Buzz Bee has, in recent years, managed to recycle many designs with upgraded internals in order to keep up with blaster range trends. With many blasters, they now claim (with their long distance darts) up to 100ft ranges. In the case of the Reaper, Buzz Bee has taken a fan favorite for comfort and boosted the ranges. It’s large for a pistol, and still retains some compatibility issues, but it’s comfortable and easy to use, making for a pleasant blaster update. If you can find one,
Another year, another blaster remake. In this case, Hasbro has repainted the Dart Tag Stormfire / Zombie Strike Clear Shot, released in blue, and included a red dot sight attachment. It’s a good looking blaster, with a nice attachment, but with pitiful performance for a modern blaster. Unless you’re set on getting the attachment or trying to improve the blaster, it’s one you can avoid.
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In the grand tradition of rereleasing blasters in a new color palette, Hasbro has decided to bring back the Rapidstrike in orange. A Walmart exclusive, the Stratohawk is billed as the first electronic Accustrike blaster. Aside from the paint scheme and the darts, however, nothing about the blaster has really changed. And that’s a good thing!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Before we start posting more reviews, I thought I’d make today an easy news day with some news on future offerings from Buzz Bee Toys! This is all information you can find at the United Stated Patent and Trademark Office, that was filed on November 15, 2018.
Names that were previously used but are being filed: Reaper, Night Tek, Destiny, Cyclonic. I find it interesting that the Destiny has largely disappeared, but the name is still being claimed.
New blaster names (possibly for next year): Gladiator, Agitator.
With any luck, we can see those new blasters in February, when I’ll once again be at Toy Fair!
EDIT: Shortly after, “Metamorph” was also filed for a trademark.
The Longstrike is a beloved blaster in the original NStrike line. But it’s not because of performance; the old reverse plunger-type blasters never had much power to begin with. It was loved instead for its looks – it had the looks of a “sniper rifle”, but with the kid-friendly foam flinging factor. As of this fall, a new version is available exclusively at Amazon, recolored and retooled to shoot modern blaster distances. It’s not without issues (or price shock), but it’s far superior to its predecessor.
Dart Zone (or more properly, Prime Time Toys) has made incredible strides in producing blasters that can compete with Nerf’s Rival line. Several like the Powerball and Quantum, I have reviewed previously. In the case of the Velocity, I reviewed a previous version, the Adventure Force Accelerator. The Velocity is an improvement upon a good blaster. And with Black Friday rolling around, you’ll soon be able to find it for just $20 at Target.
Amazingly, despite having had an article on its introduction, I never actually did the review. Let’s fix that!
Zecong Toys has a history of making near-copies of various Nerf blasters – not usually from the same molds, mind you, but made to be very close. On occasion, they go out there and try something somewhat unique, to mixed results.
With the 7100, however, Zecong has a strange confluence of shell design imitation and unique internal choices/compromises. It takes the aesthetics of the Nerf ECS Cam blaster, then uses features that are meant for balls and uses them to fire darts. (This is so they can reuse the shell and parts in a Rival ball-firing blaster, which I do NOT have on hand for review). Sadly, however, due to the low power motors used and the wider than normal motor spacing, performance is subpar.
It’s not a total loss – after an overhaul it becomes an insanely good superstock blaster. But if you’re just looking for a nice new blaster, you’ll be disappointed.