With summer right around the corner, kids and adults with itchy trigger fingers are getting excited as the Nerf arms race heats up. 2011’s lineup of blasters focuses on Nerf’s Dart Tag product line. With options ranging from the compact Speedload 6 to the rapid-fire SwarmFire, foam-dart mercenaries will be able to find the right blaster for the job. Whether you’re infiltrating the enemy’s base or laying down suppressive fire, Nerf has you covered. Read on to meet the lineup in detail!

Newer Years

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Nerf SwarmFire – Latest in the line of fully-automatic battery powered Nerf blasters, the SwarmFire adds serious firepower to any game of Dart Tag. Like the rest of the 2011 lineup, the SwarmFire is fully compatible with Nerf Tagger Micro Darts, the velcro-tipped missiles that make Dart Tag possible. This twenty-shot blaster requires six C-cell batteries in order to fire, and unlike some of Nerf’s previous blaster options, it cannot fire without batteries loaded. The noise of the motor rules out using the SwarmFire for stealth operations, but it’s a perfect choice for achieving fire superiority over a more lightly-equipped opponent. All twenty darts are front-loaded, meaning that re-loading takes some time. Plan barrages accordingly or fire in bursts, because the high rate of fire will quickly empty this blaster’s capacity. The SwarmFire is designed for Tagger Micro Darts but will fire standard suction darts and Whistler darts as well.
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Nerf Quick 16 – Designed as a Dart Tag variant of the popular Nerf Raider, the Quick 16 features an integrated 16-round magazine and relies on a pump-action foregrip to generate power. While it can’t match the SwarmFire in terms of sheer output, the Quick 16 can be fired rapidly by holding the trigger and working the slide. The solid ammo capacity and strong accuracy rating make this blaster an excellent mid-range choice. It’s compact enough to maneuver around obstacles without sacrificing ammo capacity or long-range bombardment potential, although it’s not as compact as the Sharp Shot and falls behind the SwarmFire where fire support is concerned. Overall, the Quick 16 is a great jack-of-all-trades option, which, when combined with other blasters, will serve you well in Dart Tag.
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Nerf Speedload 6 – The Nerf Speedload 6 is in many ways a subcompact version of the Quick 16. The basic design principle remains the same: load darts into the integrated magazine through the topside loading port, manually cock the blaster, and pull the trigger to let fly. The blaster’s 6-dart capacity makes it a perfect backup blaster for Dart Taggers operating a Quick 16 or SwarmFire. Featuring a reliable, jam-free action and compact handling characteristics, the Speedload 6 has your back when a larger or more complicated blaster runs out of ammo or batteries at a key point in the contest. The Speedload 6 covers a remarkable range for such a small blaster: thirty feet or more in good firing conditions.
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Nerf Sharp Shot – If you’re looking for a holdout blaster, look no further. The new Sharp Shot typifies the single-shot, front-loading style of Nerf gear. The blaster holds four darts at maximum: one in the barrel and three in the front-mounted ammunition rack. Unlike the other options in this list, the Sharp Shot has no mechanism for automatic reloads. As such, it makes a great starter blaster for those looking to get into Dart Tag, or as a single-shot holdout for when a high-capacity blaster runs dry.

Now that you’re apprised on the latest and greatest Nerf has to offer, load those magazines and get tagging. All four of these blasters are available on the market today. When summer arrives, make sure you’re locked and loaded…your friends will be!

What else is new from Nerf? Take a look at their new N-Force weapons and the new Nerf Vortex blasters!