Prime Time Toys/Dart Zone has been on a roll in the soaker department. Last year, they released the Adventure Force Hydro Burst (now the Typhoon Burst) exclusively through Walmart. I reviewed it, finding it a fun addition to the arsenal with its unique spring-powered mechanism and actual trigger.
This year, they’ve taken the concept and made a blaster that’s bigger and goofier. With a larger reservoir, lever prime, and a spinning barrel, the Water Strike Gatling Burst is a welcome addition to modern water warfare.
It Takes Power to Prime
Like the Hydro/Typhoon Burst, the Gatling Burst is operated by a two-part priming mechanism. Pull back to fill the firing chamber and partially compress the spring, then move forward to compress the spring further. Instead of a pump grip, however, the Gatling Burst instead has a top-mounted lever. It is styled like a cartoonish minigun, after all!
The reservoir takes up the bottom of the blaster, making for a very stable blaster when not in use. It still features a wide cap at the rear, but dunking the blaster in water to refill it will take a couple seconds as the air bubbles out. Of course, you can always be old-fashioned and use a hose!
Finally, there’s an additional feature: the barrel spins! Things are always cooler when they spin! Priming the blaster spins the barrel a little. However, the front lever has an orange handle you can depress to spin the barrels, whether or not you’re actually firing water.
The simple packaging wrap advertises 62fl.oz of capacity, or up to 23 shots. The volume is roughly accurate, though if you fill the reservoir to the very top, you can get a bit more (over 1800mL, for you non-Americans).
The firing volume is a bit smaller than that of the Typhoon Burst, averaging 76mL in my testing. Even so, you’re still firing quite a bit of water in each shot.
Ranges of 35′ are accurate. However, like the Typhoon Burst, you have to keep the firing mechanism in mind. Instead of a thin, steady stream reaching out and landing near the maximum range, you have a long slug of water going out from the blaster. Think of it like spitting out a 30′ long noodle, where the tail end lands a few feet in front of you. At range, only a little of the water reaches the target. Up close, however, the water keeps piling into the target.
At last, we have the guts. Note that the green plastic caps in either arm of the priming handle friction fit onto the metal pin.
The blaster mechanism has a large plunger tube, with a moveable spring rest at the back. The spring rest moves back on the initial priming motion, so that you only compress the spring 2/3 of the way. The return motion moves it back, completing the spring compression. As a result, the force needed to move the priming handle is roughly equal in both directions.
The door at the front if the assembly seals over the plunger tube, moving out of the way only when the trigger is pulled.
Finally, there’s an extra outlet on the reservoir, with an orange cap. Turns out that’s actually an important piece, as it keeps the fill hose at the bottom (and rear) of the reservoir.
As for the spinning barrel, a linkage sits within the right arm of the priming lever. Through various gears and a clutch mechanism, the movement of the orange handle (as well as the arm, but mainly that handle) translates into the spinning of the barrel.
The Water Strike Gatling Blast makes for a fun, unique soaker. It’s shaped and held like a minigun, features a spring-powered blast, and has cartoonish proportions and spinning to boot. For the price, it’s quite a bargain, and it’s possibly the most fun of the soaking options this year.