Nerf's N-Strike line, predecessor to the N-Strike Elite line, was immensely popular in its heyday. And of all the N-Strike models out there, one of the most popular (and my personal favorite) was the Maverick REV-6. It was a simple six-shot pistol that was cheap, fun, and despite function quirks was a widely relied upon blaster in many a Nerf war. And it just looked stinkin' cool.
Well now we have the N-Strike Elite line, and for a while no "Elite" treatment of the Maverick seemed to be in the pipeline...till a picture of this blaster was leaked in a now infamous eBay auction by a grandmother who had no real idea what she was selling. Well now the Strongarm has hit the general public, and has all the tools it needs to blow big brother Maverick out of the dart filled water.
The physical mold of this blaster takes many cues from the Maverick, especially in the placement of the flip-out barrel and oversized body. It bears the blue, white and day-glo orange color scheme of the other Elite blasters, giving it a much sharper and less "toy-ish" look than the Maverick. The tactical rail (used with N-Strike attatchments) has been placed on top of the main body of the blaster, just above the barrel. This is a vast improvement over the Maverick, which had its tactical rail placed poorly on top of the sliding primer. Also improved over the Maverick is the reloading capability of the Strongarm. The barrel actually flips out all the way and spins freely, allowing a much quicker reload of its 6-dart fury. The blaster also has two sling attachments points, allowing it to be carried on a belt clip or bandolier.
So how does the thing perform? Well my rough tests show that this puppy gets incredible distance for such a small blaster (relative especially to big brothers in the Elite line, Rampage and Hailfire), reaching 50-60 feet easy, and upwards of 75 with an upward angle. And those darts aren't floating along lazily either...they fire far and FAST. Try to avoid getting popped in the face from a Strongarm shot. Kids, remember not to aim this at your friends' heads and faces...everywhere else is fair game though!
At $10.00-$12.00, its a reasonably priced blaster for the fun you'll have with it, whether its a good natured sneak attack on an unsuspecting roomie, or a means to ward off unsavory coworkers from your cubicle*. It gets a full recommendation from me for kids and adults alike.