Category Archives: Reviews

[Review] Buzz Bee Sentinel

I have a little experiment that I want the reader to conduct the next time you go to a Nerf war. When you’re at the venue, close your eyes mid-game and listen to the sounds around you. Does the whirring drone of flywheels drown the rather subdued click-click-bamf of springers? If yes, you’re not alone in witnessing the downfall of the springers across playgrounds, offices, colleges and apartments. There’s no argument that super-stock flywheel blasters have changed the Nerf game to a level at which springers fall short in almost every aspect. People would rather just spam the opponent with a volley of darts than take shots from afar. Nobody has the patience to repeatedly prime the blaster while hiding under cover when they can just hold a Stryfe above their heads and shoot away. The flywheel system had the springers on the ropes, or so it was until the Sentinel was released.

Now I know nobody is a stranger to the Sentinel’s incredible stock performance and compatibility with Nerf darts and magazines. Sure, any Nerf springer can be souped up to perform better, but it wasn’t just about the performance. What mattered more (to me, at least) was that Buzz Bee, the budget blaster brand nobody really compared with the industry standard of Nerf, had made a blaster so good that it instantly became a crowd favourite. Not only that, they continued to belt out great blasters like the Brute, the Snipe,  the Destiny and the newly released Thermal Hunter and Monorail blaster. Everyone loves an underdog, and the Sentinel not only represents the resurgent spirit of springers in the community, but also Buzz Bee in general. Let’s get on with the review!

Continue reading [Review] Buzz Bee Sentinel

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[NEWS] The complete 2017 blaster release info

February is almost upon us and the blaster scene is lighting up with new blasters reveals from Hasbro. Even as i began to write, 3 more blasters were unveiled, making it really hard to keep up with the onslaught of information. I’ll make this post the ‘official’ one having all the product info and prices once Hasbro puts up the PR package on their website, and continue to update it as more products are revealed from Hasbro, Buzz Bee and hopefully BOOMco (fingers crossed).

[18/2/2017 Update] Hasbro’s PR toolkit is out so this post now includes all the official images, prices and product descriptions, along with a few unseen blasters.

Continue reading [NEWS] The complete 2017 blaster release info

Official info on 2017 Rival releases

Spring 2017 blasters aren’t really spring 2017 at all. Most, if not all, have already been spotted and the remaining ones are single shot Rebelle disappointments. The folks at BlasterHub were kind enough to share some official info regarding the new Rival blasters and accessories. I’ll be covering the rest of the releases in a future post, so for now, here’s the Rival products for spring 2017.

Continue reading Official info on 2017 Rival releases

Nerf Zombie Strike Sledgefire Review

Nerf as a hobby encapsulates a lot of aspects of what people call ‘Nerfing’. It can be anything from performance modding, to cosmetic modding, to organized competitive games or even office wars. However different these areas might be, one thing that all aspects of this hobby share is having fun. And there is perhaps no other blaster that conveys this notion in a better way than the Sledgefire. It’s slow to reload, takes shells which aren’t sold separately, and has mediocre performance, but it’s still a much loved blaster for one simple reason; it’s fun to play with.

Continue reading Nerf Zombie Strike Sledgefire Review

BOOMco Mad Slammer Review

To be honest, the BOOMco Mad Slammer isn’t something you’ll like on first glance. Its a simple, non-intimidating red colored toy blaster. That’s what it is. No shields, no hidden shotguns, not even a trigger. People usually go either for a blaster’s aesthetics or its practicality, so its no big surprise that it hasn’t endeared itself to either of the demographics. And that’s really unfortunate, because underneath all that gaudy red mediocrity, the BOOMco Mad Slammer is versatile, fun and justifies its name and position in the BOOMco lineup. Let’s check it out! Continue reading BOOMco Mad Slammer Review

BOOMco Rapid Madness Review

A couple of weeks ago I posted a loadouts post that happened to mention the Rapid Madness, and yesterday, I realized that I hadn’t published an official review of it. And man, does this thing deserve a review or what! Let’s dive right into this red-blue beast!

