The N-Strike Rayven CS-18 was one of the last of the new N-Strike blasters to be released before we started to move on to the all new N-Strike Elite series. It was (and we'd like to take credit for this a lil!) well received by fans and Nerf probably felt it needed more air time than to be slowly phased out with the other N-Strike gear, so in an interesting move, Nerf have re-released the Rayven as an N-Strike Elite blaster.
Unlike the Retaliator (which was a souped up and renamed Recon with a different stock and a grip attachment) or the Rampage (a souped up and renamed Raider without stock and a smaller capacity drum), the Rayven still kept its name and status as a Firefly clip blaster, only now it sports the new Elite colours (albeit the original Rayven never sported the N-Strike colours anyway!) and a souped up motor (similar to the Stryfe and Hailfire I'm guessing). It also comes equipped with new Elite glow in the dark darts.
Otherwise.. everything else is pretty much the same, so rather than being a 'review' per se, most of this will just be a big ol' pic spam:) I do make a few comments, but otherwise, enjoy the pics after the jump:)
Revamped box but still uses the same Rayven dude from the original N-Strike Rayven packaging.
Notice they've altered the box to show the 'N-Strike Elite badge'
Boasting the Elite distances of 75ft- yup I got mine from Amazon.com:)
The Rayven now sports the N-Strike Elite colours in blue, white and orange. I like it better personally. The name plate and 'Nerf' logos are however etched in green- I assume to mark it as a firefly tech blaster.
While the blaster is almost the same, they've followed the Retaliator and Rampage route and changed the etching to be the current N-Strike Elite branding.
Jam door is gun metal grey. Priddy.
Takes 4 AA's as always, though the motor IS more powerful. I'll leave it to those with the voltage mod batteries to tell you the ideal config for this.
Elite firefly darts look very similar to the original firefly darts, but if you hold them you can tell the subtle differences in what looks like different foam,and heavier tips in the Elite ones. I found they also held their glow a little longer, but that might just be me wanting to believe this:D
The new Firefly clips seem to be very similar to the old ones, however they're now bright green. I always thought "blue and green should never be seen..." but then this actually KIND of works:D Obviously the Rayven takes regular clips as well, and it doesn't have the same "smart" mechanism as the Stryfe so it can fire original N-Strike clips and darts as well.
3 batteries as always.
Performances are typical of a US N-Strike Elite blaster. Quite a bit more power and distance than the original Rayven, and with a slightly quieter motor.
It's hard to NOT compare this blaster to its newer brother in the N-Strike Elite Stryfe- both are clip fed motorised semi auto fly wheel blasters, and both fill that "SMG" style of gun so it's really a matter of personal preference as to which one you prefer. The Rayven is a bull pup style blaster with the ability to take a barrel attachment and tactical rail, but no stock as opposed to the Stryfe which has a front loading clip, and can take a barrel attachment, sight AND stock. Whatever works for you I guess.
I always liked the Rayven because of its unique styling, and am glad they've made an Elite version though I appreciate those who already voltage modded their Rayven's found the upgrade unnecessary.