Author’s note: I wrote this review after buying one, but then got a free sample from Dart Zone. Thanks for the extra data points for comparison!
Dart Zone keeps hitting high notes this year. Between blasters like the DZP 1.1, Nexus Pro, and the Spectrum, you’d expect something to eventually be a miss. So far, though, that’s not the case.
The Villainator is yet another blaster getting top marks, not only performing well for $20, but far outshining the direct competition from Hasbro on the exact same shelf. Whether it’s starting a basic blaster war or playing a long game of Humans v Zombies, it’s a blaster you absolutely should buy.
So a few months ago now, I built myself an FDL-3 when they opened shop again, and I wanted a complementary sidearm. Thinking I would want something that didn’t require batteries, was pistol sized, and could shoot different quantities and calibers of ammunition, I elected to build a Meaker MK18. Specifically a Knockout Meaker MK18 which utilizes the incredible power of the recent rival offering.
What you get:
For $6 you can purchase the files from Meaker Arms’s Etsy shop, and you can also acquire some extra files to build your preferred variant of the MK18 via Thingiverse. I opted for a barrel that could shoot spring thunder shells, so I also acquired some from GDOPs Thingiverse page as well. However, there are other barrel options including sledgfire shells, prototype trilogy shell barrel, and meakout specific barrels. Godspeed as you navigate Thingiverse.
A friend printed the parts for me so I won’t speak to ease of printing, but from my understanding, if you know your printer, the process is smooth and painless. Meaker seems to have designed these parts well. His instructions do require a basic understanding of the end blaster in mind, but are easy to follow otherwise. The two halves of the shell and the rails attach with screws that you can scavenge from the top (red or…blue…) section of your knockout. I used 3mm of the back of a mega dart on one of the pieces (pictured) to get a better seal on the spring thunder shells.
Results and conclusion:
So far I have successfully fired half length, full length, mega, and rival ammo from this pistol and all have shot well. I have yet to test a demolisher (“elite mega missile”) rocket, but I have faith that those will work given the right barrel material. Shell swapping is swift and simple. If you ever wanted to feel like a tf2 pyro with a flair gun, this is the blaster for you.
In conclusion, I highly recommend this to anyone looking to modify a knockout into a more shotgun style pistol that is highly adaptable and able to be customized to your preference.
I apologize for the lack of pictures; I was mainly focused on the chance to play (as well as try out my Gameface Prime Blaster). But it was a fun war nearly two weeks ago, and a lovely break from the stresses of moving into a new home. I started playing late, and only had a few games of Team Deathmatch; I also was among the attackers in the Defend the Fort rounds.
Here’s some footage from early in the war, taken by one of the attendees!
Admittedly, I was disappointed at the lack of masks among the attendees. Please take proper precautions, even when you’re out doing fun things!
Author’s note: I got this blaster as a free sample for review. Big thanks to Velocity Outdoor!
The Ceda blaster platform has had an…interesting life cycle. The original was a neat concept, but nothing to truly write home about. The Ceda S represented a solid step towards being a platform for high-performance blasting, and its inclusion on Evike (and regular sales) helped push the platform farther.
Now, Velocity Outdoor (which encompasses Crosman, Gameface, and several other brands) is licensing the Ceda S in the form of the Gameface Prime. Combined with a wide distribution network and actual retail store presence, it looks like we now have the definitive version. The Gameface Prime is what the Ceda S should have been all along, and it’s a good jump-in product for a company looking to enter the competitive foam flinging space.
*Author’s note: I did receive a Spectrum as a free sample from Prime Time Toys; thanks for letting me get an early peek!
The Spectrum, an online-only blaster from Walmart, costs $25 (plus batteries). It’s not only Dart Zone’s interpretation of the Stryfe platform, it’s also their first “regular” product outside the Pro series to use Nerf-compatible magazines. It’s a shame that it’s only online (for now), because it’s one of the best blasters that Dart Zone has made, and one that seriously outshines the current Nerf offering.
Well, it’s been a nice week for doing blaster reviews. Not only have I received a box from Dart Zone, but a free Gameface Prime blaster to review! As to the actual reviews, though…that may have to wait a few extra days, even if it means you see reviews in other places first. It’s all okay; I’m just moving!
Earlier this year, Hasbro showed off the Ghoulgrinder at Toy Fair 2020. It’s a little expensive for its functionality (ten dart rotating cylinder and Elite ranges). However, it also fits the current Zombie Strike aesthetic perfectly. So if your personal play fantasy is surviving the zombie apocalypse, the Ghoulgrinder works perfectly. And you might have a little fun on the way!