Toy guns have been a source of fun for children for decades, as they aim to make the potentially alluring prospect of combat into a safe leisure activity.
Whether it's the traditional water pistol or more controversial BB guns, many different interpretations have been tried. However, nowadays it seems that foam-based weaponry is the preferred choice for many, with market leader Nerf at the forefront.
Its Blaster range has proven immensely popular to children and adults alike! However, with 18 separate lines, there is a wealth of choice out there. Here, we run through some of the best options available, with an eye towards the more affordable end of the market.
Should I buy a Nerf gun now or wait for Black Friday?
Black Friday is one of the biggest sales events of the year, and in 2019 takes place on 29 November. We're already seeing some great consumer tech deals and expect them to continue right into January, with Black Friday deals followed by Cyber Monday deals, Christmas deals, Boxing day deals and then we've got the January sales.
That's both good and bad, of course, because how do you know that a product won't drop in price the very next week? The truth is you can never be entirely sure, but we're now close enough to the main event that many retailers have already begun their Black Friday sales. Of the big UK retailers, Currys has started its Why Wait? sale, guaranteeing that products won't drop any further in price for Black Friday, while Amazon has a range of Black Friday Countdown deals, with its main event starting on 22 November.
While prices may go down further for Black Friday, some discounts will also end sooner, so unless you're sure that a product will be discounted it's always best to take a deal at face value: if you think the product is worth that amount of money, go for it. Sometimes it doesn't pay to hold out for something that will never happen.
The prices listed below for each product in this feature are updated automatically, and include the latest early Black Friday deals and sales.
1. Nerf N-Strike Elite Disruptor
At under £10, this represents one of the most affordable ways to get into the world of Nerf.
Despite the price, performance is still strong, with darts able to travel up to 90m. The six-dart rotating drum is great for rapid fire, while the light and compact package means it's great for sessions on the go.
The orange and blue design is typical of Nerf products, so you'll be easily spotted in the heat of battle unless your movements are stealthy.
You might want to purchase some spare darts, but even 100 extra only bumps the price up to just over £15.
2. Nerf Fortnite TS Blaster
Fortnite has become something of a cultural phenomenon, so the partnership between Nerf and Epic Games was always going to be exciting.
This is a replica of the Blaster used in the game, so any regulars to a Battle Royale will be instantly familiar with it. The pump-action design allows for four foam darts to be fired back to back
It's also hand-powered, meaning you'll never have a battery to charge and will be in complete control over your weapon. 8 of Nerf's elite darts are included, so you'll always have spares on hand.
3. Nerf Zombie Strike FlipFury Blaster
Nerf's Zombie Strike range aims to be your best form of retaliation against the walking dead.
The FlipFury allows you to hold 12 darts at a time for rapid fire action, While the first six darts are released from the top, a secondary trigger flips the drums around so you're ready to go again in an instant.
Shooting range is excellent, and as it is purely mechanical you won't have to rely on batteries as you try to defeat the zombies. It even comes with its own holster for carrying everywhere you go.
4. Nerf N-Strike Elite AccuStrike RaptorStrike
Its name might be a mouthful, but this gun more than makes up for it with its stellar performance.
Part of the AccuStrike series, its focus on precision is aided by what Nerf claim are the most accurate darts available. The included bipod allows for a level of accuracy that just can't be replicated by going handheld.
Targets as far as 30 feet away aren't safe with this gun's superb range.
5. Nerf Elite Titan
The Elite Titan represents one of the most complete Nerf gun experiences on the market.
Its high price tag is justified by an immense 50 dart drum for maximum impact, while they darts themselves are suitable for indoor or outdoor use. It's also fully motorised, meaning you can witness your devastating impact without having to put in all the work.
Without doubt, this is a heavy duty gun, but the included shoulder strap and intuitive controls should make it a joy to use.