March 29, 2013

Review: Skylanders Giants – Trigger Happy’s Dart Blaster

Well, this is an interesting development. With Skylanders becoming pretty big in gaming (essentially the most effective use of DLC I've ever seen without needing to download anything. Just send the kid's parents to the toy store!), roleplaying toys were bound to appear. Among them is the blaster used in-game by Trigger Happy.

Turns out Mega Bloks' parent company has a license to make Skylanders toys, and have ventured into foam blasters. At $15, it was a relatively cheap buy for being a licensed toy and a new item in general for reviewing. So I grabbed one and had fun. More after the jump!

I should mention that I also saw a foam sword! That price tag is wrong and covering up the real price of $19.99 - pricey for Ignitor's Foam Sword, but interesting nonetheless.

On the BACK of the box, however, is another find. There will be another blaster coming out soon! It's listed as Tree Rex's Smash Hands on the back of the blaster box, and as a triple blaster on the back of the sword's  packaging. Both had the same Mega product number, though. I'm assuming it will be a blaster, with internals unknown. Seeing as there's no obvious priming mechanism, it could be a squeeze ball for all we know. That would be disappointing. Point: no use speculating for now.

If you look closely at the pistol illustration, you can see that on trigger pull, three of the six barrels are open for reloading: one on either side, and one behind the safety barrel for a nice triangle. So in reality, you only need to turn the turret twice to reload each barrel, three at a time.

On to the actual review! Out of the box, it operates in the same manner as a Maverick - turret rotation is on trigger pull, not priming. This is unfortunate, but I have yet to see any real misfires. However, there's a BIG difference from the Maverick - this blaster has a direct plunger! The priming motion is only about 2 inches, but with a ~1" diameter plunger tube, it gives us a lot more potential than the Maverick ever did. Who knows, maybe a little bit of love will make this comparable to the Strongarm, for a unique sidearm.

Another view of the internals. Aside from the plunger system, most everything looks the same as a Maverick, with the rotation arm going behind the gears, and with the catch hooked to a lever. The spring small but strong, as we'd expect.

Looking from the rear, we see the back of the turret. Aside from the plastic crosspiece that holds the dart peg, there's no restrictors to remove. It should be noted that while rear-loading mods might be feasible, in stock form there is no need, since it is already easy to load.

Here's a quick firing video - apologies for the quality. My cell phone was dying, so I didn't get a change to properly check the settings before shooting a quick demo. I'm about 20 feet away.
The stock darts...aren't great. They're foam darts, with rubber domes, and essentially a plastic straw inside. They don't seem to work that well, thought. I did fire a few streamlines, which had a lot more punch to them. So it's far from a total loss!

I'll have to play with the internals and post a mod sometime. My take on this blaster so far? It's unique, if you want something other than your plain old Tek 6 or Maverick. Strongarms are better for a couple bucks cheaper. So I'll just say this: it has potential, but buy it only if you actually care about having a different blaster than usual.


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