Buzz Bee’s new Ultra Tek line brought many things, but the most significant is their adoption of a clip (mag) system. The Ultra Tek 8/Champion is the smallest of these new blasters. The combination of a clip (mag) system and Elite-competitive performance allows Buzz Bee to properly challenge and compete with Nerf.
Disclosure: The Ultra Tek 8 was sent to me by Buzz Bee for review, so thanks to them for their contribution. As usual, their contribution will not bias the review in any way.
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The Buzz Bee Sidewinder is a formidable-looking blaster. With its massive 30 dart drum, it has the kind of presence that would give an adversary pause. It also has the potential to be a really solid performer, but is handicapped by the manufacturer in such an odd way that we didn’t quite know how to review it. Do we review the blaster as it was sent to us (and as it appears on store shelves), or do we review it the way it should be used? Perhaps we’ll do a little of both.
All things considered, the Nerf N-Strike Elite Rapidstrike CS-18 is largely considered to be one of the best engineered–and most readily modifiable–Nerf Elite products to-date. Brought to market in September of 2013, it was widely seen as the successor to the Stampede ECS, but with several key upgrades. The Rapidstrike CS-18 was found to shoot faster, farther, and generally more consistently than its predecessor, and had a gearbox that was more reliable, less complicated, and had fewer mechanical parts. The Rapidstrike was also lighter in weight, easy to modify, and it felt great to use. Fast-forward to 2014, when Hasbro introduced the world to the Nerf Cam ECS-12, a blaster that looked curiously like the Rapidstrike, but featured a built-in camera and a claimed range of up to 85 feet. At an $80 price point, speculation began that the Nerf Cam ECS-12 was being softly positioned as the new “flagship” blaster of the Elite line. So, as we outlined in Part 1 of this head-to-head review, we decided to put the Nerf Came ECS-12 up against the standard-bearing Rapidstrike CS-18 and find out for ourselves.
With the success of the Nerf Zombie Strike Hammershot, it’s no huge surprise that Hasbro might look to create another one-handed, hammer-action blaster. And that’s just what we’re getting with the Nerf Zombie Strike Doublestrike, which bears no small amount of resemblance to the classic Remington Model 95 Double Derringer. It’s a great concept, and a nice alternative to the bulky blasters many companies are producing. But we found the Doublestrike to be one nagging flaw shy of being the perfect pocket pistol for which we yearn.
There are many paths that can be taken in a review of the new Nerf Zombie Strike Longshot CS-12, which is essentially a re-color of the original Longshot CS-6 introduced under the N-Strike label in 2006. That near-legendary CS-6 version featured the first use of both a direct plunger system and the now ubiquitous Nerf clip system, and is generally considered to be the predecessor of the Elite line as a whole. So the appearance of a new-for-2014 Longshot with a Zombie Strike aesthetic was a very exciting development for the Nerf Internet Community, particularly among those fond of modding, since the original CS-6 version was significantly (and rather easily) improved with some changes to the internals. But rather than review the new Zombie Strike Longshot CS-12 based on its historical context or modding potential, we’re going to review it based purely on how it performs today, as a stock blaster released in 2014. After all, that’s exactly what most consumers will do when they see it on retail shelves right next to Demolishers, Thunderbows, and Slingfires… admittedly tough competition for a blaster that is essentially 8 years old.