Gaming 310

Published on February 21st, 2009 | by Greg


Nerf’s Massive Attack- Fun with Plastics

Anyone who grew up in the 80’s or later knows Nerf- makers of fun toys galore, but normally the sort of thing you grow out of after college (if not before). Not us though- we decided to bring back the glory days of “Cops and Robbers”, haul out some nostalgia, and see how Nerf toys have changed.

The good news, boys and girls, is that they’ve grown along with us. Witness the Nerf N-Strike Vulcan, a gun sure to bring a smile to pretty much anyone who can appreciate a comically oversized, bright orange beast of a weapon. This isn’t the dart gun from your childhood- this beast features chain-belt loading and even, gasp, battery-operated automatic fire. If that weren’t enough, how about a tripod mount, handy when the gun is larger than many children.

With 25 included darts, and the ability to shoot them all in about ten seconds, the gun is a bit excessive. And that’s part of the fun- like the not-included and untested accessories for the N-strike ‘tactical rail system’ which allow you to mount a light among other items. A range of about 20-30 feet is enough, with decent accuracy, and the darts are soft enough to be harmless yet strike satisfyingly at a target.

But your childhood nostalgia can’t cover up several flaws- the darts lack the suction cups you might have enjoyed, and the gun is pretty heavy and unwieldy. Worse, the gun tends to jam- fixable but annoying. And worst of all, the above problems are greatly exacerbated if you try to use the automatic fire system… which requires 6 D batteries!! The gun’s heft and weight, and the jamming issues, get much worse when you add the batteries (which aren’t included)… but the auto-fire is much of the fun.

For $50, it’s extremely reasonably priced for what you get, and available in stores and online. You can’t run and gun, but you can have pretty intense office wars- perfect for a Nerf gun that seems aimed at adults. Now, if we can just hack it to run off of USB

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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