I don't write reviews often so I hope this helps any of you who were in question of this product, good or bad, I'm honest.
Well, I got into owning a launcher about a year and a half ago and so far it's been a pretty fun albeit expensive ride. About the time I started getting into it, of course, pocket nerfs pretty much fell off the map. Supply dried up all around except small little hold outs. In my area it was impossible to find them anywhere but online.
Enter Kush Nation Armory (KNA), a small start up, by rocketeers, for rocketeers. These guys aren't your average multi-million dollar company. Hell, I bought my rockets out of the back of a vehicle. But you know what? The main man, Tim, shook my hand and thanked me multiple times. A plus in my book. Faces behind products work better than an IP address and a paypal transaction.
But I digress, I'm not a PR firm, I'm a player, lets see a little review.
Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the box they came in but I'll explain. Anyone whos followed them on Facebook will have seen a picture like such:
Guess what, thats what you get. It's not pretty packaging, and its not meant to be. The rockets are cheaper because package is spared. We'll get to cost later. The box I got contained 100 rockets, all seperated in their layers. Personally, I was impressed, but I knew what to expect going in.
White, plain white. Not my favorite color and while there are some colors shown on Facebook, my only choice was white. I'd assume more colors will become available as stock builds or if more capital is put into the business (that means us ballers, not them). They have shown reddish rockets at booths.
Facebook - Gloss Photo
You can see with my extremely nice glossy finish on my countertop that the finish on the rocket itself is quite matte compared to the picture online from Facebook.
EDIT: Please be aware the gloss photo shown above is a KR2 rocket. The film is the difference between a matte KR1 rocket and a glossy KR2 rocket. I only shot KR1 rockets for this review.
Hasbro's Nerf Comparisons:
On top, obviously a well used Nerf Pocket Football. Below, an unused KNA KR1 Rocket.
Here's a side by side shot. This one particularily shows my favorite part of the KNA rockets. You don't have to trim the fins!!! Nerf's must be trimmed to fit into a Metadyne or else the fin will curl and deform. With KNA rockets you do not have to do this. I know I've trimmed some nerfs differently than others and it seems to make a difference. Some are shorter, others aren't. Hell, I've even done it on the same rocket. Oops. KNA beats Nerf out on this completely.
It may look like it but the fins on the KNA rocket, when bought, were completely straight. In the pictures they look distorted but thats what you get in a bag on a thousand mile trip from Living Legends. They got a little curled from being packed into a bag with 100 more rockets.
Writeability (is that a word?): One thing which sucks about rockets. I may be just looking for things to complain about here, but I hate writing my name on every one of em. I have to give Nerfs the nod on this one. KNA rockets almost seem to have a "grain" to them. It's hard to write in a certain direction. Hard to explain without doing it yourself. Overall not a big deal, just a peeve of mine even though I only have to do it once per rocket.
I feel both are equally as durable. Nerfs have been on the market for years, they have things figured out or they wouldn't be selling. KNA rockets are also great. I shot them into buildings in Bedlam at CPX Sports, I shot them into tanks, into bunkers, into trees (ya I was trying, OK maybe not), and they all survived (except one). One rocket out of 100 blew up on me. The spine popped out of the "bulb" or whatever you want to call it. I've blown up Nerf's before and that hurts worse than seeing one of these go. Honestly, I was impressed.
You generally lose more rockets from them not being picked up by refs or yourself. The spines are great.
Another notice - right by the bulb and spine contact point the foam was a little rough. Unlike a Nerf which looks like its nearly sealed, the KNA rocket looked like the foam mold was either incomplete or maybe had some shrinkage or heat issues. Seems to be only cosmetic, I'm not worried about it.
First thing - The bulb is slightly larger than the Nerf rockets. This allows for a slight underbore on my Metadyne. I love this personally. With some Nerf's I've noticed they are quite a bit smaller than my Metadyne and if you lower the barrel they will "roll out". Time for some detents!
KNA wins out on the bulb size.
Flight characteristics on the KR1 Rockets are similar to Nerfs. There's really not much to say. The designs are meant to be nearly identical. You'll get an occasional random flyer but then I get them with Nerfs as well. Could be due to small differences in fin contact with the barrel. When you unleash a launcher's valve its not quite as exact as a marker. It never will be.
This review isn't about anything fancy like the KR1.5's or modified Nerfs.
Cost - Not sure if I'm allowed to post this but if need be I'll remove it. I got the price simply by emailing Tim at KNA via his work email and I assume price will remain constant unless the market says otherwise. I've included pricing and availability of all KNA products.
KR1 Rockets - Case of 100 rockets = 200$ USD. I was told this was a shipped price, but again I picked mine up in person.
KR1.5 Rockets (modified fins) - Case of 100 rockets = 250$ USD
KR2 Rockets (Gloss film) - Not yet released, but unveiled at PBE
KR2.5 Rockets (Gloss film and modified fins) - Not yet released, but unveiled at PBE
KR3 Rockets (Gloss film and Blazer Fletching ILO standard fins) - Not yet released, but unveiled at PBE
Cost comparison to Nerf Pocket Vortex
Amazon Price - 5.14$ USD, cheapest
Ebay Price - 6.50$ USD, cheapest
I have no location of ToysRUs or other stores around me, sorry guys.
Would I suggest the KNA Rockets to others? Yes, thats it. My reasons are stated above. They are a cheaper (costwise) alternative to Nerfs, but they perform similarily. I WILL buy more when needed.
For those curious:
Flight Comparisons of Rockets: