Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review: Nerf Dart Tag Speed Swarm

Intel on this blaster also came out of nowhere; we learnt of a 10 round "mini" Swarmfire, then we found out it's apparent official name, and then we saw some "not final" box art. All in a few weeks:) Well, all of what was speculated about the blaster by you all is true- we at UT have managed to get ourselves a brand spankin' new Speed Swarm in box. It's niiiiiice.:)

 The Swarmfire was a pretty popular blaster when it was released and was pretty much the poster child of the revitalised Nerf Dart Tag line. The issue for many was it's size and weight- loved the full auto nature of the blaster, just found it sort of unwieldy for those who'd want to use it with one hand, or even better, dual wield two of them. The new Speed Swarm does this and does it pretty well:) It maintains the rounded Bumblbee/whale rounded shape of the Swarmfire but in a more portable hand held size.

 Box design and art is very similar to all of the other Dart Tag blasters in the 2011 range, with the cut off corner styling.

Inside the box you get the Speed Swarm, 10 blue dart tag darts and a manual. Batteries alas are not included- you'll need to get yourself a 6 pack of AA's for that. This straight away reduces the weight of the blaster compared to the 6 C cells required for the Swarmfire; batteries like the Swarmfire are stored in the undercarriage of the Speed Swarm.

 The Speed Swarm, unlike the Swarmfire does not have an on/off switch- it's permanently "on" and all it requires is a squeeze of the trigger to fire rounds immediately. There are no safeties or required darts to operate; as long as there are batteries, you can shoot till your rounds run out.

 The barrel is very much like the Swarmfire only smaller. 10 rounds isn't bad; it's up there with the traditional Dart Tag blasters in the Hyperfire and Fury fire. The barrel rotates as you squeeze the trigger.

 I'm not sure why they chose to make the trigger blue, but it does stand out from the rest of the Dart Tag blasters.  Hand grip is quite large and comfortable to hold.

 The Speed Swarm has a sizable loop at the back which I guess you can tie a.. ribbon through?:P There's also an eyelet in the handgrip so as to make for a more practical use of the loops as a shoulder strap:)

 Performance wise, the Speed Swarm is pretty decent in ranges with similar distances to the Swarmfire, but personally I found it quite slow; this could be due to the batteries I was using, or just an unreasonable expectation but I'd prefer it to be quicker which is something a voltage mod could probably fix. I also find these blasters don't actually make for good single shot hand blasters- the "wind down" on firing and the "wind up" to get things going are not the best for when you want to land a nice single shot into your opponent. It's definitely where non powered plunger blasters come into their own.

Compared to big bro- Speed Swarm with Swarmfire

What's interesting is in the packaging, the Speed Swarm seems to have taken the place of the Speedload 6 although my personal belief is there doesn't need to be another fully automatic blaster in the Dart Tag line. It's probably cool for dual wielders, but then that does take away the free hand required to capture any flags you're supposed to nail.

The Speed Swarm is a cool "little" blaster but in a sense it's a tad underwhelming given it doesn't really bring anything else to the table that the Swarmfire didn't do before it other than to be a tad smaller. It'll have it's fans and I think it's still some very cool kit;  I guess I was hoping for more design innovation.

Hopefully this will be out sometime during the holiday season.. especially given my review unit was final and in box.


  1. So it wasn't just SG Nerf's example; the firing really is off... Oh, well. I guess that's what you get from downgrading C batteries to AAs. :)

  2. so the trigger really is blue. wow. I was wrong. Nice little piece of kit. seeing the speedswarm with the swarmfire reminded me of last year. Pocket you are on the ball. and now I bet you're gonna have a review of the rayven next week. hmmm.

  3. Yeah, what you get from switching to 200 series motors... and yeah, that is probably because of discharge rate considerations with the AA alkaline pack and 360 motors.

    Nerf, it's time you supplied rechargeable packs with electric guns. Alkaline power is low-end, heavy, low performance, wasteful and rather toyish. Dumping that would make your products much more usable and give you another feature to put on the lists. It's also about time you realize that the stock cyclic rates are pathetic. There's no arbitrary reason for the Swarmfire to do 180-200 RPM... it can handle 500 with no problem, especially if the gearbox was reworked to allow the motor to rev lower at that rate and higher output/higher torque motors were specified to fit that gearing.

  4. The shape reminds me of the Buzzbee Tek 10.

  5. I cannot wait for this little guy. Definitely going to put some trustfires in it. Of course it's going to be slower, less amperage and etc. But with voltage mods it should be okay if not great. Absolutely cannot wait.

  6. upgrade to two 9V's! I normally hate such a combination, but Id love to know if it could handle that kind of voltage mod. I figure it would make it fire EXTREMELY fast.

  7. Any idea when this will be released in US stores?

  8. Guess it's a good thing I plan to volt mod this.

  9. It's not as heavy now with smaller batteries.

  10. Please tell me where you got it from!

  11. Pocket, you never fail to amaze me!

  12. torukmakto4, the problem with upgrading the gearbox in such a way is that eventually you add too many gears and it gets far too loud. More gears = more noise. However I agree with you on rechargeable batteries. The only advantage Alkaline power has is it is ready to go instantly. Maybe 2 rechargeable battery packs so when one runs down you can pop in the other one.

    However possibly the intention of using Alkaline power is so that you CAN get the instant on of disposable batteries while still being able to use Trustfire or similar high power rechargeable batteries.

    Also, anyone know a good place to get trustfires or similar high performance batteries in the US?

  13. just so you know it is a plunger blaster:p

  14. Pocket,

    Can this gun fit in the Tactical Vest holster?

    One can't really tell just from the size comparison with the awkwardly-shaped Barricade whether or not it could, but if it can, pictures would be very nice.

  15. does anyone know where to buy it in the usa? i really wanna get the speedswarm.

  16. Just showed up in the US.
    Found at Target.
    SRP: $19.99US.

    Hope that helps.


  17. It is going on eBay for like $25 and shipping. I want one SO BAD!! P

    P.S. Can you put 3.6 instead of 1.5 volt batteries in?

  18. Hey urban taggers, this is SICK Ninja BNB,(xbox gamertag), i have to say, you guys have quite an arsenal! I have 41 Nerf guns myself, i'm getting the speed swarm this friday,(todays the 9th), plus im ordering the three-in-one power unity set, the alpha trooper CS-18, the barrel break ix-2, the switchshot ex-3, and hopefully the Rayven cs-18. Do you guys now when the Rayven is coming out? If you do I would really like to know. If you want, you can add me on facebook, or on xbox. How do you have the sonic series and the rayven already?

    Bryan Bryant

    p.s. I put anonymous because I couldn't figure out the "comment as" bar.

  19. i found this, a lumitron, and a rayven in a target in Florida on 1/13/12! I bought the rayven and will be going back tomorrow(1/15/12) to buy them all!