Air Storm Firetek Bow Zing Toys – F2A Heads up! (Review)

Zing – Air Storm Firetek Bow
By: Vas The Stampede
Foam From Above
Price: $29.97 – Wal-Mart Exclusive
Range: Up to 145′
Includes: 
Firetek Bow x 1
Zonic” Blaze Arrows x 3
Available now: Red & Green colors (Red sample provided by Zing Toys)
Ages: 8+
 A design similar to the Z-Tek Air Storm Bow, the Firetek Bow is another entry from Zing Toys into archery and outdoor play. Like the Z-Tek, this bow is a bit smaller than the popular Zcurve bow and may not have as much range. I could hit upwards of 200’+ with the right angle and draw on a Zcurve, the Z-Tek came close but not quite. From some of the first shots I took, it is definitely look
Just like most other Zing arrow products, the arrows hook into the rubber loops at the center of the bow, aim, pull back, and release. There is a ridged rubbery grip at near the back of the arrow that helps with the pull, but sweaty fingers may make getting full power difficult. If you have tried a zing bow before, this shouldn’t be too different.
The big feature here is unlike the Z-Tek bow, the Firetek bow has a button in the grip that turns on lights in the colored portions of the bow arms; similarly the “Zonic” arrows have a switch just under the arrowhead that turns on a light inside the arrow shaft. So these arrows are a bit thicker feeling than past arrows; and the plastic shaft may feel a bit fragile. 
However, the arrow tips are a thick foam again as with most Zing products so the arrows should definitely be able to take a beating. I haven’t performed a stomp test on these arrows though as I don’t know if they will have separate ammo packs available. Therefore, I want to keep my Zonic arrows mostly in good condition.
The effect is pretty neat, and watching your arrow zip through a darkened sky is a different kind of experience. The lights even help see where the arrow loops are in the dark, making night shooting a little easier. The lights on the arrows also obviously made finding my shots in the dark a snap. Dare I say it was easier to find these than green colored Zartz in grass. One other feature is I was able to reach my thumb from the grip to the switch on the arrows as the arrow was hooked in, which was nice if I needed stealth. I don’t know if smaller hands could do the same, but I don’t see it as being impossible. Unlike the z-Tek, this now doesn’t have arrow holders, users are going to have to use pockets or something else to carry around extra rounds.
In a pinch, the Zonic blaze arrows and even the bow could be used as a flashlight, but I wouldn’t recommend counting on either as a replacement flashlight. They illumination is impressive, but definitely not advisable if you have other sources of light available.

I do see some great possibilities for using this particular gimmick, too. Say in a specific scenario you had to fire a signal flare in an evening gametype, or in another you had to hit a target from a distance in low light. In the right gametype this would be a fun accessory to spice things up.
As this is a Zing bow product, the real fun of this product is outside where high power and ranges are better suited to cut loose. I wouldn’t recommend using this in a house or in close quarters – if you can control your draw power well enough then I leave that decision up to the player. This is definitely more for the wide open spaces, though.
So yes, the Firetek Bow has a very familiar feel to it, but the ability to test your aim in low light conditions with only these as your only light source may be enough to pique the interest of the archer in your family. I hope extra arrow packs become available as well, the idea of more than a few “flares” is something I would like to play around with and what game types may come out from that. The price is a bit high, but considering the electronics and the solid construction that isn’t entirely unexpected.

I have said from the start Zing products are a solid buy and while they may not always be perfect for blaster battles they are fun to shoot targets with anyway. I consider them the “dark horse” of the projectile market, chugging along with good products while eyes are on Nerf and Mattel most of the time, Zing continues to put out something fun and tactile with impressive range. If you haven’t tried out their products yet definitely consider this your introduction to their lineup, even if all you want is something to shoot targets.


Hope this helps! I will update this post with some video as well, so make sure to check back later!

