Welcome, Mid-Spring, 2015!
Spring has finally arrived and summer's coming soon, yet still too slowly. Here at iSoaker.com, we've completed most of our testing of the new notable water blaster products of 2015 and are summarizing our findings for you. While the specific review pages (see also: the listing of Water Gun / Water Blaster Product Analyses) go into more statistics and details about particular water blaster models, this article should provide a good overview of what to expect from the blasters examined here.
If you just want to know our choice for the best, scroll down to The Verdict. Otherwise, read-on to learn more about all the contenders and understand better why one ended up rising to the top of the field for summer, 2015.
So, with no further ado, here are the newest water weaponry offerings from the two major manufacturers: Buzz Bee Toys Inc. and Hasbro Inc.:
New Water Warriors Water Blaster Models for 2015
Buzz Bee Toys Inc.
New Nerf Super Soaker Water Blaster Models for 2015
The Water Warriors Drench Master is a simple, solid pump-action water blaster from Buzz Bee Toys Inc. Featuring a nozzle selector with stream and burst options and quite good range for a pump action water blaster, the Drench Master does well for smaller skirmishes. However, being pump-action, the Drench Master can be quickly outclassed by well-built similar or larger-sized pressurized water blasters.
Not to be confused with the 2005 Super Soaker Flash Flood, the 2015 Nerf Super Soaker Flash Flood by Hasbro Inc. is an odd pump-action and piston-action combination water blaster. The lower portion of the Flash Flood is a pump-action water blaster with a single nozzle setting. Mounted on the top of the Flash Flood is a syringe-style water blaster that draws from the same reservoir. While this combination looks and seems intriguing at first, when one considers how a user naturally prefers to pump these two different stream-producing systems, you soon realize that you will either need to swap hand positions to switch between using the pump-action versus syringe-based water blasting capabilities or leave one's dominant hand on the rear grip and swap one's pumping hand, aiming less effectively when using the upper pump. Both systems also require both hands to operate so forget about attempting to dual-wield this water blaster with another. Moreover, the large pump on the top cannot draw water very quickly from the reservoir; foring the pump to move faster ends up breaking the pump's seal and pulling air into the pump shaft instead of water. Ironically, the transparent tube makes it easy to see where the single O-ring seal gives up when trying to pump faster. The Flash Flood will likely work alright for small skirmishes, but the novelty of the top-mounted syringe-based water blaster will not likely be as useful as it seems.
The Nerf Super Soaker Flood Fire is a larger, pump-action water blaster with a twist. Also new from Hasbro Inc. for 2015, the Flood Fire features a trigger and can attach to a hose for continual soaking action. The presence of the trigger made some initially speculate that the Flood Firemay be a pressurized water blaster. Unforunately, this is not the case. Beyond potentially using up a perfectly good hose, the way the designers opted to put the trigger-controlled valve by the nozzle means that this is the first pump-action water blaster that MUST have its trigger pulled to operate when away from the hose! With a capacity on the lower end for its size, its trigger-requiring pump-action blasting, and novelty-like ability to attach to a hose, the Flood Fire may survive light battles, but does not appear interesting enough for us to test further at iSoaker.com.
The Water Warriors Harpoon is a small, light pump-action water blaster released by Buzz Bee Toys Inc. that is reminiscent of the earlier Water Warriors Gargoyle. Minimalistic style and function, featuring a small, single nozzle setting and snap-cap, the Harpoon is targetted towards the younger water warfare crowd. Its limited pump volume means it is easily outclassed even by the slightly larger, but larger pump-volume pump-action water blasters such as the Water Warriors Drench Master. Its limited pump volume also means that younger users will not get each other too wet too quickly, making game time last a little longer.
The Nerf Super Soaker Micro Burst II is a re-styling of the 2012 Nerf Super Soaker Micro Burst. Being a small, pump-action water blaster, it performs better than trigger-based water blasters, but its small size means limited pump volume and limited reservoir volume. Also, being pump-action, despite its small size, it still requires two hands to operate well. Good as a light back-up or for small skimishes, the Micro Burst II is outclassed by most larger water blasters.
