Thursday, 15 August 2013

REVIEW: Tek Recon Havok unboxing and review

Got a super-awesome-tek-tastic package this morning! Check it out. you won't be disappointed!
(**Warning Pic spam!**)
I guess this is the first Tek Recon Havok unboxing and review! I've been following these folks since the NYC Toy Fair and it has been great to meet in person with them at the Distoy Tradeshow in London earlier this year.
Yesterday morning I got a package from Tek Recon (owned by Tech4Kids) and I have to say it was like Xmas morning!

The Havok costs $34.99. SO, what comes in the box?
  • 1x Havok Blaster
  • 36x NRG Rounds
  • 1x Target
  • 1x Smart phone Mount

I HAVE to get this out the way. My only gripe with this set is that you don't get max ammo capacity. As a fan I personally would be happier to pay the extra $5 to get max capacity. I'm left with a feeling I can't play with the blaster to its full potential because it doesn't give me the last 36 rounds. Nerf did the same with the Hail-Fire if you recall, and it put a lot of people off from getting it. They advertise it has 144 dart capacity, but they only gave us a fraction. Releasing a Mission Kit to give you the full compliment left many fans with a bad taste or simply not bothering to buy it at all. Anyway on with the review!

The blaster comes set with the Stock already on it, and after a bit of tactile hedge trimming I got the blaster out (it's well secured). The Target is something I completely overlooked in my mad scramble to get the blaster out, but it's fun to test your targeting skills I have to say :)

The Stock is so awesome. It has about 7 settings of length and I have to say good job Tek Recon on this. It was feared by fans it would be a solid lump of blaster, but it's removable! Happy days! This is what makes it a supreme blaster in the Tek Recon range SO FAR. Rifle or primary. It made me think straight off with the Stryfe. The exception being that this blaster packs 72 rounds in a funky sci-fi style jungle-clip. The addition of a rubber grip on the butt of the Stock is a welcome move as it makes sure it won't slip.
Tek Recon Havok in its full glory - tek-tastic!
 Aesthetics - I have to say these look so darn smexy as far as smexy and blasters can go. They look sci-fi funky and totally different from anything on the shelves. I can see these standing out in any store. I love the fact that a fan can pull the trigger (not the same satisfaction as firing a round off!) and get a feel for it. It's striking alien-metallic-green colour with the obligatory orange tip is something blaster fans will appreciate straight off the bat. With a full clip in the blaster, there is something about the Havok that "hits that spam high" in you. You get such a rush unloading the clip I can imagine people running across the battlefield in different calibrations taking down targets or suppressing the enemy down with constant fire. Blaster highs have never felt so good!
Weight - After some testing the Havok weighs around the same as a tacticool Stryfe w/ Barrel Extension, Tactical Grip,  a loaded 35 drum. The blaster has a weight that makes you appreciate it more, you feel like you are holding something worth its weight (if only it came with a full clip).

There has been some question to the quality of the blasters. First off the plastic is no different than the type you can find on Nerf. Nerf have had longer with blasters, so you can forgive the first gen of Tek Recon being thin in one or two places. Could bulk them up and reinforce some points - maybe. Could the Havok do with reinforcement on the top edge of 'Havok' name plate I don't know. Yes it's thinner plastic - but end of the day it adds to cost and it has to be stressed it doesn't hinder performance. Now I'm just being picky.

It doesn't affect the performance of the blaster and that's the main thing in my book. You can see the pride they've taken in the blasters aesthetically, because instead of spamming Phillips screws, they have a mix of incorporated Valvert Allen bolts. For a look at the internals check here

This just makes the blaster look like a higher quality product, and at the same time prevented me from opening the blaster up as I don't own an Allen key! I have got some internal shots as best I could get. More on this later.

The Havok comes with what looks like a tactical rail? I have asked Tek Recon about this a few times, to see if I can get them to slip and give us fans the good stuff we want - but they are keeping things close to the chest here. What would you like to see? Let us know! I personally want to see Scopes, Pin Point Red Sight, Light Source? GoPro mount?

Range - OK so far my findings - the Havok fires about 45ft+ ptg and in the max POWER setting I am getting around 60-80ft. Consistently. The max RAPID setting gives me a mad rate of fire suited best for CQB ranges. Maybe 2 NRG a second?  You could get more I'm sure I haven't fully put it to the test after eating a power breakfast.

