Super Soaker XP100 Review

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SoakerScotia
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Super Soaker XP100 Review

Post by SoakerScotia » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:30 pm

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A return to form...?

Well not quite, but I'll get to that, first the review.

Aesthetics
It looks like a Super Soaker!!! Although one of the better aspects of the Nerf Super Soaker line is undoubtedly their sleek looks and minimalist colour schemes, to me they just don't look enough like water guns; not so here. The XP100 is clearly inspired by the iconic SS100 and retains its classic pressure chamber behind the reservoir and pump above the nozzle layout. It isn't a straight re-release however as it seems to be slightly chunkier and shorter than the original and utilises a flat sided reservoir and pressure chamber. I also approve of the colour scheme which I feel captures the 'modern re-imagining of a classic' feel quite well although this, like many aspects of aesthetics, is subjective.

Ergonomics
With the classic layout of tracked pump and pistol trigger the XP100 is comfortable and simple to use with Smooth pumping and easy trigger pulls. The balance of this gun, while slightly top heavy, is also nice with the central reservoir and rear pressure chamber. I have fairly large hands and can't use the majority of WW guns as well as many Super Soakers because of their cramped grip areas, no such problems with the XP100 which is definitely a massive bonus for me. One slight issue with the grip area however is the trigger guard which is very wide and quite uncomfortable, a trait that the XP100 shares with the Monster XL of all things.

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Reading the box art it seems that Hasbro were very keen on keeping the removable reservoir for retro points so unfortunately no fast filling screw caps here although they've also gone a different route from the SS100 style screw on variety with a bayonet style attachment that uses the orange collar to fix it in place.

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While not as good as a screw cap, I find this bayonet fitting far easier and faster to use than the traditional screw on fitting.

Performance
This is where things start to derail unfortunately. Having never operated an SS100 before I wasn't quite sure what to expect here but I was certainly underwhelmed. The box suggests ten pumps before firing which is what I started with and sure enough after ten pumps I was able to shoot a fairly wimpy stream that was comparable in characteristics to a PR pistol. While a mere 10 pumps to pressurise is definitely commendable, the resulting stream is rather disappointing. After deciding to ramp things up I discovered my biggest gripe with this gun, after twelve or so pumps the pinch valve will no longer be able to contain the pressure and will start releasing water through the nozzle. Once this starts, the dribble from the nozzle will continue until the pressure returns to a fairly low level. Unfortunately, because of this, there is no way to utilise the fairly large pressure chamber and pump volume which are both screaming for greater pressure and a larger nozzle. Another problem I ran into was being unable to pump and shoot at a 45 degree angle due to the position of the intake tube within the reservoir, further reducing the battle practicality of this gun.

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Construction
While the performance may be sub par I am generally impressed with this guns construction. On the outside the plastic feels thick and flexible rather than thin and brittle like in many older water guns, I do however question the longevity of the grooves on the bayonet fitting of the reservoir. On the inside things aren't so pretty with long runs of fairly small diameter tubing and a simple pinch valve trigger being the culprits of the guns poor performance. While the long runs of tubing are an unfortunate product of the cool but inefficient position of the pressure chamber and nozzle, I'm a bit disappointed by the use of a pinch valve rather than a more modern pull or ball valve. While testing the gun dissembled I discovered a further problem with this valve in that when the soft tube that is 'pinched' is pressurised it tends to balloon which will no doubt stress the tubing over time. On a more positive note I'm a big fan of the large diameter pump that is far larger in diameter than that of modern soakers such as the Hydro Cannon as well as those in the cps line. (Hydro Canon and Monster X pumps shown for comparison.)

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Conclusion
While there are definitely aspects of the XP100 that I really like, due to the poor performance characteristics I wouldn't be able to recommend this to anyone looking for anything more than a novelty gun. However, while the performance may not be great, the direction Hasbro seem to be taking the Super Soaker line is. While the label still retains the dreaded Nerf moniker, the XP100 certainly seems to be being aimed at 90s nostalgia seeking adults looking to give their own kids a taste of what a real Super Soaker is. We can only hope that this trend continues and we get to re-walk the path of technological advancement that led to the legendary 98's; until the XP300 comes out though I'd probably save your money.
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SSCBen
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Re: Super Soaker XP100 Review

Post by SSCBen » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:13 pm

Great review! I'm disappointed by the performance but agree that the release of this classic series is a good sign. The durability of the plastic was one thing I noticed as well from the earlier photos. I am sorry to hear that the bayonet fitting and pinch tubing aren't anywhere near as durable as they should be.

I'm skeptical that Hasbro will release an "XP 300" as this point, but we can dream... I would personally like to see a revamp of the SS 300 to be more durable.

marauder
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Re: Super Soaker XP100 Review

Post by marauder » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:21 am

Where did you buy your xp 100?