The Nerf Super Soaker Rebelle Cascade is a re-release of the Nerf Super Soaker Rebelle Blue Crush (2014), but with slightly different artwork on its side. The statistics provided for the Cascade were simply copied from the Blue Crush review since no significant difference is expected. While a nicely sculpted, no-nonsense pump-action water blaster that has a Nerf tactical rail on its top, the smaller size of the Cascade means it, too, is outclassed by most larger water blasters.
The Nerf Super Soaker Rebelle Tri Threat is the second crossbow-themed water blaster released by Hasbro Inc. Like the 2014 Nerf Super Soaker Tri Strike Crossbow, the Tri Threat is a pump action water blaster that shoots three parallel streams: one main center stream and two secondary streams from the arms of the crossbow. Unlike the 2014 Nerf Super Soaker Tri Strike Crossbow, the Tri Threat cannot fold its arms in, meaning that is must always shoot with all of its nozzles. Due to its overall smaller size and the significantly smaller size of the nozzle diameters on its arms, the Tri Threat is expected to perform similarly, if not worse than the Tri Strike Crossbow. At present, no further testing is planned on this particular water blaster model.
The Water Warriors Steady Blast is a larger version of the Water Warriors Steady Stream (2007). Unlke the Steady Stream, the Steady Blast holds significantly more water in its reservoir and features a nozzle selector with two nozzle settings: one stream and one burst setting. Unfortunately (and oddly), the pump volume on the Steady Blast seems to be less than that of the Steady Stream. While one can still pump quickly enough with the pump to create a continuous stream, the pump volume and available pumping rate cannot keep the burst setting blasting quite as smoothly. Moreover, while I do like simpler designs, the Steady Blast lacks a little too much detailing and refinement, particular around its pump and trigger grip areas. These smooth surfaces are a little slippery to hold when wet.
The Nerf Super Soaker Tidal Torpedo 2-in-1 is a rather simple idea brought to life. Seeing that a foam rocket can be launched by a syringe-based blaster with the right nozzle shape, why not simply make a syringe-type water blaster and include a couple of foam rockets that don't mind getting wet? Able to shoot foam rockets using air pressure, create a stream if filled with water, or combining both to shoot foam rockets pushed out by water, the Tidal Torpedo makes for a fun product. Granted, like all syringe-based water blasters, one needs a bucket or pool of water from which to refill. Moreover, the usefulness of foam rockets during a water fight is questionable. Add the fact that the foam rockets need to be retrieved and may get lost or stepped on and broken, and the value of the Tidal Torpedo in true water wars becomes rather limited.
MSRP: $24.99 USD
The Water Warriors Waterlord is the first trigger-activated elastic pressure chamber-based water blaster seen Buzz Bee Toys Inc. accepted the injunction back in 2010. Featuring Buzz Bee Toys' signature diaphragm rubber bladder pressure chamber, this chunky, high capacity water blaster pushes out solid streams with the pull of its trigger. Featuring a nozzle selector with three settings (2 stream settings and one burst setting), the Waterlord offers good flexibility on the field, though it feels as if the pressure chamber could have supported an even larger nozzle setting. The Waterlord's reservoir makes maximum use of this water blaster's dimensions, able to hold more water than even the overall larger Super Soaker CPS 1500's reservoir. Combined with pre-charging the separate pressure chamber, this water blaster can carry a good payload of soakage. Unfortunately, it offers neither a strap nor top-handle to make handling this water blaster a little easier. Moreover, at present, it appears that only Walmart Canada is carrying the Waterlord this year. While it's great for Canadians, this also means less avid water warfare enthusiasts will be able to get their hands on one of these blasters. Able to take on any recent water blaster with ease, the Waterlord user only needs to worry when against similar-sized elastic-based water blasters and, of course, older, larger "CPS-class" water blasters.
