One Dart Short

Nerf Rule #1: You never have enough darts!

Review: Door Storage-Transport P.A.K. (repost)

(Note: This is a repost of my original review dated 09/Jan/2014)

Awaiting my return home today was a freshly delivered Amazon box (carefully concealed from the casual passerby by a tiny houseplant)!

Inside was one of the first in the new selection of Nerf 3rd party licensed products made by Perpetual Play: the Door Storage-Transport P.A.K. (which stands for Precision Action Kit), known on Amazon as the Nerf Elite Transport Door and Storage. The box had all the usual Hasbro Nerf images and logos (including referring to itself as an N-Strike Elite product, which didn't make a lot of sense). All the text on the box is in English, French, and Spanish, so this would be the version released for the U.S.A., Canada, and Mexico. I doubt that releases for the rest of the world will differ in anything other than the box text.

The box lists the following features:
Storage - Extra space for ammo clips
Modular - Attach utility pouch to increase your ammo capacity
Target Practice - Sharpen your skills with these practice targets
Holds 3 Large Blasters - Or 6 small or 6 medium blasters and ammo cartridges
Includes door hooks 2pcs

The following items are also advertised on the box (there's no mention of the Soft Storage Case):
Blaster Sleeve, Utility P.A.K., and Target P.A.K.

Now, on to the kit! First impression was pretty good. This is a basically a door hanging storage system which is capable of being rolled up for portability. The material is a plastic weave style, with decent edging and straps sewn on. It's black on the inside, and patterned blue-black on the outer/door side. There are a couple of loops where the door hooks attach (these seem quite strong enough to handle any blasters you can fit in).

Fully opened up, there's some patterned target pictures up the top (honestly, a waste of paint). There's three orange cross pieces stitched on, each with a pair of Velcro straps for attaching your blasters. Between the top two cross straps is a pair of small pouches, each capable of horizontally holding a 12 dart magazine perfectly, or a pair of six dart magazines vertically.

The claim on the box that you can attach six small/medium blasters by the Velcro straps is plainly ludicrous (unless you consider the Stryfe, Retaliator, and Spectre all to be large)! That said, I found that the larger the blaster, the better it fits. I was even able to comfortably strap Longstrikes and Longshots with little overhang out the sides (though not surprisingly, the Centurion does not fit). When being used purely as door storage, this works quite well. The Rampage, Rough Cut, and Alpha Trooper all fit nicely. One feature that's had a bit of thought is having each pair of velcro straps in a different position on the cross piece, helping you find just the right spot for each different blaster. There's a bit of wasted space due to the secondary function of this also being portable storage. Which leads me on to the bad news…

When you decide to take this down from the door to roll up and take with you, this really disappoints. Firstly, when you're attaching your blasters for door hanging, you strap them in in such a way that the P.A.K. remains hanging straight. In other words, (depending on the blaster) they're often a bit loose (though still fine for hanging on the door). However, strapping them up tightly for travel seriously distorts the P.A.K., enough so that it looks really crappy when hanging. That's not too major I guess, but it gets worse: there's a tiny bit of Velcro on each edge, right where the carry handle attaches. This means that when you pick it up by the carry handle, the full weight of all your blasters (and clips) pulls directly on the small strap of Velcro, invariably separating it. While the P.A.K. remains rolled up (due to proper clips), the rolled up bundle comes rather loose. There's also a good reason that all the promo shots for this item are directly from the front: With even a single blaster inside, this thing is bulky! Pack in the full three blasters, and this is just ugly looking.

On top of which, due to the faulty Velcro, your blasters all shift around against each other. While this is still a better method of transporting your blasters around then your average backpack, you can get a better transport sleeve made for you if you know any half-decent DIY person with a sewing machine. The extra orange cross strap which is shown being used for extra dart storage as well as being able to strap Utility P.A.K. just seems gimmicky.

So, to summarise, I find the Door Storage-Transport P.A.K. to be a disappointment. Quite frankly, nearly all Nerf blasters are simply to bulky/wide to be rolled up into a bundle. Combined with the insufficient Velcro and padding, using this as a transport method is a fail. If Perpetual Play had instead kept this as a door hanging system, this would have been a winner. Unfortunately, they tried to do too much, and failed as a result.

If you like the idea of the door hanger, take my advice and design your own. If you want the storage, a roll of cloth plus some string or Velcro for each blaster will suit you better.