Review: Mattel BoomCo – F2A First Impressions on the Rapid Madness

BoomCo Rapid Madness First Thoughts!

(Recorded this late last night while I was putting together the review – I picked the blaster up late at Target, it was a surprise to see it, will update with a better video once I am rested and have better light. In the meantime, here are some pictures:

Hey everyone! So I picked up the BoomCo Rapid Madness last night. Enjoy the gallery –

The BoomCo shield is removable, and the pump is double action!

https://photos.gstatic.com/media/slideshow.swf

Price: $49.99 (!?)

Includes:
Rapid Madness x 1
Darts x 30
Throwable “Round” x 1
Shield x 1
Target board x 1; Instructions x 1

Impressions!
 
BoomCo is Mattel’s foray into toy blasters. They don’t use foam darts, and the big gimmick is this “sticky technology” on the dart tips that are specially formulated to react and stick to specifically developed targets. It’s a huge line, and coming from one of the top toy makers in the world, is it enough to challenge Nerf, a brand that has become eponymous with toys that shoot darts and other projectiles?

In the past, many other brands have come and go – Light Strike, Max Force, gel shooters, and so on. The difference here is Mattel is much bigger than the other companies trying to broach the blaster market in the past. They have deep pockets for R&D and Marketing which really help getting your brand and toy noticed.  

“Sticky” technology, you say? According to Mattel’s techs, they formulated the rubber/polymer/whatever on the darts to only react/stick to the specially designed targets. And they do! It’s amazing! It could theoretically make hit-tracking and scorekeeping much easier depending on what rules/gametype you, the player, devise. And it’s a strong grip, too. Any other surface/material and the darts just bounce.HOWEVER – CAVEAT – the stickiness will fade if not maintained; you have to rinse the darts regularly or use tape to remove debris. Have no fear, the instructions have…. instructions on how to do this. The Round included is entirely composed of the sticky material, which…. gives me some scenario-style ideas. But more on that as the line develops.

The darts themselves are constructed of a thick straw-like plastic, topped with the sticky material. I don’t have a scale to tell you a difference in the weight of these darts vs. foam. If I had to attest to durability, I’d rather take the darts out to a game rather than hypothesize, and see the attrition that way. The foam darts are definitely thicker, and you can find a pretty good overview at UKNERF..

The dart was fine!

Let’s look at the BoomCo Rapid Madness. At $49.99 + tax, I was a little leery about buying it. There are/were numerous blasters of similar function in the past (Magstrike, Powerclip for starters) but they were also pre-Elite and at most were hitting 20-30′, probably. The Rapid Madness outdoes that with 50′ in range (see the video above!). It also comes with a shield, a target, and a throwable projectile (see previous paragraph).

The Rapid Madness! (Shield is attached and closed up)

The “Round” – both halves stick together when they are pressed, they separate for easy cleaning.

Functionally speaking, we’ve been there, done that. Pump the blaster (at most) 18 times (a double-action pump no less), pull the trigger, and point where you want to unleash your straw/rubber-sticky doom. The only difference in this instance is the 50′ in range vs. maybe 30′ in earlier blasters. It’s this similarity though that makes me question the price, even with the extras included.

The blaster is fully automatic, so it is definitely a spray and pray kind of experience. I found myself wanting to use a grip with my offhand besides the pump, but there really isn’t another place on the barrel that seemed like a good fit. Aiming from the shoulder also seemed improper because of the nature of the blaster, so I actually found shooting from the waist better, again with the spray and pray idea. The double action nature of the blaster’s pump might make it feel slower to refill with air, and depending on your play style this may or may not be your cup of tea. Once your first salvo is out…. MOVE. However, as you can see in the (newly added) video, doing bursts of darts isn’t too hard with the Rapid Madness.

