Sunday, December 7, 2014

N-Strike Elite SideStrike Review

When the ZombieStrike SideStrike was released in Winter of 2013, it came in "Ooze Green" and included a holster with dart storage.  This was one of many ZombieStrike blasters that seemed like it was initially designed to be part of the N-Strike Elite lineup.  Later on, the SideStrike got rebadged and recolored to go along with the N-Strike Elite blasters in a K-Mart Exclusive 2-Pack released a year after the original ZS SideStrike hit shelves.

The K-Mart Exclusive release includes two recolored SideStrike blasters, one that is white with blue accents and the other one in white with orange accents.  These do not include the holster that the ZombieStrike version comes with.  The two-pack retails for $24.99 at K-Mart while the ZS one normally retails for $14.99.  So, if we chop that 2-Pack in half, these blasters are technically worth around $12... which seems about right since the Firestrike (almost the same blaster) retails for that.  As long as you think the Holster that the ZS Sidestrike comes with is worth $2, then the K-Mart twofer makes sense.
Other than the color differences, the ZombieStrike and Elite Sidestrikes are identical inside and out.  Same ranges, same shells, same features.  There are still raised "ZombieStrike" logos printed on the Elite version shells, as well as that undead font they use for the name on the side of the blaster.  In the same way, the ZombieStrike versions have N-Strike Elite logos on the handles.  Whichever one you wind up with, the blaster is having an identity crisis in the branding department.

The Sidestrike has a twisted sister: the Firestrike.  Both share nearly identical internals and performance and both can hold two darts.  They also can both be used with the holster that the ZS Sidestrike comes with, which is sort of nifty... unless you're OCD enough to not like having an Elite blaster in a holster that has a gigantic "Z" logo printed on the side of it.  Still, most Nerf fans that followed the release of the Sidestrike will tell you that it was likely initially intended as an N-Strike Elite blaster.  Some fans, like our friends at SBNC, went so far as to recolor the blasters in their "proper" colors.  To those folks, the K-Mart exclusive recolors are kind of neat to see that idea realized.

Whichever version you wind up with, this is a fun blaster with great out-of-the-box performance that can easily be modified to get even better results in a nifty looking little shell!  It's comfortable to hold, even with it's small grip, and it's easy to use.  It's really a nice little sidearm that packs a punch and looks pretty slick.  The two-pack release also reminds me of the N-Strike yellow Scout blasters that was a K-Mart exclusive a few years ago and follows the same "cure that OCD matching habit with your arsenal" solution that it served, too!  In many ways, the SideStrike is like an Elite-ified Scout anyways, what with the top slide prime, the compact size, and the handy dart storage, it makes for an excellent successor.

Click below for a full video review of all 3 SideStrikes!

No comments:

Post a Comment