The Mythbusters proved that shooting bullets in a dramatic curve like Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy did in the movie Wanted is actually impossible. But tiny foam balls? That’s very doable with the latest additions to Nerf’s Rival blaster line.
First revealed back in 2015, Nerf’s Rival line consists of a series of toy blasters targeted at teens who are too young for paintball but too old for the brand’s other offerings. Instead of foam darts, the Rival blasters fire tiny foam balls that could hit speeds of up to 70 MPH. That’s not enough speed to cause bodily harm, but fast enough that you definitely don’t want to get hit in the heat of battle.
Since its debut, Nerf has been updating the Rival line with features like giant hoppers that can hold more than 100 balls and motorized firing mechanisms, but this year brings one of the most interesting upgrades to date. The new Rival Curve Shot line features muzzles that can be twisted to add spin to the foam ball to alter the trajectory of each shot. In addition to firing straight ahead, shots can be curved to the right, to the left, or curved down, giving the person pulling the trigger a strategic advantage against those trying to hide behind an obstacle for cover.
Three different Nerf Rival Curve Shot blasters will be available later this year, including the single-shot $15 Rival Curve Shot Flex XXI-100 and the $25 Rival Curve Shot Sideswipe XXI-1200, which also fires one shot at a time but can be quickly reloaded and primed with its 12-shot side-loading magazine. Both of those blasters will be available at toy retailers staring in March, while the $30 Rival Curve Shot Helix XXI-2000 will be a Target exclusive when it launches in August with a pump action priming system and a ball hopper which automatically feeds them into the firing mechanism after each shot.
As with all of the Nerf Rival blasters, Hasbro recommends that eye protection be worn at all times, and that now includes anyone who thinks they’re safely hidden behind the sofa while their sibling takes aim.