Sunday 7 April 2013

Nerf Vortex Diatron - Review or, 'Double Whammy!' -)DOUBLE WHAMMY(-

"I am the Law!"

Why yes. I am a huge comic book fan. Thank you for asking.

My all time favourite is too hard for me to name on a single blog post. I have to say that 2000AD's Judge Dredd is a huge contender for number one.
Why? because its so different from any other comic of the time. Gritty, violent and yet somehow humorous in places. It had me hooked from the very first time I found a few copies in an old second hand stall in Woolwich Arsenal market (which I foolishly threw away a few years later).
The first move was awful. The latest movie is amazing. But both got one thing right. the weaponry, the Judges' iconic 'Lawgivers'

I wanted one then, and I want one now. Sadly the closest I can find (visually anyway) is the new Nerf Vortex Diatron. And I'm not complaining. 

The Vortex range is still seen as a 'splitter' in many Nerf circles. For those of you how don't know all the words to Monty Pythons 'Life of Brian.' it is a 'marmite' blaster series. (You either love it or you hate it.) I for one, defend it and while I am not a fan of the green and red colour scheme on the first gen models, I am a fan of what they can do.

The range that the Vortex series mastered has only now been met by Hasbro's latest Elite series of blasters. Indoors it was, and still is, second to none.
Nerf Vortex Diatron
Nerf's latest edition, the Diatron, appears to be a working evolution of the series. Firstly, it is slightly smaller and much lighter than its older brother the Vigilon, which was criticised quite unfairly due to its size alone. It has the ability to accept a stock (although it doesn't come with one), something quite odd considering it is classed as a pistol. The long tactical rail along the top is perfect scopes or laser sights but the crowning feature has to be the dual firing mechanism.

On paper. The 'lever' priming system sounds stupid, but in practise works very well indeed.
Even as a left handed person, I found turning the gun to the side, priming and returning the arm to fire nowhere near a chore as I feared. In fact, I found that the time it took to reload the blaster actually helped me prepare where the next shot was going. Too many times have I had a blaster jam on me for not taking my time with things and relying too heavily on the slam fire.The Diatron does not have that problem, it's just not the style it's going for.

The distance the disks can travel has always been a key selling point for Vortex blasters and the Diatron is no exception. However, I must add the second disc does start to fall quicker than the first when fired. Disappointing, but both discs easily hit the 20ft as the box art decrees.

Nerf Vortex Diatron Box Art

Firing two discs at the same time may seem pointless to some. But you cannot deny how powerful it makes the blaster. At short range it becomes a rather deadly difference maker. That is to say that if you get hit with one, you feel it. That is exactly what I want from an unmodded blaster.

Like all things, it's not perfect.

In fact the whole series has a huge design flaw which can only be fixed in an awkward manner.
The flaw resides in the fact that if you prime the blaster without any discs, the trigger locks and the blaster cannot fire (The N Strike and Elite blasters all fire an empty chamber). The only way I have found to fix this problem is to poke discs down into the barrel (again tricky with the Diatron as both discs need to be in place) and "fool" the mechanism into thinking the discs were "there all along".
This is not something one wishes to do in the heat of battle but on the flip side, we cannot blame a blaster for us running out of darts. I am simply pointing out that the "empty chamber flaw" (TM) really slows down the fun or brings it to a complete halt.

But Should you buy one? In my opinion, Yes.

It ticks the boxes of Range, Power, Novelty & Impressiveness and for the first time due to its new colours, Style. Personally it was on my "must have" list from the moment I saw it.

The Vortex Range will always be the "Also ran" of the Nerf Blaster collection but right now, second only to the Pyragon, this the jewel in its crown.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to enforce the law of Mega City 1...


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  1. I honestly think this is a stupid blaster and I have heard similar views, it really is only gimmicky and the priming lever is annoying and unattractive, the size is quite large, the requirement of 2 disks pershot is worse than the rough cut which all 8 shots can be shot separately but the diatron can't giving it only 5 shots.

    1. Haters gonna hate. Put your thumb between the lever and blaster and swivel by pushing in a diagonal manner, and pull the lever back with the rest of your hand, and you have made the blaster 67% faster than usual! Also, to resolve your problem, UK Nerf, reload the blaster and reprime the blaster to load your discs into the chamber. this is good for two things:
      1. repositioning discs for more accuracy
      2. loading discs after priming


    2. I must say, I'm not a huge fan of the Vortex range but I have a great respect for it. MerryUnBirthday (the author of this article) does a lot of indoor wars where the Vortex range comes into it's own so he is the better authority on it.

      I simply love the innovation in the Vortex line. Something we are only just starting to see in the other Nerf ranges.