[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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XShot Glitters in Gold with the Chaos Orbit & Meteor Blasters

BASIC STATS:

    • 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!

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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!

[REVIEW] Nerf Rival Perses

BASIC STATS:

  • 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!

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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 Dart Rover! In [Review]

Price: $29.99
Available: Now apparently!
Does it accommodate Mega darts? POORLY
Sample Provided? NOPE. I bought this!

Reviewed the Nerf Dart Rover, a new accessory from Jazwares under the Nerf license.

Overall, not a terrible price for the product, but only good on smaller scale occasions. I wouldn’t recommend for meetups or arena owners to use this for dart sweeps and cleanup. I also don’t see this doing very well outside in parks so I didn’t record any data from out there.

Ultimately, it is built for kids (not surprising anyone) and will work on small cleanups. Don’t expect this to revolutionize your dart sweeps for larger games, but if you want to try it to at least pick up ammo for yourself, I suppose that’s an option? I would not suggest using it outside either, considering extra debris that can get caught up in the mechanism.

It was an easy assembly and didn’t require any tools, which is a huge plus for parents and kids. The rubber tires ensure you can drive over the darts and do your best to pick them up. The design of the dart sweeping “teeth” may poke holes in your ammo, especially when it comes to mega darts. For Rival rounds it seemed to really work the best, but as I mention in the video ammo sometimes jumps from the outlet and away from the collector bag.

It’ll be helpful to someone, I would recommend this as a gift in the future or at least wait until sales happen to buy for yourself.

Nerf x Overwatch! Soldier 76 has you in his sights… in a Rival blaster


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.

Toy Fair 2019 Aftershock (the Livestream)

Original live broadcast on 2/19/2019, after New York Toy Fair. Panelists include Vas from FoamFromaAbove.com, Nerfers101 from Instagram, and Nikki from NY Dart Zone. Producer is Gabe E. of NY Dart Zone.

We talk about EVERYTHING we saw! HUGE THANKS (in no particular order) to Nerf, Dart Zone Blasters, Buzz Bee Toys, Top Secret Toys, Zing, Marshmallow Fun, Far Out Toys, and Paper Shooters (Spitball Blasterz)! Appreciate the samples provided!

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Nerf & Blasters Year in Review: 2018

New York Toy Fair Hasbro Showroom

THE END OF AN ERA FOR BLASTERS

2018 was witness to one of the biggest moments for me in the toy industry: the Fall of Toys R Us. If you read any of the Rock Father’s coverage, Toys R Us going bankrupt in the U.S. and shuttering its doors at all U.S. locations was a watershed moment that left ripples throughout the toy industry. While the brand lives on in Canada and Asia, losing the U.S. side of the business left a hole in consumer spending that many retailers tried to take advantage of. And after some initial reports, it’s not likely any true winner arose.

That meant more retailers carrying blasters, carrying exclusives, and a lot of private label items under air zone and stats had to find homes elsewhere. The Toys R Us exclusive brands and Nerf skins like the sonic series (there were still some fire/ice kits around), Alien Menace, all needed new homes too. Where once many blasters were consolidated under the House of Geoffrey, they scattered to new retailers, eager to draw in new business. One BIG example is Walmart making a grab with Adventure Force, their private label. Two of the brands below are distributed through Adventure Force, making some of those blasters Walmart exclusives. Target locked in their own exclusive deals as well, but this makes collecting and finding the blasters difficult for fans who make it a point to find what they can, and casual buyers couldn’t care less as long as the price is right.

Most of the products/brands on this list I had personal experience with, or was able to gain reliable discourse from trusted third party sources. If you think your product should be on this list, get in touch and let me know! I might not even know your product exists.

