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Nerf Elite Jr Racer Review

Sometimes, simple is better. That’s especially true in the case of Nerf Elite Jr. You need to make blasters usable by young hands, but if you do too much with a blaster that fires lower velocities (like with the Explorer), you get a terrible product.

The Racer avoids that problem entirely. It fires two darts, without asking extra from the propulsion system. It’s easy to prime and fire, between the oversized trigger and priming handle. And it’s only $5! It’s hard to argue with the results here, because this is the perfect blaster for introducing young kids to the world of Nerf.

Welcome to 2024!

SHOT! SHOT! Oh, That Was It?

To be fair, two shots for a Nerf blaster is great; depending on the store, you might not see a Jolt or an Ace for $5, and that has a single shot and less comfort. In comparison, the Racer has two barrels, a large priming grip, and a handle large enough to fit children’s hands. Even as an adult, though two two fingers on the trigger isn’t normal, it’s comfortable to handle. The neighborhood kids haven’t complained about trying it (though they may have thought it strange that a grown man was asking opinions about a blaster). So as far as I’m concerned, Hasbro has a great handle here. Far better than the traditional handles of Buzz Bee (though they’ve also been much better as of late).

The Racer isn’t more complicated than that. There’s a small “AIMER”, as per the back of the box, but unless you’re at very close range, you’re better off shooting from the hip. Of course, this is for younger kids, so the pretend play value is just as important!

Performance and Internals

The Racer is quite simple in construction. The plunger tube is in Alpha Strike style, a piston sans o-ring, snap-fit onto the plunger rod. A two-stage “Smart AR”, firing from the top barrel first. And it’s not too shabby when it comes to raw numbers.

The top barrel averaged 55fps in my testing – lower than Elite standard, but well in line with what I’d expect from the Elite Jr. line. The lower barrel averaged 49fps. Rate of fire is relatively fast, given the large priming handle makes it easy. Two darts per second is quite doable – after that, you just have to reload!

Overall, it’s a cute little blaster, filling its niche perfectly. Easy to operate and fire, and only $5? What better way to introduce young kids to Nerf?

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