|Super Soaker Thunderstorm. It's awesome|
Well, today's the first day of Summer here in Australia, and where I'm at, it's bucketing down in rain. So.. what better way to 'celebrate' today but to reveal the aptly named Nerf Super Soaker "Thunderstorm". (well we're assuming it's called that given it says "Nerf", "Super Soaker" and "Thunderstorm" on it!)
Now first up, this blaster hasn't been released yet; actually it's another scoop from my here contacts in Taiwan, but it does look a lot closer to a final release model than the Dart Tag 20 we announced last week. It's the first motorised electronic water blaster under the Nerf/Super Soaker branding, and it comes with detachable 'clips' much like the old Entertech electronic water guns of the 80's.
|With the clip removed. Hopefully you'll be able to get more|
First up, the design and aesthetics on the Thunderstorm are AWESOME. I love the way this blaster looks and feels; I'm a fan of dramatic looking clip, the sub machine gun styling and the paint job cues akin to the old Arctic shock Super Soakers from several years back. It's solidly built and comfortable to hold with a decent weight (it takes 4 AA batteries) that works for both dual wielding single hand fire, or two handed grip for steadying.
|In hand. Nice size|
There are definitely design elements from the N-Strike line- obviously the use of "clips" will scream comparisons with the CS foam blasters,( although clips have been around with water guns long before they were with foam) but it also includes a tactical rail for N_Strike attachments, AND a stock butt that can be fitted with N-Strike compatible stocks (like the Recon, Raider, Spectre and Super Soaker Shot blast). Even small things like the plastic loop in the grip of the blaster are similar to the N-Strike line.
|Down the muzzle|
The Thunderstorm is fully automatic, so once you've loaded your batteries, you're away. Like the Saturator series water blasters, there's no on/off switch so it's best to not store it with water as you can have accidental firings easily. It shoots a firm, thick steady stream from the nozzle, and it's good to see the stream is quite straight. Distances aren't awesome, but comparable with most electronic powered water blasters (though not so much compared to the CPS air serie)
The clips use quite an ingenious delivery system; water is filled at the front/bottom of the clip, but does not leak from the magazine due to the holes at the top of the clip having a seal. Once you insert it in the blaster, one of the holes attaches itself to the blaster's pump, the other is depressed in and allows an air hole so the water can flow easier.
Being fully automatic, the clips DON'T last that long, and this blaster is truly similar to a sub machine gun; short range battles, short burst fire, quick games. Hopefully in future you'll be able to purchase replacement clips, as having only one will put you in a bit of trouble pretty fast:) Given it is a steady stream of water, releasing the trigger means you'll still have a half second of water shooting out and 'dropping' as opposed to the multiple burst style water guns.
|Compared to a Saturator|
The sound it makes though is a bit of a shock; it sounds like a miniature horse on helium; it's not a NICE sound per se but it does at least only come when you squeeze the trigger. It takes time to get used to, and I'm not 100 percent sure I am just yet:)
|Spectre Stock and Mission Kit scope|
The Thunderstorm looks fanrtastic with attachments, so we loaded it up with anything we could find and it looks great with most of them. The scopes are a bit useless though; I generally find with water blasters they're useless regardless, but especially in the Thunderstorm's case, it shoots a tad off centre to the cross hairs, so you'd need to adjust yourself accordingly. Once you do that though, it IS powerful enough to be that accurate.
|Against a Super Soaker Rattler|
|Probably my fav; no scope, just a Shotblast stock|
|Recon Stock, Longshot scope|
|With the all conquering combo of spectre stock and pinpoint sight. Kinda useless though:)|
DO we like it? Personally, hells yes:) It just looks sooooo tough, even more so with attachments and the clip system for the water delivery is great to see. I've always loved the old school Entertech's so electronic water blasters have always appealed (even though their ranges are a lil wussy). Water fights though are normally a lot different to Foam battles, they normally very quickly turn into free for alls and close contact splashing so I'd say for that sort of thing, this Thunderstorm is awesome. I don't really like the noise it makes when you fire, (i'll do a test video soon to show you) but that's probably the only issue I have with it.
No idea WHEN this blaster is coming out, my guess would be it'd somehow be the lead up to US Summers, so around April? But I'm only speculating. As for cost, again no idea but you'd have to be thinking around the 40-50 buck mark AUS or the 25-30 mark US, depending on what eventually comes with the final packaging and if the blaster should change by then.