Nerf

Nerf Blaster Wall New York Toy Fair 2018

Nerf had a pretty big year for 2018, and going into 2019 it makes me wonder what’s coming next. When I outlined it, Nerf had a ton of releases this year compared to everyone else. Sure, there were reskins/jolts, but considering volume alone there was a lot of shelf space that Nerf occupied. Besides blasters, Nerf released new goggles, pushed ahead some merchandise with Jazwares, and maintained some new exclusivity agreements across the board. Kohl’s, Amazon, Walmart, and Target were some of the exclusives I heard about, and Academy Sports is the only carrier of the Kronos battle sets (red or blue) as of this writing. Currently, a lot of the Nerf merchandise there is on clearance, so it makes me wonder how well it actually sold at those stores.

Regardless of the sales, Nerf certainly went big this year. Big in the form of the Nerf Prometheus, a $200 Rival blaster that shot faster and had a much higher capacity than a lot of the market, holding over 200 Rival rounds, firing 8 shots/sec, at about 100 FPS. After that they had the Nerf Rival Hades, a bigger version of the Nerf Rival Artemis that held 60 rounds and had slamfire. The Nerf Rival Stormtrooper blaster was functionally similar to a Helios. While still a good blaster, it looked good but didn’t offer anything new mechanism wise.

Other releases included the auto-loading Nerf Infinus (a first in tech), new Mega Accustrike darts released with the Mega Thunderhawk, revisiting light-up and clear plastic designs in the Ghost Ops Evader, and putting out a new chain blaster for Zombie Strike with the Ripchain. Other releases included* (and there were probably others I missed):

– Nerf Chronobarrel/ammo counter
– Nerf Ghost Ops reflective targeting set
– Nerf Rival Deadpool Apollo
– Nerf Modulus Longstrike
– Nerf Modulus Demolisher
– Nerf Vortex blasters (3 – Vigilon, Praxis, Pyragon)
– Star Wars dart blasters (Han, Qi’Ra, Chewbacca, Tobias Beckett)
– Nerf Microshots series 2 (Stryfe, Crossfire, Roughcut)
– Nerf BattleCamo (Stryfe, Firestrike, Roughcut, Battlescout, Splitstrike)
– Nerf Surgefire- Nerf Kronos Battle Sets
– Nerf Mediator Core blaster, stock, and barrel attachments
– Nerf Mega Tri-Break
Nerf Kronos (technically, scheduled release for Spring 2018 in Phantom Corps)*Not including the Overwatch blasters since they were originally scheduled for 2019.

Nerf also brought back a new version of laser tag, calling it Laser Ops Pro. It was decently priced, sold as a rifle (DeltaBurst), pistol (AlphaPoint), or a two-player starter pack. Laser Ops Pro was pretty neat that it only needed one phone/mobile device to run an app to host online play, amidst a bevy of other features. Aside from all that, players could easily just turn on blasters and play right out of the box (after getting batteries). Here’s hoping they continue to support the new line down the road. From what I heard, there’s at least another year in the works with Laser Ops Pro, and we might see more at Toy Fair in February, if nothing leaks out ahead of time.

Besides the entertainment centers coming up, I think some of the biggest hits this year for Nerf/Hasbro came in the form of licensing. Not only did Hasbro take Power Rangers (and I expect more than a few blasters out of that line) but they gained a deal to make Fortnite and Overwatch themed blasters.

Considering the popularity of each game, this is a move to clearly pull new fans from larger audiences into picking up Nerf. Nerfnation is large, but there is still a lot of attention to be gained from expanding to new audiences, including gamers and cosplayers who may not have considered buying nerf blasters until now. Coupled with a renewed GI Joe brand, Star Wars, and Transformers, Nerf has a lot of licenses to generate blasters for, and it will be interesting to see what comes out this year and years down the road.

If I had to make noise about anything Nerf/Hasbro is doing, it’s the creeping prices on high-profile blasters. The Nerf Rival Prometheus ultimately got marked down, but consumers predictably balked at a $200 price tag. There’s a whole psychology at work in pricing and marketing, but to start right off the bat with that price took down the interest quite a bit I think. The Nerf Rival Hades was a good buy, and the Kronos DEFINITELY a good buy for this year. But a majority of the big ticket blasters that Nerf pushed (Infinus, Scravenger, Mega Thunderhawk, Prometheus, Evader) had pretty high price tags. The price tags on the Modulus Longstrike and Modulus Demolisher are way higher than I would expect as well, even with upgraded parts and new kit pieces.

