?Nerds and Nerf were made for each other. The fact that only one letter separates the two words can’t be coincidental, right? What other group would take such glee in chasing its members around the house with neon-colored suction dart spouting guns and foam-edged sabers? Let’s face it: Johnny Football All-American has cheerleaders to roger.
What got its start in the late ’60s as an easy way to pass a ball around the living room without cracking mom’s painted plate collection or braining baby sis has since become an additive ingredient in all sorts of stuff, from baseball sets to artillery. It’s the latter we’ll be featuring today, because, well, nerds love Nerf, specifically the kind used in pretend combat.
So, here comes our countdown; not a definitive “best-of” by any stretch of the imagination, but more of a starter course sampler of Nerf weapons that are pretty damned cool, for one reason or another. Lock ‘n load – let’s do this!
10) Nerf Hidden Shot
?This ultra-compact Nerf gun is great for carrying out secret missions or just to have the last laugh in a standoff. Unlike the creative but at times poorly-functioning Secret Shot, the Hidden Shot is a tidy sidearm not as prone to foolish gimmickry.
9) N-Force Warlock Axe
?Okay, not only is this durable plaything an axe, but it’s a freaking warlock axe. Perfect for transporting our Nerf battles to more mythical realms. Outstanding.
8) Bow ‘n’ Arrow
?A Nerf classic, the Bow ‘n’ Arrow makes the cut if for no other reason than the massive nostalgia factor it packs for those who remember hunting each other with them during commercial breaks of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Plus, check out those colors; this thing deserves its own shelf in the revered Hall of Most Excellent 90s Stuff, right next to the statue of Will Smith in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air garb.
7) N-Force Marauder Long Sword
?Two words: Master Sword. Yes, it doesn’t shoot glow-in-the-dark projectiles or explode in a battery- powered melee, but come on. It’s a dead ringer for Link’s famous blade. Now, if only it came with a better version of the shield from Nerf’s Stonewall Sword and Shield set. Oh, and a foam green elf hat to complete our Nerftendo ensemble.
6) N-Strike Longshot CS-6
Hey, every arsenal needs a sniper rifle, and Nerf’s weapon cache is no exception. While shooting 35 feet wouldn’t get you very far in real life, that’s not bad at all for this souped-up toy gun. The scope and customizable gun options also contribute to its win status.
The Wildfire can shoot 20 darts at once or one at a time in pump-operated succession. Hey, its commercial doesn’t have Seth Green, but we’re still on board.
4) N-Strike Raider Rapid Fire CS-35
?More like Nerf Asshander. Aside from looking like a futuristic tommy gun, this thing features two blasting modes to batter foes with, in addition to being compatible with rail accessories. Plus, judging by the box it’s Justin Bieber’s Nerf weapon of choice, and if we’ve learned one thing in life, it’s that the will of Justin Bieber will not be denied.
?While this rig doesn’t look quite as daunting today, that shouldn’t take away from the sheer brashness it exhibited when entering the Nerf battlefield back in the 90s. Essentially the Nerf gun equivalent of giving opponents the finger at the time, this behemoth not only granted its wielder the ability to pummel friends and their piddly dart blasters relentlessly at close range, but also the right of saying that they’d done so with something called a “Ballzooka.” Hilarious.
2) N-Strike Maverick
?If one of Clint Eastwood’s revolver-toting characters from yesteryear ever holstered a Nerf blaster in preparation for a showdown, we’d have a hard time seeing him picking up anything besides the best-selling Maverick. While its simple elegance is clear, it’s the gun’s sharp accuracy that pushes it over the top. Plus, you can afford it without having to sell your spare ammo. Nice.
1) N-Strike Stampede ECS
As the ad proves, if ever you find yourself in the always-common awkward Nerf battle with a bunch of male models in black mock zip sweaters while Forever the Sickest Kids rocks out in the background, you’ll want this weapon by your side. Even removed from such a strange scenario though, the battery-powered, fully automatic N-Strike Stampede ECS, complete with a detachable shield, bipod, and three 18-dart clips, is a sight to behold. You can even attach the 35-dart drum magazine (sold separately) for even more Nerftastic action. All the more reason that owning Nerf weapons should probably require a license of some sort. A license for awesome.