Toys / NERF Brand

A type of toy that shoots or is made of foam or a foam-like material. Originally developed by the Parker Brothers, it started as a 4-inch polyurethane ball, it was marketed as the "world's first indoor ball." "Throw it indoors; you can't damage lamps or break windows. You can't hurt babies or old people." Eventually, the company switched to Kenner and then to Hasbro through the acquisition of the Tonka Corporation. Besides creating NERF balls and blasters, in recent years, NERF has focused on life-like replicas (well, semi-realistic, but you get the point), such as the Vulcan, a chain gun replica which shoots automatically; the Longshot, a gun modeled after a sniper rifle note , and the N-Strike Raider CS-35, which uses a 35-round drum magazine.

The brand's association for safe play from normally dangerous things means the brand is the Trope Namer for the gaming terms Nerf and Nerf Arm. The toys are sometimes used in kids' shows as stand-ins for real guns.

On the VH-1 special I Love Toys, Nerf was ranked the #23 toy out of 100. They've occasionally made special controllers for video games, as well as three games of their own: Nerf N-Strike (a Wii lightgun shooter game, bundled with the Switch Shot EX-3), Nerf N-Strike Elite bundled with a slightly updated version of the aforementioned Switch Shot, and Nerf Arena Blast (an Unreal Tournament reskinnote ). Nerf guns are also used in the live-action tag game Humans vs. Zombies.

An improved N-Strike Elite series of blasters now exists, which feature improved plunger mechanisms and lighter streamlined darts, all in blue. A white, pink, and purple variant line of Nerf Blasters, the Rebelle series, is also in the works and aimed at drawing in female Nerf fans. Another subline, the Zombie Strike series, has a Zombie Apocalypse theme and appears to be marketed at the Humans vs. Zombies Nerf fandom.

Later, Nerf and Super Soaker finally realized they're under the same brand and joined forces, producing a new range of Super Soakers compatible with Nerf tactical rail accessories. Fun will be had! A toyline of Disc Launchers, the Vortex line of blasters, have also been released. They're notable for having nearly twice the range of normal darts, though they go slower and can easily curve if the blaster is tilted slightly.

It is sometimes joked that NERF stands for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam, though company officials have denied this claim.

Check out the Useful Notes page for more information on some of the blasters.

The various Nerf toys provide examples of the following tropes:

  • After the End: the DoomLands 2169 line's theme is set after a massive asteroid impact.
  • An Axe to Grind: The N-Force Warlock
  • Awesome, but Impractical: A lot of the accessories, and some of the cooler guns. But they're toys, dammit.
  • BFG - Specific mention goes to the Longstrike CS-6 (one whole inch longer than the Longshot), the Vulcan EBF-25 (biggest full-auto blaster, with 25-round ammo-belt), and the Unity Power System (the main body of which is advertised as a missile launcher). The Titan rocket launcher (which is part of the Unity Power System) and Big Bad Bow are also pretty sizeable. Later guns use a "Tactical Rails System", which basically means you can mix and match their parts to create even larger guns. Especially prominent in this category is the aforementioned Titan; In addition to already being huge, the Titan ITSELF can function as a Tactical Rail accessory. This can effectively transform any user into the Nerf version of a Walking Armory. The Rhino-Fire is basically a Vulcan that uses two 25 dart drums in place of a belt.
    • The N-Strike Elite Mega Centurion, an anti-materiel rifle blaster released in August 2013, surpasses the Longshot and Longstrike with its massive 150-plus cm body length from stock to barrel, its usage of a new kind of Elite Mega Dart, and its long, long plunger draw.
    • The N-Strike Elite Mega Mastodon, a revolving automatic blaster released in August 2016, surpasses the Vulcan with its 24 MEGA dart drum, it's also the first automatic MEGA blaster ever released. Calling it a BFG would be an Understatement.
  • Bayonet Ya: Attaching N-Force weapons to blasters wasn't uncommon for modders. Eventually, the Modulus Close Combat Upgrade Kit includes a rail blade that can be attached to your blaster or used on it's own, similar to a hilted bayonet. The Perpetual Play Group's Chainsaw in the Zombie Strike Z.E.D. Squad line takes it to Gears of War levels as it can be attached to a blaster via a similar rail.
  • BFS: The N-Force Marauder
  • Bifurcated Weapon:
    • The Longshot, along with some much older guns, can be split into two smaller guns.
