“ Brand: Air Blasters / Type: Foam dart gun / Nerf style gun „
My husband recently went to Smyths to buy extra shotgun bullets for my sons' air blaster shotguns. Unable to find spares for the shotgun shells, he came home with two more guns, although each one comes with shells and darts. My husband certainly has a thing for buying the boys guns and other violent toys - I think he is trying to counteract my overly soft influence, LOL. I honestly don't mind the boys having guns though, it certainly keeps them happy and I do prefer this set to their other set of guns.
These guns are currently on sale at £9.49 each at Smyths or £10.00 with Tesco Direct. They are well made, of heavy plastic. This seems as if it would be very difficult to break, and we have had no problem with rough and tumble play, and even my youngest whacking Daddy over the head when bullets failed to kill him. He likes dramatic deaths. It comes with six plastic shotgun shells and six foam darts which fit into a spring loaded clip and can be fired as fast as you can cock the lever and pull the trigger.
The recommended age for this is 6 years +. I am not really certain the reason for this age recommendation. My best guess would be the possibility of a child hitting themself in the eye with the plastic shell, but as this ejects out the side, this seems unlikely. The spent cartridges do eject with a bit of force, but nearly so much as with our other air blaster shotguns, where the plastic cartridges eject with considerable force from the back of the gun, and the other guns do not have an age recommendation. My sons are ages 2 and 6, and I am happy enough for both of them to play with this, but of course it is for each parent to decide if this is suitable for their child. I would not allow my youngest to use this if he was still at the ages of chewing on toys as I imagine a child could bite a chunk out of the foam easily enough. Both children are able to work the cocking mechanism on this, and fire this gun with no problems, but the youngest does need some help with reloading the clips.
My sons really love playing with these. They quite enjoy playing hide and seek games where you jump out shooting, or chasing each other around the house firing away. The best fun of course is probably ambushing Mom and Dad. I have gotten used to the odd foam dart landing in my tea, or getting shot in the back as I walk down the hall. My husband provides more fun though, especially when he is playing PS3 and can be counted on to jump out and roar meaningless threats to the laughter of both children.
The foam darts do not hit with enough force to hurt, although my husband claims they do. In the interest of this review I have fired a couple of them point blank against my skin, and it is completely painless. Both children also say it does not hurt. They do not do any damage to things like the TV or fish tank, nor have they knocked over anything on the mantle, but obviously some common sense should be applied as to using these in rooms with light weight delicate items like fine china. I highly doubt Alyson would want anyone playing with these near her Betty Boop collection!
As far as outdoor toys, I really do not think these are ideal. It's far to easy to lose the foam darts, but even the orange plastic shells could go missing outdoors and they are much more difficult to replace. The gun will not work without the shells either. I have also found from past experiences, the foam darts quickly get stained up and grubby looking being trampled on out in the garden. I'd prefer water guns outdoors anyway, but these are wonderful fun for the long winter days when we just can't get outdoors enough.
My sons are delighted with these and say they are the best guns ever - but then they say that about every new set of guns. Still they obviously enjoy them, and it keeps them active indoors. I'm happy enough with them for the price paid, and seeing my beloved husband get whacked over the head was just the icing on the cake - Yes I do actually love him, but we've been together long enough for me to enjoy seeing him tortured a bit as well ;)
If you like a nice quiet house and all wild play consigned to the garden, then these are not the toys for you. If like us though, you don't mind noise and commotion, or even full scale war in the house, then give these a try.