The Machine Pistol comes on an open flat cardboard pack with six foam darts. The instructions are on the cardboard packaging and it's all held together by twisty cable ties. "Arsenal Toys" is from "Good Art Limited" but this could all be badly translated from Chinese, so really I'm unsure who actually makes them:)
The Machine Pistol is quite a basic designed blaster; it's simple in detail and actually reminds me more of some prototype proof of concept rather than a finished piece. There are no stickers or markings on it; the moulds are very spartan and it looks more at home in tub of Duplo than a foam dart arsenal. That being said, while it does look cheap, it's actually pretty solidly built and has a very firm large grip. It uses bright gaudy colours in the blue orange and yellow, but I don't think it looks bad per se, just sort of.. unfinished looking.
The Machine Pistol uses a vertical flywheel system similar to the Barricade RV-10.
Rather than using any form of dart holder or clip, it has a rather bizarre tube that sits on top of the blaster with a clip open and shut hatch that you drop the dart into. It's quite a large tube for such a small dart, and I wonder whether the idea originally was to be able to fit a clip into the top, because it almost could fit if the grooves were right. But as it is, it's just the area to drop one dart in at a time. Hence, it's not really semi automatic given you can't really even stack your darts in the chamber so in a weird sorta way.. it's a single shot?!
Inside the hatch, is a small area that you drop your dart in. There's no priming or cocking required, you don't even have to close the hatch. The dart just sits in the bay ready to fire; pulling the trigger pushes the dart forward into the flywheels and away you go.
What's interesting about the Machine Pistol is it ONLY takes streamlines. Well, it takes its own darts too, but they are essentially.. streamline clones, albeit inferior quality and do not go as far as a Nerf streamline dart. Any other dart with a larger head will jam the blaster, which I thought was interesting given most other flywheel blasters use thicker head darts as standard.
|The Machine Pistol native dart next to a Nerf Streamline|
The blaster fires by pulling back the trigger halfway to power up the flywheels. It takes about a second or so to get the wheels to full speed, and a full squeeze will push the dart forward into the flywheels. I thought this was an interesting idea that was similar to some Barricade RV-10 mods I've seen; these designers had taken the idea and put it into their Machine Pistol. It works pretty well actually. (Note- Apparently the Tommy 20 does this.. I've never owned one.)
What I was quite surprised about were the performances. Distances were surprisingly quite good, launching a streamline dart at distances similar to a Nitefinder. Of course given it's firing streamlines, accuracy can be a bit hit and miss, and it doesn't feel as solid in catching the dart before firing as the Barricade RV-10 does with a whistler, but I was still pretty impressed at just how far the dart went, clearly soaring from one side of my apartment easily to the other and right out the door over the balcony. Also taking it up the stairs and hitting the second storey ceiling- we are talking stock 35-40 feet.
It's not to say it doesn't have it's faults- for one it's not particularly nice to look at, and the functionality leaves a little to be desired. Dropping a dart in one at a time can be clumsy and not really very practical in any real foam war situation; I can't imagine anyone being able to rapid fire one of these with ease as they stand out of the box.
The thing is, why this blaster interests us so much is the unique design that went into it. I'm no modder but it seems to have some potential to do some quirky things to it and I was really impressed by the distances and ease of firing of this blaster. Could it be widened to accept other darts? Could performances be more impressive with voltage mods?
What we have here is something.. strangely novel and intriguing. I couldn't say I love it, but yet I also couldn't put it down. I couldn't help enjoy shooting it even more than I did over a Barricade RV-10. Watching the streamlines soar that far just had me wondering about "what if's" and I may just have to get some modders on board to look at it for me. For the record I picked up a few other blasters from "Arsenal Toys" and you'll find in upcoming reviews that while they're quite quirky, they do perform surprisingly quite well:)
Video to come shortly.. I just have to find my Flip:P