Also, I would hold off judgement kn the ballooning issue until more guns are tested. It could be a 1 off issue or an issue from one particular factory. Or it could be that they used crappy tubing on all of them...

I replaced the stock nozzle on my SS 100 with a conical Max D nozzle and it made a decent difference. I also changed nozzle sizes on the WWF series blasters and improved range from 32 to about 38 feet. Sometimes that's all it takes.

I really am pleasantly surprised by the large pump volume though.
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SoakerScotia
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Re: Super Soaker XP100 Review

Post by SoakerScotia » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:30 am

Perhaps a 300 re-release is a bit optimistic at this point but if sales are good I could definitely see a revamped, slightly smaller SS300 with a soft CPS3000 style back pack being producible at an affordable price. It seems like they're definitely more focused on targeting nostalgia at this stage though and therefore maybe a re-release of one of the better known XP's is more probable, if any at all.

Hopefully the ballooning issue isn't a feature of all XP100s but the tubing used is very soft, it's definitely unlike any vinyl tubing I've encountered in any other guns. I kind of wish I had an SS100 to compare it to because I don't remember reading anywhere that the SS100 suffered the same issue of the pinch valve opening under pressure . I didn't mention it in the review but the problem also really kills the shot time as you're unable to fill the pressure chamber very much before the valve opens, you can also forget about priming it with air.

I think I'm definitely going to go ahead and replace the pinch valve with a ball valve since I have a few small ones lying around unused and there is plenty of space for one within the casing. For the nozzle I'm not so sure because I'm not sure how to actually get to it, the orange piece on the end is glued on. Could always just drill it out I suppose.

The pump volume is definitely a breath of fresh air, it would have been so easy for them to stick another Hydro Cannon style pump in there and be done with it. The only downside is it's slightly short stroke length, I would have liked to have seen an extra two or so inches to bring it on par with the original SS100 pump for length but with a greatly increased diameter.

I'm based in the UK and got mine from Argos which is a pretty big retailer here which often gets exclusives, I've also seen it for sale on other online retailer sites as well though so this isn't the case with the XP100 thankfully . https://www.argos.co.uk/product/4720764

marauder
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Re: Super Soaker XP100 Review

Post by marauder » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:34 am

I have an SS 100 mk2 and several of my friends had them back in the day. The tubing definitely didn't swell like that.

I think this would be an easy mod. You just replace the tubing with some better quality tubing from a home improvement store.

If you replace the trigger with a ball valve can you please document the process?
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SSCBen
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Re: Super Soaker XP100 Review

Post by SSCBen » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:04 pm

Probably would be easier to tie a string (or several) over where the pinch tube is ballooning. Looks like it's limited to just one segment so replacing the entire tube isn't needed.

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SEAL
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Re: Super Soaker XP100 Review

Post by SEAL » Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:27 pm

That's a really good review. Did you measure any stats? I'm interested to see how it compares to the original SS 100. According to old reviews, the O.G. shot around 36-37 feet (or ~11 meters if you prefer) with 1-2X output. By the sounds of it this new one might not quite match it, although it certainly seems like the pump is an improvement. I'm surprised they used such a large diameter.

Even if it isn't a great performer, it's still one of, if not the best Nerf Super Soaker ever created. Probably even better than a stock Hydro Cannon.
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Tim
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Re: Super Soaker XP100 Review

Post by Tim » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:05 am

If the trigger spring is too weak, replace it or modify it. Replacement would be best so there is no risk of rendering the blaster unusable. Modifying the spring may require cutting it shorter and reshaping the cut end to look like the original looped end. At rest, the coils will be more extended than they are presently - the trigger will be harder to pull (but we're mostly adults here) and the pinch valve will withstand a greater pressure.

Tim

SoakerScotia
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Re: Super Soaker XP100 Review

Post by SoakerScotia » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:59 am

While I had it open I wrapped a few layers of duct tape round the area where the bulge formed but i never re-pressurised it to check whether or not this actually helped. The spring used to keep the valve closed is actually fairly beefy, I didn't have any spares that were stiffer at the time but If one could be found that would be an easy fix. If the old SS100's valve didn't open under pressure then replacing the tubing may work as well. I think that the valve opening under pressure is actually an intentional safety feature rather than a design flaw as there is no pressure release mechanism other than the pinch valve itself and the box does say to pump the gun only ten times.

Unfortunately the weather was pretty poor when I was testing it so I never managed to record any ranges. I did test it alongside a few XPs and it was definitely getting a meter or two less range and the stream was also thinner and more susceptible to the wind. When I get a day off with decent weather I'll post some proper range stats as well as pump volume, pressure chamber volume and output. The reservoir volume is 1260ml.

