TENNIS BALL BLASTER
I’m not dead! I swear! Turns out my sister having a sleepover can be almost as disruptive to Nerf reviews as having my world exploded. Almost. Not only that, but have a bit of a weird one for you this week. It turns out Nerf makes a whole line of dog toys which mainly consist of the standard chewy footballs and lengths of rope, but also, as it turns out, a blaster. My family does own a dog but she’s not really the playing type, but that hardly stopped me from picking one of these up.
THE BLASTER ITSELF
It’s a little hard to track down the relevant information, but it seems like the Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster was released in 2015 as part of the Nerf Dog line. The mechanism seems to be unique to this particular blaster as it doesn’t use the traditional air pressure to launch the projectile, in this case a tennis ball, but rather just uses the power of the spring inside the blaster to kick the ball out directly. There aren’t any fancy gimmicks or controls, you just load the ball in the barrel, pull the top handle back to prime it and then pull the trigger. The outer shell is completely original too, which isn’t surprising given the rather purpose-built nature of the blaster. The overall feel of the blaster is that its built so that even a non-Nerf savvy person couldn’t mess it up too badly. The construction is hefty and solid and the grip has plenty of surface to hold onto. I get the feeling it’s meant to be fired one handed like a pistol because the front end is very wide to accommodate the ammo type, but this means it’s a bit awkward trying to hold it as you would a rifle type blaster. There is a ball holder on the underside of the blaster for storing the tennis ball when not loaded into the barrel. While the ball included is Nerf branded, it is dimensionally the same as a regular tennis ball, so you could use any brand you like. Now, obviously, I can’t tell you to go harass any younger siblings you might have with this blaster. That would actually be abuse. But I can tell you that in the amount of range testing I did, I honestly found the performance pretty disappointing. I’m not athletic, like, at all, but I could easily throw a tennis ball farther than this can launch one. Some of you may be thinking that it’s not meant to be better than a functioning human arm, but it will let people who can’t throw (age, injury, etc.) play with their dog. But then I’d say, if you don’t have the physical faculty to throw a ball by hand, priming back the spring in this blaster is likely to be as much if not more of a challenge. Really, it seems like this blaster is meant for people who like gadgets or are fans of Nerf who also like playing with their dog, that or college kids who want to modify it into a big shotgun for HvZ, but that’s a different story altogether. The Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster comes with an orange and blue Nerf Dog branded tennis ball.
Now, I feel I should take the time to introduce Nerf Dog. Not the product line, the tennis ball. ND will be filling in for Penn for the time being while he’s away on holiday, that is to say, until I figure out where the heck Penn even went. But fear not, for I have it on good authority that ND is exactly the same size and therefore will do a fine job as a stand-in. Who knows, if he does a good job, there might be a more permanent position opening.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I wasn’t planning to buy a Nerf blaster when I walked into the local grocery store with my girlfriend. I didn’t even expect to see any aside from the usual array of Jolt reskins. I had seen this blaster online before and thought it looked fun, even if I didn’t have the recommended dog with which to play, but I never bought it until I saw it in person for a substantially reduced price. Most people have impulse grocery purchases like a pack of Oreos or a cake or something. I walked out with an impulse Nerf blaster, because of course I did.