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Growing up, it seemed like every kid had a nerf gun. There was a whole system of different guns with different features and designs, but they all fired the same foam bullets. The foam bullets rarely broke and were safe enough to be used in almost any setting, so they were great for playing in the backyard or even in the house!

Yet nowadays, it seems like kids have all sorts of different options for toys: video games, tablets, computers…even movies! So do kids still feel that classic nerfing is fun? Or is it something their parents remember fondly but can no longer enjoy?

I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been seeing many people online saying that, now that they’re adults, they’re all excited to revisit the classic toys of their youth. I’m talking about the old 1950s-era Nerf guns. You know: the ones that shoot foam darts and look like real guns? They’re going for big bucks on eBay nowadays!

And let’s be honest: it’s not just grown-ups who want these things. We’ve been seeing a lot of kids around here asking for them too. And guess what! Kids today have a new appreciation for the classic, tried-and-true nerf gun that we grew up playing with. 

Nerf toys are a favourite of kids and adults alike, and if you know anything about the history of these toys, you know that they’ve come a long way since their introduction in the late ’60s. What are some fun facts about Nerf guns?

  • Nerf guns have been around since the late ’60s!
  • Early versions of Nerf guns didn’t even use foam darts — they used ping pong balls!
  • Has outsold every other toy in its category with annual revenue of $400 million
  • Nerf is a portmanteau of “non-expanding recreational foam.
  • Has become a cultural icon

Have you ever wondered about the history of Nerf guns? Let’s explore the brief history of Nerf guns.

The name “Nerf” is a portmanteau of “nitro” and “dart.” Parker Brothers created the first Nerf gun in 1969. The original Nerf gun was called the “Rip Rockets C-10,” It was a rainbow-coloured slingshot that shot soft foam balls. However, there wasn’t an official tagline for Nerf products until 1984, when New York ad agency MacManus, Johnstone & Masius came up with the slogan, “It’s [sic] so much fun, it’s scary!” The ad campaign was launched in 1985 and featured a series of commercials featuring people playing with their Nerf guns while wearing protective safety gear.

The first official blaster released by Hasbro was called the “NERF Blast-a-Ball.” It shot one foam ball at a time, but it introduced several important design elements to the line: snap-on darts and trigger-based firing mechanisms. The NERF Blast-a-Ball was followed by a barrage of blasters with similar firing mechanisms but different designs. In 2000, Hasbro diversified the line.