Review: Nerf Rival Apollo XV-700
I figured it was time for me to get a bit ballsy for my next review 😁! With Amazon finally getting stock in again of all the Nerf Rival gear (and at a decent price), I took the opportunity to check out Hasbro's latest attempt at a new ammunition type. A pair of Apollos (I was curious which colour looked the best) with extra magazines and ammo duly arrived. The blaster packaging is a pretty standard Nerf affair, with cardboard and plastic tabs taped down. One annoyance though: obviously as part of pushing the new Rival ammo, one of the balls is exposed on the front of the box. In one case this has resulted in a fairly dirty ball (which reminds me: when is someone going to come up with a better name for this ammo type?). So far, the dirt hasn't shifted, either. I haven't had any of the other ammo get dirty yet, so I'm not sure if this is a bad sign for the ammo generally, or if this particular dirt was abnormally oily or something similarly resistant to cleaning. The extra 12 round magazines and ammo are just in hard plastic, safe enough from damage.
So, on to the good stuff! First impressions were good; the Apollo is large for a pistol style blaster, partially due to the magazine loading via the grip. For my large hands this is no problem, but I could definitely see this as an issue for any younger Nerfer, or even anyone with smaller than average hands. For me, perfect. The weight reflects its size fairly accurately, in fact it's pretty close in both size and weight to a fully stripped down Longshot.
As I mentioned, the magazine loads via the grip, with a medium sized button at the bottom rear of the grip to release it. It comes with a seven round magazine, and there's also a 12 round magazine which also works fine with it. Despite the larger capacity, I really prefer the form factor of the smaller magazine, and have actually sold off one of my Apollo's with the bigger magazine and kept the smaller. Cocking the blaster via the hooked lever on the top is easy enough, though requires a little more force than your average N-Strike blaster. As an aside, I've seen a mod that lets the cocking lever automatically move back into position after pulling it back, sounds like it'd make things easier.
Firing the Apollo is probably going to startle anyone who's not used to modded blasters–there's a good chunky *bang*! The range seems good, definitely superior to darts, and accuracy is great. I managed a 20 meter headshot on a guy at work first shot when showing it off to work mates, über cool! The new Rival ball ammo really performs well, and collecting rounds off the floor straight into magazines is very nifty (see picture). One downside though: balls bounce… after a 20 meter shot down a hall, the ball can then bounce a good 10-15 meters, all over the place. Probably fine outside, but indoor you'll find most of your ammo ending up hiding under desks.
The Rival series seems to be a big success, love the range and accuracy, and really looking forward to seeing the fully automatic Khaos when it comes out later this year! That'll be one loud and scary blaster!