This mechanism is on both the Hammer Head and the Havok. In the pic it is currently Calibrated to maximum 'Distance'. This effectively creates a Long Shot style rifle/pistol. Making use of the pump-action, you can pull off (after getting used to handling the blasters) effective, accurate, consistent long range pot shots. I was pretty stunned at how this little switch changes the blaster so much.
Simply put, the Havok turns into a long range rifle, the Hammer Head turns into an affective long range sidearm blaster. In the situation where you are low on ammo, this is an ideal way of conserving ammo and making every round count.
The blasters are both in a sense hardwired in semi-auto mode, I have to make that clear. But when you slide on over to the MAX 'Rapid' Calibration, it's total....
-  ...Scarface moment :D
You can completely switch up your game style, adapt to the moment/situation. If you are required to play a Support role, 'Distance' is your friend. But if the situation requires you to form a Close Quarter Battle unit, then sliding over to the 'Rapid' changes both the Havok and the Hammer Head into complete beasts. The hail of fire you can lay down is awesome, and the Havok with it's massive capacity makes every user a potential threat on the battle field. Suited best to the trigger, you can match any stock full-auto/slam-fire Nerf blaster hands down.
I personally found myself using the Calibration Switch as an "all or nothing" measure - the slider in the middle just left me wanting. Once the rest of the TRibe get their hands on their pledge and retail release, you will understand what I mean better :)

Reload time - Tek Recon have created something very unique and funky. A jungle clip style magazine. The magazines pack 36 rounds in each side, and loading them is quick and easy. There is a guide in the magazine that means there can be no error.

EXCEPT, and UNLESS you roll the NRG round (like a booger, gross I know but you get the idea) in to the Magazine. It remains in that shape all twisted up (can cause jams in the Hammer Head blaster, yet to experience any jams on the Havok), and when you fire the round it flys out then unwraps and goes straight UP. Yeah. Crazy. This I believe is the issue Josh from Bay Area Nerf experienced.

You can actually use this to fire at people up a flight of stairs! Hah Speaking of which, the whole ricochet off walls to get enemies on the other side is so awesome. It really makes you able to switch up your game against enemies and think twice about holding down somewhere.

I have noticed, if you slam-fire too fast, the mechanism doesn't align properly and won't fire off a round in time - the round just falls out of the barrel if you tip it. It has to be fired at a rate of about 1 round ever half second or so to give it a chance to reset properly. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but for some players I can see it leaving them wanting.

A source of much question - is it safe? In my review video you can see me shake the blaster with some vigour and it remains secured.

If the blaster falls on its side it is more likely to fly out, than if it lands grip-butt down.

Smart phone Mount - I have graded the 3 Smart phone mount plugs:

1 - Fat phones need to use this plug (HTC Wildfire, etc)

2 - Medium thickness phones

3 - Super skinny skinny slim smartphones

Choose the right one for your phone or the stylus will be jammed up against the screen and result with no impressions registering.

The tester I played with didn't have these plugs, so it's good to see an evolved mount.

I would like to see a top claw or something to that effect for extra support. I don't think we've seen the final build on this. Tek Recon have shown that they are constantly developing their existing range and this gives me confidence for the future.

The NRG rounds - Click Click Bamf initially raised an interesting point that the round in the slo-mo firing video put up by Tek Recon seemed to show degradation of the round. Something that had me thinking the same, but I was told by the Tek Recon team that each round has a few thousand shots each before any kind of deterioration kicked in. The rounds are packed in a powder (to preserve them?) but do give a satisfying exit animation I have to say :)
EDIT: Thanks to SBNC for pointing out that the powder prevents the NRG rounds from sticking. other.
It has been said that the NRG rounds are the source of the power, unlike say a spring or voltage in a Nerf blaster. I'm no modder, but from the observations I've made, I don't see why a talented modder couldn't make a go of creating a mod on the "gears" inside the blaster. My thinking is extend the 'pull and release' system. The gauntlet is down good Sirs! What Internal shots I could take are below:
I believe the blaster does more than increase the draw on the NRG because the trigger becomes difficult to use. So you have to use the pump-grip.
The Bay Area blaster was a lemon, and there might be a number of things wrong with it, but I can't say what all those might be. The blaster doesn't appear to change the arc at all. There is a slider that moves with each level from the Rapid to the Power. As you slide the switch to the Rapid, it the sliding bar(?) moves away from the trigger. As you move it to the Power setting, the sliding bar(?) move on top/over/behind the trigger. I will upload a video shortly so you guys understand better :)

Final say - So all in all, I am impressed. Despite the blaster not coming with max capacity I'm happy with what Tek Recon have put out as their first gen. Tek Recon have listened and developed the product in line with what they know, and what we want. When you have a company like this, it's hard to not want to support them. Their recent show of ownership over what could quite easily have blown up is something other brands could learn from. You need only see the mix of comments at this post to see how fans felt - both sides of the fence.

