This is a Nerf blaster you’ve never seen before. It doesn’t shoot reusable foam darts or foam balls, but rather granules of squishy, water-soaked gel. Pellets so small you can fit 800 in this blaster, and so cheap you get 10,000 right out of the box. It fires them up fully automatically with an included rechargeable, removable 7.4V battery that you can recharge with a USB-C cable – just like a phone.
It’s called the Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic, it costs $79.99 in November, and it’s wild to see it exist – partly because it’s such a departure from kid-friendly darts, and partly because it feels like Hasbro finally admits that the not have to reinvent the wheel to attract an older audience.
After spending the better part of a decade looking for a way to make Nerf competitive with tougher hobbies like airsoft and paintball, it’s not trying to make a brand new kind of blaster with a patented new dart or ball.
Instead, it just built its own competitor in the fast-growing category of gel blastersa category of toy guns that has proven particularly popular in China and Australia (although Australia is seriously cracked in recent years and the Chinese government has expressed its disapproval) and, I hear, is spreading across the United States as well. They usually fire pellets that you have to soak in water for a few hours, which explode like a small water balloon when they hit your target and the shells disintegrate into powder.
It’s not entirely clear yet if Nerf’s blaster is designed to compete with other gel shooters in the US and abroad, as the company hasn’t offered any range or speed claims yet – just that it can shoot up to 10 rounds per second. shooting and that it apparently fires hard enough to justify including a set of eye protection in the box. (Nerf’s rubber ball-firing Hyper also included goggles, but it’s still relatively new for Nerf to bundle.)
But it doesn’t seem like a very hard sell compared to Hasbro’s other efforts to make Nerf more competitive. It’s not practical to attend a Nerf war with a Hyper or Ultra blaster, since you’re one of the few that uses that kind of ammo, and you either have to spend some serious money on a massive stash or the whole lot. game must spend picking up the projectiles you have fired. Here you can carry a huge tank of theoretically dirt-cheap pellets that are usually biodegradable (although Hasbro doesn’t explicitly mention that in the announcement).
It also just looks neat, with a retractable stock and removable barrel for a variety of playing styles, and a design that does a lot not look like a real gun. (Lots of gel blasters do that, unfortunately.) I’m looking forward to trying one out this fall.
Coincidentally, Hasbro is looking for other proven ways to attract older players to the hobby… may I suggest just shortening your existing darts? It’s what modders have been doing for decades, and it really works.