At its core, Buzz Bee Toys still makes blasters for kids. That’s why we still get lots of $5 oddities like the Sling Shot and the Blow Blaster. This year, the newest $5 item is the Crossbow Pistol. And it’s a pleasant surprise!
No Trigger Needed
To be clear, this isn’t a true crossbow in any sense. It’s still a bow in function, seeing as you have to pull back the bowstring (in this case, elastic tubing) and release it manually to fire the dart. It works in essentially the same manner as the Buzz Bee Sling Shot, though in a smaller package. That works in its favor, however; with the plunger just above your hand, pulling back the plunger doesn’t exert nearly as much torque on the literal lever in hand.
In the package, the bow arms are rotated vertically. You just have to rotate them ninety degrees, and you’re good to go. Load a Long Distance dart, pull back and let go. The bow arms have storage for four more darts, making reloading easier than with the Sling Shot.
The blaster has orange caps at the front and back, but given the simplicity, I see no reason to disassemble. It’s a reverse plunger, where the plunger tube fits around the barrel. It’s a mechanism that’s just fine for single-shot blasters, and blasters where a large rear surface may be needed. In this case, room for both a pull handle and for looping the elastic around the back.
The blaster fits my hands quite well, and while the handle may be a bit thin, you don’t need to use a trigger or do anything requiring a tight grip. So it’s perfectly fine for the application.
My Crossbow Pistol averaged 68fps, enough for the darts to hit the claimed 80′ ranges (at an angle, of course). With the included dart storage, the rate of fire goes up to one dart every two seconds – another improvement on the Sling Shot.
Notably (and this may be true of the Sling Shot as well), the tubing is secured in a simple way. There’s what appears to be a ball bearing inserted into the tubing. With the elastic under tension, that bearing essentially smashes the tubing against the bow arm, holding it in place. With a bit of finesse, however, you can move the bearing farther into the tubing. That way, you can increase the tension and fire darts much further.
The Air Warriors Crossbow Pistol takes the fun aspects of the Sling Shot and improves on them. It’s easy to use, reload, and hit targets with it (assuming a little practice, of course). It’s about as kid-friendly a blaster as $5 can get, and there’s plenty of performance for that price. It’s a pleasant surprise, indeed!