The shield mounts on the barrel and deploys at the press of a button. Even though there is a sort of iron sight on it I felt like the shield made aiming a bit more difficult, which made shooting from the hip even more preferable. In fact, like the Nerf Stampede shield I felt better just having it off. I also don’t think the blaster is for lefties, since the clip loads from the left of the barrel and has to be inserted that way due to the arrow guides. There was a bit of the blaster near the grip that would dig into my hand as well, whether that is because of the design for kids or a flaw in construction I am not sure.

The blaster itself had a separation in the shell already as well –

The shell seemed a bit opened here.

But it worked and as the video shows, the volley needed some dialing in but otherwise it worked pretty well. When I have some time (and daylight) to update the video outside to check max range, I will. The pump felt durable and sturdy, as did the rest of the blaster (something you can expect when a company like Mattel is doing the building.) My nephew (he’s 11) thought it looked pretty cool, and got a kick out of shooting it.

When it boils down to it, what are we looking at? The Rapid Madness is expensive for a mechanic we’ve already seen elsewhere. It requires stocking up on Yet Another Ammo Type, and even then the BoomCo ammo gimmick may fade out over time and leave you with darts that do little else but bounce like any other darts but at a premium price (for the blasters that launch them, if not the darts themselves.) However the range is on par with the current market of available blasters (at least, until certain 90-100′ blasters hit shelves later this year) and honestly they do look pretty slick and futuristic. The sticky tech sounds like it’ll be a lot of fun to play around with and I’m willing to give the line a chance and see where they go. If you want to try something new maybe give this a look. But with its price maybe check out some of the lower priced blasters before you go with the Rapid Madness. Honestly, of all the blasters in the line, I wish I had found the Twisted Spinner first, based on the uniqueness of the blaster alone.

Thoughts? Questions? Let me know in the comments! NOTE: I moderate comments, so if they don’t show up right away, don’t worry about resubmitting! I will get there and read them. 🙂

TOY REVIEW: VMD Cannon Commando – Skyrocket Toys



BASIC STATS:

  • 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! 

Review: The Ultimate Nerf Blaster Book (POW! Publishing)

NERF: The Ultimate Blaster Book by Nathaniel Marunas, published by POW!


There have been plenty of reviews already on this book, but what’s one more? Licensed by Nerf and developed/researched for some time by Mr. Marunas (note the shoutout to the collectors/other sites out there, which includes Adult Fans of Nerf) he went to Hasbro HQ and the internet to gather what info he could and consolidate the information as best he can. But with as many companies that owned the Nerf brand (Larami, Park Brothers, and so on) over the years, that’s 40+ years of history in foam.

Now right off, this is a kid’s book. It’s intended audience is for the 8+ crowd and even though there are mch older players everywhere, this book is for kids! There’s a brief history of the brand from the beginning, but this is in no way an omnibus of the entire armory of Nerf blasters from day 1. He mentions the early days, the creation of the foam ball which led to the development of the first blaster and some of the various types of ammo (including the first mega darts) from over the years,but the majority of the book’s blaster listings are for N-Strike blasters from 2004 to the present.

The book does include six exclusive N-Strike Elite camo darts in the cover as well, in case you need to protect yourself while reading. 🙂

The book explains different types of Nerf ammo, both discontinued and current. Mega Darts to Vortex discs, and everything in between. Each chapter separates the blasters by “classes” such as Light, Medium, Heavy, accessories, each page giving the technical specs of some blasters. It doesn’t go into exhaustive detail about different paintjobs/schemes (unless you count the Lumitron vs the Praxis, which is listed here, and the red strike series gets a shoutout next to the Longshot.) It also introduces common lingo/terms to someone who may not be familiar with blasters, explaining direct plungers, priming a blaster, and so on.

Either way, this technical info is good for the kids and their parents to help them understand the different types of blasters and why a dart tag dart won’t work inside an N-Strike magazine. Ranges don’t differentiate angled/flat, but the release date info and measurements are nice little touches and trivia.

The best part for ME, as an older Nerf enthusiast, is the timeline and design process pages.

