The Alpha Strike line had a rough start; the first blasters on shelves were budget blasters in every sense, to the point that the skeletonized shells bit into users’ hands. Now with proper grips, the Alpha Strike blasters are much more usable. Even so, newer releases like the Infantry Pack are a strange mix. The smaller blasters work best, and the single large blaster with the most plastic is the weak point. It’ll still be fun for little kids, but anyone older will be disappointed.
As expected, an Alpha Strike pack wouldn’t be complete without some Stingers. They’re essentially the same as before: easy to manufacture Jolts. They average 55fps, and are as useful as you’d expect, being pocket blasters. We don’t expect insane performance, after all! Being a tiny blaster, there’s only so much you can do in the comfort department.
Next, we have the Optic QS-4. If you’re already familiar with the Fang QS-4, then it’s not truly new. It does, however, have a nice new look with a fake scope on top. It also has the black grip covering, making it much better to use. Performance is similar to last time, starting at 72fps with the first barrel (62fps with the last). It is, by far, the most useful of the blasters in the set.
Finally, we have the newest blaster of the bunch, the Vanguard LR-1. For all the plastic on it, the Vanguard is still a single-shot blaster. It just happens to have slots for holding 15 darts for reloading! However, reloading is a chore and takes longer than it should, due to the need to insert darts from the side. In addition, the handle, while itself being comfortable, is attached to a trigger guard and thumbhole stock that are far too cramped, even for small hands. 68fps is a decent average velocity, but it’s still an overall lackluster blaster.
The Alpha Strike line remains viable as an inexpensive way to give kids some fun. Improved grips go a long way in the comfort department. However, $15 seems a bit of a waste when the largest blaster in the pack is the least useful. Little kids will still be okay with it, but I don’t see the Infantry Pack as the best use of money, even if you’re getting four blasters out of the deal.