Southern Brisbane Nerf Club

Friday, 31 July 2015

REVIEW: Buzz Bee Air Max 3

Buzz Bee, keep doing what you're doing. Because what you're doing is gooooood.

Why it's good after jump.

For the longest time, Buzz Bee has been the closest to a competitor Hasbro have had in the way of blasters. Yes, BOOMco is a thing, but, their ammo kills it for me. Buzz Bee have always made brightly coloured, gimmicky yet fun blasters. Their ammo has been wider and shorter darts often made from a harder compound foam when compared to the Nerf dart metric. Recently that has changed and I must say, I'm liking it!

The Air Max 3 is Buzz Bee's answer to Nerf's Mega line. Differences being, Buzz Bee's darts are blue with a solid flat rubber head. Buzz Bee seemed to have made a point out of making their blasters Nerf compatible which (in my opinion) is a smart thing to do. Nerf ammo, is simply easier to buy. So with this blaster, you don't have to worry about not being able to find spare darts. However, Buzz Bee do make a 12 and 26 pack of Max darts.

The Air Max 3 is solid, Buzz Bee blasters of old used to creak when twisting the blaster, I didn't find that with the Air Max 3 and the plastic feels to be of a higher quality than Buzz Bee's norm. The trigger guard is a bit small for my liking but I can still use it without problems, anyone with larger hands than mine though will have issues though. The handle is a good length but a bit more girth would've made it perfect. But as it is, it's still good.

Priming is easy and smooth and there aren't too many locks to speak of either, I counted one. The aesthetics are a mid-point between Buzz Bee's bright colours and Nerf's tacticool blue. The clip release button is in an odd spot too.

Now, onto Nerf compatibility. The ammo a blaster uses will make or break a third party manufacturer. Look at Tek Recon. BOOMco has stayed around because they're backed by Mattel and they have the money to through around. Smaller manufacturers though, need to make their blasters compatible with Nerf darts. And Buzz Bee have done that, here is the compatibility list:

- Nerf Mega dart in Air Max clip = yes
- Mega Clip in Air Max 3 = yes*
- Air Max dart in Mega clip = yes*
- Mega Dart in Mega clip = yes*

*The Mega clip fit inside the Air Max 3 without issues and the darts fed just fine, but the clip lock wouldn't engage. This means that with a bit of a shake the Mega clip fell out.

I can't help but feel that Buzz Bee saw the Magnus, heard that people wanted it clip fend and saw the mods that people had done. Then, decided to make it the way we wanted it to be. I really have to hand it to Buzz Bee, this is some thing the community has wanted and they've delivered. Not only delivered, but provided us with a good quality Nerf Mega alternative.

In closing, this is a good blaster that gets it's claimed ranges (albeit with an angle) and is a good alternative to Nerf's Mega. Fairly comfortable and very well made. It's currently available for AUD25 at Mr Toys Toyworld but you might be able to find it cheaper elsewhere if you look. I do recommend it.

1. Nerf Mega compatible
2. build quality
3. plastic quality
4. clip fed

1. needs more power in stock form

~ Rob


  1. A Few Questions Rob:

    Have you opened it up? are the internals pretty similar to nerf?


    Did the buzz bee clip work in the nerf blaster without alteration?


  2. Clips and darts are completely cross compatible apart from the fore mentioned issues. No, I haven't opened it up yet

  3. This out in oz yet?? Are buzzbees de tuned nowadays like nerf?? Which shops stock em??

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