The above page even explains the “Javelin” hullabaloo. These pages are by far the most intriguing thing about the book for me, having met designers and wondering about just how they conceive the ideas and test these blasters, and how long it takes to hit production. To know where we’re going, I like to see where we’ve been.

The book carries on its “intro to Nerf” feel by also including a few pages of gametypes –

And yes, you may play differently. These are guidelines, by no means are they law. Enjoy your games as you want to play, and let those who like what you do join in. BUT, it helps to also have some rules you may not have considered before!

OVERALL, is this worth the $20? part of me says the older fans have nothing to get out of it besides a couple of pages. BUT for the kids, the future of the hobby, this is a good buy for them. Big bold pictures, easy to follow, and darts. It’d be a great gift for the upcoming Easter baskets (if you celebrate) or just because they are all about their new active way to play. Also, the book sells, it’d show there’s a market for it, and there could be more like this in the future!

Either way, borrow your friend’s, have a quick look at the book store (they still have those, right?) and give this at least a glance. If you get it for your younger relatives, you can always borrow it.

Take it easy!
Stampede.

REVIEW: TMNT Dojo Training Weapons

Review: TMNT Foam Dojo Training Weapons! Leonardo’s Katana, Donatello’s Bo Staff/spear, Raphael’s Sai, Michelangelo’s Nunchaku

By: Vas The Stampede

Thanks to Playmates for the samples to review, all opinions are my own

MSRP: Approx. $17.99 (what I saw on some Target listings)
Material: EVA foam
Raph’s sai are the only 2 pack; all others are single

Raphael’s Sai (Not entirely sure why each only has one prong, looks a bit more like a jitte.  Uh, thanks Google!
Donatello’s Staff/Spear; Leonardo’s Katana
 
Mikey’s Nunchaku – Zing bow used for size comparison

I’ll be honest, I’m a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and it gladdens my heart to see the Turtles back in all their resplendent, pizza eating glory. When I was around for the 90s run, we didn’t have the foam weapons like the above; our toy TMNT weapons were made of hard plastic. While it built character, it also wasn’t particularly safe for household items or limbs.

BUILD/AESTHETICS:

Nowadays though, the TMNT Dojo sets are made of soft foam, on par with any Nerf N-Force weapons and I think they’re a bit tougher against scuffing/gouges/odd bruises.  NOW THEY SAY ON THE TOY TO NOT STRIKE AT PEOPLE/ANIMALS/OBJECTS but things happen, and when they do your TMNT weapon should be ok taking incidental contact. Don’t actually go fighting ninjas with these.  Zombies maybe, but that depends on who is calling the shots. 🙂

Little touches like bandages, chips in the blade to show battle-damage, add to the look of the toy.  And, hey, branding.

One thing I really like about the weapons are the little details and definitely cartoony nature of their look.  I would have liked to see Donatello’s staff a little longer to differentiate itself from Leonardo’s Katana, but hey, it’s built for a kid.  Raphael’s sai handles are a good size for even adult hands, and I had no trouble whipping Michelangelo’s Nunchaku around like a proud amateur who watched the original movie plenty of times.  Fellow ‘chucker, indeed (for the record I’m 5’7″)

Again, these weapons are constructed from a soft foam, but that’s no reason to start wailing away on anyone with these. Pretend you’re a ninja sure, but leave the vigilante justice to the pros.

While in the store, I did test out Donatello’s staff with the Deluxe Turtle Shell; it held in the holster quite nicely and was a good fit. I did have some difficulty getting it back out and I’m not sure the other weapons would holster as nicely. Also, while I said the foam is durable I think the plastic from the latch in the Deluxe Shell would wear away the handle on the Dojo sets. The plastic versions would probably be a wiser decision to pair with the Deluxe Shell for the mutant on the go.

