Confession time: When I saw the Zuru booth at ToyFair18, I thought that they were Just Another Blaster Knockoff company.
I was quickly schooled by a friend of mine in the business, who let me know that Zuru is well known outside the US, and that every bit of plastic they use is their own mold. So let me begin with an apology to them.
Still, it’s hard to not think that at first glance. The toy aisles are full of blasters, from the big name with an N to the cheap brands. How does Zuru stand out? It goes back to what my friend told me – by using their own designs entirely.
Take the Regenerator. While similar in concept to the Nerf Modulus line, Zuru gives you the full set of attachments, meaning you’re not hunting down more parts (and you can’t use the Modulus parts here, because not a knock-off). Instead, you can choose to have a sniper setup, a short blaster, a rifle, etc. It looks cool and feels great in the hand. I would go so far as to call it desirable.
The side-loading magazines are easy to use and load, and you can store extra darts along the barrel. I honestly prefer magazines that don’t feed through like this – it’s easy to load too quickly and miss a dart. Still, that’s something you get used to over time.
In our testing, however, we found a more important issue:
I don’t know if you can tell in the video, but the accuracy rate with the Regenerator was a bit terrible. I don’t know that it’s the blaster’s fault – rather I think it’s the darts. The basic darts are almost too light. I haven’t had a chance to test this with other darts, but other sources say Accustrike darts improve performance.
The X-Shot Turbo Advance makes up for the lighter darts by firing much faster. We had a significantly higher accuracy rate with it, as long as we stayed within 8 feet of our target. It was also easier to load the drum magazine.
The drum makes the blaster a little bit better for spraying and made the blaster more fun for my son to use. In fact, he has claimed it as “his.” Both blasters are very well made, but there’s something about the Turbo Advance that’s just cooler.
Normally I include links to places where one can buy the items I am reviewing, but I have had zero luck finding someone selling X-Shot items for a normal price.
It looks like they were being carried by Toys R Us but, um, we saw how that ended. It’s a shame because these and Bug Attack (skeet shooting for kids) are great blasters marred by easily replaceable darts. Give them a shot.
Note: Zuru supplied me with the blasters. I came up with that “give me a shot” pun all on my own.