August 15, 2014

Buzz Bee Toys "Wingz" Dart Launcher Review

While the Buzz Bee Wingz Long Bow turned out to be a disappointment. it seems the Dart Launcher has far more potential. Based in part on the Stunt Dart launcher concept, it is built more robustly and performs well for a blaster its size. And for $5 at Target, it's a great deal to boot.

The Dart Launcher is tiny. And I mean tiny. Anyone with larger hands will be lucky to wrap two fingers around the handle. Not as much of a concern for the target audience of young girls, mind you. But for the rest of us, it may be a concern. The "bird darts" are elongated sucker darts, made from the same dense foam as Air Blaster Extreme darts and with wings on either side.

The barrel, with its slots on either side for placing the dart wings, will also accept Stunt Darts.

Performance testing in good weather, with a light headwind and a slight angle of launch, showed 30' ranges with the included bird darts. Under perfect conditions and a better launch angle (about 30 degrees, once air resistance is taken into account), it would be easy to meet or exceed the 35' range claims on the box. In addition, I tested Nerf Elite darts with this blaster. 50'-55' ranges when fired parallel to the ground, and 70'-75' at an angle. So it performs as well as the Stunt Dart launcher, with ranges competitive with the lesser Nerf pistols.

Finally, a look at the inside. Unlike the thin, swiveling catch piece in the Stunt Dart launcher, this has a normal catch plate like you would see on a Firestrike or Nitefinder. 23mm ID plunger tube, and roughly 30mm in plunger draw. A fair amount of air for a blaster this tiny.

While the blaster handle is undersized, I can't fault it due to its target audience. In addition, the blaster performs admirably, both firing the included darts as far as advertised and firing normal darts twice as far. It's also incredibly cheap at $5 (exclusive to Target) and durable, having seen hundreds of shots so far without any signs of stress. Sounds like a must-buy to me, both for Nerf fans in need of a tiny powerhouse and for young girls just getting into the hobby.