The argument is that with each of those, Nerf also released a Scout Mk II, Quadrant, or Surgefire. That’s not what people were looking at this year though, and those releases quietly moved forward. As you will see, those prices could also backfire as lower cost alternatives grows in recognition all the time. And for many casual players, the price is definitely right when it comes to non-Nerf brands.

Bottom line for me is, that Nerf led the charge with higher ranges in foam darts and then changed the landscape with Nerf Rival. They continue to influence the market in big ways, regardless of where they come up short.

Zuru

Zuru XShot Swarm Seeker Bug Attack blaster

Zuru, or XShot, continues to astound in the pricing of their blasters. They offer high ranges and (in the case of the Turbo Advance) high capacity blasting for much lower pricing than Nerf. The only real shortcomings are that there are no magfed designs compatible with Nerf blasters, and most magazines for XShot blasters are too small for Nerf size darts. The only exception is the Bug Attack Crossbow. XShot darts are also shorter than most other brands, and while it doesn’t seem to affect performance, it’s something not a lot of people are aware of. This doesn’t affect the front-loading/turret style blaster but it sometimes affects magfed blasters.

XShot also does not have a wide variety of styles to choose from. The Turbo Fire is basically a smaller version of the Turbo Advance (with a different priming mechanism and slamfire) and the other blasters are styles we saw before, but with some mechanical changes. The Vigilante 2.0 is now better able to accommodate longer darts, some XShot blasters now have a recoil feature (for blasting play without the ammo, much like a light and sound toy blaster). What is nice is the Swarm Seeker and Regenerator use the same clip, in spite of being in different segments. Previously, it was a huge disappointment that the Bug Attack Crossbow was not compatible with magazines from the Max Attack.

If you wonder how XShot manages such low pricing, look to their manufacturing. Their factories are almost entirely automated, cutting down on costs. What that also means though is why there is such a limited number of different designs. Yes, the argument could be made that Nerf puts the same internals in multiple blaster shells (Jolt and Kronos) but the point is they have different looks to offer different consumers. With XShot they keep a few designs but can’t have a lot of different tooling molds due to the automated process. That’s why you don’t see a lot of compelling exclusives on the level Nerf does.

HOWEVER, you will definitely have a hard time saying no to the prices they have their blasters and ammo. And in this case, you get a pretty good product for what you pay for. Keep in mind, when you see “Adventure Force” you might see XShot blasters, and the performance is worth the price.

– Swarm Seeker
– Turbo Advance
– Regenerator
– Hawkeye
– Max Attack
– Vigilante Mk 2

Dart Zone

Dart Zone made HUGE noise last year coming out with a Rival-compatible line, BallistixOps (or Adventure Force, if you shop at Walmart). Lower cost ammo, lower cost blasters with comparable range and ammo capacity, hopper fed mechanisms, and again at a much lower cost. Aside from some design differences (always-on vs accelerator trigger) Dart Zone continues to put out Rival level product that is worth a look if Nerf blasters are out of your budget. The BallistixOps ammo is on part with Nerf Rival, and in some reviews even a little bit firmer than Nerf, so it flies a little better.

Dart Zone/Adventure Force blasters don’t neglect darts either. Dart Zone introduced their version of “waffle-head” type ammo, similar to the K’next K-Force darts of the past. These waffle darts fly pretty well out of all blasters, are compatible with Nerf, and unlike the XShot ammo are of the same length as Nerf darts. But you can also get 200 rounds at Walmart for around $10. Definitely worth the money for that much ammo. The BallistixOps ammo gets up to 150 rounds for $20, which is pretty good as well, considering the cost of Nerf Rival ammo. The key note here is this is mass market produced ammo and safety tested for sale in a major chain, as opposed to some products you find on Amazon.

