It’s that time of year again, isn’t it? Where all of us blaster enthusiasts give subjective opinions on the best of the past year? Well, I know I’m behind on things, but between my reviews and the others I’ve seen (as well as blasters I’ve played against in battle), I can make a list! Here we go!
You’ll note that I don’t really have a ranking system here. Blasters are all fun for different reasons, and I certainly skew towards the fun and silly over performance. With that in mind…
Nerf Mega XL Boomdozer
If there’s one thing Hasbro did right this year, it’s bringing in not just giant darts, but blasters that fire them well. And the Boomdozer is the best of the bunch. Six shots in a giant, front-loading cylinder, with an easy pump stroke and whistling Mega Xl ammo. It’s hard to beat, especially since retailers have been pushing this for the holidays. The MSRP may be $42, but between sales of 50% off and discounts on the readily available ammo packs, it’s easy to get in on the fun. Not to mention some people are already changing out the cylinders thanks to 3d printing…
I hope to see even more fun things from this line! If I was actually ranking things, this blaster would be a strong choice for #1.
Dart Zone Pro Mk3
Admittedly, this blaster had some issues out of the gate with short dart magazine compatibility. All things considered, though, having performance flywheels available through Target is a dream come true for people new to the hobby. Being able to use both kinds of darts, having select fire, and being able to hit 150fps on 8AAs (with the option to plug in a lipo battery instead) makes for a great option for both new and old players. I’ve used mine for 200fps wars, 130fps limit HvZ, and everything in between, just by swapping out the power source. People with extensive collections and lots of familiarity with modding might take a pass. But if you would rather spend money than time, the Mk3 fits the bill.
Dart Zone Tomahawk 60
$30 for sixty shots is hard to beat when it comes to your average neighborhood blaster battle. Granted, it does make for a chunky blaster, so little kids might have a hard time handling it. But a removable sixty dart drum, a stock point, decent ergonomics for the hands, and 90+fps dart speeds all make for a great blaster.
It also makes a great introduction for Target’s own special color of Dart Zone darts, which are a lot easier to recover after firing. Who would’ve guessed that red stands out in green grass?
Adventure Force Conquest Pro
This blaster was an odd duck that came out of nowhere. Usually, when you think of competitive dart blasters, the format of the blasters is pretty traditional. The magazine loads underneath, etc. The Conquest Pro decided to do things differently; not only does the magazine go in the back of the blaster, but there’s a mechanism inside for pulling the dart out, flipping it, and loading it into the barrel. And it works! Somehow, I never got around to posting the review, but my time using in battle has been amazine.
The Conquest Pro seems a little more like a CQB style blaster, due to the lack of a stock. But $40 for a unique blaster that can still shoot with all the others is a worthy investment.
Nerf Dinostrike Rex Rampage
Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? Jurassic Park is still a hot IP, and various other dino-themed toys have been on shelves. Now we can have proper dino blasters! The Rex Rampage gets the honor here, simply because it looks the coolest. It’s still a Stryfe, albeit one with extra dart storage and a stock. But the designers who modeled the Rex Rampage nailed it, and as a result it’s absolutely a necessity for any collection.
I feel like there’s an opportunity here to recolor the blaster, tweak a few things, and make a Transformers Dinobot version. It’s not like Hasbro already has that IP in their portfolio…oh wait, they do!
There are always other good blaster to note, even if they aren’t the “best of the best”. Some are a repeat of previous blasters in a slightly new shell. Others are weird but working blasters that are loads of fun. In no particular order: