The Buzz Bee Sidewinder is a formidable-looking blaster. With its massive 30 dart drum, it has the kind of presence that would give an adversary pause. It also has the potential to be a really solid performer, but is handicapped by the manufacturer in such an odd way that we didn’t quite know how to review it. Do we review the blaster as it was sent to us (and as it appears on store shelves), or do we review it the way it should be used? Perhaps we’ll do a little of both.
All things considered, the Nerf N-Strike Elite Rapidstrike CS-18 is largely considered to be one of the best engineered–and most readily modifiable–Nerf Elite products to-date. Brought to market in September of 2013, it was widely seen as the successor to the Stampede ECS, but with several key upgrades. The Rapidstrike CS-18 was found to shoot faster, farther, and generally more consistently than its predecessor, and had a gearbox that was more reliable, less complicated, and had fewer mechanical parts. The Rapidstrike was also lighter in weight, easy to modify, and it felt great to use. Fast-forward to 2014, when Hasbro introduced the world to the Nerf Cam ECS-12, a blaster that looked curiously like the Rapidstrike, but featured a built-in camera and a claimed range of up to 85 feet. At an $80 price point, speculation began that the Nerf Cam ECS-12 was being softly positioned as the new “flagship” blaster of the Elite line. So, as we outlined in Part 1 of this head-to-head review, we decided to put the Nerf Came ECS-12 up against the standard-bearing Rapidstrike CS-18 and find out for ourselves.
With the success of the Nerf Zombie Strike Hammershot, it’s no huge surprise that Hasbro might look to create another one-handed, hammer-action blaster. And that’s just what we’re getting with the Nerf Zombie Strike Doublestrike, which bears no small amount of resemblance to the classic Remington Model 95 Double Derringer. It’s a great concept, and a nice alternative to the bulky blasters many companies are producing. But we found the Doublestrike to be one nagging flaw shy of being the perfect pocket pistol for which we yearn.
There are many paths that can be taken in a review of the new Nerf Zombie Strike Longshot CS-12, which is essentially a re-color of the original Longshot CS-6 introduced under the N-Strike label in 2006. That near-legendary CS-6 version featured the first use of both a direct plunger system and the now ubiquitous Nerf clip system, and is generally considered to be the predecessor of the Elite line as a whole. So the appearance of a new-for-2014 Longshot with a Zombie Strike aesthetic was a very exciting development for the Nerf Internet Community, particularly among those fond of modding, since the original CS-6 version was significantly (and rather easily) improved with some changes to the internals. But rather than review the new Zombie Strike Longshot CS-12 based on its historical context or modding potential, we’re going to review it based purely on how it performs today, as a stock blaster released in 2014. After all, that’s exactly what most consumers will do when they see it on retail shelves right next to Demolishers, Thunderbows, and Slingfires… admittedly tough competition for a blaster that is essentially 8 years old.
Well-known UK Nerf blogger helps produce an officially-licensed Nerf book.
One of our favorite Nerf blogs from across the pond, My Last Dart, has been rather quiet of late, having only posted three stories since April of this year. But last week, the man behind behind My Last Dart–Asif Zahoor, otherwise known as “Ash”–got us up-to-speed on what’s been keeping him busy. Mostly, Ash has been studying and completing various career-related certifications (congrats!). But perhaps of more interest to our readers, Ash revealed he’s quietly been work in collaboration with Hasbro UK to help author the all-new “Nerf Annual, 2015.” And he’s given us a behind-the-scenes look at how the book came about.
It’s been said that you should never meet your hero. Inevitably, they will fail to live up to the expectations you have created for them. It was this fear of unmet expectations, perhaps, that made our review of the Nerf N-Strike Elite Rayven CS-12 Stinger so long in coming. We have no shortage of toy blasters at our disposal, but for me, the Stinger is a personal favorite. It’s the weapon I have hanging from a hook under my desk, ready for action at a moment’s notice. It’s a blaster that I purchased with my own money, and that no one else on our team uses. It’s a product so obscure, all but die-hard Nerf fans even know what it is, or why it’s different. And, unfortunately for me, it’s also one item on our list that is way overdue for a review.
In the course of doing product reviews, it’s not uncommon to receive a highly anticipated item, only to have it fall flat during testing. Those can be hard reviews to write, because the manufacturer is often very excited about what they’ve sent us, yet we still have to be honest in our findings. And sometimes those findings are not very flattering. But every so often, the opposite happens. In the case of the Dart Zone Covert Ops Scorpion Gatling Blaster, “the opposite” happened in a big way. In fact, this just might be one of the most refreshing–and frankly, most surprising–products to come our way so far this year.