Friday, June 20, 2014

Review: Mattel BoomCo - F2A First Impressions on the Rapid Madness

BoomCo Rapid Madness First Thoughts!



(Recorded this late last night while I was putting together the review - I picked the blaster up late at Target, it was a surprise to see it, will update with a better video once I am rested and have better light. In the meantime, here are some pictures:

Hey everyone! So I picked up the BoomCo Rapid Madness last night. Enjoy the gallery -

The BoomCo shield is removable, and the pump is double action!


Price: $49.99 (!?)

Includes:
Rapid Madness x 1
Darts x 30
Throwable "Round" x 1
Shield x 1
Target board x 1; Instructions x 1

Impressions!
 
BoomCo is Mattel's foray into toy blasters. They don't use foam darts, and the big gimmick is this "sticky technology" on the dart tips that are specially formulated to react and stick to specifically developed targets. It's a huge line, and coming from one of the top toy makers in the world, is it enough to challenge Nerf, a brand that has become eponymous with toys that shoot darts and other projectiles?

In the past, many other brands have come and go - Light Strike, Max Force, gel shooters, and so on. The difference here is Mattel is much bigger than the other companies trying to broach the blaster market in the past. They have deep pockets for R&D and Marketing which really help getting your brand and toy noticed.  

"Sticky" technology, you say? According to Mattel's techs, they formulated the rubber/polymer/whatever on the darts to only react/stick to the specially designed targets. And they do! It's amazing! It could theoretically make hit-tracking and scorekeeping much easier depending on what rules/gametype you, the player, devise. And it's a strong grip, too. Any other surface/material and the darts just bounce.HOWEVER - CAVEAT - the stickiness will fade if not maintained; you have to rinse the darts regularly or use tape to remove debris. Have no fear, the instructions have.... instructions on how to do this. The Round included is entirely composed of the sticky material, which.... gives me some scenario-style ideas. But more on that as the line develops.

The darts themselves are constructed of a thick straw-like plastic, topped with the sticky material. I don't have a scale to tell you a difference in the weight of these darts vs. foam. If I had to attest to durability, I'd rather take the darts out to a game rather than hypothesize, and see the attrition that way. The foam darts are definitely thicker, and you can find a pretty good overview at UKNERF..
The dart was fine!


Let's look at the BoomCo Rapid Madness. At $49.99 + tax, I was a little leery about buying it. There are/were numerous blasters of similar function in the past (Magstrike, Powerclip for starters) but they were also pre-Elite and at most were hitting 20-30', probably. The Rapid Madness outdoes that with 50' in range (see the video above!). It also comes with a shield, a target, and a throwable projectile (see previous paragraph).
The Rapid Madness! (Shield is attached and closed up)

The "Round" - both halves stick together when they are pressed, they separate for easy cleaning.

Functionally speaking, we've been there, done that. Pump the blaster (at most) 18 times (a double-action pump no less), pull the trigger, and point where you want to unleash your straw/rubber-sticky doom. The only difference in this instance is the 50' in range vs. maybe 30' in earlier blasters. It's this similarity though that makes me question the price, even with the extras included.

The blaster is fully automatic, so it is definitely a spray and pray kind of experience. I found myself wanting to use a grip with my offhand besides the pump, but there really isn't another place on the barrel that seemed like a good fit. Aiming from the shoulder also seemed improper because of the nature of the blaster, so I actually found shooting from the waist better, again with the spray and pray idea. The double action nature of the blaster's pump might make it feel slower to refill with air, and depending on your play style this may or may not be your cup of tea. Once your first salvo is out.... MOVE. However, as you can see in the (newly added) video, doing bursts of darts isn't too hard with the Rapid Madness.

The shield mounts on the barrel and deploys at the press of a button. Even though there is a sort of iron sight on it I felt like the shield made aiming a bit more difficult, which made shooting from the hip even more preferable. In fact, like the Nerf Stampede shield I felt better just having it off. I also don't think the blaster is for lefties, since the clip loads from the left of the barrel and has to be inserted that way due to the arrow guides. There was a bit of the blaster near the grip that would dig into my hand as well, whether that is because of the design for kids or a flaw in construction I am not sure.

The blaster itself had a separation in the shell already as well -
The shell seemed a bit opened here.
But it worked and as the video shows, the volley needed some dialing in but otherwise it worked pretty well. When I have some time (and daylight) to update the video outside to check max range, I will. The pump felt durable and sturdy, as did the rest of the blaster (something you can expect when a company like Mattel is doing the building.) My nephew (he's 11) thought it looked pretty cool, and got a kick out of shooting it.

When it boils down to it, what are we looking at? The Rapid Madness is expensive for a mechanic we've already seen elsewhere. It requires stocking up on Yet Another Ammo Type, and even then the BoomCo ammo gimmick may fade out over time and leave you with darts that do little else but bounce like any other darts but at a premium price (for the blasters that launch them, if not the darts themselves.) However the range is on par with the current market of available blasters (at least, until certain 90-100' blasters hit shelves later this year) and honestly they do look pretty slick and futuristic. The sticky tech sounds like it'll be a lot of fun to play around with and I'm willing to give the line a chance and see where they go. If you want to try something new maybe give this a look. But with its price maybe check out some of the lower priced blasters before you go with the Rapid Madness. Honestly, of all the blasters in the line, I wish I had found the Twisted Spinner first, based on the uniqueness of the blaster alone.

Thoughts? Questions? Let me know in the comments! NOTE: I moderate comments, so if they don't show up right away, don't worry about resubmitting! I will get there and read them. :)

No comments:

FOAMME FATALES

RSS FEED - READ AS IT POSTS!