The right to bear soft squishy arms

For years, it's been virtually impossible to buy Nerf guns here in Australia.

Giant pump-up water guns? No problem.

But guns that shoot sucker darts or foam balls? Not happening. You could go to a discount store and buy one of those crappy off-brand guns with the one-piece translucent rubber darts, but if you wanted something from one of the major brands, you were out of luck. Well, unless you were crazy enough to pay four times the purchase price for shipping from the States.

I presume this was because some pressure group or other convinced all of the toy shops that sucker dart guns were responsible for the Port Arthur massacre, or something.

But I'm happy to say that it's changing.

Why, just the other day, I successfully bought a few Nerf N-Strike Nite Finder EX-3s (one for my Toy Weapon Wall, the rest for the all-purpose Present Pile) for nine bucks a pop, on special at Kmart.

The Kmart catalogue promised that the much cooler Maverick six-shooter would also be on special, for only ten Australian dollars per unit.

But it was Kmart, so their stock as usual looked as if it'd been piled up by people with push brooms, and after you sorted through the mess you found that the thing you really wanted wasn't there.

Apparently Target stocks Mavericks as well, now - but the nearest Target store to me is more than forty kilometres away, while Kmart's just up the road.

[I've been there, now. They didn't bloody have any either.]

The EX-3's better than I thought it'd be. Surprisingly accurate, and the fake laser sight (a red LED with an adjustable lens in front of it) is cool, too. Like a proper laser sight, it turns on when you partially depress the trigger. Unlike a proper laser sight, children cannot damage their eyesight with it. And if you don't like it, you can just not put batteries in the gun.

I still definitely need a Maverick, though. I think I can survive without the celebrated Longshot sniper rifle, but I would also like the Buzz Bee lever-action rifle and totally awesome double-barrelled shotgun.

(Kmart had the Buzz Bee Tommy 20 battery-powered submachine gun for cheap, too, but video of it in action left me underwhelmed. I've got rubber-band guns for when I want to spend far more time reloading than shooting. And then there's this ridiculous thing.)

And yes, I'm aware that Nerf fans modify their guns for (much) greater power and accuracy, and apply amazing paint jobs. I can't be bothered with the painting, and would rather keep my toys safe for kids and drunks to use than crank 'em up by drilling out the air restrictors and installing an umbrella spring.

If you're one of those eBay dudes who sells pre-modded guns, though, do feel perfectly free to send me one for review!

You never know when a Nerf gun with a hundred-foot range may save your life, after all.

9 Responses to “The right to bear soft squishy arms”

  1. Chris Lineker Says:

    I don't remember the specifics, but the reason you couldn't buy nerf was much less exciting - hasbro decided to stop selling them, for some boring businessy reason that i forgot :/

  2. Ian Says:

    I tried hunting for a video of the exceedingly-entertaining Nerf Wildfire, but YouTube's only got clips of a C02-powered version, which I consider cheating somewhat...
    How does a fully-automatic 20-round burst grab you? :D

    I'll have to dig mine out.

  3. Zerotime Says:

    The pair of Mavericks I bought off Amazon back in March only cost me about 50% more than the guns to ship here, which I thought was quite reasonable.

  4. Phoronus Says:

    I have one of the double barrelled shotguns. It's ok, but not very powerful. The ejecting shells is a neat touch, though.

  5. Devar Says:

    I hereby propose the Dansdata Zombies vs Humans battle 2008.

  6. Daniel Rutter Says:

    The pair of Mavericks I bought off Amazon back in March only cost me about 50% more than the guns to ship here

    When you say "here", do you mean, well, anywhere outside the USA?

    Because every single toy on eBay, as far as I can see, is either somewhat surreptitiously marked "Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses...", or has no such marking (presumably because it's being sold by one of the other dealers that use the Amazon checkout system) but still won't let international buyers actually order it.

    I tried a while ago, but I still had to remove the Buzz Bee gun from my order before it could be processed.

  7. Balentius Says: is your friend... Perfect for the people around you that only have a single-shot gun. Of course, the reload time is horrible...

  8. Daniel Rutter Says:

    I've dropped back into the local Kmart a few times since writing this post. Today, they finally actually had some Mavericks, so I grabbed me a bag full.

    The cats have never been this mystified.

  9. Rick_Randy Says:

    dude the year is 2008 sorry for the late reply..
    YES in KMART, TARGET and TOYSRUS have the rapid fire lever action (looks like a winchester western rifle) already onstock ,the nerf nstrike and thanks to the hulk movie a modified "hulk" colored n strike utility system (the rapid fire attached to the bazooka like nerfgun..)


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