The Hunger Games' Katniss Everdeen helped reinforce the idea that young women don't have to wait for a knight in shining armour to come and rescue them; they can instead pick up a weapon and be the hero themselves. But instead of reaching for a bow and arrow, Nerf's Rebelle line wants them to reach for its new Secret Shot that hides a four-shot blaster inside a useless, but arguably fashionable, accessory.
Everyone loves spy gear that features cleverly hidden weapons or secret functionality — boys and girls alike — and that's what Nerf has created with the Secret Shot. When folded away it's supposed to look like a stylish handbag that can be carried around without anyone suspecting your true intents. But when it's time to wreak havoc, a spring-loaded mechanism automatically pops it open, transforming the bag into a shotgun-style blaster.
Did Nerf have to go with neon pink and bright purple colour schemes for the Secret Shot? Probably not. The Rebelle line might be targeted at girls, but bright gender-neutral colours would have worked just as well here. Hopefully Hasbro has plans to release future versions of the blaster that transforms into something like a lunchbox that would appeal to both boys and girls alike. But that being said, there's also no reason a boy shouldn't feel free to take a neon pink handbag into battle if they really wanted to.
As far as dart guns go you'd assume the $US20 Rebelle Secret Shot wouldn't actually excel at blasting foam darts, but it's surprisingly capable. It uses a double-grip with a sliding mechanism to cock each shot, and it can fire four darts as fast as you can pull back the front handle and then pull the trigger.
The Secret Shot's pop-open mechanism is also incredibly satisfying. When released the bottom of the handbag automatically swings down and around to become the blaster's butt, held securely in place with a strong latch so it won't come apart until you press the release. In fact, half the fun of the Secret Shot is quickly transforming it from a faux handbag to a blaster. And given murses — or portmanteaus — are completely acceptable these days, there's no reason anyone should be hesitant to add one of these covert blasters to their arsenals. [Hasbro]