The Nerf Rival Roundhouse fills an interesting niche. It’s larger than the Kronos, the gold standard for Rival pistols, and holds three times the ammo. However, it’s also smaller than the Artemis, a long-standing staple of the line from which it borrows inspiration. The Roundhouse is objectively good, but whether you like it will come down to how fast you use up your Rival balls in battle.
Jet Blasters has had a spotty history, admittedly. The original Ceda (Close Engagement Dart Assault) blaster just wasn’t that good, with inconsistent performance and a shell that felt cheap. Katanas were the first major half dart magazine, but an inability to actually supply them in a timely fashion left the door open for other competitors. And previous products have all seen extended development cycles, with purchases often arriving late by months.
As of this spring, however, Jet is trying to rectify things. They’ve released the Ceda S, an upgraded version firing exclusively short darts, and they have it supplied to online distributors. They’ve also sent several samples to various influencers as part of their marketing push (I bought this one, however). In the end, the Ceda S is a major improvement on the original, and it retains important features like easy maintenance and upgrading. It’s worth consideration if you want a relatively inexpensive platform that can be made to do more – and especially if it goes on sale.
Author’s Note: This got sent to me as a free sample, and will soon be going off for free to a good home. Thanks, Prime Time Toys!
The Dart Zone Pro Mk.1 was released in limited numbers, with only 1000 of the orange units being sold. Given the fact that all of them sold, however, it was reasonable to expect more Dart Zone Pro products in the future. Suddenly, at Toy Fair 2020, Prime Time Toys announced that the Mk1.1, an updated (but not limited edition) version, would be available at Target starting that weekend. Issues with Target’s inventory system have, admittedly, made purchasing one a chore; every time it comes back up for sale, the units on hand sell out, and the system isn’t handling it very well.
Even so, it’s a great blaster, with a few small changes from the original, and it’s worth a look if you want a high performance blaster you can simply pick up and use without modification. (Also, note the $10 coupon for a dart refill with proof of purchase)
The day before Toy Fair, I took the train from Manhattan out to Long Island for a fun visit I hadn’t been able to make in previous years. NY Dart Zone is a business out in Suffolk County, established in 2015 and having a 5400 square food facility with two arenas (and more). So I got to spend much of the afternoon trading shots with Sophie (@Nerfers101) as well as many kids and families.
Hasbro is leaning hard on nostalgia this year. Across several properties, whether they’re Star Wars action figures or Tiger Electronics games, what’s old is new again. In the case of Super Soakers, that involves a redesign and recoloring of classic designs from deep in the Hasbro vault, and releasing as a Target exclusive. After finally getting my hands on one, I can say that it doesn’t quite hold up to childhood memories. But then again what does? It performs similarly to the original, after all. It’s just the difference between seeing one at five years old, and thirty years old.
To make a long story short, a death in the immediate family tends to suck the joy out of everything. I’ll be back at some point to continue posting reviews and news (and other authors with access are also free to continue posting). I just don’t know when that will be.
I do hope to see all of you again soon.
Here we are, leaving Toy Fair, and looking back on all the things we’ve spotted and played with. There were lots of winners across the various companies, but there were also lots of things left unseen and unannounced; lots of blaster news won’t appear until later in the year. Even so, we can highlight the best things there, and what we’re looking forward to seeing!