The Box

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Now I know that this section is kinda obsolete, but it represents how BOOMco is presenting it’s products to the people. When I walk into a toy store, the product needs to catch my attention, and I must say, BOOMco’s packaging is pretty sweet. A big box(about 30 inches across),open-faced, lots of panels sticking out, a good mix of black and red, count me impressed.

Now a few things that got my attention are the decreased range claims(45 feet rather than 50 feet), lack of the BOOMco round, and the new way of opening the box(there’s a panel on the back side that you rip off.). This leads me to believe that this is a second generation, Asian release of the Rapid Madness(the instructions were in Mandarin, Japanese, Malay, Thai and English). Because Asian countries do not have any restrictions on toy blasters, I wonder why was the range decreased. We’ll see that in the range test. In a word, the box looks fun, and so does the blaster.

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Inside the box, you get the Rapid Madness, a 20 dart clip, a smart-stick shield for the blaster, 30 darts, a 12×9 inch smart stick target and a few stickers(which I really like). The target has an adhesive backing so that you can stick it where you want to. I got the Rapid Madness on a lightning sale for INR 1000(about $15),although it retails for about INR 2499.

First Impressions and Aesthetics

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Once fully assembled, the blaster feels adequately sized for adults and kids alike. The handle feels nice in my big hands, so I see no problem for kids in holding the blaster, although I guess it’ll be a tad bit heavy for them. The embossed logo, matte paint finish and the unique colouring adds a unique look to the blaster, one not found in Nerf blasters.


The embossed logo, matte paint finish and the unique colouring adds a unique look to the blaster, one not found in Nerf blasters.


Going over to the aesthetics, It could’ve been a really, really comfortable blaster if not for one little flaw. The pump grip is really nice, offering a natural place to hold the blaster, and the cheek rest is comfortable enough. However, the handle’s thumb rest rises sharply and constantly rubs against my skinny hands. It might not seem as a major design flaw, but when you play for an hour or so, your knuckle will get sore and will sting a little.

Now another thing that can be an issue for younger players is pumping the blaster. I took a few measurements and found out that on full draw, the distance between the pump handle and my shoulder was 29 inches. So make sure you can pull the pump handle far enough. Also, the last few pumps requires some effort to be pumped,. That might not be a problem for an athletic adult like me, but it might be an arduous task for the kids.

Performance and Use

To fire the blaster, pump it 16 times(the over pressure release valve kicks in at 18 pumps), load the clip, and let it rip.

Range

I fired the blaster 3 times from shoulder height, parallel to ground and 3 times angled to ground, at about 30 degrees. I also counted the number of shots landing in each category based on range. Given below are 2 tables, which are the average of 3 parallel firing tests and 3 angled firing tests respectively.

Parallel to Ground

High shots- 37 feet – 4/20 shots reached this range

Average shots- 33 feet – 10/20 shots reached this range

Below Avg. shots- 28 feet – 4/20 shots reached this range

Low Shots- 24 feet – 2/20 shots reached this range

Angled to Ground  

High shots- 51 feet – 6/20 shots reached this range

Average shots- 44 feet – 8/20 shots reached this range

Below Avg. shots- 40 feet – 4/20 shots reached this range

Low shots- 37 feet – 2/20 shots reached this range

Rate of Fire

Again, the blaster was fired three times, and an average of three variables is given below. time was measured from trigger pull to last dart fired.

Time taken to empty a full 20 dart clip- 1.60 seconds, thus,

Rate of fire= 12.5 darts/second

Accuracy 

From 25-30 feet in a closed environment, I found 9-10 inch dart groupings when fired flat(thanks to smart stick). Darts tend to stay down the line when the shot is angled, owing to their better dart design. Accuracy might not be what the manufacturers were aiming for, but its way better than any Nerf blaster. I gotta say, these smart stick darts, they stick, and they stick good. Also, since they don’t have that weird hole in the front like the elite dart, they fly pretty accurately, accurate enough to use optics, I guess.

