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.
Well-known UK Nerf blogger helps produce an officially-licensed Nerf book.
One of our favorite Nerf blogs from across the pond, My Last Dart, has been rather quiet of late, having only posted three stories since April of this year. But last week, the man behind behind My Last Dart–Asif Zahoor, otherwise known as “Ash”–got us up-to-speed on what’s been keeping him busy. Mostly, Ash has been studying and completing various career-related certifications (congrats!). But perhaps of more interest to our readers, Ash revealed he’s quietly been work in collaboration with Hasbro UK to help author the all-new “Nerf Annual, 2015.” And he’s given us a behind-the-scenes look at how the book came about.
It’s been said that you should never meet your hero. Inevitably, they will fail to live up to the expectations you have created for them. It was this fear of unmet expectations, perhaps, that made our review of the Nerf N-Strike Elite Rayven CS-12 Stinger so long in coming. We have no shortage of toy blasters at our disposal, but for me, the Stinger is a personal favorite. It’s the weapon I have hanging from a hook under my desk, ready for action at a moment’s notice. It’s a blaster that I purchased with my own money, and that no one else on our team uses. It’s a product so obscure, all but die-hard Nerf fans even know what it is, or why it’s different. And, unfortunately for me, it’s also one item on our list that is way overdue for a review.
In the course of doing product reviews, it’s not uncommon to receive a highly anticipated item, only to have it fall flat during testing. Those can be hard reviews to write, because the manufacturer is often very excited about what they’ve sent us, yet we still have to be honest in our findings. And sometimes those findings are not very flattering. But every so often, the opposite happens. In the case of the Dart Zone Covert Ops Scorpion Gatling Blaster, “the opposite” happened in a big way. In fact, this just might be one of the most refreshing–and frankly, most surprising–products to come our way so far this year.
What’s the point of making a blaster that can be primed with one hand, only to then make it a muzzle-loader that requires a second hand to feed it? That’s the first thing we wondered about the BOOMco Whipblast, which is otherwise one of the more interesting pieces to come from Mattel’s new blaster brand. And if that glaring usability flaw is enough to turn you off from this intriguing design, we honestly wouldn’t blame you. Nonetheless, we set out to examine this intriguing blaster a little closer, to see if that one misstep alone would be its defining characteristic.
Since the Nerf N-Strike Elite Mega Thunderbow was first announced ahead of Toy Fair earlier this year, we’ve been fairly vocal about our uncertainty regarding this blaster’s place in the Nerf line-up. In fact, we somewhat jokingly suggested 2014 might be “The Year of the Bow,” given how many products were being released to time with the rise of bow-touting pop culture protagonists from the likes of The Walking Dead, Disney’s Brave, The Hunger Games, and The Avengers. But time has passed, and we’ve had several opportunities for hands-on time with the Thunderbow, which has softened our position slightly. Still, we wondered if a “bow” that had more in common with typical Nerf blasters than anything relying on drawstring tension was worthy of the $39.99 price being asked.
On a recent trip through the aisles of our local Toys “R” Us, we spotted a line of water blasters under the Toy “R” Us-exclusive “Air Zone” (now “Sizzlin’ Cool”) brand, called “X2O.” This interesting looking series included no less than four blasters of varying sizes: the Hydromatic, Liquiforce, Aqualizer, and Drenchinator. They ranged in price from $9.99 to $24.99, respectively, and are now on-sale for a couple bucks less (depending on model). We wondered if a value-priced water blaster could possibly compete with the big name brands, so we picked-up the mid-priced Liquiforce and put it to the test!