Nerf Blaster

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Nerf Blasters
Nerf N-Strike Vulcan.jpeg
A Nerf N-Strike Vulcan EBF-25
TypeToy dart gun
Inventor(s)Nerf
CompanyHasbro
CountryUnited States
Availability1992–present
Slogan"It's Nerf or Nothin'!"
"Accept No Substitutes"
Official website
A Nerf N-Strike Longshot CS-6

A Nerf Blaster is a toy gun made by Hasbro that fires foam darts, discs, or 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.

The Nerf blaster line currently consists of eighteen lines: N-Strike Elite, Alien Menace, Dart Tag, Vortex, Zombie Strike, Modulus, Mega, N-Strike, RIVAL, Doomlands, Super Soaker, Accustrike, Rebelle, Modulus Ghost Ops, Laser Ops Pro, Micro Shots, and Mega Accustrike. Cross-promotional models have also been released, themed around Marvel Comics, Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Fortnite, 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. A majority of Nerf blasters are compatible with the different types of foam darts available; but the Magazine 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 Magazine 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 Crossfire Bow won the award for "Best Action Toy" at the 2014 U.K. Toy Fair.[4]

Product lines[edit]

Engineering design of a Nerf Triad EX-3 blaster

N-Strike[edit]

A man aiming an N-Strike Stampede ECS

N-Strike was the main line of the Blasters toy series. This line consists of toy guns that fire rubber-tipped foam darts.

The Recon CS-6 is a "build-your-own" Nerf Magazine-System Blaster that was released in 2008 under the N-Strike series. It has five interchangeable parts: a barrel extension, flip up sight, dual-mode light beam, stock and main blaster. It resembles the M4 Carbine Rifle. Its Elite successor is the N-Strike Elite Retaliator.

In 2010, the Stampede ECS - a bi-pod-mounted, battery-powered gun which is loaded with ammo magazines[5] - 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.[6] Popular Mechanics praised it as "the best overall Nerf gun ever", being easy to use and less prone to jamming than earlier battery-powered Nerf models.[5]

N-Strike Elite[edit]

On August 1, 2012, the N-Strike line was succeeded by the N-Strike Elite, with improved internal mechanisms for better firing distances. Firing distances are up to 75 feet (23 m) for the U.S. models, while international models (identifiable by their grey triggers) have a maximum firing distance of 15 metres (49 ft). The average Nerf blaster fires darts at around 70 feet per second.[7]

Elite XD[edit]

Elite XD is a sub-series of N-Strike Elite and N-Strike Mega (Mega XD), but with advertised ranges of 85 to 90 feet (26 to 27 m) for the US version and 22 metres (72 ft) for the international model. Although advertised as having a longer range than the Elite, the only difference in design is the different coloring, it did not affect performance significantly, confirmed by testing Elite XD reshells against their blue counterparts.[citation needed] Recently, however, Hasbro updated the packaging for Elite XD blasters, no longer claiming a performance boost.

N-Strike Mega[edit]

N-Strike Mega, formally N-Strike Mega Series, is a line of blasters which fire red-colored ammunition larger than elite darts in both size and diameter. Nerf had advertised them to fire at "mega" ranges of up to 100 feet. In addition, they are also designed to "whistle" through the air. The series used to be a sub-series of N-Strike and N-Strike Elite, but evolved into its own series sometime in 2016.

Zombie Strike[edit]

The Zombie Strike series was introduced in mid-2013.[8] This series contains blasters similar in performance to that of the N-Strike Elite line, but mostly green, and themed as weapons made from a toolshed.

Z.E.D Squad[edit]

This sub-series mainly includes blasters previously released, but with a color/design change to fit the “zombie” theme of the line. There are only two guns in this series.

Survival System[edit]

This sub-series currently includes only 2 blasters (known as the Scravenger and the Nailbiter). They are mainly orange.

Rebelle[edit]

Nerf Rebelle is a brand introduced in fall 2013 aimed at the female demographic. As such, the Rebelle blasters incorporate feminine designs and pastel colors.[9]

AccuStrike Series[edit]

AccuStrike Series is a sub-series of N-Strike Elite blasters that was released in spring 2017. It has darts designed for accuracy, with rifling in the dart tips. The darts get less range then N-Strike Elite blasters, but with better accuracy, but the blasters are really no different. They can also shoot up to 75 ft (22 M) with speeds about 70 FPS. The current blasters in the sub-series are the AlphaHawk, FalconFire, RaptorStrike, and the Quadrant.

Vortex[edit]

The Vortex line was launched in 2011. Unlike the N-Strike and Dart Tag lines, which use foam darts, Vortex uses XLR (Xtra Long Range) discs[10] - green, white or glow-in-the-dark plastic discs wrapped in foam. These discs are capable of traveling at greater distances than darts fired from original N-Strike blasters (up to 65 feet[11]) and also ricocheting off of walls.[12][13] 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 (a shoulder stock and a scope, respectively).[14]

Hasbro relaunched the line as Vortex VTX in fall 2018.[15]

Nitro[edit]

Nerf Nitro is a brand of blasters that fire Foam Cars instead of darts. Each Nitro set includes obstacles to hit and/or ramps to launch the cars in the air.[16]

Rival[edit]

Nerf Rival Artemis XVII-3000 and Rival Ammo

Nerf rival is a series of blasters that fires rival rounds. These rounds are actually little foam balls that are much more durable than other darts. The blasters are targeted at 14 and above as they shoot harder than usual.

