2017 is a good time to be a fan of Nerf. There's a bunch of new blasters with different looks, features and add-ons, and you can still buy plenty of the company's all-time classic greats. If you're going shopping for a Nerf blaster in Australia, here's what you can get your hands on right now.
Welcome to Gizmodo's Nerf Week! We're celebrating everything Nerf, from innovation, to history to the awesome blasters you can get right now. It's time to lock and load.
The N-Strike Elite series includes possibly our favourite Nerf blaster of all time: the absolutely awesome Strongarm. This 6-dart-shooting revolver is cheap, powerful and can be reloaded as you blast or all at once. Plus it just looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. When you're playing around with the Strongarm, you will need a refill pack of Elite darts handy.
N-Strike also includes some absolutely serious Nerf blasters. Take the massive Hyperfire, for example: it has a 25-round removable drum magazine, and is one of Nerf's motorised flywheel blasters. You press a button to spin up the Hyperfire's internal motor -- it runs on batteries, obviously -- and then you can blast out up to 5 darts per second as far as 21 metres at a time. If you're looking for something a little less insane, there's always the pint-sized Firestrike.
If range is what you're after, you should actually look outside the traditional dart blaster design. The N-Strike Elite Stratobow fires 15 Elite darts in a row, but it can launch them as far as 26 metres. Best of all, you don't have to do anything other than pull the bow's drawstring back to load another dart in the 15-strong clip, so you'll be knocking over targets or tagging your friends one after the other.
With the MEGA range, everything about the regular Nerf blaster and darts is super-sized. MEGA darts whistle as they fly through the air, and they're chunkier than Elite darts too -- with the right blaster, you can launch Mega darts 23 metres. Take a look at the MEGA Cyclone to see what we mean: it looks just like a regular Strongarm blaster with a 6-dart drum and a top handle to pull back and reload, but it's just in that XXL size.
If you want what we think is the most impressive looking Nerf blaster that you can buy today, though, you can't go past the DoubleBreach. It's a breech-loading MEGA blaster that holds two oversized darts and shoots them off one after the other, and you can hold four extras handy using the clip on the side of the blaster itself. If that's not your speed, take a look at the Lightning bow.
And then there's one of the most over-the-top blasters ever made by Nerf -- big enough that it needs its own shoulder strap for you to carry it around with. Meet the MEGA Mastodon. It's a motorised, battery-powered behemoth that holds 24 MEGA darts in one massive drum, and can fling them up to 23 metres away once you bring it up to speed and aim it at your unfortunate target.
Nerf's N-Strike MEGA DoubleBreach is an oversized, overpowered hunk of dart-blasting magnificence. It's enormous in every dimension, and the MEGA darts that it fires are equally big. If you've ever wanted to look like an ultimate badass swinging around a giant handheld Nerf blaster, this is your new go-to choice.
N-Strike Elite Accustrike
Accustrike is Nerf's latest invention, using a brand new dart that flies straighter and further and more consistently than anything else Nerf has made. Your blaster of choice for Accustrike at the moment is the N-Strike Elite Alphahawk: it's a revolving Nerf Blaster with a 5-dart drum and a bolt action that makes it easy to reload with one hand. The Accustrike's drum can be reloaded easily with a hinge that pops it out of the side of the blaster.
You can also buy Accustrike darts separately, so if you manage to lose them all you can re-stock and head out again. If you're hard up for some ammunition, then regular N-Strike Elite darts or other micro darts will work in the Alphahawk, but you lose that excellent accuracy boost that the Accustrike darts bring.
Zombie Strike and Doomlands
Looking like something you'd expect to find lying around at the end of the world, Nerf's Doomlands and Zombie Strike blasters are battle-worn, but ever-reliable. They use the same micro dart size as most other Nerf blasters except the MEGA line, but you get those darts in some nifty new colours: green for zombies, orange for Doomlands.
In Australia, the Zombie Strike Outbreaker is your bow of choice. It's a crossbow, and you'd be hard pressed to tell us that it's not heavily inspired by Darrel's dart-blaster in The Walking Dead. Like other Nerf bows, you draw the string back to cock the blaster before pulling the trigger to send off a hail of foam. The Outbreaker has a 5-dart rotating drum that it fires from, so you don't have to reload each time. If you want to throw out more darts in a row, though, the Zombie Strike Flipfury has two revolving drums; when you've emptied one, you can just rotate the other into place and have more darts ready to go even while you're reloading.
In another kind of post-apocalyptic wasteland, Nerf's Doomlands blasters trade the zombie green for a more orange, fire-burnt and dust-covered look. In Australia we get three different Doomlands toys to muck around with and blast away at friends with; there's the Persuader, which has a hammer action so you can cock it like a six-shooter revolver, but if you need more rounds you'll want the 8-dart Negotiator. Of course, nothing can stand up to the twin clips and 24-round capacity of the Double Dealer, which also has slam fire so you can just hold down the trigger as you blast away until it's dry.
Modulus is one of Nerf's most recent variants. The concept is to give you the option to customise your own blaster with different accessories and add-ons for different missions. The little Modulus Recon Mk II, for example, can be transformed from a humble, almost pocketable blaster into a long-range dart-spitting machine once you add a long-range barrel, a scope and change out the stock for something even beefier. And you've also got the Ionfire, too, which can take all of the same alterations.
The big appeal of Modulus is the number of accessories you can hook up to your brand new blaster. There's a tactical LED light that can be clipped onto any of the Nerf accessory rails that Modulus toys are covered in, as well as a more focused targeting light beam. If you're feeling especially trigger-happy, you can also buy an extra standalone grip blaster that'll hook on to the front of your Modulus and fire off two extra rounds. And then there are kits you can buy to add long-distance barrels, scopes and other goodies to change the look of your blaster.
The big daddy of the Modulus line-up at the moment, though, is the Tri-Strike. The Tri-Strike offers 3 ways to play. It fires 10 regular Elite darts from its included clip, but it also has space for you to store and blast off four MEGA darts at the same time. And then, up top, there's a massive foam missile launcher that you launch by pumping the stock. And, if you're playing with a friend, you can take that missile section off completely to build a second toy from the one bolt action blaster.