Starting in 2009 Nerf forged into new territory by introducing a new line of weapons. Famous for years for its dart shooting blasters in the N-Strike and other product lines, the new product series was named N-Force and had Nerf unexpectedly going downright medieval.
The N-Force line includes swords, axes, hatchets and maces, nine products in all—enough to gladden the heart of any wannabe Berserker.
Nerf built a reputation on firepower and fun with minimized if not entirely eliminated danger to objects, animals and people—and that is possible to do with air powered weapons that fire soft foam darts. It is not so easy to insure with solid battle hardware like swords and axes. As such, the N-Force weapons should be considered outdoor play and for older kids, teens or adults primarily. These are not soft foam bladed weapons, but are made of hard plastic at their core (with foam protection on outer surfaces) and can inflict damage and injury if handled improperly. Even folks experienced at swordplay find this line of Nerf weapons requires a learning curve to manage effectively and safely.
N-Force Vendetta Double Sword is a truly intimidating weapon definitely worthy of Attila the Hun. As the name implies this is two swords which attach together to become one “MegaBlade”. Each sword can also be wielded separately with one used as a distraction while the other hits home. When combined together the swords essentially become a four foot long bladed staff and should be handled with that in mind otherwise it is too easy for the swordsman to accidentally hit himself! The Vendetta is effective in fending off hoarde attacks in either mode, not so effective against blaster darts unless spun around in an attempt to deflect incoming missiles!
N-Force Vantage Sword is Nerf’s answer to a double-edged broadsword. Released in 2011, the Vantage made some improvements over its predecessors in the line in terms of having a sturdier grip and more control capability than the Thunder and Shadow Fury short swords. The Vantage is described as a medium length sword (2 ft in length) and is particularly effective in melee style attacks, its strong suit being defense rather than offense. Again, like the Vendetta, it is of mixed value in fending off blaster dart attacks—which is why today’s armies aren’t still running around carrying swords—projectiles always have the advantage—in spite of this sword’s name!
N-Force Marauder Long Sword definitely lives up to its name—it is 40.5 inches long! This makes the Marauder the second longest sword in the N-Force product line; only the Vendetta in MegaBlade mode is longer. It is a powerful melee style weapon although with a blade heavier than its handle, it is unwieldy to use one handed—this is most definitely a two handed weapon. The heaviness of the blade also makes it potentially very dangerous in pitched battle, a good whack from this baby can break glasses or goggle and cause injury to the face and head—it should never be aimed at any unprotected body surface!
N-Force Shadow Fury Short Sword measures about two feet in length and is the weapon of choice in one handed melee style fighting. Due to its length and balance, the Shadow Fury is especially easy to swing around at high speeds and is very effective in close-in fighting. It is easily mistaken for its counterpart the Thunder Fury Short Sword—the two are in fact virtually identical in some color configurations.
While safety issues do abound with the N-Force line, it should probably be remembered that for centuries kids played with wooden swords which arguably present more danger than their plastic and foam counterparts are capable of in the modern age. Toy sword play is a more active method of play than shooting foam darts at targets, and anything that gets kids up, excited, moving and running around has to be viewed as a generally good thing. However, parents owe it to their children and the safety of others to instruct kids in respect and fair play when they hand over any toy weapon.