While NERF is often the name most synonymous with foam dart blasters and water blasters, there are several different types of blaster toys that girls, boys, and young children may enjoy playing with, both inside or outside the home. While some older children and even adults enjoy playing against peers and may even participate in more organized games and activities at parties, some children will enjoy playing with them by themselves perfecting their accuracy during target practice. Each type of... toy blaster has unique features that will allow children to choose and personalize their blaster collection based on performance, color, type of ammunition, size, and distance. Blasters are quite popular amongst children in the tween (pre-teen) and teenage years. Certainly be sure to exercise supervision and provide eye protection when allowing your children to utilize these types of toys. Set up clear rules regarding not aiming directly at a person's face, create safe "no fly" zones, and any other house rules.
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NERF Rebelle is targeted more towards girls, given its stylish pink and purple designs and inclusion of collectible foam darts. NERF Rebelle blasters features bows and cross bows. Given the cool factor of these designs, even with their girly appeal, boys looking to enhance their NERF arsenal won't be able to resist experimenting with these bows.
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NERF Elite performance blasters were designed to shoot foam darts much further distances than the original NERF darts. Blasters in this line can be recognized by either their royal blue and orange, or red and orange colors. The red and orange darts are larger and called MEGA darts which whistle when fired and reach distances of 100 feet.
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BoomCo blasters from Mattel are the newest toys in the blaster category. These plastic darts have a sticky tip that allows them to adhere to special targets, which are included in the purchase of the blaster. For kids playing against peers, the blasters also include a pop-up shield that can trap darts, and help players re-load. Using only air powered action and no batteries, the Rapid Madness blaster can launch a dozen darts within several seconds at distances up to 20 yards. Read more about Boom...Co blasters here.
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Tek Recon blasters are for more advanced players. These blasters with triggers and recoiling action shoot their own special kind of re-usable ammunition, NRG Rounds, up to 75 feet. Tek Recon blasters include a special holder for an iOS device or Android phone so participants can load the app and play against peers, while shooting their blaster and own ammunition. These blasters are a great toy for teenagers, read more about Tek Recon here.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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NERF Zombie Strike
For players who enjoy a little more imaginative play, and boys who enjoy the look of the Rebelle bows, they may want to consider Zombie Strike. These blasters include light up blasters, zombie targets and feature glow in the dark ammunition for play at dusk.
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Zing ToysWhile toys from Zing aren't traditional foam blasters, they include slingshots, bows, crossbows, that send suction cup, whistling darts and arrows towards targets 100 feet way.
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Koosh Ball BlastersFor young children ages 4 and up, with an interest in blaster play or who have older siblings that are blaster fanatics, these toys are a safer entry point given that they have a simple action mechanism and instead of darts launch small foam balls. Some of the foam balls feature Angry Birds Star Wars characters, while others can also glow in the dark.
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Children place small beads into water, then as the bead expands within a few hours it grows into a round jelly like ammunition. When fired, the ammunition will explode, but can be easily cleaned and vacuumed up. Select-a-shot blasters allow kids to determine whether they will launch 1, 2, or 3 rounds simultaneously, while Night Fighterz blasters and ammo glow in the dark. Xploderz ammo can reportedly travel up to 100 feet.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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NERF Vortex toys arrive in different sizes and can be identified by their lime green and orange blasters with green and orange foam disc ammunition.
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NERF N-Strike Dart Tag
These traditional foam dart blasters come in different varieties that when fired allow them to whistle, and glow in the dark. Many also include a velcro tip that allows them attach to clothing and targets during game play. There are a variety of NERF toy accessories that include additional ammunition packages, vests, and protective eyewear.