MSRP: $14.99 USD
The Nerf Super Soaker Zombie Strike Dreadshot is one of three Nerf Super Soakers released in 2015 under the "Zombie Strike" sub-brand. Featuring a light-up reservoir (that requires 3 AAA batteries), this pump-action water blaster pushes out a burst of 6 streams with every pump. The nozzles are in an inverted triangle arrangement with no option to select how many nozzles are used. This configuration will increase area hit, but reduce the Dreadshot's effective range. Being an overall relatively small water blaster, no additional testing is planned on this item at this time.
MSRP: $9.99 USD
The Nerf Super Soaker Zombie Strike Extinguisher is the smallest of three Nerf Super Soakers released in 2015 under the "Zombie Strike" sub-brand. As with all Zombie Strike blasters, the Extinguisher features a light-up reservoir (requiring 3 AAA batteries). Otherwise, it is a small pump-action water blaster akin to the Micro Burst II. Being an overall relatively small water blaster, no additional testing is planned on this item at this time.
MSRP: $19.99 USD
The Nerf Super Soaker Zombie Strike Splatterblast is the largest of three Nerf Super Soakers released in 2015 under the "Zombie Strike" sub-brand. As with all Zombie Strike blasters, it features a light-up reservoir that required 3 AAA batteries to operate. The Splatterblast is the most interesting of the 2015 Nerf Super Soaker Zombie Strike water blasters, featuring four nozzles in a diamond-shape configuration. Unfortunately, this water blaster is only pump-action. While the nozzle arrangement offers increased area coverage while not sacrificing range, the pump does not power all four nozzles equally with the bottom-middle nozzle dropping off, apparently only getting about 50% of the power that the other nozzles receive. In the end, while fun to use, the Splatterblast ends up feeling like it could have been more, but is limited by its low pump volume and non-optimized internal tubing layout. Able to keep up with other recent Nerf Super Soakers, the Splatterblast ends up outclassed by larger pump-action water blasters and, of course, any properly performing pressurized water blasters.
Some testing was also done on a couple of other water blasters, namely the Flood Force Tsunami and Flood Force Hurricane by Swim Ways Corp. Both of these water blasters performed so poorly that I already feel that they have now been discussed too much in this article.
This year, the answer very all too clear. Again, unfortunately, the bulk of the 2015 Nerf Super Soaker line seems to have forgotten what a "Super Soaker" is meant to be, the ones who actually brought the world the Super Soaker show that they still strive for better performing water blasters. Though Buzz Bee Toys Inc. only released four new products for 2015, the Water Warriors Waterlord is, without a doubt, the Best New Water Gun / Water Blaster for 2015.
This biggest, best water blaster to be seen for several years, the Waterlord offers great capacity and solid performance. With three stream settings to choose from and great effective range, the Waterlord can easily outperform any other water blaster currently on the market. Of course, that does not mean there isn't room for improvement. Looking back at the Evolution of the Water Warriors Elastic-based water blasters, the Waterlord is decent, but not as hard hitting as the Water Warriors Sphinx, Water Warriors Gorgon (HP), or Water Warriors Vindicator. The Waterlord could likely support a larger nozzle setting without sacrifing its range signficantly. While its capacity is great, that fact also makes the Waterlord heavier, thus a shoulder strap would have been a nice option to have. Perhaps the biggest complaint we will hear this year is that the Water Warriors Waterlord is presently only availabl at Walmart Canada. For those in all other parts of the world, you will either need to make friends with those in Canada or hope for a wider distribution next year. (Note: iSoaker.com does not directly sell nor distribute any water blaster items so do NOT bother asking.)
Of course, what cannot be stated enough is that hopefully that Water Warriors Waterlord signifies the beginning of the return of elastic-based water blasters. With the CPS patent expiring, we can only hope that Buzz Bee Toys Inc. continues to experiment and improve their elastic-based water blasters. Moreover, it would be nice to see other manufacturers as well upping their game since healthy competition promotes developments.
Only time will tell.
Soak on! Leave NO one dry!