EDIT: After buying another and having it actually fire straight, I can raise the score some. But not as high as it could be, due to QA issues.
It’s a new year, and already we’re seeing new blasters on shelves! In this case, it’s the Stryfe of the Ultra line. The Amp moves Ultra farther into the mainstream in terms of combat usefulness. However, due to a fun performance issue, it seems like Ultra flywheelers still aren’t quite there yet.
Considering the contained blasters, this pack doesn’t need a full explanation or teardown. HOWEVER, it is a special at Sam’s Club for the holidays, which means it will be on clearance in stores soon, if not today. In that light, let’s look at the Omega and Reflex combo pack, because it’s going to be a great deal for filling out the arsenal, especially if you have yet to buy any Reflex or Crusher blasters.
The Nerf enthusiast community has given the Ultra line plenty of grief. Between wonky ergonomics, darts (and blasters) that didn’t always live up to the original claims, and the expense of the darts, it isnt the most attractive option compared to other blaster lines. And yet, somehow, I’m starting to grow fond of the Ultra Three.
Between a decent capacity, on-board dart storage, and plenty of power, the Ultra Three is a nice blaster. Provided you’re invested in Ultra, of course.
Is there a reason for this thing to exist? Alpha Strike is supposed to provide basic, inexpensive blasters, but this takes the idea to a new extreme. It’s a Jolt without a trigger; you simply slam the plunger rod with your off hand to fire. Could it be fun for some kids? I imagine so. But when you can simply buy a Jolt or equivalent blaster for a similar price, and have both a trigger and nothing throwing off your aim…this seems odd at best, unnecessary at most.
Author’s note: thank you, Zing Toys, for the free sample!
Sometimes as an influencer, you drop the ball. In my case, between moving, getting engaged, and life in general, I’ve had items from Zing sitting in a box for far too long. Which is unfortunate, because the Marshmallow Extreme Blaster is a ton of fun, far surpassing the range claims on the box. You could say it’s a…sweet package.
Nerf crossovers vary in quality. There’s a balance between the looks/cosplay value and actual blaster function to consider. Some examples, like the Nerf Halo MA40, are a great blend of working blaster and semi-accurate prop. Others, like the Mangler, are a bit lacking.
The Mangler looks decent enough as a prop (brightly colored, of course, to show it’s a toy). However, it’s uncomfortable to use, and it clearly doesn’t use all the real estate to maximum effect. $20 is certainly affordable, but…I hoped for more.
Originally, I was going to do a top five list, like one of those other Youtubers. Maybe even Top Ten. However…there were a lot of great blasters this year. So I’m just going to list my favorites in each main category; I’ll let you decide what you might like to grab this season. If there’s a reasonable substitute, I’ll try to link that as well. After all, some readers may be more concerned about one particular aspect (performance, price, etc) than others. And there are always some fun oddballs that don’t fit neatly into these broad categories, so read through to the end!