We've always been big fans of Nerf blasters here on Pocket-lint, and never shy away from the opportunity to shoot one or another in the floppy bits with a well-aimed projectile. However, it's been literally hit or miss over the years, as to guarantee a direct strike with a foam dart you need to be pretty close to the target - sometimes within punching distance.
So, can you imagine our joy when we saw the new Nerf Vortex range at the Hasbro Christmas in July event? The blasters (can't call them guns - there's kids around) look similar to traditional fare, but the ammo is very different indeed. And each shot flies... My lord do they fly.
That's because, with the Vortex range, the Nerf foam darts have been replaced with sturdy foam discs. Think mini soft(ish) frisbees and you can see where we're coming from.
Or rather, you may not. The new discs fly so accurately and far, you could be hit by one without seeing the assailant. Finally, Nerf has become a safe form of paintballing. And we applaud it.
The big boss of the range, the Nerf Vortex Nitron, is a mighty beast of a blaster. It's got a light-up tracking scope, a removable ammo clip that houses 20 of the new discs, and is powered so you can shoot them out at a fair rate of knots. And the distance it can fire over is huge, as we found out when editor Stuart shot an unwitting Linter across a good 20-30 feet.
It'll set you back around £45, but is essential if you're planning a Nerf battle. Your opponents will run screaming.
At £25, the Nerf Vortex Praxis is the pump-action shotgun of the series, with a removable shoulder butt and similarly separate clip. However, you'll have to manually pump each disc into the chamber for firing.
The Nerf Vortex Vigilon, expected to retail for £18, is a hand held automatic pistol. It features a built-in ammo clip that stores five discs and looks very Doom-esque (in our humble opinion).
Finally, the Nerf Vortex Proton will retail for around £13 and is a simple single-handed blaster that requires manual reloading. It comes with three discs, but we discovered during our hands-on that you can fire two shots at the same time.
The entire range is expected to hit toy stores both high street and online around September time.