We test the best pump-action blaster in the BOOMco line-up so far. 

Anyone who’s been keeping-up with our reviews of Mattel’s BOOMco line of blasters will tell you we’re no big fans of their triggerless, pump-to-fire models. Things started off poorly with the debut of the incredibly unreliable Twisted Spinner pumper last year, got weird with the shield and pop-up festooned Stealth Ambush, and only improved marginally with the simple but childish Slamblast pump-action model we reviewed more recently. Fortunately, the brains at BOOMco have been listening to the community, and pretty quickly realized that enthusiasts much prefer triggers in their blasters. It’s become such a sore spot that they are actively talking about moving in this direction with new models. Still, pump-action blasters are part of the current BOOMco line-up, so we thought it worthwhile to see if the top model in the triggerless range was worthy of consideration on any level. We’re glad we did–because while we’re still no fans of pump-to-fire models, the Mad Slammer at least proves these types of products can at least be fun.

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Blaster Labs Exclusive

Enter to win a K-FORCE Dual Cross and Mega Boom Set! 

We’ve been covering the K’NEX K-FORCE Build-and-Blast product launch since way back in January when we provided the first official product images and details. We initially spent time with the new K’NEX blaster line at Toy Fair, and were then privileged to be invited on a personal tour of the K’NEX design studio and factory to see how they had been developed. We gave the world the first measurements and testing of K’NEX darts, and were likewise honored to publish the very first K-FORCE blaster review. To say we’ve been all over the K-FORCE product launch is an understatement. But now, thanks to our friends at K’NEX, we’re able to share the love with one lucky reader!

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New promo video from the Nerf design team hypes the MEGA product line.

Continuing with the “Behind-the-Scenes” theme of videos Hasbro is releasing this year, we’ve been given early access to a new spot highlighting the MEGA line of Nerf products. More specifically, this video showcases the awesome Nerf N-Strike Elite MEGA CycloneShock, which we recently awarded our “Top Shot” recommendation. There’s not really anything new to see here, and the CGI rendering is on the painfully obvious side, but it’s still cool to see people like Michael Ritchie (who we spent more than an hour talking to at last year’s All Access event) coming out from the shadows a bit, so fans can see the people behind the blasters. We hope Hasbro continues to strive for greater access and accessibility between fans and creators.

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This string-powered crossbow gets a mixed reaction from our testers. 

The Nerf N-Strike Elite CrossBolt is something of a no-brainer for Hasbro. It combines the fan-favorite bullpup design seen in products like the Elite Rayven with a crossbow feel inspired by contemporary pop-culture icons like Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead) into one sleek package that set the Nerf community on fire with anticipation when it first leaked online. Of course, reality often has a way of tempering excitement when fantasy gives way to fact, and so it’s not any different now that the CrossBolt has been on store shelves for a few weeks. While the Nerf N-Strike Elite CrossBolt is indeed a very cool product, actual use reveals it’s not without some significant shortcomings that dampen our enthusiasm for the new crossbow more than a little.

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Blaster Labs Exclusive

Exclusive design team concept artwork and new high-res imagery!

One of the most exciting new blasters introduced at the 2015 North American International Toy Fair this year was the BOOMco Spinsanity 3X–the first motorized dart shooter to come from Mattel’s adventurous blaster brand. We got hands-on time with a prototype of the Spinsanity 3X during the show, and it was awesomely fun (easily one of the more memorable blaster experiences of the show). But some of the details of the blaster itself have remained a bit elusive. Fortunately, our friends at BOOMco have come through for us again, providing Blaster Labs readers with an exclusive look at the design concept the BOOMco team used internally to present the blaster to the team. Let’s have a look!

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Blaster Labs Exclusive

We get the latest on the Halo models, future product focus, and more!

Long-time readers of this site know that we’re big fans of the Mattel BOOMco line of products. In fact, we recently named the BOOMco Rapid Madness our 2014 Product of the Year. But it’s not just the products–awesome as they may be–that have us singing BOOMco praises. A large part of what has us becoming more and more enamored with this blaster start-up from the world’s second-largest toy company is the transparency and accessibility that we’ve been afforded. We regularly have off-the-record conversations with members of the BOOMco family, and recently, they gave us exclusive access to the design team so we could get answers to a few nagging questions–and even a few hints at what’s to come!

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