One might not normally associate basic design and engineering education with Nerf Blasters, yet the past year has seen some Blaster releases that play double-duty as an interactive learning tool for basic engineering principles.
Back in January of this year, the brand announced their Nerf N-Strike Modulus ECS-10 Blaster – a design that encourages kids to create their own designs using a combination of functional modules – and in June of this year, the company announced their Doomsland line of blaster which include clear plastic housings that reveal the working internal mechanisms of each of the Blaster designs.
Now, the design and engineering education has expanded to include some insight from Nerf’s engineering team themselves with a short walkthrough of the design process behind their latest – and arguably, most advanced Nerf Blaster lineup yet – the Rival Blasters.
Initially revealed back in February, the new line of blasters forego traditional darts in favor of small, dimpled balls that leave the barrel at up to 70 MPH and are capable of being reloaded near-instantly, according to project engineer Dan Matarese.
Similar to the design of a golf ball, the dimples on the new Nerf balls allow for the Blaster to put a slight spin on them which aids in stabilizing the flight and hitting targets more accurately.
Clearly, the new blasters have taken inspiration from paintball markers and are designed for older kids – or teams of grown adults who take office warfare rather seriously – so you may want to skip this one for your four-year-old nephew this Christmas.
Currently, Nerf has the first two models of the line – the Apollo XV-700 and the Zeus MXV-1200 – up for pre-order and will be shipping them out later this month.