Ever since the Sharpshooter (released in 1992, it was the first Nerf gun to feature any kind of dart-style ammo), Nerf guns have gotten bigger, badder, and more elaborate. Are they being developed by scientists from Caltech? Clearly, Nerf has some of the best minds on it.
Call us a bunch of kids, but we will never get tired of these faux-gun toys that shoot soft projectiles. Remember: You are never too old for a Nerf gun.
Here's a look at 6 of the hottest Nerf guns money can buy.
1. N-Strike Elite Terrascout RC Drone
We think of the N-Strike Elite Terrascout RC Drone as the mother of all Nerf blasters. It's a remote-controlled tank that even has a 720p camera. That's right--you can watch a live video feed on the controller's LCD screen as you direct this tank to strike at your enemies without mercy.
If you insert an SD card you can record the action. The tank's gun fires 18 Elite darts and the gun swivels independently from the tank's direction of motion. The treads can maneuver over almost anything except wet terrain. The tank runs on a rechargeable battery and four AA batteries power the controller. And it retails for a rather heart-stopping $250.
2. Zombie Strike Doominator Blaster
The Zombie Strike Doominator Blaster is one of the meanest looking Nerf blasters we've seen. (And you're going to want to look mean if you're taking on a zombie horde.)
Fortunately, you'll have the firepower to do so with the Doominator. It includes a complex firing mechanism with 4 rotating drums holding 6 darts each, for a total of 24 projectiles. The gun is manually operated; you charge it by pulling back on a handle--much like a pump-action shotgun. Once you've fired 6 shots, you pull on a dedicated trigger to rotate to the next drum. This is for ages 8 and up and retails for $30.
3. N-Strike Mega Centurion
The N-Strike Mega Centurion is clearly inspired by the .50 caliber Barrett assault rifle. If you've ever dreamed of lying behind a sniper rifle or you have a kid who can't get enough of war movies, this is the Nerf gun for you.
It fires bigger darts further and faster than most other Nerf guns. The darts--called MEGA Whistlers--fire up to 100 feet away. A bipod is included for shooting prone. The N-Strike Mega Centurion retails for $50.
4. NERF Rival Artemis XVII-3000 Blaster
The Nerf Artemis XVII-3000 Blaster is the perfect blaster for when you needs lots of capacity and want to make an impact. And we do mean high-impact. It fires rigid plastic balls rather than foam ammo. It won't hurt anyone, but the balls have a different feel than the usual foam darts.
It also fires them quickly: It shoots 30 rounds at 100 feet per second. The Artemis is spring-powered so you push the handle backward and then forward to prime it. It includes three built-in magazines, each of which holds 10 rounds. There's an indicator to tell you when it's primed and a safety in case you want to make sure you can't fire it accidentally. It comes in blue or red for team play. It retails for $45.
5. NERF Modulus Tri-Strike
The Nerf Modulus Tri-Strike is the gift that keeps on giving. As the name suggests, you can add upgrade kits in modular fashion until you have the Nerf gun of your dreams.
The base component is a spring-activated Nerf blaster; it just looks like a pistol straight out of the box. Then, by adding a stock and barrel, it quickly turns into a lot more. Kits include a missile launcher, barrel extension, and a missile stock launcher. There are over 1,000 different combinations. It retails for $50.
6. Nerf Zombie Strike Brainsaw Blaster
The Nerf Zombie Brainsaw Blaster wins us over for creativity. Who would have thought to put a spinning foam saw on a Nerf gun? The geniuses at Nerf, that's who.
Of course, the idea here is that when you run out of darts, you still have a way to kill zombies. The gun fires 8 darts, and then it's chainsaw time. A little handle at the top near the carry handle pulls a string that revs the chainsaw.
Warning: Do not attempt to engage actual zombies with the Zombie Strike Brainsaw Blaster. We predict it will not end well for you.
The Zombie Brainsaw Blaster retails for $30.