Toy companies don’t just make products and expect stores to sell them. There’s a process of showing off samples, negotiating prices, and presenting marketing data to show the toy will sell. Other times, a store will ask for a specific item to fill their shelves, be it due to good sales or for needing to fill aisle space (e.g. Nerf Doomlands at Target during the pandemic).
Even so, it’s not often that a completely abandoned concept or product line gets revisited. Such is the case with the Air Max Boss. Buzz Bee’s Mega-firing dart blasters launched in 2015, but they were abandoned after disappointing sales in many places (I still have boxes full of $1 or less refill packs from Walmart, as well as magazines from clearance Tyrants). One store they apparently did not disappoint was Dollar General, which carried the Air Max Boss for $10. Now, just for this year, they’re appearing on shelves again. The price is up a bit ($13), but even then, it’s still one of the best Mega blasters you can buy.
As previously reported, Prime Time Toys is jumping into anything blaster-related, it seems! With the Walmart-exclusive Hydro Strike line, the people behind Dart Zone Blasters will have their first two gel bead blasters on shelves. The sidearm, the Nebula Pro, isn’t anything revolutionary in construction. In fact, fans of dart pistols like the Blitzfire X2 will find the Nebula Pro quite familiar. But if you’re looking for a low-cost, reliable gel bead pistol, the Nebula Pro fits the bill.
The first wave of Elite 2.0 blasters was serviceable, but the combination of cheap Alpha Strike manufacturing and flat design turned off many blaster fans. This year’s Elite 2.0 models aim to return (at least partway) to previous flavors. The Trailblazer offers the utility of the Hammershot and Hammerstorm, and the “Wild Edition” comes with a molded stripe pattern and light blue accents. The status of the regular edition is unknown, but the one we have on hand is decent. Slightly lacking compared to its forefathers, but still decent.
When Prime Time Toys (maker of Dart Zone Blasters) filed trademarks for “Hydro Strike” and “Pulsar Pro” last year, I took note of them…and then forgot about it. However, after a certain video review launched on Monday, I quickly discovered that, over the past few weeks, PTT has been setting up social media and a product launch at Walmart. Their website, Youtube channel, and other media all quietly updated on Feb. 11-12, with social media efforts ongoing (Instagram and TikTok have no activity yet, for example).
Now that we have product info online, let’s take a look!
When the D-Dart Tempest was released in 2019, it was an interesting take on foam blasting. Although it was underpowered, it showed lots of potential, and modders had a field day with it. A second version reached shelves at the beginning of 2021, fixing dart compatibility issues. Now, after some long delays in production and shipping due to the pandemic, Bullseye Limited has fun new variants available through Target. While some aim for faster reloading, rate of fire, or even multiple darts at a time, the Blizzard opts for sheer capacity.
Does it take a while to load? Yes. Are you doomed if you run out of ammo and need to reload? Most likely. But until you reach that point, the Blizzard’s endurance makes for a fun time, much more so than the original.