When Mattel hounded me to review their BOOMco Rapid Madness Blaster I was initially completely nonplussed. We have bought into a different blaster ecosystem and I didn’t see the point having a go with something that was entirely incompatible.
However, I’m glad they continued to pester me because without their perseverance, we wouldn’t have had quite so much fun with the BOOMco Rapid Madness Blaster as we ended up having. Before I start the review proper though, I should perhaps address the elephant in the room because lets face it, if you’re talking blasters, generally you’re talking NERF aren’t you? There are some great NERF blasters, both manual and battery operated, and equally there are some terrible ones. Some of the ones we’ve bought we our own hard earned money have been brilliant, some have been disasters and chewed up darts like nobodies business. I can’t obviously comment on the whole BOOMco range as we’ve only tested the one device, the Rapid Madness Blaster, but there are a couple of comparisons to make before delving into the review proper. The darts that the BOOMco range use are smaller and more plasticky than the foam darts NERF use. This isn’t to say they’re necessarily better or worse, just different. They make using the target a bit easier as they don’t have as big a profile as the NERF and from what I can tell the range isn’t any different. They don’t even hurt more when a seven year old hits you in the face with one of them.
They just, well, different. Lets consider them as different yet similar as a Macbook and a Windows laptop and move own shall we?
|7 year old and GoPro not included in package|
For the purpose of the review, I decided to whip out my trusty GoPro Hero 3 and do some filming. As you can see below, I let the boy shoot me twice- first time I was holding the GoPro, the second time I had cunningly affixed it to the barrel of the gun for some 1st person shooter style footage. Either way, you can spot when he decides to lower his aim and try and hit me in the crotch. Fortunately he ran out of darts first.
The blaster has a separate magazine that takes 20 darts at a time. It’s easy to ensure it’s inserted properly since it has a triangle on the cartidge and the side of the blaster that you have to line up. It is possible to over-insert the cartridge but all this means in practice is you’ll end up not firing all your darts, which isn’t exactly the end of the world. Thoughtfully the set comes with a target and ten spare darts- we found the rate of fire and velocity meant darts were pinging all over the place, so even firing at a static me by the window meant we lost the odd dart. And no, I’ve not got any wedged in my buttock crevice.
I haven’t quite worked out what the flaps at the front are for but the instructions say they’re some sort of quick release shield thing, so that’s all good I suppose. What I have worked out however is the blooming thing has an astonishing rate of fire. Rapid Madness is a pretty accurate description really, the darts empty out at an incredible rate, and even slowed down to a quarter of the normal speed at 60 frames per second, they’re still a blur in the video:
The Rapid Madness Blaster isn’t battery operated, relying on a pretty sturdy pump to prime the blaster for action. It doesn’t seem to have loosened appreciably in a week or so of fairly heavy play and definitely propels the darts with some considerable gusto.
RRP is £49.99, but the BOOMco Rapid Madness Blaster is available for considerably less, £37.99 in fact, from Amazon at the time of writing and I have to say it compares favourably to the “other” blaster brand you’ll perhaps be more familiar with. Competition can only be good for us consumers eh? Well done BOOMco.