Thanks for the kit, Nerf! Check out the unboxing and see what came in.
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+
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):
- XShot Meteor: $12.99 & XShot Orbit: $19.99
- Meteor: Slide action/ Orbit: Pump-action
- Integrated clip (14 shots with the Orbit, 6 shots for the Meteor)
- Safety button on both blasters, jam doors
- Orbit has sling points
- Orbit has a sight
XShot Chaos Counters Other Brands with Low Price and Comparable Performance
XShot made some major moves this week. From Toy Fair 2019 to today, they finally released their own entry in the 14+, advanced range blaster market with the XShot Chaos line, looking to “disrupt” the current market as they claim to have done with dart blasters.
I don’t know if this line will turn the market on its head, but XShot makes a very compelling case with these blasters. At under $20, that is the sweet spot for many purchases, promising performance on par against other blasters that cost considerably more, and with more budget friendly ammo, parents may not want to drop $40 on a Nerf Hypnos, which is the most current pump-action Nerf Rival blaster at this time. (The Helios and Jupiter are bolt/side knob, the Hades is last year and not readily on shelves from what I’ve seen, and the Artemis is mostly out of circulation on store shelves as well.)
As far as a manual blaster to buy goes, the Orbit and Meteor have very strong factors working in its favor to get bought. XShot is certainly working to get the blasters visible to consumers.
It is a bit of a shame that there are only two blasters in this line right now, but the Orbit and the Meteor are a fine start. The Meteor is a fun pistol to handle and use, and as far as I am concerned a pump action blaster is always the way to go.
Loading the Meteor through the handle offers a very different pattern than other brand pistols, and is a welcome change of pace. The Orbit has some questions for me as far as design goes, but firing from the hip with it works just fine for me.
Looking Ahead to the Market and XShot vs…. Everyone Else
In the realm of high impact rounds, the XShot Chaos is a strong contender against Nerf and Dart Zone, strictly speaking on performance. Nerf I would say still has the advantage in marketing, but XShot certainly is taking steps to address that. All this talk of XShot as a low price brand, but Dart Zone Blasters has had mostly comparable/if not better items at competitive prices to XShot and Nerf. They are still chugging away making new product, as XShot is doing, and keeping prices on blasters and ammo low. Buzz Bee is remaining strong in their section of the market with dart blasters thankfully, possibly content to let the other companies battle it out and leave the dart market open just a bit.
Kudos to XShot for their accomplishment at making the Chaos line a reality, and for giving budget-minded folks another choice in the market. It’s still incredibly interesting to see what happens next, and I hope you tune in here to get my take on things.
Thanks, XShot for the samples, and Click Click BAMF for the editing work on the video!
Thanks as well to Wicked Ball Chicago for letting me use your arena! If you are looking to hold a party and live near Lombard, Illinois, check them out!
- MSRP: $99 (approximately)
- Fully automatic
- Hopper fed
- Flywheel/rev trigger set up
- Capacity: 50 rounds
- ROF: Supposedly 8 rounds/sec
- Removable hopper
- Ammo used: Nerf Rival Rounds
- Batteries: Proprietary Nerf battery (new design, included with charger)
Looking at the Nerf Rival Perses. I dug it. $99 is a hefty tag, but sometimes it’s worth it. And just because the Prometheus is the same price currently, you get a much more mobile blaster that’s easier to move with, aim, and did I mention maneuver? The convenient release on the battery is a super nice piece of design, even though it’s a shame the old Nerf battery packs do not work with it. Thanks for reading this far, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube for more videos!
Thanks, Nerf for the sample, and Click Click BAMF for the editing work on the video!
NERF RIVAL KNOCKOUT XX-100 Assortment
(HASBRO/Ages 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: October 1, 2019)
Available at most major toy retailers nationwide.
– 2 x High-Impact Rounds included
– 1 x Nerf Rival Knockout
– Capacity: 1 round (technically, watch the video!)
– Jolt-style downward pull
– Fires one shot at a time
– Tactical Rail
– FPS readings – approx. 90s
– Ranges: 40-50′ flat, can hit 80-90 angled
– Flick release to spring barrel forward, revealing breech.
– Insert 1 round, slide barrel back into place.
– Pull priming handle down and push back into original position
+ Chrony shows it hits about 90 FPS
+ Undocumented (in instruction manual) ability to shotgun 2 rounds
+ Nice aesthetics/mechanics, the pop-release breech and priming mech work nicely for me
– Other blasters available at similar price for higher ammo capacity
– Single shot, even against other pistols this is at a disadvantage head to head
– The jolt-style priming mech gets in the way of the grip to some degree, at least for my hands
– Shotgun loading is a happy side effect, not an explicit feature
Consider purchasing! It’s pretty good at the price and pretty simple to use. This blaster will be a good stocking stuffer/gift/intro blaster to the Rival line. The compact feel of the blaster is a trade-off with the ammo capacity, but may benefit some play styles and loadouts. Since it is so low profile finding a holster or pocket for it is highly probable.