Alpha Strike[edit]

Introduced in August 2019, Nerf Alpha Strike is a blaster line priced lower than the N-Strike Elite line.[17]

Ammunition and accessories[edit]

All Nerf blasters come packaged with a set of ammunition. However, refills of ammunition are also available separately in packs of as little as one to as many as 250, or with accessories or "clips" (magazines). With the exception of the Clip System blasters, most Nerf dart blasters are compatible with the different types of foam darts available; the Clip System blasters will only take streamlined darts, which have smaller diameter tips. In 2013, Elite Darts became the new standard darts, as they are compatible with all types of blasters.

Some types of ammunition include:

Various types of ammunition for Nerf and non-Nerf guns.
  • Suction Darts (old-style; formerly Rip Rockets and Micro Darts) - Foam darts with suction cups that stick to glass windows or flat surfaces. Available in many different colors.
    • Glow-In-The-Dark Darts - Old-style Suction Darts that glow in the dark when exposed to a lighting system. Available in white.
  • Whistler Darts (or Sonic Micro Darts, which are known as Sonic Darts in Japan) - Foam darts with holes on their sides, which emit whistling sounds when fired. Available in many different colors.
  • Clip System Darts (formerly Streamline Darts) - Orange-tipped darts with a smaller diameter, designed to fit in Clip System magazines. Available in many different colors.
    • Glow-In-The-Dark Darts - Clip System Darts that glow in the dark when exposed to a lighting system, such as the Firefly Tech Clip. Available in white.
  • Xtra Long Range Discs (formerly XLR Discs) - Foam and plastic discs available in the Vortex and Zombie Strike series. Available in many different colors.
    • Glow-In-The-Dark Disc - Xtra Long Range Discs that glow in the dark when exposed to a lighting system, such as the Firefly Tech Magazine. Available in white.
  • Elite Darts - Foam darts introduced in the N-Strike Elite line. They resemble the Clip System Darts, but are slightly more accurate, thicker in diameter, weigh less and shoot further. Most commonly blue, but available in many different colors.
    • Glow-In-The-Dark Darts - Elite Darts that glow in the dark when exposed to a lighting system, such as the Firefly Tech Clip. Available in white.
    • Suction Darts (new-style) - Suction-cupped Elite Darts with improved performance. Available in blue and light orange.
  • Collectible Darts - Repainted Elite Darts in pastel colors, some sporting various stripes, dots or patterns on them, resembling those of the blasters of the Nerf Rebelle brand. Available in many different colors.
  • High-Impact Rounds - These balls which are made for the Nerf RIVAL guns are similar in shape to golf balls, as they have dimples on them. Their range and groupings are better than darts, and they can also sting a bit when fired. Available in yellow, yellow and red, yellow and blue, and white and black.
  • Mega Whistler Darts (or Mega Dart; trademarked as MEGA Whistler Dart or MEGA Dart) - Foam darts designed for the Nerf N-Strike Mega line that are larger than Elite Darts in both size and diameter. They are also designed to "whistle" through the air. Available in red, blue, and green.
  • AccuStrike Darts - Foam darts designed for accuracy[18] only available in the AccuStrike Series. Available in light orange and purple.

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.

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. ^ a b Porges, Seth (2010-08-11). "Nerf Stampede Hands-On Review". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 2013-05-25.
  6. ^ Per-Lee, Myra. "The 11 Best Toys of 2011". InventorSpot. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
  7. ^ "Nerf N-Strike Elite". Hasbro. 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
  8. ^ Bricken, Rob (2013-07-11). "Prepare for a Nerf apocalypse with the new Zombie Strike line!". Io9. Retrieved 2013-08-03.
  9. ^ Greenwald, Will (2013-06-28). "Nerf Tips iPhone Scope, Rebelle Line For Girls, Lots More Guns". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2013-08-03.
  10. ^ "Nerf Guns: Vortex Series". TheHotToys. TheHotToys.com. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  11. ^ Phillips, Jon (2011-09-14). "Nerf Vortex Review". Maximum PC. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
  12. ^ Biddle, Sam (2011-09-22). "Nerf Vortex Lightning Review: Shoots Hard, Shoots Far, Shoots Very Painfully". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
  13. ^ "Nerf Vortex Disc Blaster". ThinkGeek. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
  14. ^ "Nerf News – Official VORTEX VTX Press Release!". BlasterHub. 2018-05-02. Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  15. ^ Robertson, Andy (2017-01-27). "'Nerf Nitro' Shoots Cars Not Darts". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  16. ^ Guynes, Jared (July 2, 2019). "Global Reveal - Nerf Alphastrike 2019 - All Blasters tested & variations shown!". YouTube. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  17. ^ Barrett, Brian (21 October 2016). "How Nerf Crafted Its Most Accurate Darts Yet". Wired. Retrieved 21 October 2016.

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