm.” The NERF FORTNITE AR-L blaster features a 10-dart clip and comes with 20 ELITE darts, so Fortnite fans can play with power and precision no matter where the battle is building. Requires 4 AA Batteries, not included. Available June 1, 2019 at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.”

Info released earlier today on Fortnite blasters from Nerf. When first reports came out, I thought (maybe hoped a little) that Nerf would use their new Nerf Laser Ops Pro as the basis. Not the case, as they went with Elite.

It makes sense, since Nerf Rival gets Overwatch that the other big license goes to the standard. If the current slew of Fortnite themed parties, games, and arena events is any indication, kids and Twitch streamers will love it and the rest that comes out. Darn shame these won’t be out until June 2019.

Licensed blasters! That (should) perform on par with the usual! And yes, this blaster is semiauto (like a Nerf Stryfe) and supposed to accommodate current Nerf magazines. Keep your eyes open, and Drop In.

Overwatch X Nerf press release! Nerf this, #Nerfnation

Everyone loving the Nerf Vortex releases? How about this news?

HASBRO JOINS BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT’S OVERWATCH® IN THE FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE AS MASTER TOY LICENSEE
Hasbro to Create Wide Range of Overwatch®Play Experiences
PAWTUCKET, R.I. & SANTA MONICA, CA – MAY 21, 2018 – Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) today announced that they have signed a licensing agreement with Blizzard Entertainment to become the global master toy licensee for the Overwatch® franchise. Hasbro will create a wide range of play experiences including NERF products, games and more, based on the growing Overwatch® universe and its characters. 
Overwatch is a highly-stylized team-based action game set in Earth’s near future. Featuring 27 playable heroes with unique powers and abilities, Overwatch immerses players in intense multiplayer showdowns where they must band together to keep the world safe from rising conflict. Overwatch is also the basis for the Overwatch League®, the first major global city-based esports league, featuring teams from Asia, Europe, and North America.
“We are thrilled to announce this partnership with Blizzard for the Overwatch franchise,” said Samantha Lomow, senior vice president, Hasbro. “The roster of bold, diverse characters, and a passionate following of more than 40 million players have inspired our teams to create an amazing product line that will not only appeal to the passionate Overwatch fan base, but also attract new fans into the Overwatch universe.”
The fight for the future will reach a new stage in January 2019, when Hasbro releases Overwatch® blasters in its NERF Rival line. Additional product categories will be launched Fall 2019 in the US and international markets. 

I have a slew of questions out to Nerf, stay tuned!