Nerf takes aim with Vortex

Hasbro?s new disc blasting toys will go to retail on September 10th; Will stand alongside the N-Strike dart system.
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ToyNews was among the guests invited to a secret London location to get hands-on with the forthcoming Nerf brand extension, Vortex.

The new ammo system is a small plastic disc with a spongy outer coating and the blasters, which have a vivid orange and green colour scheme, can fire these discs up to 60 feet.

Vortex has been introduced to sell alongside the popular N-Strike dart system.

In an exclusive interview, Anita Melendez, Nerf’s brand manager said: "N-Strike is still our core product and Vortex is completely complementary. It’s not a replacement, its an enhancement - the idea is that fans will use Vortex alongside the existing Nerf range.

"For us Vortex is about driving innovation and offering a new way to play with Nerf. It’s about bringing something fresh and taking Nerf to the next level. The trajectory and speed of the ammo is different to N-Strike and aesthetically we’re delivering something that looks a lot more futuristic."

The initial line-up includes four blasters, aimed at kids over eight - the hero product is the Nitron Blaster, a battery-powered automatic rifle that carries a 20-disc clip and comes with an electronic sight.

Next up is the Praxis Blaster, designed for long-range shooting, its a pump-action rifle which has an adjustable stock and comes with a ten-disc clip.

Nerf brand manager Anita Melendez poses with the Nitron Blaster

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Completing the range are two pistols, the Vigilon and the Proton. The Vigilon has an internal clip system that can incorporate five Vortex discs, while the Proton has a single loading chamber and comes with three discs.

All of the blasters have the same tactical rail, which allows for any accessory, including those from the N-Strike range, to be attached.

Speaking about the Vortex marketing programme, Helenez said: "We’ve got a huge TV campaign and an extensive partnership with Nickelodeon, where includes a competition where kids can win the chance to star in a Nerf advert which we will be filming in October.

"We’ll also be taking Nerf on tour, where kids can come along and test all of the Vortex range. We are doing this because we feel that once you play with Nerf you're hooked, that's the beauty of it."

When asked what it is that makes Nerf appeal to such a broad age range, Melendez said: "With Nerf, the appeal is the same whether its an eight or 18 year old. Ultimately every boy has still got a kid inside him no matter what age he is - Nerf somehow taps into that."


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