    • Played straight and inverted with the Unity Power System. The complete unit consists of the Titan rocket launcher; the Hornet, a six-shot blaster; and the Scout Blaster, with one standard shot. The inversion comes from the Scout Blaster's design: the attachment to the rocket launcher is done via Tactical Rail, allowing almost any other gun in the N-Strike line to attach to the Titan in its place.
    • The Strikefire Dart Tag blaster has an inverted Tactical Rail socket that lets it mount as an Tactical Rail Accessory. Fancy integrating spare 1-shot blasters above- and below-barrel on your bigger blasters?
    • The Vendetta sword.
    • The Modulus system blaster is designed to have lots of swappable parts, most notably the Strike & Defend Upgrade Kit's stock that has a Jolt-like one-shot blaster built in. The later Tri-Strike has a stock-operated missile launcher which the tactical rail portion can be taken and inserted into the stock itself to make it a standalone blaster.
    • The Splitstrike is two blasters that combine into one. Each can fire two shots, and hooks on the bottom of the grip of one can be used to prime the other.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: Done by carrying the Big Bad Bow, Blazin' Bow, Heartbreaker Bow, Agent Bow, MEGA Thunderbow, Crossfire Bow, Crossbolt, Guardian Crossbow or Codebreaker Bow with any of the N-Force sword weapons.
  • Breakable Weapons: The mechanism used to shoot these weapons is often quite easy to break:
    • The Centurion seems to suffer faults of frequent jamming and even breaking due to its complex internals and the MEGA darts that are loaded can be damaged when these jams occur. This seems to stem from the fact that the breech is pushed forward when the plunger bolt is pulled all the way back, meaning improperly aligned darts (or worse, darts damaged by these jams) can jam when you pull the bolt back.
    • N-Force weapons do have their paint wear down and foam chip off from use (usually by swinging and hitting things). At the worst, striking something too hard can cause the plastic shaft in most swords to break.
  • Briefcase Blaster:
    • The Deploy CS-6, which can be folded down to half of its full size, and sprung open again with the push of a button. Perfect for surprise attacks. And by "Surprise" we mean it's still bright yellow and looks like a folded up Nerf gun.
    • The Rebelle Secret Shot looks like a handbag when folded up. It does its job much better than the Deploy, as far as disguising itself.
  • Chainsaw Grip BFG: The Vulcan EBF-25, Hailfire, Rhino-Fire, Mastodon and Brainsaw. In the Hailfire's case, the grip is pushed forward to advance to the next clip on the carousel while in the Brainsaw's case, it's literally a chainsaw integrated with the Roughcut style blaster.
  • Charged Attack: Many air powered blasters depend on how full the air bladder or reservoir is when firing such as the Titan AS-V.1 with how far a missile can go or the Rapid Fire AS-20 that determines how fast you fire the darts loaded into it, the Titan in particular having a convenient meter that tells how charged it is. A more odd example could be blasters that depend on how hard you slam the mechanism to fire such as the launchers found on the Demolisher, Thunderblast and either the Tri-Strike's stock operated missile launcher or front operated MEGA dart blaster. Flywheel blasters also count in that firing too fast will bog down the motors, giving you reduced ranges unless you allow the flywheels to rev up completely, fully-automatic flywheel blasters such as the Rapidstrike, Hyperfire and MEGA Mastodon boosts the power of the flywheels when firing to compensate.
  • Cherry Tapping: The Atom Blaster: fires balls with abysmal range (5 feet, 10 if you're lucky) and velocity - and it's considered one of the most humiliating ways of being eliminated in a Nerf war.
  • Colony Drop: What starts the "story" of the DoomLands 2169 line.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Several guns come in store-exclusive, extremely-rare variant colors, making it easier to tell apart ownership, or even teams in battle. Also a pastime of customizers.
    • Taken to an extreme with the "Clear Series" blasters; it's exactly what you think it is.
    • The Sonic Series uses a similar idea to the Clear, but in neon green.
    • The Gear Up line is going with orange recolors, while the Vortex series is going with a more militaristic camo-green.
    • Walmart, around mid-August 2011, is the exclusive carrier of the Whiteout line.
    • The 2012 N-Strike Elite series is in blue with some minor gray/white highlights to accentuate the bright orange trimmings, rather like the regular Longstrike's shell.
    • The Rebelle blasters aimed at female Nerf fans are white, pink, and purple.
