Southern Brisbane Nerf Club

Monday, 9 September 2013

Nerf Or Somethin' (Else) : Buzz Bee

You can't be a Nerfer and not know that Buzz Bee exists. They are running second place to Nerf and I get the feeling that they can do better, but, don't.


Since Hasbro took Buzz Bee to court in 2010 (for patent infringement regarding some of Buzz Bee's water guns), and consequently cleaned them out, Buzz Bee haven't tried to make a good blaster since, which is a shame really. Buzz Bee have some good concepts, designs and reliable internals. If they could make blasters that rival Nerf's offerings in the way of performance and maintain the low price point (maybe make them able to fire Elites too), Buzz Bee could be real competition for Nerf.

At last count, Buzz Bee had 34 blasters in their current line-up, I won't be going through them all. But, I will name the ones I'm most interested in getting my hands on.

Belt Blaster:

Description:
Belt fed dart blasting
Includes 30 darts and 30 shells
Rapid fire pump action
Dart belt comes apart and snaps back together to desired length
Ages 6 and up
No batteries required

Why I want it:
To paint it! It looks similar to the Spartan Laser from Halo and wouldn't be too hard to modify so it could take Nerf Elite darts. Maybe an extra spring or spring replacement too.



Auto Tek 20:


Description:
Blasts darts up to 30 feet!
Fully automatic dart blasting
Motorized, clip fed dart blaster
2 "AA" batteries required.
Includes 20 foam darts
Ages 6 and up

Why I want it:
It's fully automatic and unlike the horrible Automatic Tommy 20, this uses a 20 dart magazine. So there is no need for a mechanism that rotates a heavy 20 dart drum. Interesting note, the clip ascends when firing. It only takes 2 "AA" batteries, but, it looks like there is space inside the shell for more.

Extreme: Air Max 1:


Description:
Blasts darts up to 45 feet!
EXTREME performance dart blasting
Load, pump and blast darts
Includes 6 EXTREME darts
Ages 5 and up

Why I want it:
I've seen what these can do with some internal modifications and a rebarrel, they are awesome :) Not to mention how compact they are, could be a good last resort or a single shot ranged blaster.


Extreme: Air Max 10:


Description:
Blasts darts up to 60 feet!
EXTREME performance dart blaster
Auto indexing
Load, pump, aim and blast darts
Includes 10 EXTREME darts
Ages 6 and up

Why I want it:
Well it looks good. And if it uses a similar air pump and tank system as the Air Max 1, then it could have some potential. And being a barrel loading blaster, it should take Nerf Elites with out modification. Another candidate for a single shot long range blaster.


Now, of course, what Buzz Bee could do also is change the type of ammunition. I don't know why Buzz Bee are fixated on using these awful suction cap darts with the hard foam compound ¯\(°_o)/¯

The Extreme darts are of a softer compound, therefore lighter and travel further, but still, aerodynamics are against them. All they need to do is reduce the inner diameter of the barrels by maybe a millimetre or two and put a rounded head on the darts and they'd be a really good!I really want Buzz Bee blasters to be good, I want them to perform, I want a proper rival to Nerf, and at the moment, Buzz Bee just isn't cutting it as a competitor to Hasbro. Maybe, the new "Extreme" line is a turning point Buzz Bee needs and better stuff is on the horizon.

~ Rob




2 comments:

  1. I had the Belt Blaster, not a very good blaster besides the capacity.
    The shells were flimsy, potential was severely limited due to the crap shells and the smallish plunger and priming was pretty uncomfortable.
    The only saving grace was its capacity, as you could configure it to 3x20 round belts (if you had 2 Belt Blasters), a capacity not seen at the time of its release (Raider was the only non-6-clip blaster around).

    The AM1 is pretty cool, but apparently they have the small tanks of the gen 2 Panthers, not the original (and much better) large gen 1 Panther tanks. Also as a pocket pistol the Jolt is much smaller and thus much better in that respect.
    If you tank expand it or you somehow find one with a large tank then modding potential is great, otherwise not so much.

    The same problem with the AM10, it has the same pretty small tank. Tank expansion and full overhaul will potentially yield some great ranges, but with the stock tank you'll be pretty limited.

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  2. What he ^ said. I got a buzz bee belt blaster and it is really annoying, bad ranges, modding the shells is stupidly annoying, (more so than normal shells that the double shot uses) if you want to make a prop then I would just buy a used one from someone for cheap, also same thing about the panther, sadly I wanted to get a panther but I never saw the old ones in stores.
    About what buzz bee can do: They seemed to not care as much as nerf about making shells or more realistic gun looking blasters so why they never made a tube mag pump action shotgun with closed shells is beyond me. Even in ranges were only 30ft I would buy that up in a heart beat.

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