Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 Nerf Round-Up

Yearly thing where I look at the stuff Nerf (officially) released throughout the year.
Alien Menace

The Voidcaster was the sole addition to the Alien Menace line this year. It is a spring powered, semi-auto (technically dual-action) blaster much like the DT Snapfire 8, that uses a Smart AR block of four barrels. It's one of those blasters you'd buy only if it particularly interests you, since any practical role it fulfills is better done by various other blasters.

Doomlands 2169

The Doomlands line received two new releases, the The Judge and the Negotiator.
The Negotiator is essentially a bulked up Hammershot with eight barrels. If it appeals to you and an eight-barrel Hammershot cylinder doesn't, go for it. Otherwise, an eight-barreled Hammershot has the same capacity in a much smaller and more holsterable package.
The The Judge is a massive pump-action revolver that fires three darts per burst. Its cylinder holds ten groups of darts, for a total capacity of thirty. The The Judge is a fantastically silly blaster, which if you're into that sort of thing is probably a great buy. If not, don't bother.

N-Strike Elite

The Elite line only received two new releases in its main line, the Disruptor and the Rayvenfire.
The Disruptor is essentially a slightly improved Strongarm, with an easier to load cylinder. As far as I'm aware, its internals are not significantly different to the Strongarm. If you like the Strongarm and would appreciate an easier reload, or want some basic, easy to use revolvers, the Disruptor is a pretty solid buy at a reasonable price.
The Rayvenfire is a repainted Rayven. As a Kohl's exclusive in the US, it has an insane markup, which when compensated for by sales and coupons, brings it back to normal Rayven prices. If you like or want the Rayven, the Rayvenfire with discounts is a reasonable buy, but it offers nothing functionally new compared to old Rayvens.


The brand new Accustrike line was released as a sub-series of the Elite line. The main draw is the new Accustrike dart design, which true to its name is significantly more accurate than the Elite dart. 2017 saw the release of three Elite Accustrike blasters, the Falconfire, Alphahawk and Raptorstrike.
The Falconfire is a reshelled N-Strike Sharpfire, a single shot blaster that accepts darts in a top-loading breech. In stock form it's unnecessarily elaborate, however it can be modified with a proper sealed breech and a new spring for some pretty serious and accurate power.
The Alphahawk is pretty much an old Elite Spectre altered for bolt-action, with a fixed stock and barrel. It's large and offers no practical advantage over most blasters. Unless you love the design, give it a pass.
Continuing with the excessively large and impractical theme, the Raptorstrike is an extremely large, bolt-action mag-fed blaster. Considering it only has the plunger tube of a Retaliator, it is also a substantial waste of such a large shell. Like the others, only bother with it if you like the design.


A weird Elite sub-series consisting of blasters painted in a particular white/blue/orange colour scheme. The only two blasters currently in the line are the Battlescout and the SplitStrike.
The Battlescout is a recolour of the original Modulus Battlescout that included a tac rail mounted camera. That blaster was ridiculed for many reasons including poor performance and terrible video quality. The Battlecamo re-release is notably better, dropping the terrible camera and also sporting improved internals that provides Elite-level power. Nonetheless, its use of a proprietary and rather large clip design greatly limits its practical use.
The SplitStrike is a direct recolour of the original Elite SplitStrike, sporting no changes besides the BattleCamo colouring. It still has the same bulk and low capacity as the original blasters, with few upsides. If you're after a pull-back blaster, but don't care for the SplitStrike's splitting gimmick, there are many other options that are typically both cheaper and more practical.


The Mega line received two additions, of significantly differing quality. These were the DoubleBreach and TwinShock.
The DoubleBreach is a pump action blaster with two barrels, loaded by sliding open a door on the side. It uses a Smart AR system to switch between its two barrels, firing a single dart with each trigger pull. For its size, this is all of course incredibly pointless. There are a host of Mega blasters that perform better, are smaller, cheaper and more practical, and easier to use.
The TwinShock on the other hand is essentially a Mega-ified Roughcut, a bulky pump action blaster sporting five pairs of double barrels, firing each pair simultaneously. It can pump them out surprisingly fast thanks to slam-fire. All told, the TwinShock is certainly one of the better Mega blasters and a lot of fun, though still certainly not the most practical blaster.


