The Blaster In Question #0003: Ravager

RAVAGER

ALIEN MENACE

If you follow nerf even a little bit, you’ve probably noticed the trend of blasters moving toward the “tacti-cool” militaristic types of designs with scopes and magazines and attachments out the wazoo, and thats great for when you wanna play that way, but sometimes you don’t wanna get to serious about it.  That’s when you need a big goofy, gimmicky blaster.  That’s where the Ravager comes in.  Ok, ok, the name sounds intimidating and all, but don’t let that fool you.  This blaster has goofiness for days, so let’s take a look.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

The ravager was released in Fall 2016 as the secondary blaster in the first wave of the Alien Menace series (again with the super serious names).  As far as I can tell, the Ravager is mostly original in terms of mechanics.  The forward fang/claw-type handle primes the blaster like just about any pump-action blaster with the added distinction of being absolutely buttery smooth.  This may be an odd point to harp on about, but I’m serious.  This blaster has one of the smoothest most satisfying pump-actions I’ve ever felt.  I wish every Nerf blaster felt this good to prime, but thats enough about that.  Firing, the blaster works like a big revolver, however, it’s unique in that the big goofy claw cylinder (which is far from cylindrical) holds 2 shots on each claw arm, releasing only one dart at a time via smart air-restrictor.  Effectively, what this means is that the cylinder has to complete 2 full rotations to fire all 8 darts.  On a side note, I’ve seen other people firing the Ravager and I believe mine might have a slight defect with one of the catches which are supposed to stop the claw cylinder in the right place to fire another round.  The blaster is still useable, it just has a tendency to rotate the cylinder back to the previous position if I try to fire it too quickly.  That might just be mine, but let’s move onto where the Ravager really shines.  My god, the design of this blaster is just something else.  At first glance, yes, its a funky shape, but looking closer, there’s a ton of really nice texture work.  The grey areas have a bumpy, pseudo-rayskin feel, whereas the purple and white have a grain to them, kind of like bone or chitin.  Where there isn’t texture, theres cool transparent purple on the back section of the blaster.  All together, the design makes the Ravager feel like a proper alien weapon.  Someone on the Nerf design team was having a good day when they were working on this.  The blaster feels pretty good in hand, though the aforementioned forward grip takes a little getting used to.  There aren’t any sights to speak of, but then again, maybe aliens don’t have conventional eyes, or like, use the Force or something.  The Ravager hits a little on the softer side, but nothing deal-breaking.  It’s probably slightly better suited for indoor play for that reason and because the 8 Elite darts that come packaged are a dark grey and purple, making them much easier to lose in grass and such.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Ravager was actually a birthday present from the infamous Enabler (some call her the “Super Awesome Girlfriend”) while on a ToysRUs run with my boy Ethan.  Funnily enough, it was a TRU run for his birthday whereupon I bought him the Marvel Legends Black Panther.  The Enabler, upon realizing that my own birthday was several months past, forcibly grabbed the Ravager from my stack of Nerf purchases-to-be and bought it herself.  I mean, she did, then, give it back as a belated gift, but still, the nerve of some people.  I am glad to have it, and though mine might be a bit of a lemon, it’s still plenty of fun to run around the house with, making pew pew noises.

*All kidding aside, Jess is pretty cool, but “Super Awesome Platonic Friend” didn’t quite roll off the tongue.

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