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Mace & Crown | June 22, 2017

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Tech in Toys: NERF Engineering a Competitive Blaster

Audra Reigle
Contributing Writer

New NERF blasters are hitting the toy aisles this year, and they’re not just for kids anymore. They’re also designed for older kids and adults that haven’t completely let go of their childhood.

The blasters were revealed back in February, and there’s two models you can choose from. The Apollo XV-700 is an air powered model while the Zeus MXV-1200 is battery powered, and they’re the first ones being released in the Rival line. In addition to the new blasters, there’s new technology going into them and other new toys that are being released.

Almost everyone has played with NERF blasters at least once in their lives. If you haven’t, that’s okay too! They would let kids shoot foam darts at  friends or siblings in a harmless way and have fun, or maybe to get on their nerves. Who doesn’t like to have fun?

Now what if you could shoot something that looks more like a golf ball at your friends? Well, you’ll be able to with the newest NERF blasters!

The new balls are dimpled to allow for them to have some spin on them when they’re shot out of the blaster at speeds of up to 70 MPH. These dimples on the balls will allow the ball to be more stable when they’re flying through the air and therefore make them more reliable when you’re trying to shoot them at your friends. Remember all those times your dart missed its target because of a small mistake? Hopefully those days will be in the past!

The barrels for your golf ball shaped ammunition are tube shaped and makes reloading much easier. They’re certainly a step up from the blasters that shoot darts that everyone knows and loves.

The golf balls that you’ll be using as your ammunition do more than just fly out of the blaster at up to 70 MPH though. They also allow people to see some of the new technologies going into these blasters.

For example, the barrel for the balls is tube shaped and makes reloading much easier, but it also allows the balls to be in an optimal position for being shot out of the blaster.

But NERF blasters aren’t the only thing showing off the newer technologies that go into making toys. Just take a walk down the toy aisle in Walmart or Target or any other store that sells toys. The toys that were around years ago didn’t have nearly as much technology as toys these days.

Now there are toys that allow you to play games on a tablet-like device made just for kids. Even toys are showing how society is evolving into something more technology-based by introducing these things to children at a young age.

While it’s already showing that toys are evolving to fit today’s society, what about the future? There are also current trends that we can look at that lead towards a more digital world of toys, some of which are described in an article from Ludomade.com.

The article discusses how kids are moving away from physical toys and instead becoming more interested in digital toys, and it also talks about the future of toys and the technologies going into them.

Walk into the electronics section of a store, and there is a section near the video games dedicated to Disney’s Skylanders line or Nintendo’s amiibo. These figures allow kids to bring the toys to life in their video games.

All you have to do is buy the figure, take it home, place it on a platform, and wham! The character that corresponds with your figure is brought to life! Using an app, the device’s camera, and some bricks, LEGO’s Fusion allows augmented reality come into play as well.

Sure, there are still toy cars that kids can sit and ride around in until they get bored, but will those exist in the future? If we move into a future without cars and instead have hovercrafts, toy cars may get replaced with toy hovercrafts that kids sit and ride around in until they get bored.

Maybe there will be toys that are all electronic or digital in some fashion. There are already toys that are tablets with games for kids on them, so it seems like the industry is moving in that direction. Maybe they’ll just do away with all physical toys and make them digital, though that seems like an extreme and unlikely scenario.

Only time can tell what the future of toys will be, but there’s many possibilities for it.