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8 September 2017

REVIEW: K'NEX K-Force Barracuda Rotoshot Blaster


Shoot!

Yay! New K-Force blaster from K'NEX! It's been a few months since we last built and played with one of these, following our reviews of the Flash Fire and the K-5 Phantom. K'NEX have now released a few more models, using a combination of specialised blaster componants, foam darts, and their standard construction toy parts. We got a tiny glimpse of this last January at the London Toy Fair, but we've finally got our hands on the K'NEX K-Force Barracuda Rotoshot Blaster.


Whereas the Flash Fire was the machine gun of the toy range, and the K-5 Phantom was the quick-firing pistol, the K-Force Barracuda Rotoshot Blaster is the pump-action shotgun. Featuring a rotating barrel that can shoot five successive darts without reloading, and 129 other K'NEX parts, it took us about 30 minutes to put together.


The firing assembly up front is the largest single piece, with the orange barrel and blue part behind being connected together straight out of the box. The Blue sections, including the handle and pump-grip, have a sparkly quality to them that we've never seen before. Looks cool.


The handle and grip are also complete, specialist pieces, which is why, despite being the same size as a real-life shotgun, the set only contains 129 parts - far fewer than the Flash Fire's 280. Still, that does make it light, and also a lot easier to build than it's motorised bigger brother.


Oh, and yes - the K-Force Barracuda Rotoshot Blaster is big enough to be comfortably wielded by an adult. In fact, the distance of the trigger from the handle kind of suggests it was designed for grown ups (yay!), although the box does state a recommended age range of 8 to 18.


Most of the standard K'NEX parts go here above the grips, building up the body of the blaster and housing the trigger assembly. We're not too sure what that green bendy rod on top is meant to symbolise, although this is called the 'Barracuda', we suppose, so perhaps a fin? If you don't like it up there, just don't include it in your build.


The large firing unit up front has two operational features in the rear; one which connects to the pump-grip which both primes the air-plunger and rotates the barrel (the orange rod), and the other that is the firing mechanism (the orange hole into which the red trigger arm pokes). It all works very smoothly, with priming and shooting not too much of a hassle at all.


There are five included K'NEX K-Force darts, for the five slots on the rotating barrel. The dart tips feel a little softer than the ones we received with blasters last year, but they still fly straight and true. We managed to get an average distance of about 50 feet, which was pretty impressive. 


But we do have one slight issue with the K-Force Barracuda Rotoshot Blaster, and that is the placement of the pump-grip. As the heaviest part of the blaster is the firing unit, your hand naturally rests underneath it, to support the weight. But that isn't where the grip for priming the blaster is, and it feels quite strange to have move you hand further down in order to reach it. We can see why it is where it is, mostly due to the ease of the build, but we'd love to try a re-build in which the grip was placed on and below the firing unit. We'll get back to you on that...


However, despite that one quibble, we really do love the K'NEX K-Force Barracuda Rotoshot Blaster; both in terms of the finished product, and the parts it offers. If you want a quick-to-build and effective blaster, this is for you. But, if you're fully into the idea of the K'Force line and looking to create your own crazy shooters, the Barracuda is a brilliant starting point.

£34.99





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