What happens when the kids have grown beyond Nerf, Xploderz, Max Force and Vapor Blasters but are not yet ready for paintball battles? JT SplatMaster hopes that you will buy them a z200 Shotgun! New for 2012, JT Splatmaster has released a line of blasters that fire tiny ammo filled with water soluble paint that, yes you guessed it, “splat” on impact. You can now add paintball as yet the latest thing to get miniaturized for kids.
Watch Our Hands On Video Review of the JT SplatMaster z200 Shotgun…
Kids Will Want to Play With The z200 Shotgun, But It Is NOT a Toy
We do a lot of toy reviews and have covered numerous toy blasters like Nerf and Xploderz. As the video shows and the instruction manual clearly states, the JT SplatMaster z200 Shotgun is NOT a toy! The z200 Shotgun is a paintball gun and should be treated as an outdoor sporting goods product. It is rated for ages 9+, but no one under 18 should play with it, without adult supervision.
While we are on disclaimers, let’s get the other elephant out of the room…if you don’t like toy guns you will hate the JT Splatmaster z200 shotgun. Some parents feel strongly that kids should not play with anything that works like a real weapon, if you fall into this boat you can skip this review and come back tomorrow. So, skipping any moral debates on the appropriateness of toy guns, we will look at how the z200 Shotgun performed in our real world testing.
Splat Marks The Spots…But Thankfully Not Forever!
The JT Splatmaster z200 shotgun uses .50 caliber paintball ammo that explodes on impact and leaves a nice splat of paint on your target. There is no debate on if you hit the target, the splat don’t lie! Luckily, the tiny ammo is filled with 100% biodegradable, non-toxic paint that is specially formulated for easy clean up and won’t damage the environment. Splat removal is as simple as wiping off and washing away with water. There’s no need to worry about picking up casings after playing, as they wash away with rain or disintegrate. The ammo is also water soluble and stain resistant, so it won’t stain clothes.
In our testing we blasted away the target and shed and managed to turn the shed a nice shade of butter yellow. It was at this point I started sweating and thinking maybe I should have tested the “wipes away with water claim” before covering the shed in yellow paint. Luckily, I grabbed the hose, sprayed the shed and the paint really does wash away very easily, thus saving the shed…and my marriage.
The JT SplatMaster z200 Is Incredibly Accurate and Fun
The z200 Shotgun uses no batteries and no CO2, so we were very skeptical about the claims of 100 foot range and 50 foot marksman ship range. Surprisingly, the z200 Shotgun absolutely performed as advertised. The gun is incredible accurate within 50 feet, I am clearly no marksman, but I was able to blast away targets with bizarre accuracy. Under my supervision, I had the kids test it out and they to found it to be very accurate and easy to fire.
What happens when you have a blaster that is incredibly accurate, leaves a satisfying splat, is easy to load and fire and does not jam? You have a blaster that is a true blast to play with! The instruction manual comes with a couple of different target games you can setup and play, but we just had fun running around and trying to blast the target from all different angles. The blaster can hold 15 rounds of ammo, which is enough to not have to constantly reload, but still encourages you to take your time and pick your shots carefully.
If You Get the z200 Shotgun, Prepare To Buy More JT Splatmaster Supplies
The z200 Shotgun ($39.95) comes with a target, barrel plug and cleaning rod. That is all you need if you like to shoot invisible ammo. Unfortunately the z200 does not come with ammo, so you will need to get ammo, the 50 count container we show in the video sells for about $8. You will probably want to go with a 200 count container that sells for about $12. Clearly if you are going to get a few guns and will be doing a lot of firing, the cost of ammo can add up.
The other thing that is not included is goggles or a face mask. In the video, we were using the JT Splatmaster Optix Goggles, which sell for about $20. If you are going to be doing battles where you are firing at each other, we STRONGLY recommend you get a full paintball face mask that protects your whole face, not just your eyes.
JT Splatmaster also has a line of additional targets and guns, so if you want to expand your blasting experience, there are plenty of options. Clearly, JT Splatmaster is going after the audience who is too young for paintball, but still wants to have a similar play experience.
Conclusion: The JT Splatmaster Z200 Shotgun Is a Fun and Accurate Introduction to Paintball
I am not a huge paintball fan, yet I still had a blast playing with the JT Splatmaster z200 Shotgun. As we said, this is not a toy and it requires adult supervision. If you are not into your kids playing with guns, you should skip this product.
If you are looking for a fun sporting goods product to get your kids playing outside, the z200 Shotgun is a great choice. We like the emphasis on safety in both the manual and the features of the gun itself (the blaster has a safety and a barrel plug). As a Dad, I love that the gun uses no batteries or CO2 and the paint is easily washed away with water and does not stain. I do wish the blaster came with ammo and a face mask, but that of course would push the price point higher. Overall, the JT Splatmaster z200 Shotgun is well made, worked flawlessly in testing and provides a positive introduction to paintball.
The JT SplatMaster z200 Shotgun (Ages 9+) Sells for About $39.95