Saturday 2 February 2013

The 2013 UK Toy Fair - Nerf Licenced Products

This year, we will be seeing a lot of nerf products hitting the shelves, and not just from Hasbro.

There are a lot of other companies that will be releasing products under the nerf brand due to licencing agreements. We've all seen some of these products before (the nerf night vision goggles, released back in 2011 to name but one), but there are some new gadgets on the way.
2011 Nerf Night Vision Goggles

This year we will see a different take on these 3rd party nerf accessories. Whereas the 2011 range brought us torches, digital cameras, USB flash drives and MP3 players, 2013 will actually see some useful accessories hit the shelves. Well, I say useful... more 'tactical'.

The Movement detector... well, it detects movement. Useful if you play a lot of games indoors and you wish to ambush your foe. This device can simply be hidden in a nook guarding a corridor and will sound an alarm when triggered. Knowing that your opponent's exact location, you can spring your trap and win the battle.

Nerf Movement Detector

Another accessory is a personal audio amplifier. Think of it as a hearing aid for nerfing... No, I don't really get it either but someone thought it might be useful. I can't say I've ever suffered from hearing loss during a game but if you have and can't find the time to visit your Otologist, this thing might serve as a 'make do'.

These two products are also available packaged together with a Jolt in an 'Action Kit'.

Personally, I can't really see a use for either of these products. The models on display were non-functional so we didn't get a chance to really have a look but I doubt they'll prove to be popular. They do however represent a movement in the right direction. More innovative Nerf accessories are needed to change game play and to help invent new game types, I just don't think these will be the ones to do it.

Among all of the other products such as the walkie-talkies and camera glasses that we have already seen, there was one idea that really stood out for me.

Nerf Strike Launcher
This gizmo is called the 'Nerf Strike Launcher'. Although it loosely resembles a toaster I can assure you that it is in fact the next generation of Nerf target gaming.

There have been various takes on the Nerf target. We've seen target posters, Dart Tag targets, the Tech Target system and the Disc Shot Launcher. This is something new and is poised to be the successor of the Disc Shot Launcher.

The launcher accepts three of the target discs in the top. You then simply pull down the lever on the side, press a button, step back and prepare to shoot. After a short pause, the target discs pop out of the top one at a time, and rise a good 2 feet above the launcher. The best part is that the discs break apart when you hit them. Think of it like clay pigeon or skeet shooting, but without the danger or the mess. Once all three discs have popped out, you simply click them back together and reload for the next round.

Nerf Strike Target Disc
The model they had on the distributor's stand was a pre-production prototype and so didn't really work properly. With a bit of tinkering we did manage to get it to spit out a couple of discs but the result was a bit disappointing. One hopes that the finished product will have a bit more oomph in which case, I can see this being quite a fun little accessory. No one likes nerfing on their own, but this can be used at least to

The Nerf Strike set will come packaged with a Nerf Jolt but it is currently unclear when it will be available and for how much. My guess is that it will be expensive. Lets hope they can iron out the kinks.

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