  • Cool Guns:
    • In a manner of speaking. The Vulcan is a belt-fed man-portable machine gun, the Longshot and Longstrike are sniper rifles, the Stampede is a carbine, the Maverick and Spectre are single-action revolvers, the Snapfire is a double-action revolver, the Rayven is a semi-automatic bullpup blaster, the Alpha Trooper, Rampage, and Raider are slam-fire shotguns, the Barrel Break is a sawn-off... yep, they're all cool in their own ways.
    • The 2013 N-Strike Elite Rapidstrike CS-18 resembles a Pulse Rifle.
  • Cool Sword: Nerf also makes swords, although they tend not to be as fancy as the guns. There is probably more than one bayonet rifle mod out there somewhere using these swords.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: The Zombie Strike Doominator and the DoomLands 2169 line.
  • Double Weapon: The N-Force Vendetta
  • Emergency Weapon:
    • The Secret Strike is a teensy one-shot gun that clips onto your belt, with a secret shot compartment in the handle, a la James Bond.
    • And the Nerf Reflex, which is pretty much the brand's Derringer pistol.
    • And the built-in detachable one-shot pistol on the nose of the Longshot.
    • The 2012 N-Strike Jolt joins the ranks of ultra-compact pistol blasters, being much slimmer than the Reflex, and barely bigger than the Secret Strike. However, the Jolt can shoot an actually respectable distance. The only problem is low accuracy and surprising recoil.
    • The Modulus Strike & Defend Stock Blaster is basically a Jolt built into a detachable shoulder stock, for when your clip runs out.
    • The Modulus Grip Blaster is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a two-shot Jolt-like blaster that's mounted onto a rail and held as a grip similar to the Longshot's barrel attached blaster.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies:
    • Nerf blasters are the weapon of choice in the live-action game Humans vs. Zombies.
    • And now there's the Zombie Strike subline, exclusive to Target in the US.
    • The Z.E.D.-Squad subprint is a series of melee weapons that tie into the Zombie Strike line.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
    • The N-Strike models are all given alphanumeric deignations, the numeric part of which explains how many darts the gun can hold (Firefly REV-8, Recon/Longshot CS-6, Vulcan EBF-25, etc.) and the letters tell you how it holds darts. (CS = Clip System, REV = Revolver, EBF = Electronic Belt Fed).
    • The Modulus Stock Blaster is a stock with a blaster built in. Same with the Grip Blaster.
  • Fan Convention: The dealers' room of the role-playing convention GenCon was once the scene of a massive Nerf battle between employees of TSR and several competing game companies.
  • Firing One-Handed: Most of the smaller handgun-like blasters can be fired one handed easily due to their lack of weight and recoil compared to their real counterparts, even the CycloneShock, but priming them still requires both hands, in most cases it's best to have your offhand on the priming slide instead of using a Weaver-hold. Blasters like the HammerShot and Lawbringer can be fired one-handed with their single-action hammer prime or even the Zombie Strike Slingfire, befitting it's name, can use a slinging action to prime and fire the blaster one-handed.
  • Flare Gun: The MEGA Bigshock is an up-scaled Jolt which fires Mega Darts, which whistles in a high velocity, point it to the sky and fire it when you want to call for a help.
  • Flechette Storm: Many of the air-powered full-auto guns approach this.
  • Foreshadowing: The notes on the back of the Zombie Strike SledgeFire's box says "Next Build: for one-handed blasting", cue the Hammershot that does just that.
  • Gatling Good: Seriously, a Nerf chain gun.
  • Guilty Pleasure: The blasters are so cool, but they're for kids, but they're so cool...
    • It's curious to note that, while marketed at children, the guns themselves are clearly designed with adult hand sizes in mind. Even more so, some of the blasters are just way too big for a child to hold, many of the MEGA blasters such as the Centurion, Thunderbow and Mastodon stand out. The Rival line seems marketed more toward teenagers and young adults with a competitive theme more akin to Airsoft and paintball (to the point the Rival section on the official website asks you to confirm your age).
  • Gun Accessories:
    • Lots of them. Some guns come packed with shoulder stocks, laser dot sights and target reticules, then there's Tactical Rail hardware, quick-flip magazine clamps for faster reloads, ammo bandoliers, Tactical Vests, 35-dart (and 18-dart) drum magazines, and the Vulcan's (as well as the Stampede's) tripod(s). The Barrel Break IX-2 even has a shotgun-type dart rack for holding ammo, and the Stampede also has a mountable ballistic shield. Most coincidentally, real RIS accessories can be mounted on Nerf Tactical Rails with a minimum of blaster modding/sanding down. By far the most impressive is the Recon, which comes with a full set of red-light sights, barrel extension, and stock, much like a SOPMOD kit for actual assault rifles and submachine guns.
