Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Toy Fair Run-up: Review for the N-Strike Barricade!




(Thanks to Nerf's youtube channel for the video! Inside blast!)



Nerf continues support of battery powered blasters with its latest entry, the N-Strike Barricade RV-10! It’s a 10-shot, rotating turret pistol looking blaster powered on 3 AA batteries, flywheel projectile system, and uh... a trigger. Yes, a trigger.

You load the darts into the turret and with each trigger pull the turret rotates and a pusher arm moves darts into flywheels which launch the darts, anywhere from 25-30’ (as with any fresh outta the box Nerf blaster).

When I first got word of this thing, my heart skipped a beat. Up until now, running with a Nerf blaster in each hand meant having to get creative about how you were going to reprime each blaster between shots, and shooting both at once required some pretty deft evading and manual dexterity to get the blasters reloaded and reprimed. So much for hilariously fun John Woo-style shootouts.

The Barricade is a true semiautomatic. It has a ten shot revolving chamber, and each trigger pull fires a single dart without having to reprime any firing mechanism, as once the switch turns on the flywheels keep spinning. It works, and the vertical orientation of the flywheels aids in the accuracy of fire, as opposed to previously released flywheel blasters that had horizontal-oriented flywheels.

I recently took the Barricade to an indoor Nerf fight, and I found if you try to fire it too fast it might cause the blaster to jam. You have to be mindful and make sure that each trigger pull you make is a full motion. Probably some practice under quick trigger pulls is asked for here just to make sure you know how touchy your Barricade is. It was able to fire anything I loaded in there, from streamlines to off-brand micro darts. The trick was to take my time with each trigger pull.

Size wise, the barricade is not much bigger than a stripped-down recon. It's big enough that you can use the underside of the muzzle for a handgrip, but the bread and butter of it is using the barricade like a pistol. The back part of the shell can accomodate a stock as well. Getting to and rotating the chambers to reload is pretty easy, and clearing jams on the top of the barricade isn't difficult as well. Probably the trickiest thing is remembering to check your jam door is closed, the switch is on, and your batteries are charged if you have problems turning the blaster on.

No bones about it though, this blaster is fun. I had a bit of time trying to call hits on people, due to reliability issues firing darts when things got hectic. It was even more difficult trying to use two blasters. I hate to draw comparisons to video games, but using two barricades drastically reduced my field of vision, and also hampered my ability to reload the turrets. A trick I like to do is palm a few darts in my free hand when using a front-loading pistol, but with two blasters at a total of 20 shots that method didn’t work and when it was time to reload there was no Zombieland slam reloading motion I could use... I had to rely on teammates for cover while I stuffed shots back in to each turret. Even reloading on the run was near impossible without a proper way to holster a blaster. Probably would be better and more efficient to use the barricades alternatingly as opposed to both at once. Then... where’s the fun in that though? I did manage to do a knee slide coming around a corner as I lit someone up with both barricades at least once, though! Using these in stock dart matches in the summer will be the next test.

Overall, was it worth it? Yes! For two? I leave that up to you, the buyer. The RoF does feel faster than a lot of the other blasters I use (including the Stampede, without having to wait for the spring to wind up and all that) and maybe even beats my speed on emptying a 35 drum with my Raider. But this is definitely a nice innovation to see from Nerf, and whatever your feelings are about their direction using battery-powered blasters, you’d be missing out to not give this a try. Not having to use that extra second to manipulate a priming mech and THEN pull the trigger is really handy in a pinch!

I've found them at Target for just under $20, and TRU for over $20. Now grab your ammo!

No comments:

FOAMME FATALES

RSS FEED - READ AS IT POSTS!