The Crossbow looks and feels like a real Crossbow but shoots safety sucker darts. Can shoot over 12 metres!!
They have a one piece body and the stock is made from tough, high quality plastic. The bow is spring steel and is fitted with sights for accurate firing and comes with 3 coloured sucker darts.
The bows are lightweight for indoor and outdoor use with a target on the back of the box.
My son got this from us for his birthday this year, what a fun toy it is. As far as the safety factor goes, a lot comes down to how well educated your child is, i.e. don't aim it at people, esp faces. If your children are well educated in the safety of playing with their toys then no dramas should unfold.
I found this to be a very strong, durable, well made, crossbow, and definitely fun to play with. We set up a range outside (it comes complete with a target on the back of the box) and decided to have a play together. Turns out my son's got pretty good aim, but me not so much. I think a lot came down to how you hold it though, and I was just holding it wrong *winks*
It is comfortable to hold and the darts are the sucker type darts, so safe to handle and easy to put in to shoot. My son's only prob was sometimes the darts would fall off before being shot, but this all came down to the way he was standing/holding I think...having had no prev crossbow toys or experience prior.
This made a great gift that my son was really happy to receive, and we were very impressed with the quality and workmanship. And the price is also very reasonable too, especially for something that gets your kids off the couch and outside
Having played with crossbows of all types - from the nasty "Dollar Shop" sort right up to proper international-competition-grade custom-built versions, I can honestly say this would be the very best $30 crossbow I have come across.
The problem being, it's a $40 crossbow. (At least, as far as the average RRP I can find.)
Let's start with the ONE bad point - the front sight. A intrusive black plastic bridge that clips on to the front of the stock. For aiming, it's pointless - every dart will fly slightly differently, and since it's not adjustable, and the darts have no stabilising spin to them, it's basically cosmetic only. The worst bit is, if the nose of the just-launched dart lifts slightly, it will clip the top or side of the bridge and rip it loose... not only spoiling your shot, but scaring the heck out of the kids playing with it, who may now be thinking they're about to get yelled at for breaking it.
Solution: Either don't attach it at all, or detach it if it came pre-attached in the box. Problem solved... and now that the ugly bit is dealt with, the rest is all positive!
The sprung bow itself is spring steel - not some crappy moulded plastic - I mean real metal with real power to it. It is notched with mounting slots, so you know which way up it goes, and it's as simple as slotting it into place, and screwing on a metal lock plate. Assembly takes all of 30 seconds! Then it's just a case of draw back the string until it drops into the release catch (this may take a bit of practice, to avoid knocking it loose again as you let go), slot in a dart (making sure the tail fins form an X, not a +), aim, and pull the trigger!
Keeping in mind the age group this is aimed at (no pun intended), the safety factor is paramount. To that end, you can't over-draw the bow, adjust the tension at all, or in any (easy) way modify this to become more powerful. And inventive adult may find a way, but let's see... half an hour of fun, vs the loss of a toddler's eye... hmmm... yeah, no fiddling with it.
The darts, when new, are a bit stiff when it comes to the suction cup. The Cub pack we tested this with came up with a good idea... an old plastic meat tray, well washed, with some warm VERY SLIGHTLY soapy water in it... sit the darts sucker-side down in that while you assemble the bow, and then fire darts that actually WANT to stick to the whiteboard, cardboard, whatever smooth flat surface you choose.
NOT Granny's special stained glass window... or any glass for that matter. It's just common sense, kids.
Overall, a wonderful toy, loved by the kids who played a tournament style game with it on their end-of-term fun activity night. You can see some of the photos here: on our Facebook page. Most didn't get selected due to either poor lighting, too much motion blur, or obstruction by over-stimulated pre-teens jumping into the shot unwittingly. But either way, it was a pretty welcome last-minute addition to the programme, and more than a few parents had a go too, and will be hunting for these in the lead-up to Christmas.
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