    • The CS-18 Rayven not only accepts tac-rail accessories and barrel extensions, it even comes with an all-new 18-dart magazine that can "charge up" glow-in-the-dark darts.
    • As a case of recursive mod-friendliness, some of the accessories themselves have more tactical rail mounts. Some notable ones include the Longstrike and Recon barrel extensions, the red-light scopes that come with said Recons, and even the two scopes that are part of the Elements EX-6 gift kit. Scope, on top of Scope, on top of Scope.
    • The closely-related Super Soaker water blasters of the latest product line possess Tactical Rails, as do the new Vortex disc blasters. The Nitron even has an all-new scope, all the better to take aim with.
    • The 2012 N-Strike Elite blasters feature magazines that are translucent on one side, allowing spectators and left-handed users to see the ammo inside. The Elite Retaliator expands on the Recon's SOPMOD kit style with an improved stock, a larger 12-dart extended magazine, and an assault grip attachment for the barrel extension.
    • The Modulus has a line of accessories and blasters designed to compliment eachother, with stocks, foregrips, scopes, and barrel extentions. Several of these have attachment points for more accessories.
  • Guns Akimbo:
    • The Barricade is a semi-automatic revolver. You just know that people are going to buy two and use this to the max.
    • Strong people have also done this with a pair of Vulcans or Stampedes, the Nerf version of dual-wielding chainguns or assault rifles.
    • The new Rayven CS-18 lends itself well to this trope as well, given its electrical flywheel and it's relatively compact, bullpup design.
    • The Barricade has been retooled for the Elite series as the Stockade. It shoots further and holds an extra cylinder's worth of darts in the stock. All this does is make it more practical to duel wield.
    • The Elite series Stryfe is also semi-auto, but uses clips instead of dedicated revolver chambers like the Barricade and Stockade. Combine two of these with 18 or 36 dart drums, and you'd make even the surliest Ork shed a single tear of pride.
    • The REV-6 Maverick, a manual revolver-style blaster with a slide, can be dual-wielded by tying a string between the slides of two Mavericks and pulling them away from each other to re-cock. It can also be done by holding one gun upside-down, placing the slides against each other, and pushing in opposite directions.
    • The Rapidstrike is lighter than the Stampede and uses smaller batteries. Combine that with the 18 dart clip each comes with, and you'll give your opponents reason to pause. Or better yet, flee.
    • The Hammershot and Sweet Revenge can be primed one-handed, since the hammer is within thumb's reach. Needless to say, they make good candidates for Dual Wielding.
    • Similarly to the Hammershot is the Double Strike, a two-shot derringer with the same sort of hammer system.
    • The Elite Firestrike was designed with this in mind, there's a spur or hook on the butt of the grip next to the battery cover, allowing you to prime another Firestrike's plunger and loading darts into each blaster while holding onto both is surprisingly easy.
    • The Lawbringer from the DoomLands 2169 line has hammer priming like the Hammershot/Sweet Revenge, essentially allowing you to use two of them if you can hold them.
    • The Elite Split Strike splits to become two individual pistols, with a hook on the end of each blaster's grip that fits into the priming ring of the other. This also allows faster reloading, since they can be recombined to free up one hand while inserting darts.
    • For the logical conclusion, with the given belts, you can carry two MEGA Mastodons at once, and they're fully automatic.
  • Gun Twirling:
    • The proportions of the Maverick make this ridiculously easy. Did we mention that this is their biggest seller?
    • Many other, bigger blasters can be easily twirled if the weight and proportions are right such as the Longstrike, Sledgefire, Strongarm, CycloneShock, etc.
    • As for smaller blasters, Elite Triad EX-3 is a triple barreled pistol-sized blaster which can be twirled effortless thanks of how light it is.
    • And then there's the Elite Firestrike, which is specifically designed for dual wielding and twirling.