The Modulus line received a number of new releases. First off the bat are the BarrelStrike and StockShot, two blasters that double as attachments. It also received the Regulator, Nerf's first select-fire blaster, as well as a repainted Stryfe.
The BarrelStrike and StockShot as blasters are essentially bulked up Triads with four barrels instead of three. The BarrelStrike is equipped with a tiny stock, that when folded up doubles as a barrel extension for the standard N-Strike muzzle. This allows it to attach to the front of a compatible blaster and act as a quick underbarrel blaster. The StockShot is encase within an adjustable stock piece, again designed to attach to a standard N-Strike attaching point. While the BarrelStrike is perfectly functional and usable in both forms, the StockShot is unusable when being used as a stock, and is also not particularly stable.
The Regulator is a flywheel blaster with a belt feed, equipped with an IR-sensor controlled select fire. It can switch between semi-auto, three dart burst fire, and full-auto. On top of this, it comes with a number of attachments and two 12-dart mags. Packing the same ROF as the Hyperfire, which also uses a belt feed, the Regulator is a fairly decently performing stock blaster. The electronics within greatly increase the complexity of rewiring if you intend to maintain the select-fire, but otherwise the Regulator operates essentially as a fancified Hyperfire with more customisability. Personally I still consider belt feed to be far inferior to a pusher (ala Rapidstrike).
Finally is the Modulus Stryfe, simply a recoloured Stryfe packaged with some Modulus accessories, sold for a higher price on Amazon only. Not much to say, it's still a Stryfe.


Rebelle only received a couple of new releases this year, all of them of the AccuStrike sub-series. Pretty much the only significance of this is that they include AccuStrike darts, rather than recoloured Elites. These are the TruePoint, FocusFire Crossbow, and Combow.
The TruePoint is essentially a Rebelle-ified Firestrike, a basic single-shot pistol with a trigger activated targeting light. Not much to say about it, it's a single-shot pistol with no notable special features.
The FocusFire Crossbow is an oversized five-shot revolver with a pull-back, faux-bow prime. I'm really struggling to say anything about these low-effort reshells of largely impractical blasters. If you like it, go for it, and if you don't, ignore it.
The Combow at first appears to be special, but turns out to be much the same. The base blaster uses a four-barrel Smart-AR, with a pull-back prime. The detachable bow also uses a four-barrel Smart-AR, with the typical pull-back-and-release firing method. Notably, the bow is also designed to attach securely to tactical rails, though I cannot speak for its rigidity having never even seen one in stores. If that sort of stuff appeals to you, by all means go ahead and get one, but like so many other blasters this year, it offers minimal practical advantage.


Rival received a number of new and excellent releases this year, including the Nemesis MXVII-10K and the Artemis XVII-3000.
The Nemesis is pretty much the culmination of a lot of Zues mods, being a full-auto hopper-fed flywheeler packing a stock capacity of a hundred balls. It still retains the same Rival performance of nearly 100fps out-of-box, and a solid stock ROF. While very bulky and quite expensive, the Nemesis is one of the best out-of-box blasters currently available, and is a heap of fun to use.
The Artemis is a pump-action blaster fed from three internal tube magazines of ten balls each. It can be easily reloaded on-the-fly and will reliably feed from any of the magazines. All told, the Artemis is a very solid stock Rival blaster, and is almost certainly the best stock Rival springer primary currently available.

Phantom Corps

Rival also received a sub-series called Phantom Corps. These blasters are predominantly white, with red anf blue ribbons included in the box to select a team. So far, this series has received one new release (Hera MXVII-1200) and one repaint (Apollo XV-700), though it is releasing a number of new blasters next year (with two of them already available in some locations).
The Hera is a semi-auto blaster that accepts mags through its handle. It combines the more convenient mag feed of the Apollo with the superior flywheel firing mech of the Zues. While lacking the sheer capacity and intimidation factor of the Nemesis, the Hera is much more compact and maneuverable, and still packs the same Rival performance. The Hera is yet another solid Rival blaster, and is definitely one to look out for if Rival is your thing.
The Apollo is the same as before, powerful but rather clunky. I've heard the gears have been replaced with metal ones for improved longevity, but it doesn't solve the awkward top prime, or lack of proper stock.

Zombie Strike

Zombie Strike received only two new releases this year, the Dreadbolt and Outbreaker Bow.
The Dreadbolt uses the same arrows as some of the Rebelle blasters and bows in the past two years. It is a simple, incredibly oversized crossbow for these arrows. If you like silly, impractical blasters, or bows/crossbows and the arrow ammo type, the Dreadbolt may be worth a look. Otherwise, it's yet another easy pass.
The Outbreaker Bow is pretty much the same as the aforementioned FocusFire Crossbow, a five-shot revolver with a pull-back prime. It's not very interesting and doesn't do anything new or special.

