Oh, the NERF!

Written By Lingkar Dunia on Sunday, October 16, 2011 | 9:42 PM

This article appeared in newman , August 2011.

Oh, the NERF

We relive our childhood days of war in the playground as we step into a new battlefield armed with� a NERF gun. Did someone say, �shoot that geek!�? � Kenn Leandre; Photographs courtesy of @bugbitesandco

(guess who's who?)

Those who grew up playing Cowboys and Indians or Cops and Robbers will probably remember the brown-orange-blue gun which requires you crank the lever several times to compress air, before shooting out a cork-like bullet tied to a string. It was fun, the memories of shouting �rat-tat-tat-tat-tat!� during make believe scenarios on the playground.

Now that we�ve grown up, perhaps playgrounds and mock wars aren�t our thing any more but we are certainly wiser and more able to understand the physics behind compressed air and what it can do for toy guns. And because it�s a well-known fact that inside every grown man is a little boy, famous toy makers Hasbro is gunning for a NERF revival.

NERF blasters are toy guns that shoot foam �bullets� i.e. a ball, arrow or dart using the physics of compressed air. Each �bullet� has various types of tips such as Velcro or suction cups designed to stick on specific surfaces. And NERF guns also come with a variety of reload mechanisms. A rudimentary census indicates that the clip ammo is favoured but the belted ammo is also quite a sight to behold.

Auto, semi-auto or pump action? The choice is yours. Mine was the semi-auto Stampede CCS that stores up to 60 darts at one go. Yes, I�m an assault rifle kinda guy.

According to one of the participants at our �play-test� session, @bumilangit, NERF guns provide �a suitable avenue for parents to join in on the fun, reliving their childhood with their own children, and playing with �guns� without risking injury all while being in the great outdoors.�

Another, @the88thKaiser laughs and says, �The only downside is having to pick up the darts once your clip is empty!�

Better than kids spending their days swiping fingers across a Gorilla Glass screen we say. But are NERF guns cool? Some might say that NERF is a step down from paintball. Okay, paintball is more �military� by nature, the next best thing to actual combat. On the other hand, NERF is more of a family-oriented activity seeing as you do not need elaborate gear for protection. And just because it lacks that risk-of-injury factor, and just because it�s one letter away from a synonym of �geek� doesn�t mean it�s boring.

Trying to avoid flying Velcro-ed darts may not compare to get painfully splattered by a ball of paint, but it still invokes that survival instinct in all of us and is quite an adrenaline rush. Which probably explains why most NERF guns are brightly coloured and look toy-ish (well, they are toys after all), but if you want to butch up your blaster so you can at least look reasonably cool walking around with it, Outpost Toys offers customisation services so that you can transform your yellow/orange gun to look like that of, say, Ridley�s blaster from Aliens.

NERF guns are now available in Malaysia from as low as RM9. For more info, www.hasbro.com/NERF or www.outpostmalaysia.blogspot.com OR just buzz Richard Chua


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