COST: 

The weapons might be considered expensive, at almost $20 you’re looking at a bit of an investment to recreate your favorite Ninja Teens but you are getting a quality toy roleplay product. I wouldn’t take these to a LARP but to raid the Technodrome or infiltrate the Kraang, you’re in good shape. The decision to change the shape of Raphael’s sai was an odd one for me, but maybe that was in the ability to package 2 together, unlike that Wolverine claw nonsense which was ONE PER PACKAGE. 

Overall though, I really like these and for your up and coming Ninja Turtle fan these are good for costuming and playing pretend. If you are in that older market, You may get a good kick of nostalgia or jealousy because you wish you had these when you were bruising yourself and your friends with this. Questions? Comments? Let me know!

Turtle power!

image from http://www.nick.com

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

Includes:
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? 

REVIEW: Spy Gear Panosphere 360 Spy Cam

NOTE: Sample was supplied by Spin Master Toys (thanks to them!).  The opinions in this review are my own.

Spy Gear Panosphere 360 Spy Cam – Possible additions to put a new spin on your blaster gameplay.
Vas The Stampede

Spy Gear Panosphere 360 Spy Cam

Spy Gear Panosphere 360 w/ Wall Mount

Spy Gear Panosphere 360 deconstructed (wrist strap goes inside housing)

Spy Gear Panosphere 360 all assembled

STATS:
MSRP: $59.99 (order at Meijer – on clearance for $14.97!)
Includes:

  • Camera x1
  • Mount x 1 
  • Housing x 1
  • Rubber band x 1 
  • Velcro wrist strap x 1 
  • USB recharging cord x 1
  • Suction cup Wall Mounting x 1
  • 2 GB microSD card (will use larger microSD cards too… I haven’t run into any issues yet) 
  • CD w/editing software

Specs:
W/2 GB card:

  • 2000 HD pics
  • 10 Mins. of video recording at 720p (at full charge).

Test Images (various lighting conditions. 

Office lighting (reasonably good lighting)

Hallway of my storage unit.

Low light, a peek inside the actual unit.

    At $60 the resolution isn’t the clearest in low-light (a touch grainy), but surprisingly better than I expected in well lit situations (also given that this is for kids 8-13 years of age).  it is a fish eye lens, in order to encompass the “360” look attached to a swivel that moves within a 90 degree arc..  Initially, I had wondered if the lens would be remotely operated somehow, but that isn’t the case.  Where ever you place the camera, the lens has to be aimed ahead of time.  With the fish eye lens though, there’s little room for missing something.  Given the low profile of the camera alone, and even the housing/mounts, getting the right angle shouldn’t be a problem.  Obviously, any other additions such as a viewfinder or anything would add to the visibility of the camera, and the cost.  For what it is, it is a pretty good price for your homegrown spy in training.

    The housing functions as a “hockey puck” style mount for the camera (see the video) and a container for the wrist strap, one of the little touches Spin Master does with its toys that I really like.

    It takes a few hours to charge using the included USB cord.  I have used both my computer and other wall-mounted plugs with a USB connector, so you’re not stuck if you have other electronic devices.  The included instructions were easy to follow, and I was up and running (literally) with the camera in minutes.  Already having editing software, I just use the microSD card in my card reader, and that does the job.  I haven’t used the editing software myself (I already have my own), but if you do perhaps you’ll get a kick out of it.

    Bottom line, I found it a lot of fun to try and see what angles, and just what the capabilities of the camera were.  Sliding the camera into position was hilarious, and various options of how to use the camera (wear, wall mount, super sneaky off the mount, etc.) might be a good time for a kid.  It goes without saying that the camera must be used responsibly, and those issues need to be brought up during purchase.

    As far as game types go, I don’t know if I’d use this as a mount or anything to record gameplay, but if you came up with a spies vs. counterspies scenario, this might be something to play around with (having to record a document or something else; let your imagination go wild, for the 10 mins. the charge will last recording video)  With the speed that a typical game can run, I don’t think this camera could keep up, and there are full on cameras for a little more that might be better to use.  This is still a toy for roleplay purposes, but even with that, it is still an impressive piece of tech.

