Notorious for exaggerating the distances its foam darts can travel, Hasbro – brand guardian of the planet’s finest blasters – must be congratulated for its ongoing work with Nerf blasters.
The company has been coming up with such inventive names as Zombie Strike Doominator and the Heartbreaker Bow for its blasters since 1969. Nerf’s originality has continued in 2016, where we’ve seen all manner of great foam blaster(s) appear. These have ranged from tiny side arms like the Elite Jolt Blaster to heavy-foam-hardware like the Rhino Strike Elite.
What’s more impressive though, is that the blasters are as fun as their names imply and have helped Hasbro sell enough darts over the last five years to circle the globe five times.
This is a seriously impressive feat for a product is an acronym for “Non-Expanding Recreational Foam” (Nerf) – there’s some top-notch pub quiz knowledge for you!
However, the sheer volume of Nerf weapons available has left many justifiably confused as to which blaster they should add to their arsenal, or trust their children with. This is where we step in - check out our list below.
Intimidating and battery powered, this is a serious piece of kit
Scoring highly on the intimidation scale a foam dart needn’t be fired before the opposition has second thoughts. Staring down the barrel of the Mastodon you’re stuck with the sheer size of it, and at that point possibly wondering why you are looking down the business end. It is one of the first automatic blasters that fires off the Mega darts, it does so at an impressive speed driven by the addition, at your expense, of six D batteries – it doesn’t seem battery technology has lent itself to drum rotating blasters. A price cannot be placed on the child-like grin induced upon unleashing the 24 dart drum and enjoying the whistle they make as they head to your intended target.
Massive fire power and a floor mount for accuracy too
We very much would’ve liked to be in the meeting where they named this number, we’re thinking it was late Friday afternoon, sun shining outside, two execs at Hasbro shouted a couple of random words – done deal, packaging sent to printers and its pub o' clock. This double-barrel blaster can be floor/desk mounted for accuracy or stick the stock into your side and walk directly towards your target with swagger. Both intimidating and impressive the Rhino Fire achieves decent distances, the downside of this is picking up the contents of both 25 dart barrels you’ve expended.
A decent enough looker to keep out on show – shelf-candy.
3. Rival Zeus MVS-1200
Big range and a round range of close to 60mph makes the Zeus a sharpshooters dream
Rival Zeus MVS-1200
The latest adaptation of their projectiles come in the form of these spherical numbers for the new range of fully-automatic blasters in the Rival range. At first glance the colours and design of this new range point at a more grown-up approach and with a travel time of over 60 mph these balls mean business. Distance-wise, 75-80ft every time. The standard blaster comes with a 12 ball barrel, you can, and should buy both extra barrels and plenty of extra balls. In addition to exceptional accuracy in battle shape of the ammo lets you mess about with trick shots against walls and ceilings to reach your target.
An incredibly customisable weapon
The latest arrival on the Nerf scene is an extension to the Modulus category. Multiple tactical rails and accessory sets you can mix and match these blasters into over 1,000 different combinations. This model is able to blast regular Nerf projectiles plus the MEGA ones and also the missile variant, which, with some practice can travel around 30 feet – And your intended target will feel it.
5. Zombie Slingfire
A memorable design with novel loading mechanism
Released about the same time as series two of the Walking Dead, just before its started to get really dull, yes, just then. The Zombie range of blasters was largely average with this one, the Slingfire, a standout success. It may only have a six-dart capacity magazine but it it the way you flick down the lever to load up your air power that impresses. A modicum of practice and you’ll be able to perform this one-handed and then for hours you’ll be doing little else.
Simply put, one of the best manual Nerf blasters on the market
It is easy to arm up the air chamber at the rear in super-quick succession on this often overlooked blaster. This is a superb six-dart shooter that is about one of the best in the manual line-up and unleashes with excellent accuracy and achieves impressive distances. An absolute must have in any Nerf arsenal as a back-up blaster for cover. There are also tactical rails atop this one should you decide to accessories with other elements.
A blaster that punches well above its weight
This deceptive single-shot, manual-powered blaster is one that you really shouldn’t travel anywhere without. A superb quick-fix for when you eye a target on your daily grind for a pot shot and one that can be secreted about your person easily when your opponents are acquiring your arsenal, your last-chance-at-the-saloon-shooter. For a blaster that punches above its weight for both distance and power this one is unsurpassed.
8. Super soaker Floodfire
Unlimited ammo? You better believe it!
Super soaker Floodfire
So, whilst the sun has his hat on it is certainly time to invest in a water blaster. The Super Soaker range isn’t the most wallet friendly range around, but, for H20 delivery toward target and with pressure unbranded units just won’t do. Pump up for action, a steady stream of ammo is delivered but a major surprise for retaliators returning with you back to base for a refill. This one connects up to the hose for unlimited ammo, also a fun way to water the plants.
9. Nerf Tennis ball blaster
A great option for keeping your pet happy
Nerf Tennis ball blaster
You’ll have seen those manual tennis ball flinging things in the park, some say a lazy way to exercise your pooch, we disagree, this is much lazier. A spring-loaded blaster that’ll send your sphere distances approaching 50 feet, much to the envy of other dog owners. So long as your canine is versed on the fetch and drop technique you don’t even have to bend to pick up the ball, just dunk the end of the blaster over it and its done.
10. N-Strike Elite Hyperfire
Simply put, the world's fastest Nerf blaster
N-Strike Elite Hyperfire
Looking for the worlds fastest manufacturer produced foam dart firing machine? Here it is, Hyperfire by name, etc etc. Unleashing five darts per second from its 25 dart chamber it’ll not take any Carol Vorderman scale academics to figure out you’ll be spending plenty of time on the Nerf trail picking up so ensure you’ve a back-up stash. The deluge of darts it rains upon your target is rapid enough to send them into a mild confusion for a while affording you some extra time to reload.