  • Hand Cannon: Nerf pistols tend to be huge compared to their real counterparts, due to the size of the darts. In terms of relative scale, the Nerf Elite MEGA series Magnus pistol is a major example, being an exceptionally sizeable pistol chambered for ammunition that an anti-materiel rifle like the Centurion was made to use. Yikes. The later CycloneShock is even bigger. The two MEGA "pistols" compensate for younger users by allowing you to grip onto the blaster under the barrel with your offhand. There's also the Bigshock, a powerhouse with the look of a Jolt but with the function of a standard MEGA blaster.
  • IKEA Weaponry:
    • The Recon CS-6 and the Elite Retaliator can be used on their own, but can be quite a sight fully assembled.
    • Not to mention the fact that the entire N-Strike line is designed with Tactical Rails, allowing interchanging of parts with most accessories.
    • The Modulus takes this Up to Eleven, as a single blaster with an entire subprint line dedicated to it. The blaster itself comes with a few accessories, and then has four expansion packs worth of extras available.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Most blasters, simply for their sheer size, though the N-Force Battlemaster Mace falls somewhere between Batter Up and Epic Flail.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • Hasbro calls them Nerf Blasters and Clips, not guns and magazines so as to try and distance them from real firearms.
    • The Vortex and RIVAL lines, however, uses the term "magazine" suddenly. "Blaster" is still used.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: The Nerf Secret Shot pistol was designed and marketed to pull this off, with the ad showing a kid raising his hands in surrender and then firing off a hidden dart from the bottom of the grip.
  • Laser Sight:
    • Not actually a laser, but the Nite Finder includes a targeting light built into it.
    • The Firestrike, being the descendent of the Nite Finder, includes one as well.
    • There was also a Light Beam Unit included with the Recon and Element EX-6 that could function as a very dim red flashlight or a targeting dot.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The N-Force Stonewall Shield, as well as the Stampede's mountable ballistic shield and the Modulus Strike & Defend shield.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Rapid Fire AS-20, as the alphanumeric designation implies, holds 20 rounds at a time. They can all be fired simultaneously.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The Jolt. As far as Nerf goes, it could easily be called a Noisy Cricket.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the Big Shock. It is just like the Jolt... except instead of an Elite dart, it uses a MEGA dart, like the Centurion and Magnus. In other words, a Mega Jolt.
    • The Triad can fire three shots without reloading.
    • The Splitstrike splits in half to become two fully functional blasters.
  • More Dakka:
    • Nerf seems to be obsessed with just how much Dakka they can get a plastic gun to shoot. Their current masterpiece in terms of speed? 25 darts in 7 seconds. In terms of capacity? The N-Strike Elite Hail-Fire can hold eight 18-round clips, for a total of 144 darts, at any one time.note 
    • Unofficially, it can hold 4 of the Raider 35 dart drums. That's 152 darts, or a little more than an extra standard clip.
    • The Elite series replaces all the internals of their more popular designs with more powerful, more reliable internals.
    • The Elite Rapidstrike electrically-powered carbine ships with an 18-dart magazine and can empty it in seconds with its powerful flywheel and worm-and-wheel dart pusher.
    • The Rhino-Fire uses two "recoilless" barrels to pump out two 25 dart drums.
    • The RIVAL line boasts about its high muzzle velocity and accuracy, and has a 40 ball magazine availible.
  • Nerf:
    • inverted; Hard-core users customize the guns to make them shoot farther and/or look cooler. The most common mods are removals of air restrictors, installations of stronger springs, and barrel upgrades for better range/accuracy.
    • There are confirmed cases of modders revamping blasters into automatics powered by paintball CO2 tanks
    • N-Strike magazines, drums and even ammo belts are often rebuilt to handle more ammo.
    • Electrically-powered blasters, like the Stampede, the Vulcan, the Barricade, the Vortex Nitron, and the new Rayven, are often subject to over-volting by modders for even more dakka. Of course, going overboard will melt the blaster from the intense heat, or, in the case of the Stampede, cause a mechanical malfunction that may make the blaster shoot uncontrollably. note 
    • There are also other nifty mods, such giving most of the Clip System blasters shotgun-style pump-action, integrating one-shot blasters into the Tactical Rails for mounting as backup firepower, and the barrel extensions that let you turn a one-shot blaster into a 19-dart scattergun.
    • A group known as Orange Mod Works has released pre-fabricated modkits for beefing up some of the N-Strike Blasters, easily almost-doubling their power.
    • On a more disturbing note, someone successfully weaponized a Rev-6 revolver by turning it into a Taser.
