Toy Fair 2012: Nerf Shows Off New Ways to Throw, Shoot, and Soak

Hasbro's Nerf line includes traditional sports balls, foam dart and disc guns, and also the Super Soaker brand, but all of them managed to receive impressive updates at this year's Toy Fair. The focus of these new products' features were either ways to play at night or ways to make blasters larger and more powerful. Either way, I can't wait to get my hands on them.

Firevision Sports Balls

I tried on a pair of the Firevision frames, and they proved to be light (no pun intended), with a bar that rests just above your eyeline, providing a structure to line up the LEDs.

First up is a line of sports balls that let you play well after the sun goes down. These balls use reflective graphics and skins to light up in the eyes of those wearing special Firevision eyewear frames. Along the edge of these frames are a pair of red LEDs capable of projecting light up to 100ft, activating the reflective capability of the Firevision football, bounce ball, or mini-basketball. There's even a matching indoor hoop for the mini-basketball that has its own reflectors built in.

Glow-in-the-Dark Darts and Discs

The new addition to the Nerf blasters comes mostly in the form of glowing ammunition. Although these darts are compatible with all previous blasters, the N-Strike Rayven is uniquely suited to use them due to it's special lit charging clip. Capable of holding 18 darts, the lights inside this clip will fill darts with the energy they need to actually glow.

Swarmfire Gets a Little Brother

Last year's premiere Dart Tag blaster was the Swarmfire with its 20-dart, fully automatic rotating barrel. Now, that beast has a sidekick in the new Speedswarm, a 10-dart miniaturized version with both fully and semi automatic firing modes.

New Vortex Blasters

The new Vortex Lumitron will be a glow-in-the-dark pump-action blaster that comes packaged with 10 of the glow-in-the-dark discs. The real firepower lies with the new Vortex Pyragon blaster, though, with its 40-disc drum and steady-fire mode.

Super Soaker Gets Serious

I was impressed by last year's introduction of a quick-loading clip system to the Super Soaker line. Gone were the days of unscrewing and re-screwing a tube of water, leaving you a sitting duck for what seemed like eternity. Now, those clips are getting huge with the introduction of a 35 ounce barrel. This new barrel will debut on the Lightning Storm water blaster, sporting a 25 foot range.

Nerf N-Strike Elite Hailfire

The Nerf showroom tour ended with a tease of things to come. Hasbro's "big reveal" for this line typically comes in the fall (2011's announcement was the Vortex line), but we got a sneak peek of 2012's news. New "elite" branded blaster and dart technology is going to allow the next generation of Nerf blasters to fire with an unprecedented 75 foot range. Although not show, the featured blaster of this line will be the Hailfire, and several other fan favorite classics will return with new Elite versions.