There’s a new Dungeons & Dragons movie coming out, and naturally there’s going to be associated merchandise. Seeing as Hasbro owns all of this IP, it makes sense on a corporate level to try and tie everything together. The results, though, are a bit mixed.
The Themberchaud Crossbow Blaster has a unique look and a fun-to-use mechanism. However, it’s awkward to use and pricey for what it actually does. Ultimately, it doesn’t quite satisfy any category, be it purpose or target demographic.
THERE’S A DRAGON ON YOUR ARM!
Themberchaud is, within DnD lore, an adult Red Dragon and wyrmsmith (what would power a city’s forges better than a dragon?). As a toy, it appears Hasbro tried to merge a blaster with a posable figure. Although if you’re going to do that…why not have a dragon that shoots darts from its mouth?
Nevertheless, the result is not a crossbow with dragon stylings, but a dragon with a crossbow thrown on top. This makes for an odd form factor. A grip and trigger sit below the blaster, with plastic ridges on either side for setting the dragon on your arm. The tail is actually posable rubber – presumably, the tail is meant to wrap around your arm, but in practice it was hard to align the blaster with your arm when doing so. Smaller arms will find the blaster okay to wield, but larger arms will find those ridges awkwardly sized (and possibly digging into your arm).
Operating the blaster is similar to past single-shot stringer blasters. First, you pull back the elastic band. Next, you load the dart all the way into the barrel (there is a safety preventing firing if a dart is not present). Then, you aim and pull the trigger. The Themberchaud does have dart storage on the bow arms, so rate of fire is better than you’d expect.
In the end, though, I think it would have been better to A) have a regular, medieval crossbow design, or B) have a dragon shooting a dart out of its mouth..
I’m not going to bother with taking the blaster apart, seeing as (aside from the trigger mechanism and the dart safety lock) there are no real internals to speak of. It’s not exactly a complex blaster.
Is this blaster worth $25? I’m not really sure about that. Dungeons & Dragons makes me want either character weapons or figures, not something that’s trying to be both. Seeing as I remember paying far less in years past for single-shot stringers, paying $25 to get one that’s much larger and more awkward seems like a bad deal. Even if it does mean having a dragon on your arm.