At first, it appeared the Skins line would, aside from the shell changes necessary for the printing technology to work, retread on old Xshot designs. Luckily, that is not the case!
The Xshot Skins Lock offers an eight shot, lever-action revolver with a combination lock! Once you unlock the blaster, it’s yours to use (or prevent others from using). The latter part doesn’t personally appeal to me…but between the performance and play value, it would make a great addition to a kid’s arsenal.
The Lock features a QR Code printed on one side of the blaster. Scanning that code brings you to a page on Zuru’s website, which after a rather neat animated sequence, shows the numbers needed to unlock your blaster. I have pictures from my phone to show as an example.
A combination lock on a blaster hasn’t been seen since the Nerf Rebelle Codebreaker Crossbow. In this case, though, it appears to be a real, three number combination lock, as opposed to having only one dial matter. It’s also much more prominent, making it easy to manipulate (but not so easy that you’re moving the dials when using the front grip). In any case, given the prominence of smartphones these days, having a QR Code taking you through the process is neat!
As for the blaster itself, it’s quite easy to operate. There’s a safety button to disengage once the blaster is unlocked. After that, the lever primes the blaster and rotates the cylinder, and the trigger fires. You can load darts via a slot on either side of the shell, and the cylinder can be freely rotated by hand when doing so.
There’s a sling point at the very front of the blaster, should you wish to hang it off your body. However, it’s far more fun just to use it.
The paint scheme is as cool looking as any other Skins blaster. Honestly, Xshot has yet to do something terribly wrong in that regard.
The Lock averaged 78fps in my testing, using the included Air Pocket darts. Rate of fire topped out at two darts per second. It’s not the fastest out there, but typically you’re using lever-action for fun (as well as trading force for distance), so the low rate of fire is understandable.
There’s a ratcheting mechanism present, which ensures the user primes the blaster all the way before returning the lever.
There are several spring-loaded pieces present, so if you get this far, make sure ALL of them are in place before closing up the blaster. One sits under the main gear, and I made the mistake of not checking it before screwing the blaster back together.
The Xshot Skins Lock is a fun blaster with an interactive gimmick and decent performance. It might not have the highest capacity for the price, but it’s insanely fun to use and looks great. You might not need it for the collection, but it’s at least worth a good look.