    • Further inverted by the N-Strike Elite series, which is claimed to have a stock range of 75 feet.
      • Taken Up to Eleven with the N-Strike Elite MEGA series, which currently consists of the Centurion and the Magnus. While their effective ranges are less consistent per-shot, they tend to hit the 70 foot range flat, with a maximum distance of 100 feet.
      • Even further inverted with the XD versions of several Elite blasters, which have their range knocked up from 75 feet to 90.
    • Some international versions of the Elite blasters have grey triggers, seemingly to signify a weaker, safer build. Hasbro has since claimed that they are no different from the US versions, which have orange triggers instead; the lower advertised firing range on packaging is due to legal concerns where the blasters haven't been fully range tested. That said, some of them initially had a noticeable difference in performance, but still better than the standard N-Strike equivalents.
  • Noisy Guns:
    • In particular the Vulcan, which has a repeating bolt that clatters realistically loudly.
    • The Stampede can be described as a very angry camera shutter.
    • For the manual action blasters, the Vortex Revonix 360 is the loudest. Try emptying it's 30 disc drum magazine via slam-fire without hurting your ears.
    • Many MEGA blasters are louder owing to their larger plunger size and length, particularly the Centurion due to the way it loads darts. It makes a notable "ka-ping!" noise which is the sound of the chambering slide springing back then the blaster firing.
  • Pinball Projectile: Non-suction darts simply bounce off of whatever they hit without much reliability but XLR Discs of Vortex blasters can be curved and bounced around corners. Same with Rival ammo due to their ball shape. The effectiveness of ricocheting shots depends on a NERF war's rules if being hit by a ricochet counts or not.
  • Power Glows: The old Firefly REV-8 revolver had a built-in light that simulated muzzle flashes and lit up fluorescent darts. The Vortex Lumitron and the Rayven CS-18 have mags available that can charge up similar fluorescent ammo.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better:
    • The Maverick, which is also a Hand Cannon and their best seller.
    • Also the Spectre REV-5, which holds one dart less then the Maverick but is more reliable and powerful. And it also has a silencer as well as a foldable stock.
    • The Barricade REV-10 is a semi-automatic 10-shooter. It produces an amazing Ominous Hummmm while switched on.
      • Now the Stockade, which uses faster and quieter flywheels and adds a stock that can hold 10 extra darts.
    • There is also the classic Dart Tag Furyfire Blaster, a pump-action 10-shooter.
    • The 2012 Dart Tag Swarmfire, Speedfire, and Snapfire 8 are revolvers of a sort. Swarmfire holds 20 darts, Speedswarm 10, and while these larger revolvers are motorized, the Snapfire 8 is a variable-pressure double-action with a dial at the base of the handle to adjust the tension of the plunger.
    • The Strongarm, being the successor to the Maverick, takes the revolver design of its predecessor and adds increased range and slam-fire capability.
    • The Firefly REV-8, which is an 8-dart bullpup style revolver with glowing darts. It basically uses a camera strobe to flash-charge the darts, too.
    • The Hammershot and Sweet Revenge are twin 5 dart revolvers that use the same basic design, being able to use a hammer to prime the blaster one-handed and even fan them like real single-action revolvers, but offer different aesthetics in the Zombie Strike and Rebelle lines, respectively.
    • The CycloneShock takes the Maverick's design and makes it even BIGGER. It fires the Centurion and Magnus' MEGA darts!
    • The RotoFury is a giant shotgun like blaster with a cylinder for ten MEGA darts.
    • The Zombie Strike FlipFury is essentially a Strongarm with two cylinders that can be cycled with a secondary trigger.
    • The Zombie Strike Doominator takes the FlipFury concept Up to Eleven with four six-dart cylinders that requires a two-finger secondary trigger just to switch cylinders.
    • Both of the first DoomLands 2169 blasters use revolver cylinders.
  • Rule of Cool:
    • Making guns safe for kids to play with!
    • Slow dart projectile speeds allows for Nerf players to actually dodge bullets.
    • N-Strike blasters tend towards impressively realistic mechanisms and mods, just like actual firearms, while Vortex disc blasters adopt a more fancy sci-fi feel with their orange-red muzzles, oblong barrels, and green bodies, and the 2011/2012 Dart tag series has more of a curved, rounded, bulky raygun motif.
  • Scavenger World: The aesthetic of DoomLands 2169.
