It’s not a strict rule, but I tend to keep away from “knockoffs” unless they’re genuinely interesting. This is one of those times. After seeing it on Amazon (and Aliexpress as well), I had to see what was going on.
The K2 looks like a Rival Takedown at first glance, until you see the ball hopper. It does indeed fire Hyper rounds, and while it’s not the most powerful thing on the block, it works well. And it makes me wonder why Hasbro missed a fun opportunity like this.
If It Looks Like a Duck?
The K2 is slightly longer than the Rival Takedown, but there’s more than a passing resemblance. From the shape of the main grip and trigger well to the overall design language, it looks like someone took the Takedown mold and modified it to suit their needs. A few things did get improved upon; the priming grip, with its grooves and larger angle in the back, is better than the original.
Of course, aside from the pastel color scheme (pink and blue are available, as is a camo version), the noticeable difference is the hopper. Since this blaster fires Hyper rounds, you need space to store them all. As such, the “magazine” and powertrain are reversed compared to the Takedown. Now the plunger and barrel are on the bottom.
The ammo is loaded via a clear door at the back of the hopper. It’s relatively small, though no harder to use than that of a Rush 40 or Siege 50. The blaster comes with 50 rounds, which doesn’t quite fill up the hopper. However, given the fact that Hyper needs room to jostle and fall into the correct loading position, 50 is plenty.
The rounds themselves are a bit different from regular Hyper, with smaller indents on the TPU ammunition. In terms of size, they’re the same, though a few of the rounds were slightly too small and could actually roll out of the barrel when priming. Oops.
Using the blaster is exactly what you’d expect. After loading the rounds, pulling back on the priming grip compresses a spring and opens the breech. Pushing forward seals off the breech. Then you just pull the trigger to fire.
The K2, using both the included ammo and genuine Hyper rounds, averaged 75fps. That’s far lower than the 110fps claims of the Rush 40 and Seige 50. However, the K2 also has something the others do not: effective hop-up! Shots were relatively level compared to stock Nerf Hyper blasters, meaning I could actually aim at and hit targets consistently. Time to target becomes an issue at that point, but I personally place more value in accurate shots.
I was able to get two rounds per second for the rate of fire. Even so, I still had some dry fires due to rounds not loading. It wasn’t quite as often as I’d experienced with Nerf Hyper, though, and these rounds seemed to feed a little better in all Hyper blasters. Perhaps the plastic blend is slightly different and less grippy?
Here’s where things get interesting. The hopper is relatively simple, with a small funnel at the front leading to the breech. It relies on your motion to keep ammo loading correctly, but it generally works. The plunger tube sits beneath, with a relatively weak spring (I have yet to experiment with replacements). The breech, meanwhile, has two spring-loaded tabs on either side of the entry. These hold the round in place while the plunger tube/pusher assembly is moving, and prevent balls from rolling back into the blaster. It’s not a solution I expected, but it does minimize the distance between the plunger tube and ammo.
The K2 is an unexpected surprise. For the approximate cost of a Siege 50, you get a blaster that is arguably better. It still has feeding issues, though not as bad as the #1 Blaster Brand did. It also doesn’t shoot nearly as fast, but it makes up for that with accurate shots. And it shows the cool things Hasbro could be doing with shells of older blasters, but isn’t.
Given the large amount of IP being, um, “borrowed” here, I’m shocked the blaster is still for sale on Amazon. But before Hasbro does the legal paperwork to take it down, perhaps they could take a peek and see a different direction to take the Hyper line.