Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator

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What do you get the Nerf fan that seems to have a room full of weapons, accessories, vests, and more at home? They might argue that there is always room for one more, something a little different to test out in battle or to finish off a collection. Your kids may simply be asking for another blaster for their birthday, although they already have a half dozen. The answer might lie with the Nerf Retaliator.

Why Should You Consider This Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator Blaster For Your Child – Or Man-Child?

Nerf N-Strike Elite RetaliatorCheck On Amazon

I want to go over a couple of important points here before you delve deeper into this Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator Blaster review. First of all, be aware that while this initially looks like a pretty standard, inoffensive option that could please anyone, there is niche appeal. This is an older model that has some really nice ideas and adaptable features but also some aspects that won’t work as well for all players.

I think that this could be a hit for the right user or customer, but you need to be sure that it is a good fit for your intended recipient. That’s why I want to go over what I have learned from reading Nerf Retaliator reviews and specifications to help you out.

In this guide, I want to take a closer look at some of the different features of this Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator blaster. I do so with a focus on the modifications and alterations that are possible. Below you will learn more about the following:

  • The design of the gun as an Elite blaster
  • The way this model compares to the popular Elite Disruptor
  • The modifications and upgrades, with a look at the Elite Plus Pack
  • The impact this has on the weight and appeal for younger players
  • The ammunition provided (elite darts), its rate of fire, accuracy, tactical rail, and reloading system
  • The ease of use with the mechanisms and lack of battery
  • The potential issues in finding this nerf gun if it becomes discontinued

The design of this Nerf N Strike Elite Retaliator Blaster is a classic, and you might find a true original somewhere. Take a look at this unboxing video from ScottVsBox.


Let’s start with the design of this Retaliator blaster nerf, where there are some immediate pros and cons. Starting with the plus side, this is a classic model with a color scheme and shape that will evoke a sense of nostalgia with the right player. There is a chance that parents will be more in love with this than the kids when they see the packaging and help with the unboxing process.

This design came out in 2012. That might not seem that long ago to older players that may have used it as a 10-year-old 8 years ago. But, there will be lots of 7-year-old players that weren’t born when it was first tearing up battles.

Be aware that the original 2012 option was actually orange, but then they switched to the white XD the style we see today in 2014. The majority of models for sale right now are that clean white gun that does look pretty nice. But, true collectors may want to look around for the original orange one if they want to be authentic. There are sure to be second-hand versions out there.

A classic look may be out of place in current Nerf warfare.

But, this does mean that there is a drawback for modern players and new fans. Kids aren’t necessarily going to appreciate what this design means in the history of the brand. They just want something cool that looks amazing and works in battle. The growing range of Nerf blasters, pistols, crossbows, axes, and more took this so much further than we ever saw when it started.

We have kids playing with acid-colored Zombie themed guns, Fortnite guns in the shape of buses, and so much more. This classic Retaliator is a little unassuming by comparison. It also doesn’t fit in with the color scheme of the blue, orange, and white Elite range that is a hit right now. So, kids that want to color-coordinate might not see the benefits here.


How does this compare to the Elite Disruptor?

Check On Amazon 

With this in mind, I want to take a moment to talk about the Elite Disruptor. The Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator blaster is a big hit with Nerf fans and seen as one of the leading models right now. It has that color scheme that is instantly recognizable as a Nerf gun. I also noticed that when you ask Amazon for an Elite Retaliator, it list the Disruptor next to it. It is as if they say “are you sure you didn’t mean this one?” it is their #1 Best Seller in foam blasters and elite darts.

The Elite Disruptor is compact in length with a built-in trigger and a shorter muzzle. It is, however, more impactful on first impressions with the large rotating drum and quick-draw method. There is also a slam-fire action for a more rapid-fire response. There may only be six elite darts at a time, but they are meant to reach 90ft and can make a difference.

You can also get this as a Nerf Retaliator Elite Plus Pack

One of the most appealing things about choosing a Retaliator Elite as your kid’s next blaster is that you have lots of opportunities to make upgrades and modifications to the weapon. One way that you can do this is by purchasing the Nerf Retaliator Elite Plus Pack instead of the standard gun on its own.

This pack comes with an elite dart drum that you can attach to the bottom of the blaster for easy access to 25 darts at a time. In fact, there are actually two drums and 50 elite darts, which means that kids can have a backup primed and ready for use when the first one runs out.

This drum could have been a problematic accessory if it were excessively bulky, difficult to use, or requiring batteries for a reliable motion. Instead, this feature is small and light enough to slot into the gun with ease. Also, it does so without adding too much weight to the product. Weight is something I want to talk about a little more below when considering the different features and modifications of this gun.

The benefit of choosing the Elite Plus pack is that you set kids up with a more complete system and plenty of firepowers to get them started. As with all Nerf guns, costs will vary between retailers, but you might find a good deal on a Plus pack somewhere instead of buying items separately. Still, there are additional issues with buying this gun, as you will see below.


Nerf Retaliator Mod options

Nerf has always been able to create a fun range of guns in different shapes and sizes so that kids have a full arsenal to choose from in battle. This extends from the massive blasters with rapid-fire systems to the more tactical shooters, tiny pistols, and other niche options. But, it can help players to have a model that will adapt to their needs when they can only carry one gun. This Nerf Retaliator model offers just that with various configurations.

There are four different configurations to this Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator blaster, including a barrel extension that extends the range for long-distance shooting. It is nice to note that the components can work with other N-Strike Elite blasters if you wanted to modify other guns in your kid’s collection. Also, the barrel extension has both top and bottom tactical rail, which is a nice touch.

