Thursday, August 20, 2009


Training Tomorrow’s Zombie-Killers Today

My son received this high-tech weapon for his birthday last weekend and it’s made him such a highly-effective killing machine that the US Army Special Forces and the US Marine Corps are fighting over which elite section of the military gets to have him. He’s fond of animals, however, so we’re trying to determine whether the World Wildlife Fund uses snipers.

What we’re talking about here is next-generation weaponry from NERF, makers of “less lethal” toys for generations. We all grew up with NERF footballs, which allowed those who were afraid of the ball to still compete, after which they’d learn to be afraid of the linebackers. Since the “NERF Taser” is still in development, the current state-of-the-art in soft foam small arms is the NERF N-STRIKE series. Designed for the age 6+ crowd of future commandos, it's the first weapon my son ever really loved.

The RECON CS-6 is notable because it’s highly mission-configurable. It consists of no less than three modular components for the body of the weapon itself – a shoulder stock (with a bay for a spare clip), a barrel extension (which actually seems only to make the weapon “cooler” while decreasing its range), and the weapon’s central mechanism containing the grip, trigger, chamber, the receptacle for the clip, and the primary barrel. To these modular sections, the operative may choose to add either or both targeting tools – a flip-up, adjustable sight and a dual-mode light beam. The latter device emits a red beam of light that can be adjusted from a narrow “laser” beam to a wide dispersion for visual targeting in low-light conditions. This device has been technically described by my son as “cool!” Both of these targeting attachments can be affixed at multiple positions on the weapon.

My son cares for none on this. Sure, the dual-mode light beam attachment caught his attention for a moment, but he never uses it. No, it’s all about laying down suppressing fire as you move into position, leading your target, and taking the kill. Skeet shooting? Silhouettes? No, for a weapon this magnificent, only The Most Dangerous Game will do. This weapon is for hunting men. Well, boys. And little girls. Anything that moves, pretty much. The guinea pigs have thus far eluded notice, but it’s only a matter of time. Anything, as long as those six precious rounds can be ejected with deadly-seeming force at a (preferably fleeing, screaming) designated enemy combatant.

But that’s where this remarkable weapon both excels and fails. The rounds fly with sufficient speed that you have a good chance at taking down your prey, yet they don’t really hurt. Granted, all the fancy targeting is useless because the rounds drop rapidly once they leave the barrel – you have to aim high, not where the laser is pointing. But the biggest issue with the NERF N-STRIKE RECON CS-6 is in the name. The 6 apparently is for the number of rounds of ammo included with the weapon. It’s a pump-action chamber so you’re not losing rounds to strafing like you would on full automatic, but you still move through those six “streamline darts” pretty darn fast. You move through five even faster, which is what happens when you put one up on the roof and the rain doesn’t wash it out the downspout. The clip looks like it could hold 8-10 rounds, but you only actually get 6. They sell spare ammo in a 60 count pack for $20, and three spare clips for $14, so if you want to be fully combat-ready, count on spending another $34 on top of the $20 for the weapon itself.

As toys go, this one’s a hit though. It’s sufficiently well-built that it doesn’t seem like it’s going to fall apart all the time, and it’s even been relatively jam-free once the kids learned how to properly load and service the weapon. They somehow lost the sliding flip-up sight, but that’s just the kids being kids, not a design flaw. It could easily have come with a few more rounds of ammo, but the kids don’t seem to notice or mind too much. I’d highly recommend this toy for any red-blooded American boy (no commies!), or maybe a Canadian boy or a really tough British girl who wants to mix it up with the lads. This weapon has made my son into the man he is today, and the US Army or Marine sniper he’s going to be within a few weeks once the Pentagon decides who gets to have him. Sniff – I’m so proud.

I’m really looking forward to the NERF 10mm Mortar and the NERF heavy artillery!

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