The valve I plan on putting in is from a water warriors expedition, it's fairly small and doesn't require much trigger travel to open, I'll post some pictures when I finish it.

I don't think there's any reason that this gun couldn't achieve performance equal to the original SS100 once the valve issue is sorted and with it's superior build quality and pump it should be even better.

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Tim
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Re: Super Soaker XP100 Review

Post by Tim » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:38 am

Soak~

Whether you replace/modify the spring or install a valve with a more positive seal, you are still compromising the pressure-relieving feature of the valve. As long as someone doesn't get too greedy, the pinch valve with an upgraded spring will still relieve at a safe pressure (I say this under the assumption that the hose will be replaced as it appears the hose might not handle greater pressures).

That said, I think your idea of replacing the valve is way cooler, and it is perhaps more feasible for you (based on your location) than finding a suitable replacement spring. I have purchased springs from Century Spring, but I am not sure if they ship outside the US.

I agree; the stock spring does indeed appear to be robust. The problem is that it's too long. At rest, there is very little extension in the spring coils; so, there is very little force keeping the pinch valve closed.

Tim

SoakerScotia
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Re: Super Soaker XP100 Review

Post by SoakerScotia » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:23 pm

Losing any kind of pressure release mechanism will definitely be a negative but I'm just not much of a pinch valve fan. That being said, before putting in the ball valve I'll definitely try shortening the stock spring by a few coils and seeing if that makes a difference as this would be an easy mod that wouldn't require anything more than a screwdriver.

You can't see from my pictures but the soft tubing only runs through the pinch valve section, once inside the white pump guide/barrel it joins to a more traditional vinyl tube like the one in the reservoir. I may try changing the soft tube before putting in the ball valve as well just to see how it performs.

The whole pinch valve as a pressure release valve has got me thinking about whether this could be utilised in a homemade or as a replacement for a damaged (or naively removed) pressure release valve in a stock water gun.

Buffdaddy
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Re: Super Soaker XP100 Review

Post by Buffdaddy » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:26 pm

Because I'm tearing mine apart for the eventual review (arrived today):

Pump stroke is 101mm
Pump tube ID is 17.8mm
Pump volume comes out 25.1mL, so let's just accept error and say 25

CDMT
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Re: Super Soaker XP100 Review

Post by CDMT » Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:35 pm

I received my XP100 a week ago from the UK. I think that the biggest issue with the water gun is the fact that the reservoir bottle fails to provide a good seal and leaks through the interior of the blaster. Also since the hose is so long it must be charged facing downward to keep the hose underwater. Unfortunately mine arrived with a piece of debris in the tube that will have to be cleaned out with a needle at the nozzle. Regardless of these 2 flaws besides the bit of debris I feel like this water gun at the current price point of 15 dollars is great for the money. I bought my original Super Soaker 100 at Target for at least 20 dollars in 1990s money. So price wise this blaster is superb. To fix my xp100s issues I think that I'll try sealing my main reservoir bottle with 5200 and put a rubber plug on top for filling with water. I will also cut the tube down to ss100 length. What I do like with the new XP100 is that it charges much quicker and is built much more durably than the original. Range and power wise I doubt there is difference between it and the original. It seems to shoot the same distance. I also like that its significantly smaller than the original while retaining about the same size bottles.
The biggest flaws with the original ss100 were thin walls where bottles screwed in and the thin walls of the barrel. You could easily overtighten the bottles and destroy seals by cracking the plastic. If you put too much pressure on the stock you could break off the barrel. Even with these flaws I liked it much better than the super soaker 50. So I am happy that they rereleased it. The Super Soaker 100 was great for the time. The new XP100 corrects the 2 glaring flaws of the original. Even though it introduces 2 new flaws these new flaws are less problematic than the originals. Hopefully though they will rerelease a XP 150 with a removable nozzle given that debris is a royal pain to clean out from nozzles and that the XP 150 was one of the quickest Super soakers to charge up. Also what's not to like about a water gun that can even be filled up in the tight constraints of a bathroom sink?
When I get back next week I will open my unopened Super Soaker 100 and compare it to the new Super Soaker XP100.

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Tim
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Re: Super Soaker XP100 Review

Post by Tim » Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:03 pm

CDMT,

Fast Cure 5200 or regular 5200? They both have the same total cure time, but the alleged "Fast Cure" can be handled sooner.

Are these your videos below? If so, can you post photos (not in this thread but in whatever thread is appropriate)?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmkA_CAZrog

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW1k12nh7QQ

Thank you!

jSpazz
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Re: Super Soaker XP100 Review

Post by jSpazz » Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:40 am

Starting to get some higher profile videos like from Drac.

Its pretty silly they went through all the trouble to tweak the design but still left a pinch trigger. I guess because its more "authentic"?

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