I’m home after a long drive (and a few detours), and I have plenty of footage and commentary from the Nerf Ultra launch party! I went with a friend, tried all the challenges, socialized…a little. I may be horrible in that particular area. But the rest of it was fun!
I’m saving my full thoughts on the blaster for the review, after I use and abuse a fresh sample; even so, there will be plenty of thoughts below!
Gold. Gold Everywhere!
In keeping with the theme, the entire event space had a gold motif, from the extra gold-painted prize raffled off at the end of the night (I believe Jibrizy won it!) to gold “flakes” in some of the drinks. There were plenty of displays around the space, ranging from a table with both darts and raw pellets of the foam material to a booth with blasters to handle up close. The most interesting display, in my opinion, had the various iterations of the blaster, from original (and longer) concept to working 3d printed prototype to the final model used as the base for all the relevant tooling. I’ll go ahead and just embed the link to Jared Guynes’ Instagram, as he has excellent pictures of the various models prior to the “mood lighting” of the party being in effect.
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Today was a blast! Thank you to @nerf for inviting me to NYC to be a part of the new #UltraOne launch event and first ever $10,000 Championship! The entire event was professionally documented and will be released in from episodic form later. Because of the nature of the show and strict non disclosure agreements I cannot reveal the results of today’s event but I’m super thankful to have been a part of it. 🙏Thank You. #Ad #Nerf ￼
At the back, of course, we had the challenge courses that were used for the Nerf Ultra Championship Invite earlier in the day, for everyone else to try!
Using the Blaster!
This was actually my first time using the blaster – I have one to pick up later today for my own testing purposes. But first impressions were…good, but with reservations?
First, let’s get the fun logistics out of the way: there were probably 100 blasters on site, with plenty of darts to spare. Every time a blaster got used, it got swapped out for a new blaster, loaded with fresh darts. There was an entire portion of staff dedicated entirely to reloading blasters, swapping out batteries, and keeping things running. Even if 4 “C” batteries should be more than sufficient for a decent period of time, they got swapped out regularly. Because it’s a launch party, and of course you want everyone to have the best experience they can, without the chance of getting a blaster with partially drained batteries.
BUT THE BLASTER?
As for the blaster itself, it generally operated like you’d want a cylinder-fed blaster to operate. It was naturally a bit bulky, and smaller arms will potentially rub on the cylinder, but in principle it was a fun blaster to use.
Even so, there were issues that cropped up. On more than one occasion, the blaster would refuse to fire multiple shots in a row. Presumably, this has to do with the mechanism that detects whether an Ultra dart is loaded before firing it. At least once, I had to hit the jam door closed to get the blaster firing again (it has its own safety switch).
Even under the generous assumption that those issues arose from extended use and/or the rush to swap out and reload blasters, the accuracy wasn’t what I’d hoped for. GRANTED, it was much better than Nerf Elite darts, but that’s a low bar. But there were plenty of shots where the blaster was aimed at the target, but the dart didn’t quite fly straight. On some occasions, the dart came out of the barrel at an angle. Do Nerf Ultra flywheel cages need a dart guide for better consistency? I’ll have to wait until I unbox a blaster at home and see things in better light.
Still a Fun Night
All said and done, it was a fun night, and I’m happy that some of my vacation time actually managed to line up with the event. It was a better blaster than expected, even if I still have a few reservations. Of course, my bias is “would this be a good blaster for consistent use in wars or Humans v Zombies”; that doesn’t always line up with the target audience of kids that want the next cool toy, but will probably forget about it in a few months (in time to buy the next cool toy).
I’ll have plenty of boxes to open the next few days, so I’ll have a full review of the blaster soon enough!