    Review: Skylanders Giants – Tree Rex Smash Hands (of Foam!)

    How was your Halloween?  As you hopefully spent it in costume, let’s look at a toy out there for the costuming/role play/imagination bunch, Skylanders Giants Tree Rex Smash Hands from Mega Bloks!

    Based on this guy:

    Come these hands (sample provided by Mega Bloks) intended to protect the world.

    Approx. $24.99 (based on the availability)
    Range:  Uhm… what?
    Comfy: Totally.  Though obviously built for a kid, these will fit on adult hands too.

    Thanks for the sample, Mega Bloks!

    Image originally from Megabloks.com

    You use them as such:

    and first things first, they protect your hands! Dress like Tree Rex, minus a lot more external bark on you.

    The foam of the hands is thickest and at least a couple of inches thick at the knuckles, so while I don’t recommend using these as boxing gloves or striking people, animals, household plants, or sparring in a mixed martial arts class, they are pretty soft.  There is a small strap on the inside to hold onto while wearing the fists.  The box is open, so when you see these on shelves you can check for yourself just how soft these hands are.

    Skylanders Giants and Mega Bloks offer up a way for youngsters to role play as Trigger Happy and now Tree Rex, taking the action from the video game/construction sets to getting up and imagining themselves as their fave characters.  Maybe a play group out there utilizes a melee weapon ruleset, and need something past the Hulk hands of the past.  Either way, I do like the look of these toys and hopefully we’ll see more of Skylanders Giants and their role play toys as the franchise continues.

    Like it?  This is also out – Ignitor’s Flame Sword

    DEMO: Nerf ZombieStrike Hammershot & Rebelle Sweet Revenge

    Apologies, everyone.  Sorry about the delay on well… everything!  Let’s get right to it.  I purchased (not samples like usual) the Nerf Hammershot from the Zombie Strike line, and the Nerf Rebelle Sweet Revenge Mission Kit.  Both revolver-styled blasters, but the big question I received was, do they get similar range?

    Per usual, here’s the video – I set up the cone at 30′ out, and the main target at 50′. 


     
    For this review, I tested out both blasters, as they were functionally identical.  Review continues after the break>>>


    Stats:

    Nerf Zombiestrike Hammershot
    Price:  Approx: $15.99
    Available: NOW
    Includes:5 ZombieStrike bright green darts
    Special Feature:  Fan fire
    Target exclusive (U.S.: might be a different store in other countries.)

    Nerf Rebelle Sweet Revenge Kit
    Price: Approx. $19.99
    Available: NOW
    Includes: blaster x 1, 5 Rebelle darts (green), safety glasses, and clip-on holster
    Special Feature:  Fan fire  
    No exclusivity

    AESTHETICS (how it looks):

    Honestly, I think I preferred the Sweet Revenge.  They both felt like great grips, but if I had to choose, the sleek and smoother feel of the Sweet Revenge made drawing and handling the blaster a bit nicer.  The Zombiestrike faux bandage feels a bit more grabby, if that makes any sense.  To be fair, it’s designed with a young girl’s hands in mind and not an adult male.  Though the Hammershot might have designs for a larger boy.

    The orange on the Zombiestrike worked for me, but that lower orange part under the barrel took away from the streamlined look you could see in the blaster itself, almost unnecessary.  The Sweet Revenge went totally along with being sleek, smooth, streamlined, and it made drawing/holstering a breeze for me, after some practice.

    Heck, the holster it comes with was surprisingly sturdy and held onto my waist and pockets very nicely.  If you have a more “gymnast” play style though, you should be careful, as the holster isn’t tight enough to hold the blaster when inverted.  Sadly, the Hammershot doesn’t fit the Sweet Revenge holster either.  A Firestrike did, but  I do not recommend that as it stretches the holster out considerably.

