Every now and then we get lucky- really lucky with our intel. We spend a whole lot of time scouring the world for any intel we can get on new blasters... but sometimes.. intel comes to us. Courtesy of a loyal reader who chooses to remain known merely as "Macross" and who says they are "very well connected in the toy world" and "a big fan of Urban Taggers", we have been very lucky to have the opportunity to get our hands on the brand new Nerf Vortex Nitron.. even if it was only for under an hour:) Here's what we can tell you..
Macross brought along the box for the Vortex Nitron for their show and tell; it was around the same size as a Stampede ECS box and features the new green colour scheme vs the original orange and yellow of the traditional N-Strike line.
Out of the box is the Nitron blaster itself, the electronic scope, two 20 round clips, and 40 rounds of XLR disc ammo. The blaster itself is very tough looking, with a non-detachable front grip and a very solid built in stock that is definitely firm in your arm. It's well made and weighty with batteries.
The XLR ammo is a very light weight and soft yet firm disc that does resemble a mini frisbee. It's quite innovative stuff- the foam is like that found in N-Force weapons, with a very lightweight plastic core.
The clips are "tubular" to accommodate the discs and have a capacity of 20 rounds. They're springloaded, much like the N-Strike clips.
|Size comparison compared to a standard N-Strike 6round clip|
|Thru the scope- with the lights off.|
|the lights progress through the length of the scope|
The scope fits on any standard tactical rail and therefore can be mounted on N-Strike blasters as well.
The Nitron has a really menacing look about it- the new Vortex colour schemes do give it that somewhat alien look about it and the size and the orange and grey accents give it a somewhat industrial look about it. It's also very angled, lots of square lines and chiseled panels make it rather aggressive to face off against a Stampede.. The secondary clip can be stored in the base of the stock, which I find sorta uncomfortable and it gets in the way, but that's what it's there for should you want to:)
As suspected, The Nitron uses a flywheel system to launch the discs. Rather than merely switching it on as with the Barricade RV-10, the Nitron uses a switch that sits under the trigger to power the blaster up. Simply press the button in and your flywheels power up. Take your finger off the button and it powers back down again. It takes a bit of time to get used to this, and to bring the flywheels up to optimal velocity, but it's kinda fun at the same time. As with all flywheels, it's a tad noisy, but you get used to it.
There is also a switch above the trigger which is merely a release for the clips. They feature on the left and the right sides of the Nitron for left and right handed users.
Once you've loaded your clip, it's as easy as powering up the flywheels and firing the trigger. I have to say I was amazed straight away at the distances and accuracy- these discs really go very far from the initial test shots we had. They're also surprisingly straight and accurate, hitting points we were aiming at from quite a distance away. Nerf have definitely answered the call for better distances and accuracy from their fans.
One thing about these blasters though is they do feel more like a "launcher" and less like an actual "gun" per se- there's a slight delay on the firing and the discs do feel like they are "soaring" rather than actually being shot at a target. Admittedly this is more of a mindset, as we tried to quickly simulate the action of a "zombie" coming at us for an HVZ game for instance and still managed to hit the target quite quickly so it still performs as well as a foam dart blaster I guess (although it would need much more rigorous testing that we unfortunately haven't had the luxury of completing)
From what we've seen, it's a pretty damn impressive piece of kit. Nerf have done some seriously cool things with these Vortex blasters, and I'd be very keen to get one for myself on launch to really get my teeth into it; I'd also be interested to see how the Nitron varies from the non battery powered blasters in the Vortex range.
From what I could see, the wind isn't nearly as much of a factor as you'd think (not any more than with a standard foam dart anyway) so I can attest that the speculation of it flapping all over the shop and losing distances and accuracy ain't true.
Now, I know you're all dying to ask all sorts of questions, but here are a few answers straight off the cuff..
1) I'm no modder, I didn't dare ask to open the thing up, and I have no clue if you could modify it to shoot darts. I know to some darts are the be all end all of ammo, but I'm actually pretty impressed with these XLR discs to be honest. I'm sure when they're released, the likes of SG Nerf and Nerf Mods + Reviews will work out ways to do some ridiculous things with it; voltage increases, someone will create a new ammo, Brian from Johnson Arms will paint it to look absolutely intimidating..
2) No idea where it came from, no I didn't break into a secret Nerf factory and steal it, as far as availability in wherever you are is concerned- 10th September, 2011:) No idea on actual costs; depends where you are. We've made posts on our blog from various sellers pre order prices.
3) We only had a very short time with it; if we're lucky we might get another go at it but we really didn't have time to do really detailed tests on genuine distances. I can attest it goes further than an air restrictor removed Longshot.
For now, our initial response is the Nitron is AWESOME and we recommend it. This Vortex line looks like it's gonna be a lot of fun.. can't wait for September!
SO there you have it folks. What better way to celebrate our first birthday than to do it in true Urban Taggers style:)