To those that say Nerf is better, i'm a massive Nerf fan, and that's cool and your opinion but let's not forget they started with pretty bad blasters in the start until they evolved to what we see now.

I for one am super excited to see what the next range is, and how we fans can evolve the next gen to what WE want to see. Ask yourself how many companies actively ask fans for input and ideas on what you want to see. Lets not forget their ownership and transparency over the whole Bay Area debacle. From the comments you can see fans really appreciating it. As a blaster fans we need to be more open on choice and telling companies that reach out to us we are willing to embrace something new - remember no one has a monopoly on good ideas :) (Except Paper Shooters cus that was just facepalmfail). Tek Recon are a young blaster company, but are fast coming in to their own.

The fact as a gamer we can literally keep gaming non stop with little bother or reloading clips really puts this ahead in that sense. A real trigger, high capacity, highly versatile blaster. What more could a fan want? Quality, capacity and nonstop play. Battlegrounds watch out!

Good luck, have fun, make every shot count ^;.;^

Enough rant, roll video:

If you want to find out some more info, I have done a couple of interviews with Tek Recon to date that might help make your mind up. Here is the first There's a new Tek on the block.


  1. Wow mate, very in-depth review. I'm now supper excited to get mine and shoot my kids :)

    The powder is used to stop the rubber from sticking to things, like the latex gloves in the dispensing box.

    1. Beat me to it! Yeah its what they do to stop this stuff sticking together.

      On the review good job man, the blaster looks boss! I can not wait to grab it and test it out at a battle with my friends.

      I have to say I was always following it, I did not back the KS because as people have said I would rather someone else take the bullit first and then see their point of view on the range. Sent this to my mates and they have changed their minds to picking them up.

      Hope Tek Recon thank you for it! Keep it up MLD

    2. Cheers for the comments fellas and thanks SBNC for the heads up on that - added an Edit :)

      Anon that's fair enough man, glad it gave you a better idea of how it works and what you can expect. Cheers for the share and support man

  2. Wow great job on the review I can not wait to pick this up. I did not back the Kickstarter I have to say because I was unsure how they would go. I can see how much you enjoyed blasting the rounds out and I am 100% sold. I read that the pistols have been seen at Target, K-Mart and Walmart so far so I hope the Havok will be there soon. When will you do the Hammer Head pistol review and did it live up to what you thought? Great job MyLastDart thank you

    1. No worries Darius, thanks for the comment. You should expect the Havoks to be coming up in stores in the coming months so keep your eyes out! Let us know if you find any and where :)

  3. hm ok I was wrong on these guns.

    good review I will pick some up.

    1. Hey man, I don't think it's being wrong, I think we all have to be careful on what comes up on Kickstarter. Some people were pushing the Paper Shooters and that really sucked (one of the designers is ex Hasbro engineer!).

  4. love the fail fail heheh - good review i will be moving these up in my pick list for this year for sure. thanks for the honest review mld

    1. Hah I don't take myself too seriously man, this is all a bit of fun :) Good to see you will be picking it up, i'm loving mine. I think I need one more Havok, then I can have 2 pistols and a Primary :P

  5. this make you mld a mr recon now? ^^

    i want my now ^^

    Kurt S

    1. Hah i'm pretty sure the CEO is Mr Recon Kurt :) I know you will enjoy your blasters because as a blaster fan myself i'm loving it!


  6. Nice review MyLastDart I will check these out for sure. Great blog btw.

  7. look cool thanks for the review

  8. Man! I just hope they could integrate with other augmented reality games like Ingress - that would be absolutely fun! :D

    1. ^This would be great!

  9. Thanks MLD for the great review. We appreciate the honest feedback and the in-depth approach. your support/insight is VERY much valued not only by Tek Recon but the whole TRibe! Keep up all the great reviews!

  10. I am getting the black HH, I will try to send pics if I can!

  11. One of the main reasons I wanted one of these was because Nerf Elite darts fishtail like crazy. How accurate are they?

  12. maybe g series is the stock type and they'll release different compatible stock variants later like a folding stock?