A few days ago at my local Walmart, Rebelle blasters began appearing on shelves. Seeing as I didn't feel like reviewing a Hammershot clone or Firestrike reshell, I chose the Heartbreaker Bow. After all, I have quite a few bows myself (Marshmallow bows being my favorite) and wanted to see how this one held up. Sadly...it's a real heart breaker. :-/
Read more on basic mods and performance after the jump.
Out of the box, you can see that the bow is VERY thin. So it has a small plunger tube to begin with, firing a single dart the same as any other Elite range blaster. That's automatically a strike against it, because even among Nerf blasters, you can get the exact same performance with half the money.
It turns out that there is a spool on the inside - once unraveled to full length, the string then pulls the plunger back against the spring. That's another strike against it, this time when compared to other bows - there is no middle ground whatsoever for firing quick shots when needed. You have to pull all the way back to even start the plunger moving. If you don't have perfect form when letting the handle roll off your fingers, then you end up releasing the handle farther forward. Thus, you lose that much spring compression, and consequently range.
The plunger tube assembly looks exactly like a Firestrike. The barrel snaps over tabs on the plunger tube, and the air restrictor is easily removed. This adds 15-20 feet in range off the bat. Assuming you fire properly.
In the end, while the Heartbreaker Bow indeed meets its range claims, hitting the target is another matter. Unlike other toy bows with straight shafts, the string makes aiming this blaster very hard to do. At the very least, this blaster needs a telescoping shaft between the handle and spool - the shaft/"arrow" feel is key to having a good bow you can control. The thin profile makes internal replacements hard to do without destroying most of the shell.
All in all, I cannot stress enough that YOU SHOULD AVOID THIS BLASTER. If you really want a bow, buy a Blazin Bow for about the same price. It has a few issues I'll address in my next post, but is still by far a superior product.
If you just want a Rebelle blaster in general, the Pink Crush has the same performance for half the price.