Toy Review: Nerf Vulcan Machine Gun

Geek Culture


Okay, let’s just state the obvious: having a massive Nerf machine gun in your home is just wrong. But also a little bit right? That’s what I set out to discover. Wired got sent a review unit, so I brought it home, warning the kids not to get used to it because it was DEFINITELY going back.

They thought the  Vulcan EBF-25 was pretty awesome. The ammo belt holds 25 rounds and it shoots three a second, so that’s just eight seconds of full auto fire. But you can also fire off short bursts, or switch into manual mode and pull back a cocking bar for individual shots. You can either hold it Master Chief style, shooting from the hip and holding the gray bar from above, or put in on its included tripod and man a machine gun nest.

In our experience, in full auto mode it jams about half the time, which is a little frustrating, but it’s a simple matter of opening a hatch and reseating the belt to continue firing where you left off. The
Vulcan seems sturdy and we haven’t broken anything yet. It all goes together easily in about ten minutes, and you just need a screwdriver and six(!) D batteries.

Reloading the belt takes a few minutes, so if you’re defending an emplacement you better have a gunner to cover you while you’re stuffing
Nerf bullets back into the belt. But once it’s loaded, watch out. In one Nerf battle we stupidly charged a base, hoping that with sheer numbers (this is why we have a lot of kids) and speed we’d get close enough to overcome the defenses. Big mistake. The Vulcan mowed us all down within a few steps.

So now we have a better strategy. The Vulcan takes a second to get going, so we dash from cover to cover, never exposing ourselves long enough for the big bad machine to drop us in a hail of foam bullets.
Vulcan neutralized! Now it’s just used to ambush people harmlessly walking into a room, and to horrify the grandparents with photos like the above.

The Vulcan’s going back alright–it’s way too big to leave around the house, given the relatively limited play options–but not quite yet. We’ve got one boy’s birthday party to go, and the Vulcan really raises the game in Nerf warfare. Eat foam, suckers!

  • Wired: Three shots a second and cool low-slung heft makes you feel all bad-ass.
  • Tired: Frequent jams, yet another huge plastic thing in the house, may cause other parents to worry about you and your parenting choices.
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