Game Review: NERF

by Julia DeKorte | 30 Nov 2023

Book Reviews

NERF Review



One of the best things about Nerf is that gameplay is up to the players! Nerf carries mostly foam-based weaponry like water guns and dart guns, but also has a bunch of balls for sports like football, basketball, and baseball. While the toy isn’t limited to just kids, they are the primary audience for the toys, and many children grow up having Nerf wars with friends, running all around the house shooting foam darts at one another, creating forts and walls to hide behind, and launching all-out wars. Because the darts are made of foam, they won’t do any damage to walls or break anything! And during summertime, the fun can be taken outdoors with water guns and Super Soakers!



In 1969, Reyn Guyer, a game inventor, and Minnesota Vikings kicker Fred Cox brought their genius idea—a football game that was safe for indoor play—to Parker Brothers. The toy company decided to eliminate everything but the foam ball, and in 1970, the Nerf ball was introduced as “the world’s first official indoor ball,” and soon the name Nerf became synonymous for the foam padding it’s made of. By the end of the year, more than 4 million Nerf balls had been sold. Shortly after, the Super Nerf Ball came out, which was simply a larger version of the regular Nerf ball, and then Nerfoop and Nerf football followed, basketball and football games.


After a while, Nerf was handed over to Kenner Products, which was then bought by Tonka Corporation, which was purchased by Hasbro, who owns Nerf now.


The first dart gun came out in 1992, and new and updated versions of the guns have been coming out ever since. Though they were originally owned and marketed by Larami, Super Soaker now falls under the Nerf brand, and are a great success.



Different Nerf products include:

  • Nerf Blasters: toy plastic guns that shoot foam darts. The darts are Velcro-tipped in order to stick to Nerf vests, though others have suction cups on the end, and others just have rubber caps
  • Rebelle: a line of Nerf guns marketed towards girls
  • Zombie Strike: blasters with zombie apocalypse themes
  • Rival: these blasters fire small foam balls (“High Impact Rounds”)
  • Nitro: These blasters fire small foam cars into obstacles
  • Ultra: the farthest flying darts ever!
  • Super soaker: water guns!
  • Lazer Tag: the current generation of Lazer Tag blasters attach to iPhones for enhanced playability
  • Nerf Dog: a line of Nerf toys for our four-legged friends!

Nerf also released a series of video games:

  • Nerf Arena Blast
  • Nerf N-Strike
  • Nerf N-Strike Elite
  • Nerf Arcade Game
  • Nerf Legends
  • Nerf Strike
  • NERF Ultimate champions


Reception & Awards

In 2011, the Nerf N-Stampede was awarded the Boy Toy of the Year. The Nerf Super Soaker Shot Blast won Outdoor Toy of the Year at the 11th Annual Toy of the Year Awards. In 2014, Nerf Zombie Strike Crossfire Bow won Best Action Toy a the UK Toy Fair. And most excitingly, just this year in 2023, Nerf was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.


For more information about Nerf, visit it's company POP profile, or Reyn Guyer's POP Profile.

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