Overall Opinion

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I have to hand it to BOOMco, for their first attempt at making a blaster, this is pretty cool. The Rapid Madness does what it’s meant to do, and that is obliterate. The rapid fire flurry of darts(which is faster than 1st Gen. models) is just impossible to dodge, the darts stick extremely well, and the blaster lives up to it’s range claims, which is a first for me. I’m impressed with this blaster, if not completely sold. There are a few kinks to work out, but that can be overlooked when you have a blaster this good. It definitely gets a ‘BUY IT!’ recommendation from me. Comment, like and follow if you liked my review! Till then, see ya!

Nerf Zombiestrike Hammershot Review

The Hammershot. Some call it the best blaster of 2013. Some call it their dual wielding dreams come true. But I call it the single most anticipated blaster for me! Released on August 1, 2013, the Hammershot made it to Indian shores in late February this year. Anyway, I got my hands on it soon after buying the Cycloneshock, and no doubt, I now know why so many people love this blaster. Let’s get on with a full review!

The Box

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The box is a standard, open faced box showing the blaster in its entirety. The cartoon guy is a nice deviation from the usual preppy male teenage models. The blueprint-esque drawings of the blaster along with the handwritten font showing mission summaries show that a lot of work has been put in the box to make it stand out on the shelves, and so far, it seems to work.The blaster comes packaged with 5 lime-green Zombiestrike darts, an instruction sheet and 4 stencils.

First Impression and Aesthetics

Out of the box, the Hammershot feels very comfortable and well designed. The hammer is a bit stiff when you use it for the first time, but after shooting it about a 100 times, it becomes second nature. My hands are adult sized, so I personally have no problem operating the blaster, but the younger nerfers might just have a little problem in pulling back the hammer.Call me a tad bit picky,but the blaster is a little overly designed for a five shot pistol, with various plastic panels overlapping each other to give a ‘Zombie Fighter’ appeal to the blaster,but it works out for the blaster for sure!

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Ergonomically, the handle is very comfortable, and has a nice appeal with the faux wood and tape wrappings.The trigger is very sensitive and responsive, and the hammer has grooves in it that aid in firing. Overall, the blaster has a very street design, and even though its nothing spectacular, it sure does give the Hammershot a unique look.

Firing and Performance

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Firing the blaster is as simple as it gets. Front load five elites or any micro-sized dart except streamlines and pull the hammer back. Fan firing is shown in the instructions, but I highly recommend against using fan fire, because as soon as you let go of the hammer, even if it isn’t pulled all the way back, it shoots the dart, and the range…well, my best shot while fan firing was 15 feet, so no, no need to even try doing the Wild West with the Hammershot.


The Hammershot gets an average of 50 feet flat,with shots going upto 62 feet with considerably good accuracy.


Testing in my outdoor facility, which is 50 ft long. I got shots averaging around 50 feet fired flat, with about 30% of shots going beyond the 55 foot mark. Zombiestrike darts tend to perform better than regular Elite darts although they have the same dart code. Just for the sake of it, I tried fan firing, and as expected, rate of fire was increased slightly at a huge range loss(I got about 15-20 ft max).

In terms of accuracy, the Hammershot got about 7 inch dart groupings from 25-30 feet fired flat. This is pretty good for such a compact blaster, and makes it a very good secondary.

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Reliability

I had to add this section for a very unfortunate reason. After about an hour of shooting the Hammershot, it developed a fault. Apparently, the foam washer that sealed the plunger tube with the turret had come off while shooting, and due to this, darts either didn’t fire at all, or just dropped out of the chamber.However, I managed to fix this issue.by superglueing the foam washer, and I started getting good performance out of it again. Still. it was a very big letdown from a highly anticipated blaster and an equally respectable company that has very rigorous quality controls.

Overall Opinion

I am very much impressed by this blaster. It performs well, it looks good and it has very good accuracy for a such a small blaster. It’s small size makes it easy to holster, and even though its lowly 5-dart capacity sets it behind its contemporaries like the Strongarm and the Spectre, it’s phenomenal performance and unique, one-handed hammer action is more than enough to give them a run for their money. It definitely gets a very high recommendation from me; if you find it, don’t miss the chance to buy it!