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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Of Zombies and Femme Fatales

So a little background for this piece, so that when someone reads this in a year they have some idea what i'm rambling about.  A few months ago, we begin seeing the first images of the Nerf Rebelle line from toy fairs.  There was some booing, and some rejoicing.  Some gnashed their teeth and called the line sexist others applauded the forward empowerment of females, and others just didn't quite see a point to it.  All that is beside the point of this piece however.  Just last night I began seeing the first images of a leaked pistol, that looks awfully similar to the Rebelle Wildshot, the Zombie Strike line's Hammershot.
Wildshot Source: UK Nerf

Hammershot Source: UK Nerf

Both are revolvers, both prime with an identical hammer spur, both have the same open front revolver cylinder.  I don't think anyone is seriously unsure of whether these two blasters are entirely identical internally. But how does this affect the market and game play?

Normally I would try to break it down into pros and cons but I'll skip that for now...

I don't think this doubling up use of a design is going to affect us in any appreciable way.  For the most part because it's unlikely that we as adult players are the lion's share of the market.  If I'm wrong I'd like to know and will fully retract and reconsider this article in light of the new information.  Additionally Rebelle is aimed at a new demographic which makes it a risk financially.  Bravo by the way for Nerf taking the risk and trying to expand thier market and in doing so bring more girls and women into the action sports fold.  Re using the designs developed for Rebelle in a boys line makes all the sense in the world, by reducing development costs and allows the development to also be used in a safe direction.  But Zombie Strike doesn't seem to be necessarily a "boys line".  Zombie Strike strikes me as the first Nerf product line aimed at adults, young adults, but adults none the less.

Humans Vs Zombies has taken the world by storm, played at colleges and more the world over.  While not the first to do so (HVZ themselves took a shot at sponsoring an HVZ branded blaster through Air Zone), jumping on the bandwagon is a savvy move on Hasbro's part.  Having seen nothing else of the Zombie Strike line but one single solitary revolver, I cannot find fault in this move.  The design is simple, easy to use, Revolvers have consistently been one of Nerf's best sellers and popular with beginners.  And N-Strike Elite can be a little intimidating to Newbies who are not following blogs or doing the research we are used to.  Both Rebelle and Z-Strike are designed to target new markets and be highly approachable.  Bravo Hasbro.


  1. I have to agree. Hasbro can't be certain that girls will actually go for this. I'm sure they will but as you say, it's uncharted territory. Every hot blooded male likes a zombie so I think these things are going to shift.

  2. We know that HvZ probably isn't going anywhere, so it make sense to capitalize on it. Also pay attention to the fact that the Hammerstrike is mostly safety orange. It's designed to be used in view of the public without getting the user shot for his troubles.

  3. That and as stated, there is a guaranteed, some would say "rabid", fanbase for the "masculine" toys.



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