NERF RIVAL OVERWATCH SOLDIER: 76 BLASTER AND TARGETING VISOR
NERF RIVAL OVERWATCH SOLDIER: 76 BLASTER AND TARGETING VISOR
(HASBRO/Ages: 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $130.99/Available: Fall 2019)
OVERWATCH fans can take on the role of SOLDIER: 76 with this blaster designed in the style of his signature accessory in Blizzard Entertainment’s internationally acclaimed team-based action game. This set also includes a replica SOLDIER: 76 targeting visor that you can wear. This NERF RIVAL OVERWATCH blaster is fully motorized to rapid-fire 30 high-impact rounds at a velocity of 90 feet per second (27 meters per second). Electronic lights are activated and recoil action kicks in when you operate the blaster, adding to the real-world excitement of OVERWATCH battling. Comes with 30 OVERWATCH NERF RIVAL rounds. Includes: blaster, 30 rounds, visor (3 pieces), and instructions. Requires 6x 1.5v D alkaline batteries, not included. Available exclusively at GameStop. Preorders are up!
Well, that’s neat. Pricey, but since it comes with a mask and looks ridiculously oversized, that’s pretty sweet too.
New Adventure Force “Tactical Strike” blasters, from BallistixOps releases from Dart Zone, approximately January 2018! (compatible with Nerf Rival)
Fresh new info from Dart Zone, aka Prime Time Toys!
High-res photos too!
Priced again at just under the cost of other brands, Dart Zone sent over a press release of their new offerings coming to 2018. Under Walmart’s “Adventure Force” brand, the “Tactical Strike” line is where to find these new blasters. I’m not sure what effect this will have on future releases, whether these will be for Walmart only (although in the case of the Powerball, Tactical Strike will have its own paint scheme) but for now I don’t have any info that shows these will be anywhere else.
Queued up is the Accelerator blaster, what looks to be a flywheel, 6D battery monstrosity and the Titanium, another pump-action blaster. A little reminiscent of the original Powerball with a different handle. The new aesthetics look pretty cool though, for sure. What’s new are ammo reloads (Dart Zone is making their own Rival-style ammo) and a mask along with the blasters. As I am all about the details, the blasters and the masks look to have interchangeable color plates for team indicators. Blue, Red, Green for starters (compared to the All-or-nothing color schemes for Blue, Red, and Phantom on the Nerf side of things.) And ultimately the price is definitely nothing to sneeze at considering the current market for 14+ foam projectiles. As a believer in stock play (not that it’s the only way, but I do appreciate my experience straight out of the box) this is a pretty strong toy. And yes, comparable to Nerf performance the Powerball is a smaller profile blaster, and compatible with Nerf Rival magazines. The only real shortcoming is no slam-fire but maybe one day.
I may have samples after the holidays, we’ll have to see! The official release date is January 15 so don’t be surprised if these start popping up around then.
Exciting times, comrades. Dart Zone offers a fine product and if you’re curious here’s a firing video I did when I first got the Powerball:
Going to give these a go? Don’t forget to check out Walmart later this month (or January at the latest) to see if you can find them!
For you YouTube watchers:
Nerf continues to provide blasters in the higher price category, but not without good reason. The Nemesis seems to be the hallmark blaster for them this show, providing a high capacity, high rate of fire, full auto, quickly reloaded blaster. At approximately $100 this is a pretty pricey toy, but for an older age group and with possibly a bit more disposable income. Using the Rival rounds is convenient (and offers a play style similar to paintball) even further encouraged with the hopper fed firing mechanism. Even as a prototype, this blaster really sets a bar that will be tough to meet on certain criteria. Again, this is a premium priced toy, but you might possibly get your money’s worth out of it.
The Raptorstrike. You might not see anything with this Accustrike blaster that you haven’t seen already, outside of the precision/range increase from Elite and Accustrike technology. The blaster comes with 2 six shot magazines, extendable bipod, but a flip-up sight. the sight means no top tactical rail, which is unfortunate, but it does have a neat look and a very cool feeling carry handle along the underside. Also of note is the solid priming bar, not the insert tab style on the Alphahawk. Also missing is a barrel attachment point, but the iron sights are another nice detail on the blaster that some folks should get a kick out of. The ammo storage in the stock is a neat touch, and it’s one of the long type rifles that Longstrike/”sniper” fans might get a kick out of. Again, I’ll reserve full judgment until it hits stores.
The Nerf Zombie Strike Dreadbolt surprised me. I had not expected it to be nearly as big as it was, with previous crossbows in the line (Outbreaker, Crossfire Crossbow, etc.) and the Rebelle Courage Crossbow was supposedly a similar design, BUT SO MUCH SMALLER.
With the Dreadbolt, the blaster has a pretty sizable wingspan at the arms, and uses the soft head arrows introduced in the Rebelle line, with the Agent Bow. It’s also comfortable to hold, and the priming mechanism is a wrench along the bottom to crank back the string. Nothing you haven’t seen before either, but also nothing this big crossbow styled yet. I could see a few faithful users to this blaster just because of how much fun it could be. Using arrow ammo would be a pain during the usual Nerf war, but just the hilariousness of this blaster could make it worth it.
Speaking of arrows….