The Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic shouldn't work as well as it does. Water-hydrated rounds and a motorized blaster? On paper, it sounds like a guaranteed mess. What happens when one of the pellets gets stuck inside the blaster, for example? You'll presumably be left with a fine mush that's near-impossible to remove.
But that isn't the case. The Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic doesn't just live up to its promises; it goes one better. In fact, I'd say this is one of the best Nerf guns ever made.
Features & design
Ammo type: Gelfire rounds
Capacity: 800 rounds
The big selling point of the Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic is also the first thing you'll notice about it: it doesn't use traditional Nerf darts. Instead, it utilizes water-hydrated pellets that grow in size when exposed to good old H2O. Think of it like Orbeez.
Because these are meant to splatter or burst upon impact, there's theoretically no need to pause mid-battle and collect your ammo again. And seeing as they're biodegradable, you can also leave them to their own devices without worrying about causing a chemical hazard in your backyard. According to Nerf, they don't even leave a stain. In essence, they've got more in common with the best water guns than normal blasters.
So, how does this all work when loaded up? As with so many other recent blasters, it's motorized and boasts either single-shot or semi-automatic fire. However, one of the key differences is that it features a rechargeable battery (powered by a USB-C cable that's included) that fits into the handle like a magazine.
Naturally, all the usual accessory rails you'd expect from a Nerf product are here. You're getting an extendable stock and removable barrel in case you wanted to swap kit out, too.
To be perfectly honest, I was skeptical going into this. The Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic sounded too good to be true; those pellets make a lot of grand claims that I wasn't sure they could cash, and wouldn't it all get gunked up anyway if we left the blaster lying around somewhere over the weekend? It had the makings of a well-intentioned disaster.
Yet I was wrong. This is a mechanical marvel that changes the game, and I'm excited to see what else Nerf does with the technology.
To start with, yes, the pellets do disintegrate on impact. So far as I can tell, they leave absolutely no trace beyond a watery splat that soon evaporates. And believe me, I looked. I couldn't find the remnants anywhere - it was as if they disappeared upon hitting their mark. That means you really can use the Gelfire Mythic without worrying about creating a minor ecological disaster.
In addition, the range on these things is above and beyond what you'd see from most other Nerf products, be it the Elite range or Fortnite Nerf guns. I was able to hit the third or fourth-storey windows of our office building without much difficulty. Even though blasters like the Nerf Minecraft Pillager's Crossbow boasted a decent shot, it's nothing compared to this.
The pellets don't hurt if you're hit with them either. Although they're launched at a decent clip, it's not painful so long as you aren't being fired upon from point-blank range (which you shouldn't be doing anyway… but even if you did, it just stings). I'd still recommend wearing the safety goggles provided in the box to avoid getting pellets in your eyes, but you don't need to worry about being pummeled upon stepping onto the backyard battlefield.
While that's mostly due to the rounds being forgiving, it can admittedly be down to technical hiccups instead. One of the only things that disappointed me about the Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic was its penchant to get jammed every now and then, seemingly due to pellets becoming stuck when leaving the hopper rather than in the blaster mechanism itself. Despite this not happening all the time and being easily fixed by moving the hopper slightly to release any jumbled rounds, it was still frustrating - especially because the rounds fire so fast that you can't always see them anyway, so it'll take a second for you to realize you're firing blanks.
Speaking of which, you can't see much past that hopper either. It's slap-bang where your sights would be.
When coupled with a battery that gradually becomes less effective over a few hours of use (you'll definitely need to charge it after each session if you want the Gelfire Mythic to remain at its best), this thing isn't quite perfect.
Yet everything else about the blaster sings. Those pellets are astounding, for instance. Packaged as little grains that look like orange-colored sand, they become at least 10 times bigger when submerged in water. These hydrated rounds are remarkably resilient when handled, so you won't end up with squishy blobs at the end of it all that'll pop under the slightest pressure.
What's more, they survive for a surprising amount of time. I left some rounds in the hopper to their own devices over the weekend, and they were still exactly the same when I returned on Monday. Similarly, the other rounds I'd hydrated in a container of water were absolutely fine upon my return. Indeed, the container was in worse shape than they were.
That did raise an interesting problem I hadn't anticipated, though. Because these pellets come in bags of 5,000 and the hopper can only fit 800 at a time, you'll need to find somewhere to store the rest. And seeing as these rounds take a few hours to hydrate, younger Nerf warriors will likely find the wait frustrating (yes, I'm aware it's rated for ages 14 and up, but let's be realistic).
Still, those are niggles more than anything else. For the most part, the Gelfire Mythic is a delight. Actually, I can't get over how well it works. Bravo, Nerf - bravo.
Should you buy the Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic?
If you're on the fence about this blaster, don't be - the Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic is a real achievement that'll impress on almost every front. It won't be suitable for younger kids because they may not have the patience to set up its pellets properly, and there's definitely room for them to be misused if they're firing at close range, but the rest of us are in for a treat.
I have a feeling this could mark the start of something big, too; the tech has a lot of promise, and I can absolutely see it replacing the likes of the Rival or Mach ranges where pros are concerned.
Basically? Watch this space. It's the start of an exciting new era.
How we tested the Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic
I used the Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic extensively over the course of a few weeks to get a good sense of how it performed. That included both range tests and trials of what it felt like to be hit with the rounds at various distances. I also left the pellets alone over several days both in the hopper and a separate container to see what would happen to them.
For more on our process, be sure to check out how we test products at GamesRadar+ via our Hardware Policy.
This review was conducted with a sample provided by Hasbro.