September 9th-the anniversary of Nerf-is drawing near and with it comes the release of Nerf’s most technologically advanced toy blaster. Gossip about Hasbro’s Nerf N-Strike Stampede ECS-60 was astounding. Given its battery-powered fully automatic firing capability, large ammo capacity, and even a blast shield, a couple of people packing these toy blasters would definitely be a formidable sight during a Nerf War. By some luck of a shipping and release error, I managed to procure one N-Strike Stampede ECS-60 to see if it really did live up to the buzz.
The Stampede ECS-60 is an impressive package. In addition to the toy blaster in the N-Strike color scheme of yellow, gray, and orange, the kit includes 60 Streamline foam darts, one Streamline clip that holds six darts, three Streamline clips that hold 18 darts, the aforementioned blast shield, and a handle that is also a bipod at the push of a button. Priced at $55, the only thing missing were six D-sized batteries needed to power the blaster.
Inserting the batteries in the compartment located in the stock of the blaster, the Stampede ECS-60 is surprisingly light and well-balanced for its size. Young children will have trouble carrying it, but its firepower is destined for older children who are at least 10 years old or 10-year olds at heart. The Stampede ECS-60 has a nice carrying handle and an elementary sight through said handle to help with aiming. Tactical rails on the handle, on both sides, on the top, and two on the bottom allow users to attach accessories like scopes and targeting lights. It even has mounts where a sling can be clipped on for easier carrying.
A flick of the safety turns on the blaster and readies it to fire. Simply insert a loaded clip into the designated chamber and fire away. Holding the trigger will unleash full automatic firing and will empty a six round clip in about five seconds. It makes me wonder why they bother including such a tiny clip when they could have just made the extended clip hold 20 rounds instead of 18. But 18 rounds seems like a good capacity for the Stampede ECS-60 since it gives a good amount of firing time and is quick to reload. The extended clips can fit into other N-Strike blasters that accept clips, but they tend to stick out like sore thumbs. Even the 18-round drum magazine of the Alpha Trooper CS-18 works well. To take advantage of the automatic firing, I loaded the 35-round drum magazine of my Raider CS-35 into the Stampede ECS-60. It performed decently, but did have jamming issues. Luckily there is an access hatch to fix those jams. Though I would prefer it not to jam. I would also prefer it to be quieter since shooting this blaster is NOISY. VERY NOISY. One minor improvement would also be a manual pumping mechanism in case I do not feel like using batteries. The Vulcan EBF-25 had such a mechanism.
The two tactical rail accessories are pretty useful though they do have flaws. The blast shield mounts on the blaster to provide some cover from incoming fire. It is enough to cover the face and even has a grill to see through and return fire. It clamps on well on the Stampede ECS-60, but sometimes does not securely stay when clamped onto other N-Strike blasters. The handle is an excellent asset for the Stampede ECS-60 since it makes carrying the blaster so much easier. The bipod feature does not work so well with the Stampede ECS-60 or any N-Strike blaster when they are armed with the extended clips because the legs are just too short.
While it is not 100% perfect, the Stampede ECS-60 is an overpowered addition to the Nerf arsenal and anyone staring at the wrong end of it during a Nerf War is sure to regret it.