Nerf is at its best when it’s being silly. Those of us that grew up in the 1990s don’t remember Nerf for long distance dart blasting. Instead, those fond memories are reserved for things like Ballzookas and Arrowstorms. We fired large ammo at opponents not because it was the most effective thing around, but because it was fun.
With the new Mega XL line, Nerf sees a true return to form. And the Boomdozer, as it turns out, is not only large and silly, but effective as well. It’s the most fun I’ve had with a Hasbro blaster all year, and I can’t think of a better way to launch a new blaster line.
New Ammo, New Blaster
The most notable thing about the Mega XL line, of course, is the giant blue dart. Whereas Mega darts are about 19mm in diameter, Mega XL jumps all the way to 30mm. It’s not quite Demolisher missile size, but it’s getting there! These darts weigh in at a shade a over six grams. Essentially, six times the mass of a normal dart.
More importantly, the fact that it’s still a dart means more possibilities concerning blaster design. Cylinders, magazines (those would be quite large…), and more could happen, while missiles have less flexibility.
Of course, oversized ammo requires an oversized blaster, and the Boomdozer takes care of that. It’s a large blaster – not just in size, but in design. Whereas Mega blasters often had large writing on them, this has an even larger logo “breaking” out of the shell. Aesthetic opinions will differ, but the design choice is both obvious and well executed.
The pump grip is large and comfortable to use, with a long, geared prime to compress the strong spring within. The main grip, meanwhile, is sized pretty much perfectly. I can’t complain on either front.
There’s a tactical rail on top of the blaster, as well as a stock attachment point. Yes, that means you could make it even larger. Is it necessary? No. But having the option is both nice and hilarious.
The blaster features a six-dart cylinder, with a loading slot on each side. Loading the blaster is easy, with the cylinder being able to be turned by hand. Naturally, even the “barrel” at the front is oversized, just because Hasbro can.
It’s not really advertised, but the blaster even has slam-fire! It’s not that much of an extra advantage, of course, given the long priming distance. You also lose a bit of power from things not being lined up perfectly yet (the cylinder is literally aligning as the dart fires). But it’s an extra that got included anyway!
Performance and War Use
The Boomdozer averages 58fps with the Mega XL darts. Which sounds low, until you remember how massive they are! The fact that you’re shooting them that fast is impressive. Rate of fire is predictably slow, with the long priming action, but one dart per second is perfectly feasible.
More importantly, this blaster’s usefulness is leagues above that of other, modern large ammo blasters. Even the Nerf Fortnite GL, while entertaining to use, was extremely limited in accuracy (not to mention a bit too large and $20 more in price). The Boomdozer fits this niche far better, with consistent performance thanks to the actual spring-driven plunger. It’s not Accustrike levels of accuracy, but even with the drifting of darts in flight, it’s hard to miss up close when the darts are this big. Watch the above video for a better idea.
As expected, there’s a large plunger tube, with a really strong spring. The priming bar uses a rack and pinion setup (the pinion being on the priming sled) to compress that spring; you’re trading distance for force.
You could easily fire other ammo. In fact, there are already 3d printed replacement cylinders for shotgunning other dart types. But when it’s already so satisfying in stock form…
Nostalgia is tricky. You have to both evoke childhood memories AND live up to those (sometimes absurd) expectations. In that, the Mega XL Boomdozer works flawlessly. Kids today will enjoy the whistle of giant darts. Adults will use it and relive those younger days of Nerf, when wr had missiles and balls. And for the price, a blaster experience like this just can’t be beat. Grab one and have some fun!