Toys for boys (and girls) of all ages

It doesn’t seem to matter what age you are – the Nerf gun definitely seem to be the ‘toy’ of choice – I’ve seen them hidden away from 30-somethings in offices where they are supposed to be working, not messing about – and my five-year-old spends ages mooning over them in the Argos catalogue.


So whatever your age, if you’re a Nerf fan you’ll be pleased to see the appearance of the Raider CS-35, which has a big drum magazine that holds 35 darts – so you can take out most of the office, or your whole class, depending on your age. A window allows you to see if your ammo is running low, it’s a rapid-fire device and the pump-action handle allows you to adjust your rate of fire. And when you lose all the darts (which you will, believe me!) you can buy refill packs. Not the cheapest of the Nerf guns at £34.95, but an essential piece of kit for your next office bonding day!

If you’d rather destroy your colleagues by boggling their minds, challenge them to complete the Perplexus Epic Puzzle. It’s a step up from those ball bearing mazes we all played with as kids. This is a 3d puzzle marathon, with a total of 125 barriers to get that little shiny ball through, as you guide it around the tracks, steps, levers, tubes and falls to reach the end of the puzzle. The price of frustration? £19.99.

Finally, if you need to relax with a good book after all that action and brain work, the Tiny Tim book light is a nifty little piece of kit that will let you read your book in bed, even if your other half wants the light out. It measures just 13cm high and can either standalone or clip on to your book. Battery powered, it comes in red or black and costs a neat £7.95.

All the gizmos featured here are available from

Hands on with the Nerf Vortex blaster range

Nerf invited Latest Gadgets down to a small bar in Soho for a shoot out against some of the journalists on the London tech scene. Delighted at a chance to settle some old scores we turned up and did our best to polish off some of the competition using the four new Nerf blasters from the Vortex range. Whilst not quite up to any of the paintball episodes of Community (amazingly there have been three. More amazingly, they are all amazing).


The smallest in the arsenal is the Nerf Vortex Vigilon Blaster – which has rapid-reload capabilities and a built in disc clip. You push a button to release the drop down clip, pop in five little plastic discs (if you forget they are little plastics discs and try to think of them as space bullets of something it’s a little less dorky) and activate the slide mechanism to fire.

If you need to fire your little plastic disc and engage in sci-fi Western fantasies a la Trigun you might want to try your luck with the Nerf Vortex Proton Blaster, which looks ripped straight from the pages of some mecha manga I must have seen during my wasted youth. The single shot blaster carries three little plastic discs.

All these relatively modest blasters as very well and good but what happens when you want to up your pretend firepower? Well toy guns don’t come much bigger or badder than the Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster. The first fully automatic, clip fed little plastic disc blaster in the range, the Nitron Blaster has an Electronic Targeting Scope accessory so you can really go to town on your toy-gun based revenge fantasies. Or if you prefer to pump it up, when you don’t really need it, then the Nerf Vortex Praxis Blaster is your best bet (it’s a nice update from 2010s Nerf Vortex Theoretical Blaster). Designed for long range the pump-action plaster comes with a ten-disc clip.

The new disc range is out 10 September 2011. For more information head to Nerf. Until then (or even after) you can always simply re-enact this.