Sooner or later, the Adventure Force Destroyer (known all other places as the Xshot Reflex) had to be replaced. This year, it is (presumably) supplanted by the Blitz 6, a new pistol from Buzz Bee Toys. And despite Buzz Bee’s usual penchant for undersized ergonomics, the Blitz 6 ends up being a strong, comfortable blaster for all ages.
It’s been a while since Hasbro made a blaster that had multiple functions, decent performance, and a nice price point. For those who tinker, it even offers a ton of modding potential (that part, while nice, is out of the scope of the review score). I speak of the Motoblitz, a bullpup-style blaster featuring a front-mounted, air-powered shotgun. It hits the Elite standard, has a neat secondary function, feels great to use, and it possibly the best Nerf offering this year (barring some unforeseen release).
Xshot went a somewhat different route this year with their blasters. Four blasters will be featured in the Skins line, with various paint schemes ranging from graffiti to Sonic the Hedgehog! The possibilities for promotion with this line are endless, but it helps if the base blaster works as intended.
Two of the Dread blasters were sitting on a Target shelf this past weekend, for some reason, and I had to pick them up. Between the new darts, new paint jobs, and slightly new blasters, they needed a look. And so far, they look fantastic.
The Ultra line has come a long way after all its initial faults. It’s like modern-day video game releases; there were plenty of bugs and issues at the beginning, and things took a long time to get patched. For those using Pro blasters or standard darts (and let’s be honest, why would you use any full-lengths besides waffle tips and their relatives?), blasters like the Ultra Strike ultimately won’t matter. Judged by its own merits, though, the Ultra Strike is one of, if not the best, Ultra blasters out there. If only cheap, accurate ammo was more accessible.
What’s this guy doing, not reviewing blasters? Well, he’s busy modding, modeling, and doing general community service!
Flywheel cage stl files are online on Thingiverse, for those wanting to mod their Motoblitz blasters, now that they’re appearing on shelves. You’ll need to make a few shell cuts (mainly the stock dart guide ridges, and part of one mounting post). But for most cages, the motors fit in the shell without cutting. Can’t say that applies if you want to use motor boards, large diameter wire, or messy soldering joints. But we at least have a proper starting point!
Author’s note: I found mine at ToysRUs Canada. Once it appears on US shelves, I will update the price information!
I’m unsure of a good niche for the Elite 2.0 Ranger. As far as stock blasters go, it’s perfectly serviceable. Five shots, pump-action priming, and slamfire are all in the package. It hits typical Elite ranges, as well. Even so, it sits in a weird, in-between place – especially when so many revolvers with five or more shots exist, with comparable performance for less money. Will kids enjoy it? Of course. Is it the best option? Debateable.
The Armorstrike has me conflicted. On one hand, it captures the spirit of Dinosquad, with a fun shell and design aesthetic. On the other hand, the blaster is inferior to the previous version of this type (the Dragonpower Emberstrike), with a faulty slam-fire mechanism and some odd design decisions. Until the slam-fire gets fixed, the blaster isn’t worth the money.