Post The Walking Dead, power fantasies focusing on sweatily hunting down the undead with a crossbow in hand have increased by 438%.
This is a statistic I invented for the purposes of this introduction, but the point still stands: thanks to Norman Reedus and his penchant for lodging bolts in the brains of the undead, crossbows are pretty cool right now.
NERF's timing on this couldn't be better, with the recent release of the ZombieStrike Dreadbolt, which is basically Norman Reed: The Nerf Blaster.
What is the Nerf ZombieStrike Dreadbolt?
Well, it's pretty self evident. The ZombieStrike Dreadbolt is a Nerf device that looks and performs like a crossbow.
It's shaped like your typical crossbow for starters, and comes with a detachable scope (which doesn't magnify, but definitely looks the part. There's a priming lever at the bottom which serves to draw the release mechanism back and you can then load up the arrows from a super cool storage section on top of the crossbow itself before loading and firing at will. The ZombieStrike Dreadbolt comes with five weighty arrows.
The zombies won't know what hit them.
(Actually zombies don't know anything, they're just mindless lumps of decaying flesh, but you get my point.)
What's It Like?
Well it's fun for starters.
Part of the fun is the simple fact you're rocking this oversized plastic crossbow -- there's that fantasy element. A couple of months back a large majority of the Gizmodo team went to Zedtown -- a massive large scale real-life event with Nerf blasters and zombies. It's awesome. I kinda wish I could go back in time with the ZombieStrike Dreadbolt and flat out Norman Reedus my way through the hordes.
(Actually, I just checked, there's a new Zedtown event in Sydney this December. Interesting...)
There's a charming clunkiness to the whole procedure. You pull the lever back, you load the arrow, you fire. It's not as fast or as automated as some of other Nerf products, but that's not the point. The point here is the tension... the time between the shots. I'm imagining a zombie charging me down in the woods, me fumbling at this arrow, trying to get everything ready in time and then BLAM! I've launched this meaty dart at the zombie in pursuit JUST IN TIME.
That's the fun of the ZombieStrike Dreadbolt -- it's a visceral, weighty experience. Perhaps the best part is the noise the arrows make as they whistle through the air. It's a full-blown experience to load and fire these things.
The Nerf ZombieStrike Dreadbolt is available in stores now and retails for $89.99.