Super Soaker

I don't normally cover Super Soakers as my focus is on dart blasters, but the Dartfire is worth a mention. On top of its pump-to-fire water firing mechanism, it uses a Snapfire style firing mech to fire five darts from a cylinder. Certainly not the greatest dart blaster, but it's novel feature.

As an Australian and non-Rival enthusiast, 2017 was pretty poor from Nerf. Not many new releases were of much practical use, and even fewer made it to Australia in the first place. I actually haven't even purchased a new Nerf blaster released this year, which is a first since I got into the hobby. 2017 was much better for Nerf's competitors.

Buzz Bee

Buzz Bee's mmost notable releases this year are the Thermal Hunter and the Monorail Blaster/Rail Raider.
The Thermal Hunter is a generic pump-action mag-fed blaster, which thanks to its internals can pack quite a significant punch. It also includes a novel "heatseeking scope", a sight that changes colour based on the temperature of the target. Overall the Thermal Hunter is a pretty solid blaster with a lot of mod potential, though its stock ergonomics certainly leave something to be desired.
The Rail Raider is a completely different blaster. It is a pump-action blaster that uses an internal tube magazine fed from the rear, which is a very, very rare feature in foam blasters. With such a mechanism naturally comes a lot of complexity and jamming issues, however it is easily one of the most fun blasters of the year when it works properly.

Dart Zone

Dart Zone's most notable release this year is probably the BallistixOps Powerball, though here in Australia we don't get any of their blasters.
The Powerball is a simple pump-action ball blaster, fed from a top-mounted hopper. It is most notable for being cross-compatible with Rival balls and magazines, feeding and firing their balls without issue, though the blaster has a tendency to double-feed from Rival mags. With a quick mod, this can be easily fixed, making the Powerball a very solid Rival competitor, at a fraction of Nerf's price. With more upcoming ball blasters from Dart Zone, Nerf's Rival line may well be seeing some serious competition next year.

Picture obtained from MTB from:

Like Nerf's other competitors, X-Shot has come up with a great blaster of its own, the Turbo Advance, that gives many Nerf releases a serious run for their money.
The Turbo Advance is a pump-action revolver with a forty (!) dart capacity. Uniquely, it stores them in two rows of twenty, and can switch between them using a toggle on the side at will. With reasonable performance and a very reasonable price, the Turbo Advance presents itself as a very good entry level blaster to compete with the exceptional Dart Zone Magnum Superdrum.

In the third-party market, the Nerf hobby has seen a massive increase in parts for flywheel blasters. The Open Flywheel Project in particular has really pushed the boundaries of flywheeling, to the point where 200fps muzzle velocities from a single stage are possible. Established sellers like Worker and Artifact have continued to supply many parts, while more manufacturers have started up with a variety of parts. The Nerf motor market has also become extremely competitive, with both FoamBlast and Titan pushing out some serious motors, and MTB stepping up their motor game to match.

2018 is my (hopefully) final year of Uni, so I will likely have far less time for blog stuff than I have in the past four years. On top of that, I've been progressively losing interest in fun/gimmick blasters and focusing mainly of stuff that may actually get used. Overall I expect there to be a lot less posts next year than the past few, even compared to this year which has been pretty lean on posts. I have no idea what the future holds, but I expect that at very least, I will still be in the hobby, just possibly even less active.


  1. Do you know if the FocusFire/OutBreaker Bow are slam-fire?
    If not, they are likely a re-shelled NS Elite Spectre.

    1. I believe they are not slam-fire capable.

    2. Looking at internals, the Alphahawk, Out-breaker Bow, and Spectre have the same internals. I cannot find internals for the FocusFire, however.

      My other guess is that the Barrelstrike and Stockshot are the same blaster with a different shell/gimmick. Their handles are practically identical.

      I may be wrong on this, but the Battlescout is just a repaint of the original, just without the camera. Don't blame me if I am wrong. Lol.

    3. The Battlescout is supposedly not a direct repaint, there is a substantial number of people reporting significantly improved performance.

    4. "I may be wrong on this, but the Battlescout is just a repaint of the original, just without the camera. Don't blame me if I am wrong. Lol." That was supposed to be a joke...I did not realize the battlecammo battlescout was different than the predecessor. It does look cool.

    5. One other thing. It looks like Mega keeps original for the most part. Nice job mega...nice job.