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: Although two N-Strike blasters are modeled after sniper rifles, their range isn't any better than other blasters. Averted by most modified Longshots. One of the simplest mods is to put a heavy-duty spring around the plunger, which drastically increases range and velocity. Later releases of the Longshot and Longstrike (the store exclusive color ones) have better internals.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: The Raider's "slam-fire" pump lets you put a lot of darts out there really fast. Your accuracy drops to nil, but who needs that when you can fill an area with darts? The N-Strike Elite Rampage takes after the Raider despite having ten less darts and lacking the stock of it's predecessor but features the higher ranges with it's direct plunger.
    • The Barrel Break IX-2 fires, as the numerical designation suggests, two shots at once and resembles a Sawed-Off Shotgun. It also comes with a dart-holding accessory, like real shotguns.
    • The Alpha Trooper CS-18 also features the slam-fire of its Raider predecessor, and is lighter, slimmer, and more reliable, striking the balance between firepower and size with its 18-dart drum magazine.
    • The Quick 16 blaster from the latest Dart Tag series has an integrated banana magazine and is designed to permit on-the-fly reloading. Oh, and like the Raider and Alpha Trooper, it has slam-fire.
    • While the Vortex Praxis lacks slam-fire in its pump-action mechanism, it packs the range and accuracy to make up for it, as well as an impressive 10-disc magazine. Its successor, the Vortex Pyragon, has a massive 40-disc drum magazine and slam-fire.
    • The Rough Cut 2x4 takes a leaf from the Barrel Break's book, firing two rounds at once and looking like a Sawed-Off Shotgun.
    • The Zombie Strike line's Sledgefire uses special shells that hold three darts each and fires them in a spread. While it only comes with three of them, the shells can be reloaded from the shoulder stock pretty easily.
    • The Zombie Strike Doominator is a large, four six-cylinder slam-fire blaster with a pump action grip that can be moved into different positions.
    • The NERF N-Strike Elite MEGA RotoFury is a ten-dart, pump action revolver with slam-fire.
    • The Vagabond from the DoomLands line combines pump-action with Revolvers Are Just Better.
    • If you load two MEGA Darts and a Rival Ball into Rival Zeus MXV-2000, it blasts three rounds like a literal shotgun.
      • Officially, the Rival Atlas not only primes like a shotgun but fires two balls out of the same barrel in a shotgun manner.
  • Shur Fine Guns: Once in a while, unlucky people buy Nerf blasters with factory defects that make them jam easily. The Maverick in particular suffers from a reputation of being easily-jammed due to occasional bad production runs resulting in poor-tolerance blasters only good for spare parts for repairing functional Mavericks.
  • Sighted Guns Are Low-Tech: Some blasters lack a proper male and female sight, some making up for it by having tactical rails to attach your own. The Alien Menace line in particular has no sights nor attachment points for them.
  • Sniper Pistol:
    • Inverted; the sniper rifle-esque Longshot and Longstrike shoot no farther than any other gun.
    • Played straight with the Nite Finder, a single-shot pistol with among the best ranges for any N-Strike blaster.
      • The Elite Firestrike, being its direct plunger successor, can fire up to 75 feet, and its orange variant can even fire up to 90 feet, a pistol firing further than sniper rifles, no less.
    • The Vortex Proton and Vigilon pistols also play this trope straight, with excellent range on their disc ammo that easily outperforms most unmodified dart blasters.
    • The N-Strike Jolt EX-1 ultra-compact pistol is capable of matching the Nitefinder in performance, easily making it the most powerful and long-ranged ultra-compact pistol blaster.
      • The Elite Triad EX-3 (as well as the revised DX variant) is a variation on the same design, with three darts claimed to fire up to 75 feet.
    • The Elite MEGA Magnus and Bigshock use the larger MEGA darts, and can match the Centurion rifle in ranges from 70 to 100 feet.
    • The whole N-Strike Elite line, including XD re-releases of some older blasters, knock their range up from 75 to 90 feet.
    • The RIVAL line focuses on accuracy over quantity, and have a range on the high-end of around 80 feet.
  • Sniper Rifle: the aforementioned Longstrike and the Longshot. The 2013 Elite Mega Centurion takes the concept further and is effectively an anti-materiel rifle.
    • The Modulus ECS-10 can become one by fitting on parts of the long range upgrade kit
  • Spiritual Successor: Many of the N-Strike Elite blasters are redone editions of previous N-Strike blasters with the Elite colors, redesigned shape, different attachments and the improved stock ranges of the line.
