The Nerf Ultra series…has had a rough first year, to say the least. The Ultra One had the capacity…but not quite the pinpoint accuracy advertised. The Two had a fun mechanism, but still accuracy issues. The Four and Five were decent springer pistols, and the Three (review pending) is long and awkward.
Now, we have the Pharaoh. It abandons the naming convention, but it also (finally) gives us a removable magazine and another Ultra blaster that cares about the fun factor. After using it in a war, I can say it’s the best Ultra blaster to date. Whether that’s good enough for performance-minded blaster fans, though, is up for debate.
Tell Me I’m Pretty!
The Ultra Pharaoh is, hands down, one of the best looking entries in the line. There are the usual annoyances (extra paint only on one side, etc), of course. But the blaster looks really good, and perfectly balances the sniper rifle setup with the cartoonish proportions aesthetic.
The big news, of course, is the use of a removable Ultra magazine. The magazine holds ten darts, and comes with a yellow back and clear front. The darts are also yellow, to go with the gold blaster motif. On a separate note, the yellow darts are far easier to recover than the standard black darts; why didn’t they go all-in on the “premium” aesthetic to begin with?
The handle is, well, an Ultra handle. At this point, we’ve established that the handles for this series aren’t the greatest feature about them. The thumbhole stock at least isn’t cramped, and you can reach out your index finger to operate the magazine release with ease.
The gold scope is permanently fixed; if you want to use attachments, there are two points under the barrel for bipods or other things.
The blaster is easy to prime, thanks to the really long, gear-assisted bolt action. If anything, Hasbro got the play aspect correct here.
Finally, the large stock actually has storage for another magazine. Assuming you have one, of course. No word on whether those will be sold separately.
The Ultra Pharaoh averaged 108fps in my testing (quite the punch). Given the nature of the beast, don’t expect to stray far above one dart per second; rate of fire is not the strong suit of bolt-action blasters.
Accuracy is…again, what you expect from Ultra. Close range groupings are decent, but don’t expect a nice parabolic arc when aiming far in the distance. There’s a reason the packaging and marketing has changed from “Pinpoint Accuracy” to “Improved Accuracy (compared to Nstrike Elite darts)”.
Even so, at the war I brought this blaster to, it was a ton of fun, and the blaster was satisfying to use.
I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary when opening up this blaster. Admittedly, I have less time these days to physically tinker with blasters, but given the strength of the spring, I’d be surprised if replacing it gives a significant enough benefit to matter. I fully expect someone to adapt this blaster for half-length darts and magazines, however. It just depends if someone is willing to model both an adapter and replacement breech parts.
In spite of it all, I actually like the Ultra Pharaoh. It does new things for the line, and it’s fun to use. It still has the issues associated with Ultra ammo, refill cost and accuracy. But there’s something about having a large sniper-like blaster that hits 100+fps stock that makes you happy.
It’s a fun blaster, and while many others are objectively better…I think it’s still worth looking at.