Every year, Lanard Toys holds a giant sale at their warehouse in Sugar Creek, MO (a suburb of Kansas City). In past years, I have always been busy with the holidays. This year, however, the sale started early – and when I had some time off work. So I got to do a solo road trip down memory lane, seeing not only NIC blasters of old, but other ones from around the world.
Hand it to Dart Zone to just drop news on us out of nowhere! Just like the Mk1.1 was announced at Toy Fair for immediate release (barring logistical issues on Target’s end), now the Mk2 is announced for December 2020! Not much is known on the actual blaster performance beyond the initial teaser trailer, but we know that it’s a short dart, top primed pistol with an internal magazine. It also has a speed loader! Presumably, the Pro darts are still here to stay, as well. Check out the video!
Buzz Bee isn’t one to shy away from rebranding old blaster designs. In the case of the Equalizer, it’s reusing the design of The Walking: Dead Carl’s Revolver, and using different colors. It’s still a nice starter pistol, and more comfortable than some other Buzz Bee blasters. So if you find it in stores over the holidays, it might be a fun find for the kids.
Let’s be honest – the Elite 2.0 line hasn’t had the best start. Hasbro may have opted for easy-to-manufacture blasters, but doing so resulted in some nasty compromises. The blasters still perform well, but some of them (like the Phoenix) have things like painful mag releases.
Sadly, the Turbine shares this feature. Which is a shame, because otherwise, it might be the best of the line so far. Even so, it may have some mod potential if you manage to open the shell.
Zuru was able to get the Royale Meteors on Target shelves earlier this year, and now they’re carrying the Royale Orbit as well. Granted, it’s only online, and seems to go in and out of stock. Even so, it’s still a viable blaster like before, but it seems the improvements were to looks, not to function. If anything, you’re just paying extra for the gold paint scheme.
Xshot blasters have always been at the low end of the budget, yet they’ve consistently had good performance. In addition, they’ve had some nice looking blasters; the Bug Attack line comes to mind. Now, they’ve traded one sub-line for another – Dino Attack – and Xshot not only has great blasters, but some of the best-looking blasters, period. They’re beautiful, useful, and you should grab at least one, if not more.
I’m doing things slightly differently – I’ll be reviewing the whole line in one shot, so as to highlight the main differences from previous blasters.