Nerf Blaster

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Nerf Blasters
Nerf N-Strike Vulcan.jpeg
A Nerf N-Strike Vulcan EBF-25
TypeToy dart gun
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. 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 twenty-one lines: N-Strike Elite, Alien Menace, Dart Tag, Vortex, Zombie Strike, Modulus, N-Strike Mega, N-Strike, RIVAL, Doomlands, Super Soaker, N-Strike Elite Accustrike, Rebelle, Modulus Ghost Ops, Laser Ops Pro, Micro Shots, Ultra, Elite 2.0, Alpha Strike, and N-Strike Mega Accustrike. Cross-promotional models have also been released, themed around Marvel Comics, Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Fortnite, Transformers, Overwatch, and Halo Infinite.

All Nerf blasters come packaged with a set of Elite darts, Rival rounds, Mega darts, or other ammo types designed to be fired by said blaster, typically just enough to fill the blaster once or to fill its clip(s) or magazine(s). Refill ammo can also be purchased separately, often from different manufacturers. 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. Its Elite successor is the N-Strike Elite Retaliator.

In 2010, the Stampede ECS - a bi-pod-mounted, battery-powered blaster which is loaded with dart 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 series was succeeded by the N-Strike Elite, which improved on the internal mechanisms for better firing distances and a faster rate of fire. 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 ft/s (21 m/s).[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 72 feet (22 m) 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. The current top elite blaster is the Titan CS-50 which is currently top of the range and comes with a 50-round mag and is fully automatic. The fastest dart blaster is the Hyperfire.

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 (30 m). 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.

N-Strike Modulus[edit]

N-Strike Modulus, formally Nerf Modulus Series, is a sub-line of the N-Strike Elite series, featuring heavily customizable blasters and a number of accessories. These blasters are typically white, grey and green. Mediator, Regulator, Recon MK-II blasters have empowering ability for speeding darts.

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 orange, and themed as weapons made from a toolshed. Some blasters in the series are re-skins of N-Strike and N-Strike Elite Blasters. There is a flywheel manual blaster.

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 four guns in this series.

Survival System[edit]

This sub-series currently includes only two 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. It is discontinued as of 2020.[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 feet (23 m) with speeds about 70 ft/s (21 m/s). The current blasters in the sub-series are the Alphahawk, FalconFire, Raptorstrike, Stratohawk, Accutrooper and the Quadrant. Some of the blasters in the line are also re-skins of N-Strike and N-Strike Elite Blasters, mainly the Stratohawk and Accutrooper.

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 (20 m)[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]

Alpha Strike[edit]

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

Ultra[edit]

Released in September 2019, Nerf Ultra (branded as ULTRA) blasters fire a new, propriety dart design that is marketed as "THE FARTHEST FLYING DART. EVER. UP TO 120 FT."[18] The new Ultra darts are constructed from a lightweight foam that is notably different than traditional darts in that they are made with closed cell, rather than open cell foam. This construction allows for fins to be molded into the rear of the darts and for them to snap in half when bent similar to Styrofoam. Size-wise, Ultra darts are between N-Strike Elite darts and Mega darts in diameter, but shorter than both in length. They cannot be fired from any previous Nerf line or off-brand compatible blasters, nor can any other lines' darts be fired from Ultra blasters. This design was created in response to the growing number of third-party darts, including exact knockoffs from China, available for N-Strike Elite blasters at a much lower cost than Nerf-brand darts.[19]

The first blaster in the Ultra line was the Nerf Ultra One, a drum-fed (25-dart capacity), flywheel design with integral (non-detachable) stock and fixed barrel with no N-Strike barrel attachments. It is compatible with rail-mounted Nerf attachments via two tactical rails on top. The blaster is painted in a white, black and orange color scheme with a distinctive raised gold "ULTRA" label on the right side (the raised logo is repeated on the left side, but in white, rather than gold). The second blaster was the Ultra Two, which is a 6-round capacity flywheel system revolver, which loads from the back of the blaster, as there is no open place in front. Like the One, the Two comes in the same white, black and orange color scheme, and the "ULTRA'" label on the side. It is also the first electronic revolver-style blaster since the 2012 N-Strike Elite Stockade.

RIVAL[edit]

Released in 2015, RIVAL blasters are Nerf blasters targeted towards the older audiences. They feed high impact rounds instead of the usual darts. RIVAL is oriented towards the Teams - namely Blue and Red. The blasters are colour coded that way. Most of the RIVAL blasters are available in both colours. The first blasters were the Nerf Rival Apollo XV-700 and the Nerf RIVAL Zeus MXV-1200. RIVAL is not available in Australia due to toy regulations.

Helix XXI-2000 shoots round balls at around 90 ft/s (27 m/s) and allows you to choose your curve of your projectile Left, Right, Straight or Down.[20]

RIVAL Phantom Corps[edit]

Following the trend of the RIVAL blasters, Phantom Corps is a sub-series of RIVAL where the blasters are white in colour, instead of the usual blue and red. Phantom Corps was released in 2017. The blasters come with flags of colours red and blue, if you want to play team based Nerf battles. Like RIVAL and all other sub-series' of RIVAL, Phantom Corps is also not available in Australian store-shelves.

Ammunition and accessories[edit]

Various types of ammunition for Nerf and non-Nerf blasters.

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.

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. ^ "Nerf Ultra One Blaster". Hasbro. Archived from the original on 2019-10-03. Retrieved 2019-10-03.https://nerf.hasbro.com/en-us/ultra
  18. ^ "Parents, Beware: Nerf's Newest Blasters Won't Fire Knockoff Darts". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2019-10-03. Retrieved 2019-10-03.https://www.wsj.com/articles/parents-beware-nerfs-newest-blasters-wont-fire-knockoff-darts-11569240001
  19. ^ Hollister, Sean (25 January 2021). "Nerf's new blasters curve their shots a la Angelina Jolie in Wanted". The Verge. Retrieved 26 January 2021.

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