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Nerf's new Blaster range is genuinely intimidating

Play safe kids.

Nerf's new Blaster range is genuinely intimidating

Guns aren't cool.

Nerf Blasters, on the other hand, have always held a certain allure that no amount of maturity can dampen. 

When we were kids (that's the eighties and nineties), Nerf Blasters held a handful of foam darts that struggled to travel in a straight line across a living room. This invariably meant that a) you really didn't mean to shoot your brother in the eye and b) you lost the majority of your projectiles within the first week of use. 

So it's with a muttering of "Kids these days..." that we browse through Nerf's latest range of 'toys'. Some can fire darts at 70mph. Some have modular upgrades. Some cost over £50. And they all look like they belong in a new Aliens film.

Play safe kids.

Nerf N-Strike Modulus Tri-Strike Blaster

Age recommendation: 8 years and up

Price: $49.99 (£35.16)

Features: As the cumbersome name suggests, the Tri-Strike provides three opportunities for humiliating your opponent (/little brother). There's an 'ELITE slam-fire action' dart launcher, a MEGA pump-action blaster and a 'missile launcher'.

Rating: 7/10 (while it might sound impressive, you only get 10 ELITE darts, four mega darts and one missile. Best be accurate with your shots)

Nerf Mega Mastodon Blaster

Age recommendation: 8 years and up

Price: $79.99 (£56.16)

Features: With a name like a world-ender out of DOOM, the Mega Mastodon lives up to its bulky title with a motorised 24-dart drum. No one has seen it in action yet, but we imagine it would reduce most social occasions to a tear-filled end within a matter of minutes.

Rating: 9/10

Nerf N-Strike Elite Hyper-Fire Blaster

Age recommendation: 8 years and up

Price: $49.99 (£35.11)

Features: They should have called it "the ornament ender". The Hyper-Fire is the fastest-firing Nerf Blaster ever created, spewing forth five foamy missiles every second. Which means, with a 25-dart drum, your battle is going to last five seconds. Totally worth it.

Rating: 6/10

Nerf Rival Khaos MXVI-4000 Blaster

Age recommendation: 14 years and up

Price: $69.99 (£49.20)

Features: The first fully automatic Nerf Blaster, it can spit out 40 round 'bullets' at 70mph in a matter of seconds. 

Rating: 9/10 (falls short of top marks because picking up those darts is going to last a lot longer than any battles)