Concept sketches. 3D mockups. Prototyping. High speed ballistics photography. If it sounds like weapon development, that's because it is weapon development...just on a Nerf scale.
During his masters research at Hasbro, designer Barry Kudrowitz developed his concept for a one-handed, one-shot "Hand Popper" toy into the full-blown, commercially available "Atom Blaster" Nerf gun.
The entire article on the subject is probably no more than 300 words, but it has enough pretty pictures to walk you through the abridged process of Nerf development and maybe leave you with a bit more appreciation for the toy label. It's definitely worth a quick click. [Wonderbarry via bbGadgets]