    • The Retaliator to the Recon.
      • The Modulus Recon MK. II succeeds both of these.
    • The Rampage to the Raider.
    • The Firestrike to the Nitefinder.
    • The Strongarm to the Maverick.
    • The Stockade to the Barricade.
    • The Rapidstrike to the Stampede
    • The Mega Centurion to the Longshot or Longstrike.
    • The Rhino-Fire to the Vulcan
    • The Bigshock to the Jolt
    • The MEGA Dart to the Whistler Dart
  • Steampunk: A popular theme among customizers, especially with the Maverick.
  • Secondary Fire: Many blasters tend to have two ways to fire in certain ways and many modders integrate blasters to act as a secondary fire.
    • Burst/Rapid Fire:
      • The Hornet AS-6 can fire it's six darts sequentially or a button on the side fires all of them at the same time, same for the Rapid Fire AS-20 that can fire it's darts automatically in sequence or all 20 via a similar button.
      • Slam-fire blasters work by holding the trigger and pumping rapidly, like the Winchester 1897 and similar shotguns that lacked a trigger disconnect.
      • The Vulcan EBF-25 can either be primed and fired manually or fire fully automatic.
      • The Barrel Break IX-2 or Rough Cut 2x4 can fire two darts at the same time or one at a time by pulling the trigger halfway.
    • Over/Underslung Weapons:
      • The Emergency Weapon of the Longshot CS-6 can be used as a separate shot between the shots of the main blaster or to act as a double shot. The Modulus Grip Blaster has a similar function but rail mounted, Jolt-size with two shots.
      • The Unity Power System takes this to the extreme by attaching the Scout IX-3 and Hornet AS-6 to the Titan AS-V.1, allowing you to fire the Hornet's six darts, the Scout's one dart and the Titan's rocket in any preferred order
      • The Demolisher 2-in-1 advertises it right there in its name. Its secondary fire is a large foam missile, like an underslung grenade launcher.
      • The Modulus Stock Blaster is a blaster built into a detachable stock, allowing any compatible gun to become this. The Modulus Grip-Blaster is similar.
      • The Modulus Tri-Strike has it's blaster, the MEGA dart launcher on the front barrel and the stock operated missile launcher, said missile launcher on the tactical rail can be attached to the stock itself to function as it's own blaster.
    • Spinning Up Barrels/Charged Attack:
      • All flywheel blasters past the Barricade/Stockade have a dedicated secondary trigger instead of a switch that revs up the flywheels though this makes it more of the case where the secondary trigger works in synergy with the primary trigger.
    • Unrelated:
      • The Elite Dual-Strike has a selector allowing you to fire the Elite darts or MEGA darts that can be loaded into the blaster.
      • "Secondary fire" of the Zombie Strike FlipFury or Doominator switches between cylinders. This makes it handy having one cylinder ready while you reload the other(s).
  • Sugar Apocalypse: People have made deadly serious war videos using happy, bright-colored toy guns. Most of the time these start as a prank or joke with Disproportionate Retribution.
  • Trigger Happy: Half the fun is being able to shoot others in the groin without worry of much pain.
    • For the not-so-truly-daring, any of the revolvers (both manual and electric flywheel) can be used for a non-deadly game of Russian Roulette.
      • To play this further. You could do this with the Vulcan's ammo belt or the Hail-Fire's clip carousel.
  • Unbreakable Weapons: The Nerf foam itself is incredibly tough to break:
    • Taken to extremes with some comedians. Jerry Seinfeld once said that cars should be made of Nerf foam to avoid collision injuries, and Robot Chicken once featured a joke about "Nerf doors and stairs", for a husband and wife, the latter of which came into the office looking rather beaten.
    • The Recon has gained a reputation for being nigh-indestructible when stock. There exist reports of it being dropped from moving cars without sustaining damage. However, when modded, well...
  • Universal Ammunition: Blasters within the same generation tend to use the exact same darts/discs/balls. Anything that uses a Clip System magazine can happily take N-Strike, Elite, Zombie Strike, Rebelle, and Doomlands clip system mags.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz:
    • Rather than the classic darts, the Vortex series loads and fires XLR Discs. (That's eXtra Long Range, not extra large rounds.)
    • A handful of Elite blasters were rereleased as XD (eXtreme Distance) variants after a minor breakthrough in launcher design.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Vortex discs fly very poorly when wet.

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