    PERFORMANCE:

    I’ve been a fan of the Sweet Revenge and the use of a proper “hammer” mechanism since I first saw the blaster at New York Toy Fair.  In addition to the new mechanism, the fan fire is an interesting (though totally inaccurate) feature, and with the already inaccurate nature of Nerf darts, shooting darts in quick succession like that is more bluster than substance.  Or great cover fire.  One noticeable thing for me is the hammer is definitely easier to manipulate on the Sweet Revenge than the Hammershot, and you can hear it in the video.  But, the Sweet Revenge and Hammershot got comparable ranges and if I didn’t dual I would most likely just use the Sweet Revenge based on how much I prefer its handling.

    My darts landed anywhere in the 40′-50′ ranges, and 75′ is likely if I angled my shots.  I did battle test these at MAW 2 with Adult Fans of Nerf and they were a lot of fun to play with, win or lose.  I’m curious to see though how well these fire other types of darts, and will have to revisit that at a future date.  While this isn’t a totally semiautomatic blaster like the Snapfire, I think it can certainly come close to one.  And the trigger is much easier to pull than the Snapfire’s, no matter which blaster you get.  Was the performance and feel worth the money?  Yes.  Many times yes.

    THE TRIMMINGS:

    Besides the blaster and holster, Sweet Revenge also comes with eye protection.  The glasses are pretty typical of what you can expect, simple frames that don’t fold, but they do the job of protecting one’s eyes.  The pink shading of the lenses might be a little disorienting (I certainly felt that way, when I tried them on in the name of science), so maybe use clear or the orange glasses, which I had no problem with. 

    Overall, I’m very happy that I not only bought one, but both blasters.  They’re a lot of fun stock, and the new mechanism is hilariously fun to use.  While the accuracy lacks, it just means you would need to get closer 🙂

    Questions?  Did I miss something?  Let me know!  I’m a little tired, so I’m sure I missed something.

    https://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/picasaweb.googleusercontent.com/slideshow.swf

    2 for 1 PRODUCT REVIEW – Marshmallow Shooters! (Blaster, Double Shooter)

    Before I begin – thanks to Spin Master for taking a chance on me by letting me review something a little different – Review of “My Scare Pal Sulley – Monsters University Toy”

    Alright!  I’ve known about Marshmallow Shooters for awhile, and they have some great people working for them there.  They’ve been awesome enough to provide samples to review, so let’s first go to the videos –

    //www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/lkQdIsQjapI

    STATISTICS (Marshmallow Blaster):

    • Range: Approx 30′ (angled, also depending on condition of marshmallows used.  The marshmallows in the video above were a bit stale)
    • Cost: $23.95
    • Available: Now (various retailers)
    • Capacity: Single (medium sized, NOT JUMBO) Marshmallow (breech loading)
    • Propulsion: Pump  – Trigger action

    //www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/XkySlzGEQCY

    STATISTICS (Marshmallow Double Barreled Shooter):

        * Range: Approx 30′ – 40′ (flat, depending on condition of marshmallows used)
        * Cost: $31.95
        * Available: Now (various retailers)
        * Capacity: 50 mini Marshmallows (includes 2 tubes, 25 marshmallows each)
        * Propulsion: Pump – Push/pull

    Whew!

    Now right off probably, you’re thinking the cost is pretty steep.  And it is, for these blasters.  BUT, I’ll say it’s still not a bad buy because of the simplicity and hilarity you’ll have out of these.  Honestly, the big appeal for me out of the whole line is hitting someone with MARSHMALLOWS.  Firing darts/arrows/ballistic balls has a different mindset for me, but marshmallows seem even more ridiculous to shoot at someone.  Think, Ghostbusters –
    //www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/d-sALU_hveA

