Monday 9 July 2012

Dart Tag

Nerf Dart Tag has been going since 2003 but hasn't really brought us anything particularly interesting since the Magstrike AS-10 in 2004, and that was never released in the UK anyway.

The start of 2012 heralded the release of Hasbro's newest additions to the Dart Tag line. Although the new Dart Tag blasters were first released in the US in 2011, most of the blasters were redesigned to improve performance shortly after they went on sale. The redesigned blasters sported blue triggers instead of the original orange ones and have superior internals making the blasters achieve greater ranges.

Along with the new blasters also came new tagger darts. The new ones have a blue tip with white 'velcro' whereas the old ones were orange and black. Altogether the new taggers are far superior to their predecessors as they are (in my opinion) 'stickier' and more durable.

Sharp Shot

The Nerf Sharp Shot is a single shot, semi auto blaster akin to the Scout IX-3. It features a priming slide like that of the Scout and has storage for 3 darts under the barrel. One really great feature of the Sharp Shot is that it has a bevel on the opening of the barrel. This makes it far easier to load than any of its N-Strike alternatives and so has a surprisingly high rate of fire for a single shot blaster.

I like this blaster, even more than the N-Strike Nitefinder. The priming slide makes it easier to get darts on target faster and the bevelled barrel is a great design. I really don't like the belt clip it come with. It gets in the way when you don't need it and it's fiddly to use when you do. In terms of range, this blaster in it's stock form has no equal. Mine hit up to 45' straight out of the box.

Speedload 6


The Speedload 6 is a 6 shot, semi automatic blaster. Often compared to the Maverick REV-6 due to it's size and capacity, the two couldn't be more different. The Speedload 6 is one of the first dart blasters to have an integrated magazine holding up to 6 tagger darts. This magazine is built into the front of the blaster and the darts are loaded from the top-left hand side. The blaster is primed by a slide above the handle, much like the Sharp Shot. This blaster also supports 'Slam Firing' although I am yet to find any mention of this capability anywhere on the box. This blaster can hit 30-35' in it's stock form.

This blaster is massive. Huge, unwieldy, cumbersome and, well... massive. Far too big to be considered a 'pistol' in anybodies mind but still too small to be anything else. Unless you're built like He-Man, you're not going to win any wars with this beastie. Having said that, It looks awesome.

Quick 16

The Quick 16 is a semi automatic blaster with an integrated 16 dart magazine. it is in essence, a remodelled N-Strike Raider CS-35. The Quick 16 is primed in the same way as the Raider as it shares the same type of priming handle. It is also capable of slam fire. Unfortunately, the Quick 16 is incompatible with any of the N-Strike accessories due to the fact that it doesn't have any tactical rails. It is also incompatible with N-Strike stocks, which is a shame.

Alas, the Quick 16 is not available in the UK for some reason. I managed to get my hands on a couple and I can say that they are very, very good. Stock ranges are awful but they can be modded fairly easily. The 16 round mag gives these blasters a really useful capacity without being to cumbersome, although it is a bit of a faff to load.


The Speedswarm is the first in the Dart Tag range of electronic blasters and it can hold up to 10 darts in the front turret. The blaster cannot function without batteries so it is purely electronic. To fire, you simply switch it on (on/off switch located on top of the blaster), and pull the trigger. It really is that simple. With the trigger pressed the blaster will fire a dart and then rotate the turret automatically. Holding the trigger down will make the blaster fire in a fully automatic fashion. By pulling the trigger intermittently, the blaster can be used in a semi auto mode.

These things are great for dual wielding. It is a similar size and capacity to the N-Strike Barricade RV-10 but has the advantage of not being a fly wheel blaster. Without the constant drone of the Barricade's flywheels, you can be a little stealthier with this. Not that stealth really counts much in a Nerf war.


The Swarmfire is the Mac Daddy of the Nerf Dart Tag range. It features a 20 dart rotating turret and a detachable shoulder stock. The Swarmfire operates in exactly the same way as the Speedswarm on account of the fact that the internals are almost identical. It is a lot longer than it's little cousin making it more of an 'assault rifle' than anything else. Also the 6 'C' cell batteries make it quite a bit heavier.

I love the way that the stock is detached with the little button on the butt. Without it, the blaster isn't quite a one handed weapon and so the stock only really comes off for storage. With the stock on, it is a very comfy and usable blaster. It is quite easily the best primary for Dart Tag games. The combination of ammo capacity and rate of fire make it a winner in my book. The rotating turret setup makes it much easier than most to reload on the fly but it's a shame the plunger tube wasn't a tiny bit bigger as the stock ranges aren't great.

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