February 2, 2014

Air Zone Xtreme Dart Bow + Xtreme Dart Review

Last Friday, I grabbed one of the newest Air Zone blasters from ToysRUs, the Xtreme Dart Bow, for $8. It appears that in this case, Prime Time Toys (the original maker of the blaster) beat Hasbro at their own game. See the rest of the review!
Similar style and mechanism, but the off-brand is better.

First, a breakdown of the blaster. It is a pull and release blaster with cosmetic bow arms - one serves as the hand grip, and the other serves as dart storage. On the package, 70 ft. ranges are claimed.

Four screws on the back, just like a Jolt. Also, air holes in the back.

The plunger has roughly 1 1/2" of travel. It's also the same diameter as a Firestrike plunger.

Oh look! They're so cute!

The inside is simple: the plunger tube/shell contains a plastic insert/dart barrel. No real air restrictions to speak of (those tabs keep the dart from being sucked into the plunger tube. Yep, it vacuum loads!).

Not much to see here. Move along.

Finally, here's now darts fit into the blaster barrel. Once you've loaded the dart partway, drawing on the plunger will pull it in the rest of the way.

Here's the blaster with one of the new "Xtreme" darts.


And here it is with an Nstrike Elite dart.


Out of interest, I dissected one of the darts. Here's an Xtreme dart and Elite dart, side by side.


And with the rubber tips removed. The new darts have a longer stem and less air inside them.


Now for the review! In testing, the bow did in fact fire 70 ft. angled (as all package claims are), and sometimes more. In fact, I'd say it was nearly on par with the Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow, and for less than half the price. It also performs better than the overpriced Jolt reshell known as the Hawkeye Longshot Bow. Naturally, this assumes that you've had enough practice with bow blasters to fire them straight and to pull back with proper form.

As for the Xtreme darts...I'm undecided at this point. They perform well enough, and they shoot fairly straight, but I would simply need many more test shots before an accurate conclusion can be reached.

In any case, if you feel like trying them out, TRU has 100 dart packs for $25. Note that the box also makes 70 ft. claims, in addition to being compatible with the leading brand blaster. Even if they're slightly inferior, these may be a cheaper alternative to buying Elite darts.

In any case, I recommend the blaster, and will hold judgement on the darts for now.

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