Dart Zone (or more properly, Prime Time Toys) has made incredible strides in producing blasters that can compete with Nerf’s Rival line. Several like the Powerball and Quantum, I have reviewed previously. In the case of the Velocity, I reviewed a previous version, the Adventure Force Accelerator. The Velocity is an improvement upon a good blaster. And with Black Friday rolling around, you’ll soon be able to find it for just $20 at Target.
Amazingly, despite having had an article on its introduction, I never actually did the review. Let’s fix that!
Slightly Bigger (And Better)
The Velocity features a 40-round ball hopper, a sizable increase over the 25 rounds held by the Accelerator (and the 8 held be the Powerball and Titanium). It also features a larger loading door for easier reloading. The most important part of the new hopper, however, is the added agitation. At the bottom of the hopper lies a plastic tray that can be used to bounce the ammo around within the chamber, helping to guide it into the funnel.
On the Velocity (as well as newer, blue versions of the Accelerator), an extra feature resides within the shell – when you pull the trigger, a plastic rod pops out of the shell. It lines up with a small hole at the bottom of the hopper, allowing it to push up the inner agitation tray. As a result, users will not have to shake the hopper nearly as often to get balls to feed. In practice, you might only fail to fire a ball every 9-10 shots, as opposed to 3-4 shots. Of course, the more you move around and naturally jostle the blaster, the better it will feed.
The Rev trigger is shaped slightly differently, sticking out farther than on the original Accelerator.
It Takes Guts
The Velocity is largely the same on the inside. It still features an upside down loading mechanism, and a pusher arm that shoves balls into the flywheels, making it a Rival Stryfe in practice. Unlike the first generation Accelerator, it has the small improvements to make it more user friendly. Previous blasters fed unreliably from Rival mags, due to the retraction spring on the pusher not being strong enough. That has been fixed. Previous flywheels weren’t fitted quite right and could come off the motor shafts with extended use. That has also been fixed.
If there are improvements to be made, it’s in lubing up the pusher arm for an easier trigger pull. I’ve also heard from one user (though I have not experienced this myself) that balls can get caught on a ridge within the loading area and get squished by the pusher arm instead of being, well, pushed. In that case, sanding down the “cliff” on the inside solved the problem.
The Velocity, as noted, feeds much more consistently with the hopper agitation. In terms of ammo speed, the 6 D cells required to run it manage to spit out rounds at about 89fps on average. With the Rival NiMH rechargeable battery, however, that rises to a respectable 95fps. There’s always something to be said for using the battery option that can supply the current the motors want.
The Ballistix Ops Velocity is a solid improvement on the Accelerator that came before. There are still some minor annoyances, but the user experience is markedly better. Normally it retails for $40. If you buy it this Black Friday, however, you can get it for $20. That’s an absolute steal for a reliable and well-performing ball blaster, and it’s one you should take advantage of!