Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Buzz Bee Berserker/Barbarian Review

The Buzz Bee Berserker is a fairly old blaster (2009) although is well known among the modding Nerf community due to it's features which I will describe in detail later. For now, I'll just say that it has a 20 shot turret and a rocket launcher in the middle. It has been reincarnated several times, first as you see above, second, as the 'Barbarian' which is identical in every way except availability, price and name (and hence the name stickers), then as the Ultimate Berserker (slightly altered shell, lots of grey) to fit in with the Ultimate series blasters (blasters which link together), the Maniac (vastly altered shell, although internals are still pretty much identical) in the Power Lock series (like the Ultimate series) and then the Berserker (a Maniac with a special 6-shot shotgun attachment for the centre).

First off, aesthetics. I think you will agree with me that the Berserker is butt-ugly. It's the sort of ugly you find on a monster in a horror movie. Honestly, if it weren't so good (as I will describe later), it would probably sell terribly. As it happens though, the Berserker does manage to redeem itself.

Firstly, how the Berserker feels. Sadly, due to it's shell being so ugly, it doesn't help it's feel. Yes, the 20 shot turret is ridiculously fat, but annoyingly, the pump grip used to prime the turret (the 20 shot turret is spring powered and rotated on grip pull), is no more than about 4cm wide (lazy to measure). It feels vastly out of proportion. Likewise, the handle with both triggers is quite small (as even SG pointed out) and the cylindrical structure on the bottom really just gets in the way. The pump for the air tank for the rocket launcher is not so bad, though I still find it a little small.

The priming stroke for the pump grip is very short, and the spring is quite strong. My 9 y.o. cousin had heaps of trouble priming it. It also doesn't help that the rotation mech for the turret is linked to the pump grip, making it that little bit harder. Because of this link though, it is possible to rotate the turret by simply pushing and pulling the pump grip, and not resorting to manually turning the turret.

On the other hand, the pump for the air tank is quite long, so it only takes 3 pumps to fill the tank. This is highly convenient. Resistance does build up though, so the 3rd pump can be quite difficult, especially for younger children (like my aforementioned cousin).

To trigger both weapons, the Zerker has 2 triggers -  the forward one triggers the air tank for the rocket launcher, and the rear most triggers the plunger for the turret.

The Berserker is also quite heavy, and thus is difficult to handle for smaller/weaker persons. Ironic, considering the size of the handles.

So why is the Berserker so popular in the modding community? Simple - it's performance and potential.
The spring powered 20 shot turret is capable of 12m ranges with Buzz Bee darts, despite the terrible barrel-dart seal. The use of Whistlers can nudge this number up to 14m. The rocket launcher is, so far as I can tell, the same style as my 4B, but from what I can tell from the internal pics on Nerf Mods & Reviews, the tank is larger so potential ranges are greater. However, because the rocket launcher barrel is the same (2 tiny air release holes), ranges are the same at about 9m.
Accuracy with Buzz Bee darts is excellent, nearly to pinpoint accuracy. The same goes for the rocket launcher.
A ROF of 3dps is possible with the turret thanks to it's shotgun style pump grip, while a ROF of a rocket every 5 seconds is possible with quick pumping.

It's true potential however is in modding ability. It is common to hear of the 20 shot turret on a Berserker reach 80ft (26m or so) or more with rebarreling, and the rocket launcher, like the 4B is capable of more than 50m (160ft).

Sadly, because the Berserker is so old, it is not widely available. I managed to get mine from a Malaysia TRU (they had loads of Zerkers and Barbarians, as well as other Buzz Bee stuff we don't get in Aus) for 110RM - the equivalent of about $35 AUD with the current exchange rate, making it excellent value for money.
One of my favourite blasters due to its power and capacity.
The Berserker gets inferior stock ranges to Elite blasters, however its central airgun is ridiculously powerful and can outrange just about any Elite blaster with mods.

Power and accuracy are incredible, shotgun grip allows for 3dps, both weapons can be triggered using one hand (double trigger system), modded potential is extreme, resale value is very high, dual weapon types allows for greater role coverage (e.g. sniper, rocketeer due to rocket launcher, all rounder with turret)
Hyper ugly, heavy, relatively unbalanced, pump is difficult to use as a stock, generic revolver cons, generic airgun cons

Power: 6/7
Accuracy: 5/5
Value for Money: 5/5
Usefulness: 4.5/5
Rate of fire: 3/5
Overall: 4.36/5

Personal Rating: 4/5 - quite awesome once modded, pretty good stock, but it's still butt-ugly and stupidly heavy.

Butt-ugly, uncomfortable to hold, mega blaster.
If you can find this, I highly recommend you buy one, or more if you have space for it - it commands a high price on the interweb as well as increasing internet social status by a bit.


  1. Thanks, that was a very useful review. Are these found anywhere in Australia?

    1. Not that I know of unforuntately. :(
      If they were I wouldn't have bothered getting one from Malaysia.

    2. Thanks for responding so quickly. Just missed one on ebay. Guess I'll just have to suck it up and pay the international postage. :(

  2. I just finished re-barreling a Maniac, getting 130'-150' with whistlers, considering starting to post my mods(got two of em for $3.75 in US dollars)

  3. I would like to know how to open the dang thing. modding it has stopped dead in its tracks because I can't open it. plz help.

    1. There's a hidden screw underneath one of the big stickers, that's probably what's stopping you.