If you have a 12-year-old, you might want to make sure they’re not reading over your shoulder right now — otherwise you’ll be spending some quality time explaining why they’re not getting a $120 toy blaster this holiday season. Oh, who am I kidding: I’m having that chat with myself right now.
It’s over four feet (specifically 50.25 inches) long, features a light-up scope and “accurate sounds” (four blaster sounds, four charging sounds) after you install two AAA batteries, and it’s got lots of fake scratches and wear so it looks moderately broken in.
Most importantly, it lets you load a standard Nerf Elite dart just like he-who-wears-the-Beskar, by cramming a fresh “cartridge” into the pop-up breach. Just push the white handle underneath the scope forward, and you’re ready to reload:
The same handle primes the blaster when you pull it back. Which handle, you might ask? Here’s a GIF that shows it a little more clearly:
As you might imagine, all those characteristics won’t necessarily make it an effective Nerf weapon for an actual office skirmish or backyard battle: we’re talking about a single-shot, spring-powered blaster with a tremendous faux barrel (which might create drag) and a very minimal priming handle. Hasbro declined to tell me how far it’ll shoot, either, which suggests the range is probably nothing to brag about — but here’s hoping for a surprise!
But most of Hasbro’s recent licensed tie-ins aren’t the best at blasting; they’re simply cool toys with an added foam surprise. Nerf’s Halo MA40 Assault Rifle, the Rogue One Jyn Erso Deluxe Blaster, and the hard-to-find Episode VII First Order Stormtrooper Deluxe Blaster are rare exceptions to the rule. In fact, if you’re looking for an accurate long-range foam blaster in 2020, the one you want doesn’t necessarily come from Nerf!
Here’s what the actual Mandalorian prop looks like, in case you need a refresher:
The new Nerf blaster will be available for pre-order today at 1PM PT / 4PM ET (Amazon, Hasbro), but you should know it’s not slated to ship until Spring 2021. I couldn’t afford the amazing Razor Crest toy this year, and I’ve already got my lightsaber, so I don’t think I can justify this one too.
Update, 7:25 PM ET: Added Amazon link. Previously added Hasbro link, and the GIF you see above.