When you think about Nerf you don't think about cars. You just don't.
You think about chasing your buddy down with a blaster and having a good old time.
But it seems like Nerf has had a bit of a lightbulb moment. What if, instead of darts, we decided to launch ACTUAL foam cars at things.
The NEW Nerf NITRO sets combine the thrill of speed, jumps and awesome tricks to create play and creativity, that combines the power and performance of Nerf.
You can just imagine the pitch. Confused faces in the board room. Hands on chins, eyes narrowing.
"Wait guys, stay with me here instead of darts... what if we had foam cars?"
You understand why — in this hypothetical situation with this hypothetical conversation — people might be confused. I certainly was when I ripped the Nerf Nitro box open. Where are the patented Nerf 'darts'? Why are there foam cars here? Why is there a ramp?
Then the realisation:
"Wait, am I supposed to use this thing to blast these foam cars?"
So I did it. I loaded the car into the blaster and pulled back the reload thingy. I did so with a confused look on my face. Also: expectation.
What the hell was going to happen when I pulled the trigger? How fast is this thing gonna go?
The answer was 'pretty fast'. The Nerf Nitro foam cars are heavier than darts (obviously) but they still launch at a fair old trajectory. Still, there was something missing.
That's when I spotted the ramp.
The ramp was just an unassuming piece of plastic when I first tore open the Nerf Nitro box. I didn't understand its purpose or care to investigate, but after launching foam cars into the air for ten straight minutes, I started to get curious.
A ramp you say...
Yes. The ramp is awesome. You might say it 'ramps' the Nerf Nitro experience up a notch, but I'd rather you didn't because puns are terrible and you're terrible. We're all terrible really.
But a Nerf blaster, with a foam car and a ramp isn't terrible. On the contrary it's a beautiful thing that elevates the Nerf Nitro experience.
It was a real moment. I finally understood the design. The blaster itself is designed in such a way to allow users to point the foam car at flat surface and when you launch towards the ramp, the effect is awesome. It genuinely does a fully sick jump.
Unlike other Nerf products, which I feel have to be enjoyed with other people in an all out Nerf battle, this is a toy I quietly had fun with all alone. The kind of thing I turned to at my desk when procrastinating.
Nerf is releasing a lot of products that launch foam cars. A lot. The Nerf Nitro Throttleshot Blitz ($19.99) is the cheapest option. The Nerf Nitro Flashfury Chaos pack ($49.99) has a multi-fire option (three cars in a row, whooo!). The Nerf Nitro Longshot ($39.99) allows for more long distance stunts, which is fun if you want to try out more precise Nerf foam car blasting.
All of them have that 'what's possible' angle. My four-year-old son and I had a good old time finding things for the foam cars to leap over. We also had fun blasting it at the ceiling over and over. Father of the year material right here.
There are numerous toys out there in the 'launch cars at things' market, but the awesome thing about Nerf Nitro set is how malleable the experience is. It's a portable version of those toys that fire cars around tracks. Essentially the world is your track and there's a level of creativity at play: what am I gonna do with this thing? Where am I gonna launch these cars?
It's hardly what you'd expect from a Nerf product but, once you get over that initial layer of confusion, this thing is a lot of fun.