Nerf Blaster

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Nerf Blasters
Nerf N-Strike Vulcan.jpeg
A Nerf N-Strike Vulcan EBF-25
Type Toy dart gun
Inventor Nerf
Company Hasbro
Country United States
Slogan "Accept no substitutes!"
Official website

A Nerf Blaster is a toy gun made by Hasbro that fires foam darts, discs, or, in some cases, foam balls. The term "Nerf gun" is often used to describe the toy;[1] however, it is often used as a blanket term for any foam dart blaster, regardless of whether or not it has the Nerf brand name. Nerf blasters are manufactured in multiple forms, including pistols, rifles, and light machine guns. The first Nerf blasters emerged in the late 1980s with the release of the Nerf Blast-a-Ball[2] and the Arrowstorm. These products are sold at many retailers including Target, Walmart, Kmart, Zellers and Toys "R" Us.

The Nerf blaster line currently consists of five sub-lines: N-Strike Elite, Dart Tag, Vortex, Zombie Strike and Rebelle. Cross-promotional models have also been released, themed around Marvel Super Heroes, Star Wars, G.I. Joe and Transformers.

All Nerf blasters come packaged with a set of foam darts or mega darts matched to fit into their chambers. Refill darts can also be purchased separately. With the exception of the Clip System blasters, all Nerf dart blasters are compatible with the different types of foam darts available; the Clip System blasters will only take Streamline darts, which have smaller diameter tips. In 2013, Elite darts became the new standard darts, as they are compatible with both regular and Clip System blasters.

Numerous accessories for Nerf blasters are available separately or supplied with selected blasters. These consist of ammunition holders or attachments that enhance the functional or aesthetic elements of Nerf blasters, as well as some Super Soaker blasters.

The Nerf line is also sold in Japan by Takara Tomy, which sells other Hasbro products in the country. For marketing reasons, some blasters have been given different names in Japan. For example, the Stampede ECS is called "Blazing Burst ECS", while the Longstrike CS-6 is called "Sniper Shot CS-6"; nevertheless, these blasters still have their original names molded on them.

In 2011, the Nerf N-Strike Stampede ECS was awarded "Boy Toy of the Year" at the 11th Annual Toy of the Year Awards, which is held at the American International Toy Fair in New York City.[3] In 2014, the Nerf Zombie Strike Crossbow won the award for "Best Action Toy" at the 2014 U.K. Toy Fair.[4]

Product lines[edit]

N-Strike[edit]

N-Strike is the main line of the Nerf Blasters toy series. This line consists of toy guns that fire rubber-tipped foam darts. While the blasters have been offered in several different colors, the N-Strike's main colors are yellow and orange, despite some models being offered mainly in blue. Blasters released before mid-2010 bear the original N-Strike badge, which has the motto: "Enlist, Engage, Enforce". The N-Strike name was formerly used for one set of three blasters (Titan AS-V.1, Hornet AS-6 and Scout IX-3), which has since been renamed the Unity Power System.

N-Strike Elite[edit]

On August 1, 2012, the N-Strike line was succeeded by N-Strike Elite, which consists mainly of existing blasters with improved internal mechanisms for better firing distances (up to 75 feet for the U.S. models, while international models have a maximum firing distance of 15 meters). The primary colors of N-Strike Elite are blue, white and orange.[5]

Dart Tag[edit]

Dart Tag is a Nerf sub-line that differentiates itself from the main N-Strike line by being more competition-oriented. The line consists of blasters that fire Velcro-tipped foam darts. Players wear Dart Tag vests or jerseys lined with patches of Velcro, and scoring is determined by where the opponents are hit with the darts.[6] Over the years, Dart Tag blasters have been sold in different colors and mostly in pairs - either red and blue or orange and green. From 2011 forward, the main color of the blasters is yellow, while the jerseys and eyewear are offered in different colors.

In 2009, Hasbro started the Nerf Dart Tag League, an official Nerf sport held annually in the United States. The most recent event in 2011 was held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.[7]

The current Dart Tag lineup was first introduced in mid-2011, featuring a more uniform yellow, black and blue color scheme in contrast to the multicolored blasters of the previous lineups. In 2012, Hasbro retooled the internals of the blasters to make them fire darts at longer distances. These improved blasters are distinguished by their blue triggers and highlights.

Nerf Vortex[edit]

Unlike the N-Strike and Dart Tag lines, which use foam darts, Vortex uses XLR (Xtra Long Range) discs[8] - green, white or glow-in-the-dark plastic discs wrapped in foam. These discs are capable of traveling at greater distances than foam darts (up to 65 feet[9]) and also ricocheting off of walls.[10][11] As with other current Nerf and Super Soaker blasters, the Vortex blasters are designed with tactical rails to accommodate scopes and other accessories. The Praxis and Nitron have accessories that are also compatible with other Nerf blasters.[12] To further differentiate from the yellow-colored N-Strike and Dart Tag blasters, the Vortex blasters are colored kelly green and vermilion except the Pyragon and Diatron, which are colored white, gray and vermilion.

Zombie Strike[edit]

Zombie Strike is a new sub-line introduced in mid-2013 for fans of Humans vs. Zombies games. The sub-line consists of N-Strike Elite and Vortex blasters that sport post-apocalyptic designs. An N-Force sword is also included in the sub-line.[13]

Rebelle[edit]

Rebelle is a new sub-line introduced in Fall 2013 aimed at the female demographic. As such, the Rebelle blasters incorporate feminine designs and pastel colors.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pinkerton, Lindsey (2009-04-03). "The Top 10 Nerf Guns of All Time". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 2013-06-16. 
  2. ^ Nerf Blast-a-Ball
  3. ^ Per-Lee, Myra. "The 11 Best Toys of 2011". InventorSpot. Retrieved 2011-02-15. 
  4. ^ "U.K. Toy Fair: 2014 Toy Winners Announced". Global License!. 2014-01-21. Retrieved 2014-01-22. 
  5. ^ "Nerf N-Strike Elite". Hasbro. 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  6. ^ Morgan, Matt (2011-05-03). "Speedy Nerf Dart Tag Blasters Top 2011 Product Line". Wired. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  7. ^ "Hasbro’s 2011 NERF DART TAG World Championship Searches for Top NERF Athletes in the First Ever Players’ ‘Draft’". Business Wire. 2011-04-05. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  8. ^ "Nerf Guns: Vortex Series". TheHotToys. TheHotToys.com. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  9. ^ Phillips, Jon (2011-09-14). "Nerf Vortex Review". Maximum PC. Retrieved 2011-10-07. 
  10. ^ Biddle, Sam (2011-09-22). "Nerf Vortex Lightning Review: Shoots Hard, Shoots Far, Shoots Very Painfully". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2011-10-07. 
  11. ^ "Nerf Vortex Disc Blaster". ThinkGeek. Retrieved 2011-10-07. 
  12. ^ Bricken, Rob (2013-07-11). "Prepare for a Nerf apocalypse with the new Zombie Strike line!". Io9. Retrieved 2013-08-03. 
  13. ^ Greenwald, Will (2013-06-28). "Nerf Tips iPhone Scope, Rebelle Line For Girls, Lots More Guns". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2013-08-03. 

External links[edit]