Friday, April 19, 2013

Snapfire 8 - closer look (Review, Repost of Demo video)



Back at last year's Toy Fair I posted this winner of a video -


and it took... a long time to get to the U.S.  It was out overseas at first (due to the popularity of Dart Tag in those areas as opposed to the lukewarm reception here) and only recently did I finally spot one in a Toys R Us.  Approximately $19.99, it's that semiauto manual pistol some of us have wanted for a long, long while.  Personally, I remember this old video by SGNerf:



AND FINALLY.... FINALLY..... I got to take a look at a production version Snapfire 8 up close!

More after the break>>>>




Stats:
  • Toys R Us exclusive ($14.99 or so)
  • Front-loading, 8 shot turret
  •  2 settings, "Power" & "Speed"
Twist the dial in order to go to either "speed" or "power"

  • Fires streamlines and taggers
  • No tac rails (as this is Dart Tag)
  • Ranges: 50' on "Power" (flat) and 30'-40' on "Speed"
Annnd, size comparison:


Now to the task at hand:

"Does switching between Power and Speed do anything?"

As has been noted by other owners, the trigger pull on the Snapfire 8 feels a little weird.  It's a bit longer of a pull than I initially expected, most likely to both prime and release the catch the mechanism.  The "Power" setting makes the trigger harder to pull (not unexpected) while the "Speed" setting is a lot easier to pull the trigger but at significant drop in range.  Gives the impression of using versatility and modular play, but I think I would just keep it on the "Power" setting as pulling the trigger a little harder isn't a big deal to me.  "Power" might be tough for a 6 year old though, so parents be aware that you might have to help a little to fire on the "Power" setting.

Other than the trigger, the Snapfire 8 was decent.  It got decent range on either setting and while the trigger was weird, it just took a little practice for me to get the hang of it.  The big sell to me is the true semiauto one-handed operation- no pumping needed (like a Blastfire) and no batteries (pick one, there are tons of flywheel blasters to name out there.) This feature is also why I needed to dual-wield them, in spite of the risk of reloading both at the same time.

The Snapfire 8 handles well and with taggers it is pretty accurate.  I personally got a kick out of it because I'm a big fan of semiauto pistols (lots of John Woo films growing up), although the trigger is weird.  The round turret makes holstering/pocketing one a little tough, but nothing a good pair of cargo pants can't fix.  I suppose the lack of any sling points isn't terrible either, but it would have been nice have some place to clasp one on in case my pockets get full of darts.  The handle seemed a good size, it didn't feel like I had to hold it weird or that I was enveloping the blaster with my hand, which was a good touch as well.

I think the speed/power setting was a bit unnecessary except for a few select occasions, but it's a gimmick and needed to bring some different functionality to the table in addition to the true semiauto firing.  Now and again I did have a hiccup with pulling the trigger and a dart not firing, but that could be either poor dart fit or user error.  The same thing happened with the barricade, that if you didn't pull the trigger correctly, darts jammed.  With the Nerf Dart Tag Snapfire, you have take the same care when firing, as the blaster has to move all its parts correctly to fire properly.




Overall, I give the Snapfire a middle of the road.  On the one hand I love love love the semiauto action, but the weird trigger pull holds it back a little as that affects the reliability of the blasters.  For folks who don't like carrying a lot of n-strike magazines on them, this is another good addition based on the mobility you have with this vs. a Swarmfire, or even a Speedswarm (not to mention a Speedswarm has that split-second rev time and suffers a bit on the rate of fire).  Is it a must-buy?  Depends on how much you want that semiauto electric free experience.  Personally, I needed to try it and here I am.

While the price is a bit high even for this (much less 2 of them like I got) if you want that flywheel-free semiauto experience, this is your chance to get it, though it takes some practice.  Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go watch some 80s era Hong Kong action flicks :)

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