This adaptability means that you can get a much lighter gun for younger players.

This range of configurations also means that users can adapt to the weight of the gun. With everything set up and fully loaded, you have a weapon that is quite long and full of elite darts. This could add up to something that is a little too much for smaller players to handle. Once they get the butt of the blaster to their shoulder, they may struggle to aim and get a good trajectory on the flight of the dart. Removing a part or two lightens the load and creates a gun that is more user-friendly for younger kids.

In turn, this leads to a model that kids could share between them. Older players can set it up to their personal preferences for epic battles with friends on the weekend. Then, perhaps younger siblings can strip it down and use the more comfortable design for casual play in the evenings.

That is assuming that your children are happy to share these weapons and don’t start catching every last dart away where no one else can find them. Obviously, there are recommended ages on these guns, so it is up to your best judgment to decide when kids are too young and when they can play with the full Elite Plus pack.


The Nerf Retaliator Magazine and rate of fire?

Without the special Elite Plus pack, you get a 12 elite darts magazine for this blaster. This 12 dart magazine is on its own when compared to something like the Elite Disruptor. Nerf Retaliator reviews suggest that this is fine when paired with a blaster of this specification. As you will see below, it isn’t that powerful. But, it is worth remembering that some of the 18 elite dart magazines are compatible too. So, should your kid feel they need a little more in the tank, you could purchase this upgrade for them.

There is a potential issue with the rate of fire in that there isn’t the slam-fire system to add that extra power. This is where this version is a little weak compared to the Disruptor. Players can still fire off some decent shots but it isn’t going to scare the enemy in quite the same way.


How far does Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator Blaster shoot?

There is a promise in the listing for the Nerf Retaliator that it can send darts up to 90 feet. I suspect that this is possible with a little skill, a good arc, and perhaps a little wind assistance. This may be the top-end on the range, but it is not the average. The average appears to be 71 feet instead. This is still pretty good for a blaster, especially a classic model like this. Just be aware that this sort of range isn’t going to happen if kids fire flat with no thought or aim. They have to learn to be a skilled shooter.


How accurate and reliable is this Nerf Retaliator?

Another benefit that comes through in Nerf Retaliator reviews is the accuracy and reliability. This is thanks to the design of the barrel and firing mechanism. There is a simple direct plunger system here that is hand-operated and pretty smooth. The barrels are also smooth with no rifling, which does make them compatible with more types of the dart. As a result, your kids should find that each dart fires with ease, and hardly any jams. There are even reports that older, fraying darts fly pretty well.


Is it easy to reload?

Because this is a gun with a magazine, it is much easier to reload than other models that you load dart-by-dart. As long as there is a magazine to hand, players can discard the empty one with a quick press of the release button and then add in the new one. The position of the button is just right too, as you can do so without letting go of the trigger.

Unfortunately, there are some potential issues here in obtaining one of these guns.

If you are able to find one of these before they become discontinued, you shouldn’t have too big a headache when it comes to the price. But, if this becomes an old model that is only in the hands of collectors, it might get a bit more expensive. What I am trying to say here is that if you decide that this is a good choice for your children, either on its own or as part of the Elite Plus Pack, you are better off getting it sooner rather than later.


Is This Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator Blaster Going To Be A Good Choice As A Primary Or Secondary Weapon For Your Child?


This is definitely a primary weapon. The designers put too much thought into the adaptable elements and features to clear the image for users to only take this out in an emergency. Players that figure out the parts and see the benefits of the firepower offered can make good use of this. That potential increases when you have an extra drum of bullets to swap with the empty one. With that said, there will be players that keep this on reserve or hand it to others in their ranks because they have a more impressive model in their collection.

The pros and cons of this Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator blaster:

Before we look at the final verdict and summary on this blaster, let’s go over the pros and cons gathered from those Nerf Retaliator reviews.

[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-s-down” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]There is a classic design that will appeal to collectors
The Elite Plus pack lets player increase the firepower for a bigger impact
You can modify the gun with extensions and new springs
You can also strip the gun down for younger players
You get lots of darts that are pretty reliable
The range might not be as advertised, but is still fair
There are no batteries required
Costs are fair when you find the right seller[/i2pros][i2cons]An old-fashioned design that might not inspire younger players
Possibly soon to be discontinued, so potentially hard to find.[/i2cons][/i2pc]


To be honest, this blaster is more likely to appeal to the older generation of Nerf fans than younger players. The design is a classic and this has its perks for collectors and big kids that either grew up with Nerf or those that want a diverse range. But, there isn’t the same fun design as the bolder sub-themes, nor the current Elite color scheme that today’s kids may prefer.

There is the potential for younger players to get involved and have fun with this because of the modifications available. It can be a simple, effective tool when adapted for each player. But, the size and the adaptability do play into the hands of older users. The barrel extension, extra firepower, spring modification, and other options are great for players with the time and effort to put into the device.


Is This Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator Blaster A Good Choice For Your Kid?

If you have teenagers that are Nerf obsessives or big kids looking to expand their collection, this could still be a great choice. The design, range, firepower, and modifications are ideal for those that are experienced and tactical with their gameplay. Younger kids that love the bright colors and weird features of other Nerf guns won’t be so enamored with this model. It could end up at the back of the cupboard or given to friends as a spare.

I advise parents to look at the Nerf Retaliator’s mechanisms, design, and implications for battles before making a decision. Show it to your kids and get their opinion on whether it’s a cool design or too old and boring. If they like it, try and get it at a good price now before Nerf decides to do away with it once and for all. Whatever your child’s viewpoint, this blaster is a classic and a great weapon in the right hands.

Nerf N-Strike Elite Retailator





This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.