    Is the price worth the hijinks and the look on someone’s face when you tag them with something better suited for s’mores?  I leave that to you to decide.  The Blaster and the Double Shooter both are pretty tough, resilient, reliable blasters (as of this writing, they actually went back and improved some design elements, so you know the Marshmallowville people are always working to bring better products).  I have had some issues in the past, but a lot of the new samples I’ve been receiving definitely function and hold together much better.  I’ve had the occasional broken string or had a plunger tube slide out after pulling on it, but like I said it was some time ago, and the newer models are improved.  And customer service is responsive via email AND social media; they won’t leave you unattended if you have a problem (at least not in my experience.)  Not to mention, the price I am giving is the MSRP.  You do some searching, you’ll probably find a competitive price to own one.

    So, the Marshmallow Blaster  – trigger, breech-loaded, and a pump on the back.  When you fire it, there’s an audible and satisfying “POP!”.  Again, use fresh marshmallows for best  performance.  If you’re used to using a stock Ultimate Missile Blast, Blast Bazooka, or some other related type of air blaster, then this isn’t too far from that.  Personally, I use it as a shield buster if a game I am at allows shields and large ammo with special rules.  I find the lack of ready sling points a bit problematic when I use it for that purpose, but I make do if I just feel like playing with marshmallows that day.  Simple, elegant, and effective (with fresh ‘mallows.)

    Next – the Marshmallow Double Shooter!

    It’s a push-pull shooter, and you load each of the clear plastic tubes with up to 25 MINI marshmallows (no large ammo here).  To load, the tubes pull out of the blaster, and you can position them back in.  However, this is TIME consuming on the field, especially if the marshmallows load odd into the tube.  While the shooter still has enough air moving to push a marshmallow out if it isn’t perfectly lined up, that reduces the range a bit.  Although, shooting anywhere from 3 to 5 marshmallows at time in a spread one odd marshmallow might not make a lot of difference.

    If you’re wondering a bit more about how it works, there’s a little door that repositions itself with every pump of the handle, and the air goes into that tube.  So it switches from one to the other.  Just remember to make the motion fast, otherwise it won’t fire.  But it’ll fire as fast as you can go.  This one IS a bit pricier (at least MSRP, again shop the prices if that’s a concern) than the Marshmallow Blaster but for about as proper a shotgun effect as you’ll get out of anything out there even now this might be more your speed, but again you give up quite a bit on the reload time.  Like the Blaster, the Double Shooter doesn’t have a proper sling point.  You’d have to work out some kind of holster/sling system.

    THE AMMO:

    Ok, so while the blasters are pretty decent, these do fire marshmallows.  In hot/rainy weather, they get soft.  In winter, they might freeze (and FROZEN MARSHMALLOWS ARE A NO NO).  They tend to degrade a bit, and in some cases the marshmallows get a bit chopped in the breech and leave marshmallow residue all over the inside of the barrel, which can reduce performance.  While you can leave the marshmallows on the ground as they are perishable food, I would NOT RECOMMEND THAT.  Pick up your marshmallows when you’re done.  If anything, just to keep any wildlife safe if you are in a park and to not litter anywhere else.  At home, definitely clean up after yourself as well, as you’d hate to attract mice or something related.  Their digestive systems might not appreciate marshmallows.  One other side effect I’ve run into is folks like to eat my extra ammo when I’m not looking 🙂  In one case, I’ve actually had a player run up and yank the tubes of marshmallows out of my blaster (he was trolling me) cause he needed a snack.

    Bonus:  If you have any marshmallows left, make s’mores!  Have hot chocolate!  Rice Krispie treats, maybe?  So there’s always a case for you to get fresh marshmallows and you won’t have to worry about ammo sitting around waiting to be used.  Granted, there IS a part of me thinking I hate to waste food, but there is something strangely comedic to me about tagging a friend with an air propelled marshmallow. 

    So there you have it.  I know it’s been awhile, but I’ve got more on the way and hopefully you found this helpful!  Questions?  Comments?  Either leave’em below or use the submission form on the right.