Vas The Stampede
NXT Tactical Shotgun:
Price: $42.99 at Toys R Us
Range: 20' (flat, angled = approx. > 30')
Ammo: Foam darts (3 velcro/3 suction) - proprietary, does not match any other brand of dart. Additional ammo packs are available.
Availability: Most major retailers.
Tactical Shotgun x 1
Darts (3 suction type, 3 hook & loop)
Target x 1
Sample was provided by the manufacturer, opinions are my own.
|A look at the NXT darts - they're shorter than most other brands.|
|The push-button breech, load the darts here.|
FIRST OFF: I got a little background on the company, and their aim (is it were) is on target practice, giving parents another avenue to teach their child about hunting and marksmanship. They not only have shotguns, but crossbows, bows patterned after compound bows (a long bow too), and a bit of an old-time element with flintlock pistols and long rifles (see: Frontier Series).
BUT, the intended use for them is - target practice. The tactical shotgun came with a target of its own, but there are others available in the cartoon shape of animals and more traditional archery targets, reinforcing the hunting and outdoor sportsman theme.
One of the neatest features about the tactical shotgun was the popout chamber. You push a button, out pops the dart chamber, you put the dart in, prime the shotgun, pull the trigger. It is one of the more unique ways to load a toy. However, this means it is also a single shot, and the chamber is small to accommodate their own ammo, but no other brands.
The NXT Shotgun only hit about 30' at most with the toy angled, and 20' flat after a number of shots. Compared to other brands currently, this isn't something we see nowadays, especially at their price. In this case it might be a question how much you like how it looks.
Tactical means tactical. The toy is a solid matte black, with the obligatory orange tip. It feels light, and built so that the intended market (5+) should be able to manipulate the pump, with a little help from an adult (also part of the experience of making target shooting a parent-child experience). The pump does feel pretty solid, though I have to admit the feel of the toy doesn't seem to be as robust as more recent toys. Again though, this follows with being built so a small child can use it. There's no questioning what type of firearm this is modeled after though, so yes it can shoot targets but it might also be a good purchase for cosplayers and around Halloween.
The darts - the foam doesn't match the current feel of other current brands. The foam feels lighter than other dart types, and the tips felt like they could peel off, especially if the dart got caught while pushing the chamber back into the body.
Ultimately, is it a buy? If you really want that shotgun look and pump-action feel, then go nuts. But the ranges are low compared to what else you can get recently for a similar amount of money. In close quarters this could be fun, but you would be limited to the proprietary ammo which means you're lacking a lot of flexibility if you intend to go player vs player. As a target shooting game alone, combined with the targets and 20' of space it could be a fun experience for the young kids to learn how to aim and maybe begin familiarizing themselves with outdoor shooting. Hopefully this helps, and if I've missed anything feel free to submit a question or comment below.