Spider-gun, spider-gun, radioactive spider-gun. Ok, so it’s not radioactive, and the proper term is blaster, but it is indeed a Spider-Man blaster. Nerf and Hasbro in general have had several iterations over the years with varying mechanics and degrees of commercial success. Given the recent release of the Spider-Man: Homecoming film, I thought it was appropriate to review the tie-in Rapid-Reload Blaster, so let’s get right into it.
THE BLASTER ITSELF
The Spider-Man: Homecoming Rapid-Reload Blaster was released in summer of 2017 to coincide with the July release of the movie. The exterior of the blaster is completely original and deco’d up to look like a part of Spider-Man’s costume, complete with straps for mounting to the user’s wrist. The internal mechanics are a mix of old and new, using a smart AR system arranged in a unique setup. The actual barrels that hold the darts are part of the detachable 3-round clips that let you reload quickly from the included clip holster, hence the name. The priming slide serves two purposes, first being to prime the blaster, obviously. It should be noted that the priming pull is very short, but I’ll get back to that in a bit. The slide also functions as the ejector for the clips by pushing it towards the front of the blaster. The blaster is one of the chunkier Spider-Man blasters I’m aware of, given the complexity of the internal mechanisms. The barrels protrude far enough forward that they cover the user’s palm, making grasping anything else while wearing the blaster clumsy and practically impossible for larger objects. This eliminates the use of this as a tactical backup blaster for Nerf wars and such, which was a popular use of the previous model of Spider-Man and Venom themed blasters. The rapid reload feature, while novel, doesn’t work quite as smoothly as I might like. The idea of jamming the blaster onto the clip holster to load a clip as the instructions suggest falls apart when you realize how much hand-eye coordination it must take to accomplish that effectively. As I mentioned earlier, the priming pull is exceptionally short, and fairly light, which means performance from the blaster is mediocre at best, and laughable at worst. Clunky form factor, awkward loading, and disappointing performance, that leaves just one thing left to consider. While this was clearly not designed as a competitive, performance driven blaster, it works quite well as a playing pretend kind of toy. Sure, you’re not gonna be sniping people from 50 feet, but you can still bust into your siblings’ rooms pretending to be Spider-Man and give them a sound pestering. I think that should be the main use of a blaster like this. All that matters is that it shoots something. The Spider-Man: Homecoming Rapid-Reload Blaster comes packaged with a clip holster, 2 3-round clips, and 6 funky Spider-Man darts, which even feature uniquely molded dart tips.
You may have gathered that this isn’t my favorite blaster out there. It has plenty of issues, but that’s not to say I hate it either. It still has a decent potential for fun, just as long as you know exactly what type of play the blaster is suited for. Once I found that out, I began enjoying it a good deal more. Can it swing from a web? I don’t know. That’s a really odd question to ask. You’re weird for asking it. If I had to guess, though, probably not.