Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow Blaster Review

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With the release of the first movie in the Hunger Games series, many young girls awestruck by Katniss Everdeen’s archery could not wait to get their hands on a bow and arrow themselves.

Nerf capitalized on this through their release of the Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow.

Overview of the Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow

The Nerf Heartbreaker Bow Blaster measures at 2.36 x 25 x 11.73 inches in dimension. 

It weighs in at about 1.23 pounds and is labeled as a blaster that is meant for those that are at least six years of age.

Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow (Flame Design)

It was announced a day prior to the 2013 Toy Fair and is the first entry in Nerf’s Rebelle line to be showcased.

Production of the Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow has since been discontinued but you can still get it in select second-hand websites and stores (or Amazon).

Included in the purchase of a Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow are five Collectible Darts and a dart storage accessory that holds up to five darts which can be attached to the accessory rail on the bow.

When marketing the blaster, Nerf had highlighted that the Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow is capable of hosting the attachment of a cradle that holds an iOS device, where you can download the Nerf Rebelle Mission Central App for AR games and activities.

The Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow is advertised to shoot up to 75 feet. It utilizes a plunger system that primes the blaster once the drawstring has been pulled back fully, and promises ‘real bow action’ with its mechanism.

Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow (Flame Design)

It has been released in five different color schemes: Phoenix, Vine, Golden Edge, Flame, and Graffiti.

The Phoenix features white, black, pink, purple, and orange. The Vine features a similar scheme but switches out the purple for blue.

The Golden Edge is a Toys “R” Us exclusive version of the Rebelle Heartbreaker and features white, gold, pink, gray, and orange.

The Flame features purple, pink, yellow, white, and orange. And lastly, the Graffiti features an additional count of color, where the colors involved are white, blue, purple, black, green, and orange.

Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow (Flame Design)
  • Heartbreaker Bow blaster has real bow action
  • Blaster fires darts up to 75 feet
  • Add accessories to the accessory rail (sold separately)
  • Adjustable sight
  • Heartbreaker Bow comes with 5 darts and instructions

The Renown of the Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow

The Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow got most of its renown by being designed to appeal to a more feminine audience.

Not only through its color scheme does it do this, but the marketing efforts were centered around young girls going through their own imaginary hunger games.

With a marketed firing range of up to 75 feet, the Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow was a highly anticipated blaster by Nerfers and was promising as an unconventional bow and arrow blaster that could qualify as a high-performance blaster as well.

Other Areas Where The Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow Performs

 Another area in which purchasers have been very satisfied with when it comes to the Rebelle Heartbreaker is not the bow itself, but the dart storage accessory that it comes with that is compatible with other blasters as well.
Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow (Flame Design)

The Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow is also reported to be extremely sturdy where it is listed by many bloggers as one of the top five Nerf Bow Blasters.

Does it Live Up To Its Hype?

For all the hype that was generated surrounding the Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow, the product ended up being rather disappointing to those who have purchased them.

The biggest disappointment that many reports share is with regards to its promised ‘real bow action’ that we have mentioned. As indicated earlier, the Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow actually utilizes a plunging system.

What this means is that most of the draw has no effect whatsoever on the firing of the bow blaster.

Only at the end of the draw, where there is a slight resistance, is the blaster primed, and releasing will only entail the activation of its plunging system.

The firing range of the Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow falls short of its advertised 75 feet.

Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow (Flame Design)

Although this happens for most nerf blasters, the Rebelle Heartbreaker has been found to effectively fire a distance of only about twenty to thirty feet, which is less than half of what was promised.

As much of its hype was centered around that of the hunger games, it can be said that the Rebelle Heartbreaker lived up to what it was marketed to be, and despite all its shortcomings, had continually made successful sale after sale of the product.

However, as the hype of the hunger games died down, so did that of the Rebelle Heartbreaker.

For its performance, it fails to live up to the hype, and as for roleplaying and entertainment purposes, later models were quick in displacing the Heartbreaker.

Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow (Flame Design)

The Flaws Of The Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow

The Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow has many flaws in the eyes of both serious Nerfers and the casual user.

It falls short of delivering what it intends to, regardless of whether it is performance-related or as the role of a prop piece.

Bow blasters tend to be horribly inaccurate, and the Rebelle Heartbreaker’s usage of a plunging system renders it worse than expected.

It has been reported that pulling back on the string for that extra inch to prime it is both awkward and tiring, and hinders consistent aim.

The way the priming works also means that there is no middle ground for the Nerfer to work with as the firing of quick shots is impossible seeing that you have to make a full draw in order for the dart to be successfully fired.

Nerf Socom’s testing of the Rebelle Heartbreaker also led to them highlighting that the handle tends to go a little out of control upon release which often results in the handle getting stuck as it tangles around the dart storage accessory attached.

Reloading the Rebelle Heartbreaker is also a pain to do, but inescapable when it comes to single-barrel blasters. And when combined with the plunger mechanism that does not allow for quick-firing, the rate of fire of this blaster is painfully slow and inefficient.

 Although the Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow is durable in the sense it is sturdy enough in itself despite being a little thin, the clashing of the plastic draw against the plastic butt often leads to cracks that though will not impede performance, is not very aesthetic-friendly.
Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow (Flame Design)
  • Heartbreaker Bow blaster has real bow action
  • Blaster fires darts up to 75 feet
  • Add accessories to the accessory rail (sold separately)
  • Adjustable sight
  • Heartbreaker Bow comes with 5 darts and instructions

Verdict

Seeing that it was a rather hyped-up blaster, there are many video reviews of the Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow that can be found.

However, we feel that this video here is the most comprehensive of them all while being short and to the point at the same time.

The video goes through a detailed overview of the Rebelle Heartbreaker, including how the plunging mechanism works.

It also shows a firing test complete with Chrono readings that highlight the effectiveness of the blaster's firing mechanism and shows you what to expect.

It also does a good job of highlighting the pros and cons of the Rebelle Heartbreaker, before moving on to further elaborate on what each pro and con entails and the explanation behind their happenings.

 In terms of performance, the Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow is clearly not a high performer.

The range is not great, the impact is nothing special, reliability and accuracy are both horrible, and with a single barrel and a plunging mechanism, the rate of fire is atrocious.

Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow (Flame Design)

It is not only when compared with trigger-type blasters that the Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow pales in comparison, but also when faced off against other bow blasters in and outside of the Rebelle line.

 In conclusion, unless you are an avid collector and simply would like to add it to your collection of blasters, avoid the Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow, as it is lacking in all areas: performance, roleplay practicality, and novelty.

For example, the Rebelle Strongheart Bow is a much better performer, with four barrels, true manual priming action, and a smart air restrictor system.

For roleplaying purposes, there is no area in which the Rebelle Strongheart pales in comparison to the Heartbreaker as well.

All in all, the Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow is not one that is worth purchasing and owning. It looks good in its box, with decent packaging and eye-catching design that may signal a perfect piece for roleplaying purposes.

However, after removing the contents from its packaging, and experiencing its light structure along with the absence of the real bow action promised due to its priming mechanism not being truly manual in nature, the Rebelle Strongheart is bound to disappoint.

And if you are thinking about modding the Rebelle Heartbreaker, you might want to reconsider your options. For its thin profile makes internal replacements near impossible to do without destroying most of its shell.