Friday, January 21, 2011
Nerf Stampede Hands-On Review
I tested the latest gun to enter the Nerf arsenal. My verdict? Best Nerf gun yet!
Nerf weapons have come a long way in recent years, with manual single-shot guns gradually giving way to battery-aided rapid-fire weapons. The latest entry to this burgeoning subsection of foam-based ballistics is the Nerf Stampede (RM249)—a tripod-mounted, battery-powered weapon that is capable of taking preloaded ammo magazines for quick reloading in tight spots.
I've tested the weapon in various office battles. The verdict: Not only is the Stampede the best overall Nerf gun ever, but it is also easier to use and less prone to jams than previous battery-powered automatic Nerf guns. And because a rapid-fire gun can unload its entire ammo load in seconds, the ability to pop in new magazines proved to be very handy. Still, it's annoying that the battery chamber requires a screwdriver to open, and the weapon is far too heavy for mobile or offensive missions (this is purely for standing your ground and defending turf).
Yet there is a fundamental problem with battery-powered rapid-firing Nerf guns that this one fails to solve: the weapons are a pain to clean up after. A couple of seconds of glorious automatic fire is soon followed by several minutes of looking under couches and lamps for every last stray dart. And keeping up with the requirement of six D batteries (a throwback to days when toys didn't typically come with rechargeable batteries) could prove expensive.