With so much buzz for Nerf's new N-Strike Elite line going on, we were all so focused on the Retaliator, Rampage and Hailfire that out of nowhere another blaster in the Elite stable snuck in to the mix (to the point it hasn't even made it to the US yet). In a similar fashion to the Barricade RV-10 (it's original N-Strike counterpart) the new Stockade sort of just..showed up.
Flywheel fans who were a little underwhelmed by the Hailfire have been waiting for this to arrive; good news is it's confirmed the Stockade is going to be an Australian release this year. We're happy to say we got one- our thoughts after the jump.
The Stockade comes in a similar sized box to the Barricade. The first thing we noticed about the packaging (other than the pretty boy band looking fella on the front) is the '15M' sticker. We can't confirm or deny it's been 'detuned' or not because it hasn't been released in the US (where N-Strike Elite blasters boast 75ft ranges) but 15m (which is 50 ft) seems pretty standard for blasters these days so it doesn't sound THAT spesh. We did get the feeling though that for once, the boasted ranges on the box MIGHT be actually be a lil modest.
Inside the box, you get the Stockade, a completely new designed stock, 10 Elite darts and the manual. Batteries not included.
Cutting to the chase, the Stockade is a repainted Barricade RV-10 shell. I mean it's a much better looking paint scheme than the Barricade, so that's an improvement right there but for all intended purposes, it looks and feels like a Barricade. This isn't really a surprise to anyone though- the Retaliator is essentially recycling the shell of an N-Strike Recon CS-6, and the Rampage is an N-Strike Raider CS-35. We've learned that the Elite series is essentially a re-imaging of the N-Strike line rather than an all new one- but what's great is it's more than just a repaint alone. The Stockade might seem like a Barricade... but it's not:)
We can go through all the similarities first- like the Barricade it's a flywheel mechanism semi automatic blaster that has a 10 round capacity.
The Stockade casing is pretty much identical to the Barricade, other than sporting the new blue, orange and white Elite colours. It's solid and sturdy, and its size/form has been likened to both a semi automatic pistol or an SMG. It comes with a tactical rail which will no doubt look great with the rumoured upcoming new Pinpoint Sight repaint:)
As far as the aesthetic 'differences' are concerned other than the paint job, there are a few slight changes to the mould, mainly just the name badges on the side:
And the N-Strike Elite etchings on the rear side of the Stockade.
The Stockade takes three AA batteries like the Barricade; the battery door has been slightly redesigned to feature the "N-Strike Elite" logo rather than the original N-Strike one. There's still the power switch under the battery compartment
Why it's called a Stockade could be a number of reasons, but given it is compatible with all Nerf stocks, it does come standard with an all new designed stock which is actually pretty comfortable to use. It's longer than the Retaliator's and also comes with a useful built in ammo holder that stores 10 extra darts.
Speaking of darts, being an Elite series blaster the Stockade fires the new Elite darts. You can fire whistlers, dart tag and sucker darts too, but for best performances stick with what it comes with.
The thing is, what makes the Stockade great is more than just the aesthetic re-imaging.
The first thing Nerf have done is to somehow make the flywheels quieter- whether it be the motors or by dampening the sound- I'm thinking the former. It's still noisy, but definitely not as much as the original Barricade.
Secondly, it shoots further. Part of this is because of the Elite darts, but I tried them in a stock Barricade and they don't fire nearly as far as when in the Stockade. N-Strike blasters averaged around 12-15 metres- the Stockade quite often fires further than this, hence my belief that 15 metres is at times somewhat modest (which is a good thing). Ranges on the whole were actually not that far off my US purchased Elite Rampage so I was pretty impressed with that. Accuracy is also not bad, though I did find the darts occasionally fish tailed, not unlike in a voltage modded Barricade.
I myself have always been a lil' iffy about flywheel blasters, but even I have been impressed by the Stockade. Sure, the Stockade doesn't have the same performances out of the box as a voltage modded Barricade, but it's definitely superior to a stock Barricade in every way- it performs better, is quieter, looks nicer and is just that much cooler than it's older brother.
While the other blasters in the N-Strike Elite range have been noticeably de-tuned for the Australian market, the Stockade's so far holding its own against the US purchased gear- which is definitely a good thing:D