As a pacifist it seems pretty weird to be reviewing a toy gun, and this Nerf gun is the first toy weapon (other than water pistols) to enter our house. I talked to my 7 year old about it, the child who a month ago cried at the picture of the wounded soldier advertising poppy day and I asked him if he was ok about having a gun as a toy. ‘Oh yes’ he said, cradling it lovingly, ‘it is awesome’.
The Raider comes in an impressively large box and once you get through the packaging you find it is composed of 3 main parts. It is easy to put together and take apart – as long as you read the instructions first. To load it you have to feed the foam bullets into a carrier and once loaded you can quick fire 35 of them in rapid succession. It is easily adjustable, and fitted both my 7 year old and his granddad who promptly shot the cat but don’t tell my mum or that will be the end of Christmas.
Given a choice between his watching his favourite programme on CBBC or the Nerf gun, my son chose the gun, though he said it was fun to shoot the Newsround presenters so he would rather have both at once. The pellets are soft foam tipped with a slightly harder foam so they could hurt if you were shot in the face but they didn’t damage the TV and the cat is just sulking. We think it would be more fun if you had one gun each or if the bullets had suckers on the end so they stuck to things.
I’m impressed with the quality of the Nerf gun, when I first put it together I privately gave it an hour before it was broken but it has survived proper 7 year old play, been dropped, reloaded, tripped over and it is still fine. The bullets can travel a reasonable distance and they are bright orange so not impossible to find afterwards.
In conclusion, the Nerf gun is a hit. Whether it is popular because my son has never had a gun before or because it has play value only time will tell.
Good quality construction
Lots of bullets
Fires in quick succession
Bright colours, not too war like
Quite a large toy
Would be more fun if it came with a target, or if you had 2 of them.
Bullets will be lost, trust me
No animals were hurt apart from their pride in the making of this review.