Friday, 16 January 2015

Review: Nerf Zombie Strike Sidestrike

It's been a while since my last review, so here's a new one.

The Sidestrike packaging is the standard open style ZS fare, everything exposed and held in with paper ties.
Out of box. The Sidestrike comes with itself, the holster, 6 W. coded ZS darts and an instruction paper (not pictured) that is totally unnecessary.
All together, the Sidestrike in its holster with all darts in dart holders.

Let's look at the Sidestrike itself first.

The Sidestrike is a fairly standard fare single shot. Relatively compact with a single tac rail, two dart holders and a short slide prime. It has the ZS paintscheme with neon green, brown, orange and grey. I'm not a fan of the paintscheme personally, I much prefer the blue Elite or red Mega paintschemes.

Note how the Sidestrike is design wise very different to the Hammershot and Sledgefire. Those blasters had an improvised and rough feel to them, while the Sidestrike has very clean and sharp lines. Additionally, while the Hammershot and Sledgefire had faux tape wrapped around their handles, the Sidestrike's is clean and smooth, except for the obligatory centre rough section in grey.
The Sidestrike's tac rail is quite short, and is on the bottom of the blaster instead of the top. Sadly due to its short length and proximity to the handle, the tactical light from the Recon doesn't fit properly. The only other attachment that's reasonable is a foregrip such as that from the Retaliator, but even that is pretty pointless, especially on a single shot.

Looking down the front of the Sidestrike, you can see the barrel and the two dart holders. Unlike the Firestrike, the Sidestrike has no tac light in between the barrel and dart holders, so in actual fact the dart holders could have been placed a lot closer to the barrel. However placing them this low gives the bottom of the blaster a nice profile.
Like many Nerf blasters, the Sidestrike has a set of iron sights, and again like most Nerf blasters they're pretty useless due to the significance of dart drop at any reasonable range.
A look at the side of the Sidestrike's slide, with the Sidestrike nameplate and the barely visible Zombie Strike engraving on the left. Pretty standard for ZS blasters.
 A closer look at the ZS symbol on the side, again pretty standard.

Unlike the Hammershot and Sledgefire, the Sidestrike's handle is smooth and curved, and a little short. I find it comfortable, but if you have much larger hands it'll probably be too small.

The Sidestrike is a slide primed blaster with a draw similar to that of the Firestrike. Interestingly, the prime of the Sidestrike is a fair bit stiffer than that of the Firestrike.
Note two things on the Sidestrike's handle. Firstly, the Elite badge. Funnily enough the Sidestrike has been rereleased into the Elite line in Elite colours, where its sharp lines and smooth handle fit in much better than the grittier and rougher ZS line.

Now let's look at the Sidestrike's holster.

Like that of the Sweet Revenge's, the Sidestrike's holster is made of rigid grey plastic, and has the obligatory ZS logo. On the back it has a slightly different belt clip, through which you can weave your belt through to achieve a much more secure connection.

Again like the Sweet Revenge's, the Sidestrike's holster has built in dart holders. The darts are relatively secure, and fit fairly well into the lines of the holster.
The dart holders have a few small ridges that put a good amount of friction on the darts, keeping them in fairly securely. They're still easy to pull out, but they probably won't fall out just from running around.
As mentioned before, darts in the dart holders fit the holster's lines fairly well. They're not particularly obtrusive and they're easily pulled out.

The Sidestrike fits in both ways into the holster, though I found that it fits tighter the opposite way of how it was packaged. This ambidexterity was missing from the Sweet Revenge's holster, which only caters for right handers (though can be easily modded for left handers).

The holster also fits the Elite Firestrike, which is a good choice as the Firestrike is a fairly popular single shot.

The cutouts in the bottom of the holster ensure that both the Sidestrike and Firestrike can fit comfortably. I found that the Sidestrike fit in more snugly than the Firestrike, and the Firestrike was actually quite loose.
A major problem with the holster is that it's very shallow, and so significant up-and-down movements (such as those from running or jumping) could cause the Sidestrike/Firestrike to fall out, which is a major issue. For that reason I feel that the holster is a little more gimmicky than anything else. The Sweet Revenge's holster was much more secure, though that only fit one blaster and in only one direction.
So with all that done, how does the Sidestrike perform?
Range is pretty standard for grey trigger Elite spec blasters, usually coming in at about 12-14m, though some darts do dip slightly earlier.
Accuracy is fairly good. Most darts fly quite straight, and those that veer off tend to veer back on to target at a range of about 8m. Beyond that thanks to the instability of Elite style darts accuracy is no guarantee. You should be able to hit a human sized target at 10m fairly consistently.
Rate of fire is standard for a single shot, 1 shot every 2-3 seconds depending on how quickly you can reload.

Is the Sidestrike worth getting?
If you're in search of a decent sized (read: not Jolt or Triad) single shot and don't want to get the cheaper Firestrike or Pink Crush, sure. The Sidestrike is competitive with those two and does the same job.
If you want a blaster that comes with a holster, then maybe. I would personally take a Sweet Revenge instead, but if you don't like the Sweet Revenge (or upcoming 4Victory/Quatro) then go ahead.
If you're looking for a cheap single shot, no. The Firestrike and Pink Crush are cheaper and are internally pretty much the same blaster.
If you're looking for a decent sidearm/backup blaster then the Sidestrike is an option, however there are many better/alternative options out there, for instance the Jolt, Triad, Hammershot/Sweet Revenge and Strongarm.

The Sidestrike is currently a Target exclusive, originally available for 24AUD, but it has dropped down to a lower regular price of 19AUD. I picked mine up for half price at 9AUD, which is an exceptional deal considering Firestrikes and Pink Crushes are also 9AUD.
If you're a collectionist or you like the holster or the design of the Sidestrike, then do consider getting it as it's a decent blaster and the holster is quite neat.
However there are many other blasters that match its performance for a lower price, and also a lot of blasters for that price range and lower than are totally superior to a stock standard Sidestrike. And so because of its high price, I cannot recommend the Sidestrike as a secondary blaster as there are so many often cheaper and better alternatives.

Pros: Holster is solid and quite neat, Sidestrike performs up to Elite spec, handle is exceptionally nice, first slide primed single shot since the Scout (which some people like), holster also fits Firestrike and is ambidextrous
Cons: Holster is not particularly secure, Sidestrike is reported to break after prolonged use (haven't experienced that yet), slide is not as comfortable to prime as pullback rings of Firestrike and Pink Crush, high price considering the Sidestrike is just a single shot

Power: 6/7
Accuracy: 4/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Usability: 4.5/5
Rate of Fire: 1/5
Overall: 3.56/5

Personal Rating: 3.5/5 - the Sidestrike is very comfortable to hold and use, and the holster is pretty neat too (though not the most practical). I'm not a fan of the colour scheme though.


  1. I thought that this blaster was a disc-shooting abomination when it came out. However, I have long since corrected myself.

  2. Got dis blaster more reliable then supposedly superior Hammershot