I mentioned the Dart Blasters, and Dart Zone represented well. The CommandFire is their take on the reloading mechanism like the Nerf Infinus, but with a larger amount of ammo, not just one dart at a time. They continued using chain blasters, making the Titan from the Light Command, a fan favorite. The Double Trouble is a fun front-loading blaster that is not something you would holster, but definitely worth looking at for gameplay. For $20, Dart Zone did a good job at matching price with functionality. Definitely glad to see them producing for another year.

– Releases this year from Dart Zone/Adventure Force:

+Quantum
+Velocity
+Titanium
+Accelerator
+Double Trouble
+CommandFire
– Waffle-tip darts for CHEAP
– Rival compatible ammo

Buzz Bee

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Buzz Bee had a somewhat quiet 2018. The releases they managed, as seen below:

+Covert Squad
+Night Attack
+Thermal Tracker
+Crossbow
+Reissues/Battle sets through Adventure Force of previous releases

The blasters Buzz Bee put out were good, but where last year saw the Thermal Scope on the Thermal Hunter, this year didn’t have a standout product. At Toy Fair, they had a handheld chronograph, the Velocity X, and the Mutator. Neither saw release in the United States (and I don’t think the Velocity X released at all) but the ideas were sound. The Velocity X was a handheld chronograph that was usable for darts, rival ammo, mega ammo, but it didn’t move forward. The Mutator I hear is only available overseas. Adventure Force carried the above blasters for the most part, while Target picked up the Covert Squad blasters, walkie-talkie bolt-action blasters.

The Night Attack and Crossbow didn’t use bolt-action, but the Covert Squad, Thermal Tracker, and Mutator did. Buzz Bee does believe in the bolt-action play pattern for blasters, and it’s interesting that they continue to use it. I always felt like it made usage more difficult for left handed players, but maybe I’m wrong? And considering the Nerf Jupiter leaked some time ago, it looks like Nerf believes in the bolt-action play pattern as well.

Buzz Bee blasters fire on par with Nerf blasters now, and Buzz Bee also has Precision, XL Distance, and suction cup darts, depending on the type of blasting a player wants to use. The darts and magazines for Buzz Bee blasters are compatible with Nerf as well, and Buzz Bee still produces a tactical rail adapter for Nerf blasters, making it possible to use accessories between the two brands still. On top of all the compatibility, Buzz Bee blasters are also much lower in price compared to Nerf blasters, and the ammo too. Buzz Bee hasn’t made the jump to a higher-impact play segment like Dart Zone, but they continue to crank out product in their segment that stands well against Nerf product.

Third Party (Amazon, Evike, eBay)

Third party products are a whole post on their own. There are many to choose from, and all I can say for now is you do the research and be sure of the product you are getting. These products don’t always go through the same safety testing channels that Nerf and other brands in stores go through, so it can be a mixed bag what you are getting. Sometimes darts that say “Nerf” are actually solid plastic/rubber headed foam darts with stronger impact, or just smell funny. Whatever the case, when buying online, follow your common sense protocols. If there’s enough interest, I’ll do a deep-dive post on third party products,

Blast Forward to 2019!

I’ll keep this short and sweet. 2019 looks to have quite a few huge events on the horizon. The Nerf arenas opening, Overwatch and Fortnite blasters being released, continued steady competition from other blaster brands, and the continued search for a new de facto toy store. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are some things I would like/feel I will see in 2019-

– If you HAVE SLAMFIRE, PLEASE
o Stock to stabilize firing motion
o PUMP-ACTION
TRIGGERS
o If you’re making a new blaster line, please make sure your blaster uses a trigger, unless there’s a very good thematic reason not to.
– Continued Growth of Nerf Rival (kinda obvious)
– Water ball blasters…. They were done poorly in the past (except for the Vapor line, that was pretty decent at the time) but definitely popular elsewhere in the world. Only a matter of time before they make their way back here.
– Better, much better GI Joe blasters to tie-in with the new movie (Though to be fair, no Bumblebee blasters yet).
– Hasbro will pick up more licenses, somewhere
– Big plans for Toy Fair in February
– Nerf will put out something even bigger than the Prometheus. Why? Because they can.
– More info coming up on the Nerf 50th anniversary, I am sure.