As I look back on my fond childhood memories, easily one of the best were being outside (or inside) playing with toy guns, squirt guns, nerf guns, rubber band guns, fake laser guns that made noise, whatever kind of gun, I loved them. Many an hour was spent playing nerf war with friends in the backyard (and cleaning up all those little foam darts we left behind). Oh those were the days. But those days are not over it seems, Rejoice! For these plastic masterpieces are more popular in the past few years than ever with the help of DIY geeks around the internet modding and posting their own brilliant hacked versions of the guns – showing off everything from LED lights to larger dart carrying capacities to even farther shooting ranges! Custom foam dart blasters really have taken on a community of their own of people doing diy hacks and mods to the guns and toys for fun (or for profit! You can actually buy a lot of these on sites like ebay, or contact individual artisans for custom jobs!). Nerf has definitely come a long way since the early days of 1969 (when they first came out) – and even since my childhood years in the 90′s! Not only have the guns gotten cooler looking but they are just a lot higher quality all around these days, which definitely helped the DIY movement grab a hold of them! Lets take a step back and examine the history of these awesome toys we have all grown to love (especially around the office! haha).
A Brief History of Nerf
It all started with a foam Ball. Whether you had a foam ball as a kid, or a dart gun, or knew someone who had these things – you probably were touched by a nerf product or two (maybe not so gently, in the head haha) in your lifetime. Lets take a look at the history behind the company that churned out these classic childhood memory creators!
Nerf (trademarked in capitals as NERF) is a toy brand created by Parker Brothers and currently owned by Hasbro. Most of the toys are a variety of foam-based weaponry, but there are also several different types of Nerf toys, such as balls for sports like football, basketball, and others. The most notable of the toys are the dart guns (referred to by Hasbro as “blasters”) that shoot ammunition made from Nerf foam. Since many such items were released throughout the 1970s, Nerf products often feature bright neon colors and soft textures similar to the flagship Nerf ball. The slogan frequently used from the 1990s advertising until now is “It’s Nerf or nothin’!”.
Nerf foam is made from a solid, spongy cellular material. To produce it, polyester resin reacts with another compound in the presence of CO2 from another reaction. It is this gas that creates open pockets within the polyurethane that, in turn, make the material soft and light.
Parker Brothers originally developed Nerf, beginning with a four-inch (102 mm) polyurethane foam ball. In 1969, Reyn Guyer, a Minnesota-based games inventor, came to the company with a volleyball game that was safe for indoor play, and after studying it carefully, Parker Brothers decided to eliminate everything but the foam ball. In 1970, the Nerf ball was introduced as the “world’s first official indoor ball”, the name “Nerf” being a slang term for the foam padding used in off-road racing. Marketing slogans promised that one can “Throw it indoors; you can’t damage lamps or break windows. You can’t hurt babies or old people.” The ball filled a strong consumer need and by the year’s end, more than four million Nerf balls had been sold. The four-inch (102 mm) ball was followed closely by a large version called “Super Nerf Ball”. Shortly after, in 1972, a basketball game called “Nerfoop” and the Nerf football joined the family, with the latter quickly becoming NERF’s most popular ball.
The company continued to add to the NERF line until they handed control to Kenner Products, a sister company, in 1991, when Hasbro acquired the Nerf line through the acquisition of the Tonka Corporation. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the Nerf brand served under the subsidiaries OddzOn and Larami before Hasbro took full control of the brand.
Over the years, Nerf has continued to expand the line, adding new looks to existing products, with its current line of NERF products ranging from sport balls and foam dart blasters to video games and accessories.
Interesting company history! HAHA “can’t hurt babies or old people” – sounds like a “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED” to me lol. My how far the ball has bounced from the …uh.. ball.. tree? lol. Todays most popular nerf items are definitely a little less tame than the original “indoor ball” but they are still safe for kids to play with. Until you mod the crap out of it that is, then they are just even more awesome, AMIRIGHT? The gun mods that we are showcasing today are surely up to the challenge of pushing the safety boundaries lol, so having said that “Warning: Be Careful. Mod at your own risk!” if you are going to mod a nerf gun definitely practice the safety tips taught to us by G.I. Joe. Safety First!
Today we are showcasing some of the very best heavily modified NERF guns (and other toy gun mods) that we have found across the interwebs! There are guns made for fun as a hobby, custom ordered as props for movies, or even pro nerf gun mods that are incredibly intricate with LED Lights and sound and more! There are even some guns modded by means of inspiration from video games (Halo, Mass Effect, Gears of War, Borderlands, etc!), Movies (Aliens, Starwars, District 9, etc!), and even TV Shows (Firefly!!!!) so any geek will get their saliva glands going just scrolling through these bad boys. If you are into realistic military weapons and replicas also then there are some really badass military style nerf guns as well! We even put together some resources at the end to help you modify your own nerf gun (or at least get yourself geeking out over them and trying your own hand at geeky diy crafts!), videos and awesome instructions make it easy to turn your old broken nerf gun into your next weekend DIY Project! There is a little something for everyone here, Whatever you get out if it I hope you at least enjoy the nerf gun nostalgia and it brings back some childhood memories – or gives you a great idea for a nerf gun mod of your own! Maybe you can impress your friends at the office with your own mod, or destroy them with it next time you have an office nerf war!! Enjoy!!
Behold, all the customizations! Lights, Sounds, Spinning thingies! My God! WANT.
Are you in need of MOAR Nerf Gun Mod Awesomesauce?!? FORSOOTH, here are some more inspirations to get your creative foam dart ideas churning in your succulent brain space!
How To Modify Nerf Guns
So You Want to build your own epic foam dart shooting masterpiece now eh? EH? YOU WANT TO!? Ok, That is understandable… reasonable request… So here are some tutorials! Set some time aside this weekend, pick up a toy gun at the store and Get at them!
Because, you gotta have darts to go with these things right? lol. You can never have too many darts! Make your own!
How to Make a working Gears of War lancer with a Nerf gun
Check out this Awesome video of a custom made DIY Gears of War Lancer inspired Nerf Mod! In the description there is a link for instructions to build your own!
How to Modify a Nerf Longshot CS-6 gun Video Tutorial
Nerf Gun Mod – How to make a Zombie Hunter Tactical Tommy 20
Well thats all folks – I hope that this resource helps someone who wants to get their hands dirty and make an awesome nerf gun customized to their own needs or imagination (DIY FTW!). Hope it helped some learn a little bit about making things, tools, electricity or making your own gadgets (or any shape or form or functionality) as well!
What was your favorite custom nerf gun mod design? Have you ever attempted making a toy gun mod? Have any tips on how you did it, or what gun is the best to use, or what tools to use? Let us know in the comments below or in the forums! Thanks for Reading!