Not every movie tie-in blaster is bad. Some of them are genuinely entertaining. Especially if they drop trying to be serious and just celebrate the thing they’re promoting.
The Mini Puft Popper is one such blaster. Functionally, it’s the underbarrel missile launcher from the Nerf Demolisher. Aesthetically, it’s a launcher for haunted foam marshmallows. And I, for one, am glad I bought one!
Nerf Gimmicks. They’re usually fun, even if they’re not always useful. However, gimmicks don’t always scale well, as shown with the operating difficulties of the Flip 16. Does the Flip 32 do any better? Yes and no. The flipping does actually work (with a gentle nudge being all that’s needed if it happens to misalign). All the actions are simply fun, from flipping to lever priming to firing two darts at once. There’s also plenty of potential for reloading on the fly in various gametypes. Nevertheless, it’s a somewhat heavy and underperforming blaster. Should you get one? It really depends on what you’re looking to find – and if you’re willing to spend $60 for it!
Mega XL is fast becoming my favorite line of the year. The Boomdozer is amazing, and the Double Crusher is pretty nice, as well. Two shots, one after the other, with slamfire thrown in just because? Storage in the stock? Giant darts? It’s just plain fun, and that’s what makes this hobby so great.
Nerf is at its best when it’s being silly. Those of us that grew up in the 1990s don’t remember Nerf for long distance dart blasting. Instead, those fond memories are reserved for things like Ballzookas and Arrowstorms. We fired large ammo at opponents not because it was the most effective thing around, but because it was fun.
With the new Mega XL line, Nerf sees a true return to form. And the Boomdozer, as it turns out, is not only large and silly, but effective as well. It’s the most fun I’ve had with a Hasbro blaster all year, and I can’t think of a better way to launch a new blaster line.
Author’s note: Dart Zone did send a free sample for review; they’re also sponsoring a free giveaway. Thanks, guys!
As excited as I was to get the Dart Zone Pro MkIII, having it for a week now and using it at a war leaves me conflicted. All the ingredients are there for greatness; hitting high velocities on just AA batteries, the ability to swap for rechargeable battery packs, select fire, and more are in the package. Using full and short darts makes for even more versatility. But issues with magazine compatibility and dart feeding taint what would otherwise be a great blaster on paper. For the person entering the realm of high speed dart blasting, it’s an attractive (if flawed) blaster. For those already in the hobby who know how to modify a blaster off the store shelf (retail or thrift), it might not be as appealing. Either way, it’s still not a blaster to dismiss. Just know that, for now, this rose has a few thorns.
Author’s note: Thanks to Dart Zone for sending the free sample to review!
As I noted on social media, my sample Dart Zone Pro MkIII arrived Monday afternoon – realistically, too late to make a real review happen before the Wednesday embargo. Such is current shipping. In the meantime, before I take it to a war for better judgement, or attempt to feed multitudes of darts through it…let’s peek inside the MkIII and see what makes it tick!
Holding onto classic designs is nothing new – for example, the Nerf NStrike elite Strongarm came out in 2013, but it is still sold is some stores (and even has Amazon exclusive variants release in late 2018 / early 2019). Dart Zone has its own holdovers from the previous “design generation”, including the Quickfire 8. The original version of this, the Renegade, released on ToysRUs shelves under the Air Zone brand. When I reviewed it then, it was good compared to other pistols on shelves. Now, however, it seems antiquated, especially when Dart Zone has superior revolvers readily available. Is it still useful? Yes. Are the weaknesses more apparent? Also yes.