We have a bit of news that will excite fans of foam projectiles and Marvel Comics. Nerf, a division of Hasbro and makers of a multitude of foam-based playthings, will be releasing a new blaster based on Hawkeye’s bow from the upcoming Avengers movie. The image, released on the official Nerf Facebook page yesterday, will showcase a similar design to the bow briefly shown in Hawkeye’s cameo in the Thor movie from last year.
The idea behind the release is slightly more exciting than the details. Looking at the bow, Nerf connoisseurs will recognize the design as the Big Bad Bow, which has gone through a number of incarnations since first being introduced in 1998. The BBB (as it’s affectionately called) emulates the pulley system seen on many high-tech hunting bows on the market and fires uniquely shaped foam darts. So unique that the BBB is the only Nerf gun to use that style of ammo. So, to cash-in on the hype surrounding the Avengers movie, Nerf dusted off the BBB mold, painted the body of it purple, slapped an Avengers sticker on the side and proclaimed it “The Official Movie Tie-In”.
I realize that sounds extremely critical, but I think it’s a great move. If a company can make some money on a product that’s over a decade old, then more power to them. I like the new paintjob and plan on picking one up for myself, despite already owning two BBBs (they were Buy One, Get One Free at Toys R Us).
Now, one thing worth noting is that this is not the first Nerf/Marvel product. For the release of Iron Man, Nerf restyled their Magstrike model blaster to introduce the “Stark Industries N.R.F. 425”. It was a quick, 10-dart weapon that lasted on the store shelves for about as long as Iron Man was in theaters. Again, it was another good marketing blitz, and one that I hope paid off for them.
Meanwhile, between Iron Man and Avengers, we’ve heard nearly nothing from Nerf in regards to Marvel. What about Thor or Captain America? Can you honestly tell me that you wouldn’t want to own a life-sized foam replica of Cap’s shield?
I know most people will probably direct me to this, and yes, I am aware of the Nerf hammer. However, given the entire N-Force line of swords, axes, and even a mace, that hammer is a joke. At barely over a foot, it’s clearly made for children and not the subset of grown-ups who enjoy a healthy obsession of Nerf products. While Thor’s hammer is extremely well made, its small stature doesn’t do it justice.
All in all, I’m happy to see more Marvel-themed toys on the market, and ecstatic that those toys include Nerf products. As a Nerf enthusiast, I’m always looking to expand my arsenal. I didn’t jump on the N-Force line quickly enough and missed out on a few of their cooler sword designs. But I’m hoping the future brings more Marvel-themed blasters, whether they’re repaints or not. Be sure to be on the lookout for Hawkeye’s bow, which hits stores in February.