Nothing beats heading outside and blasting some friends with foam munitions. But for much of the country, the fun-in-the-sun weather is relatively short-lived. What’s a foam blaster-loving kid to do? How about blasting some bugs inside! No, not real bugs… we’re talking about Creepeez wall-crawler bugs from Zuru, makers of the X-Shot Bug Attack Eliminator dart blaster, which comes equipped with 8 foam darts and 3 bugs to act as target practice.
Toy maker Zuru was founded in Cambridge, New Zealand and is headquartered in Shenzhen, China. They employ over 750 people and sell a wide variety of toys in more than 80 countries worldwide. What's that got to do with bug blasting? Well, everything. Because Zuru doesn’t just make toy blasters, they are free to consider what other types of play might make blasting more fun. And in the case of the Bug Attack series of toys, they are combining two of their most-loved products: a well-built blaster under their X-Shot blaster brand with squishy, tossable “bugs” from their Creepeez line of playthings. It’s this “mash-up” of two existing toy lines that set the Bug Attack series apart from other toy blasters.
Now we know that the Bug Attack series features toy bugs in addition to blasters, but what makes these bugs so interesting is the fact that they each feature 6 arms with round, super-sticky “feet” at the end of each, allowing them to lightly adhere to a number of vertical surfaces.
Even better, Creepeez wall-crawling bugs are just that—wall-crawling. Toss one against a wall, and slowly but surely it will “creep” its way down the wall, flipping end-over-end until it makes it the whole way down. It’s entirely powered by a combination of gravity and sticky feet, and it’s amusing to no end.
Even without a blaster, the bugs in the Bug Attack series are a total hoot for kids—and adults—of all ages. Tossing one (or more) against a wall and watching them crawl down just never gets old!
How It Compares
It's actually not bad! The Bug Attack Eliminator blaster is a double-barreled shotgun-style blaster that can shoot foam darts up to 55 feet. That may not sound like much compared to modern Nerf blasters that often claim ranges in excess of 75 feet, and indeed, it is a little on the low side for a product introduced in 2015. But in our testing, we were actually able to achieve a distance of up to 80 feet (with an arc), with average dart velocities of 63 feet-per-second and decent accuracy. Those are actually Nerf-like numbers, but looking at this blaster solely on specs or range claims would be missing the point. For indoor use, 55 feet is more than adequate, and at those ranges, the Bug Attack Eliminator is every bit as accurate as Nerf products.
The Eliminator shotgun is built well and made of quality plastics. In fact, it’s a noticeable step-up from most “value” brands, and in talking with the design team from Zuru, we were informed that details as small as the faux-wood handle were quite expensive to produce.
From what we saw and felt with our own eyes and hands, that investment has paid-off. While still not quite at Nerf levels of quality or refinement, the Bug Attack series is a noticeable improvement in overall aesthetics and build-quality versus previous Zuru X-Shot models.
Ergonomically, we should note that the Eliminator is on the small size for late teen or adult use, yet the pull-back priming mechanism is a little on the stiff side for younger audiences. In all likelihood, the target age group of those 8 years of age and older will likely have no problems with either the size or the priming process, though groups significantly older or younger may find some of these ergonomic issues a hindrance.
Lastly, we did find that using the supplied X-Shot darts there was a fitment issue in loading the darts, in the sense that they were a little loose in the barrel.
Ironically, when we switched to standard Nerf Elite darts, the loose fit issue was eliminated, and we had no other problems. We suspect our sample was an early production unit that simply had imprecise tolerances, but it’s something to keep in mind. Again, X-Shot is making strides in overall quality, but they’re not quite at the top levels just yet.
The combination of Eliminator blaster with Creepeez wall-crawler bugs was a fairly ingenious move on the part of Zuru’s X-Shot team. We definitely enjoyed blasting bugs off the wall, even if actually hitting them is both tricky and a little tiresome. A rapid-fire blaster with a full clip’s worth of darts would have been a lot more enjoyable since it wouldn’t have required as much patience to achieve success in knocking bugs off the wall. As it stands, we suspect most younger children will simply enjoy playing with the bugs all by themselves, while older children will grab the gun and start blasting their friends (or parents). Hopefully, Zuru will expand on the Bug Attack series and provide even more options for bug-blasting fun.
- Finally, an option for indoor blasting that doesn’t require humans (or pets) as targets
- Both bugs and blaster are well-built, with quality materials unexpected for the price
- Both the blaster and bugs are fun on their own—making it a “2 toys in 1” value
- Blaster priming mechanism on the stiff side for younger players
- Blaster handle, conversely, is on the small size for older players
- Some loose dart issues with X-Shot darts (Nerf darts were fine)
- Bugs can be difficult to hit, requiring some patience