This week was Toy Fair 2016, the annual trade show that slightly belatedly kicks off every year in the world of toys, action figures, and other things you are too old for but want to play with anyway. Announcements of new blasters in Nerf's 2016 lineup have been dripping , but at Toy Fair many of them were on full display for the first time, and Seniorhelpline took advantage of the chance to fling some foam.
Nerf's 2016 line includes over a dozen blasters, but a few caught or attention in particular. We broke the news of Nerf's new Double-Dealer right here last month, but an in-person look at the blaster revealed some extra cool bits that we didn't see before. Not only does the Double-Dealer come with two removable, horizontal magazines that feed into its twin-firing barrels, but it also has room to store two extra ones inside its stock. So even when you're popping off two darts with each trigger pull (which is awesome in person) you can pack an arsenal's worth of ammo.
Also on display was the new N-Strike Elite Hyper-Fire Blaster, a drum-fed automatic rifle that Nerf is billing as its fastest dart gun yet. The official word on rate of fire is an impressive five darts-per-second, and while I can't count that fast, I can confirm it fires at least as fast and probably faster than any unmodified Nerf dart gun I've ever seen. It can churn through that 25-dart drum in a blink.
But the real stars of Nerf's new line—and the blasters I was personally most stoked to fire—are the new guns in the Rival line, Hasbro's new line of blastersthat shoot foam balls with muzzle velocities of up to 70 mph.
The first and perhaps most overkill is the Nerf Rival Khaos MXVI-4000. It's a mouthful, but all you really need to know is that it is a fully-automatic machine gun that can fire a steady, intimidating stream of yellow balls from its comically large but mercifully high-capacity 40 round clip. Here it is in action:
Precocious modders have already replicated this kind of ball-hose action by modifying Nerf's previous, semi-automatic Rival guns to be full auto, and outfitting them with DIY ammo hoppers, but the Khaos will be great for anyone who doesn't want to tinker. The bonkers magazine has springs that can be temporary locked down during reloading so that you can effortlessly drop balls in and ergonomics and size are just right.
Plenty of Nerf guns have little baby stocks that are basically useless, but the butt of the Khaos tucked into my shoulder beautifully—which is a good thing considering that this rifle and its six internal D batteries are heavy. But once I shouldered it, that all went away and I was able to just gaze down the (plastic) iron sights, hold down the trigger, and savor the puck-puck-puck of fully automatic fire.
And to round out the Rival's line—which already features a pull-to-prime spring-powered blaster, a flywheel powered semi-automatic, and the aforementioned machine gun—is the Rival Atlas, a pump-action, spring-powered shotgun. Don't expect too much of a spread, the Atlas only fires two balls at a time, but its pump-action form factor makes it the easiest non-automatic Rival blaster to prime and fire.
Before you get yourself too revved up, these blasters (and about a half-dozen others including and ) won't actually make it to store shelves until this fall. And when they do, the most serious ones like that full-auto Rival Khaos will cost you a cool $70 plus the cost of batteries to run it.
Still, if you're game to up the ante in your basement or office wars by bringing full-auto and shotgun-style blasters into the fray, there's never been a better time to do it. Just make sure you have enough darts (and balls) to go around.