In high school, I loved showing up the boys as the only girl willing to compete with them in paintball and Airsoft wars. Without bragging too much, I beat them all more than once. Now I get to teach my daughters how to do the same with their mostly male competition but with a whole new kind of toy gun. We tried out the Gel Blaster to see if they would even compare to my previous childhood experiences.
We got the Gel Blaster Surge and Surge XL. We found both of these to have great power. The Surge can burst about 100 feet, though hitting that distance will feel like small pats on your back. The XL version will hit past 100 feet with fairly good power yet. It still won’t hurt once that far away but you can see a noticeable difference compared to the smaller-sized blasters. The speed on the Surge averaged 150 FPS while the Surge XL averaged 240 FPS. I gotta say, you do not want to be within 30 feet of someone shooting either of these blasters. Red marks will be made! But I guess, to some degree of the game, that’s the point. No pain, no game?
Learning to shoot accurately takes some practice since the gellet (ammo) magazine is positioned on top of the gun, blocking your view. I found this frustrating at the beginning since you’re taught to aim down the center of the barrel. Yet for these guns, you don’t see down the middle. But once we got the hang of this style, we were able to shoot pop cans off our patio with a few missed shots. Something the Surge XL has that few, if any, other brands on the market have is its velocity dial. You can adjust the blaster power from 170 on low to 250 FPS on high. It isn’t a quick adjustment, but having the option adds to the game.
What Shot Modes?
The Surge has semi- and fully-automatic blaster modes. The Surge XL has 3 shot options. They have single-fire mode, triple burst, and fully automatic. My personal favorite is full auto because it is just so fun to see the gellets shoot out one on top of the other with up to 12 gellets per second. We found that well-soaked gellets performed better and jammed less, than if your gellets have been sitting outside of water for a while and have begun to slightly dehydrate. A great mention on the Surge XL is the LED battery life indicators on the top. When the four bars are lit, your gun is fully charged. It’s a pretty cool way to know when you are going to need more battery juice.
Bring on Next Level Play!
We got to play with Gel Blaster’s Starfire and Starfire XL blasters, as well. If you love the idea of playing in the dark, these blasters are what you need! With a UV light attachment and some provided starter glow-in-the-night gellets, the Starfire guns will light up the night sky with glowing gellets! My downfall for the XL versions was the lights on the gun itself which will be a dead giveaway as to where you’re located before shooting. But regardless of this feature, it was super fun having a gel blaster glow-in-the-dark battle in the backyard with my husband after the kids had gone to bed! The Starfire versions have all the same qualities as the Surge gun versions, so for about $10 more you just gain that glow-in-the-dark feature.
Our daughters are 5 and 6 years old and have loved learning to use the Gel Blasters. They recommend kids be at least 8 years old for the smaller blasters and 14 years old for the XL. Knowing our kids, they are pretty good with instructions and know a parent has to be present for them to use them. The girls can easily handle the Surge and Starfire guns, while Mom and Dad have the XLs. Family wars in the backyard have become a new favorite treat before bedtime!
Since each of our next-door neighbors has dogs, I was concerned about getting gellets in their yards that their dogs could potentially eat. But thankfully, that isn’t a problem with these as they are both non-toxic and biodegradable. Once they hit their target they will often break apart and begin dehydrating and dissolving.
Overall, these Gel Blasters have been such fun to play with. Something our whole family can get out to do together and have fun with. We must have been loud about our excitement and love for them because about a week after playing with ours in the backyard we found our neighbor couple next door had bought themselves a pair as well. Let’s all get off the screens and get outside enjoying Gel Blasting together!
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