By Dusty Overby
on 8.31.09

nerf-charity-giveaway

Here’s the deal – thanks to the good folks at NERF, we’ve got a bag-load of sweet foamy goodness to giveaway. We’re not giving it to you, rather to your favorite children’s charity. Whether it be local to your hometown or a nationwide cause, it matters not to us. So how does it work?

  • Suggest your favorite cause or cast a vote of support for one someone else lists.
  • Whatever organization gets the most votes, we’ll hook them up.
  • Either way you’ve got to comment to give them a chance, and this is a great opportunity to do some good in this world.
  • Remember, we believe the children are the future. And teaching them well means giving them foam-flinging firearms.
  • The contest closes this Friday at midnight. We’ll announce the winner after that.

In case you didn’t realize, 1969 was a red-letter year in regards to American innovation and invention. Not only because we managed to put a man on the moon, but also thanks to the tireless effort of the Parker Brothers toy company. You see, that was the year that the game mavens behind Monopoly, Risk, and Trivial Pursuit unleashed NERF on the world. The evolution of NERF’s product line is incredible. It’s no overstatement to say that their foam toys have been etched into the childhood consciousness of every kid since.

Hit the jump for more on where NERF’s been, where it’s going, and to leave a comment asking Gear Patrol to send a load of Nerf-iness to your favorite children’s charity.

nerffThe original NERF toy was a ball, plain and simple. 4″ inches in diameter and made of polyurethane foam, it’s pictured here to the right. Billed as the “world’s first official indoor ball,” NERF actually touted it’s virtues by saying that when playing with the ball “you can’t damage lamps or break windows. You can’t hurt babies or old people.” I think you’ll agree that such is the stuff of marketing gold.

From there, NERF went on to introduce the indoor basketball game we all know and love, the NERFoop, followed by the original NERF football, predecessor to the ubiquitous Vortex that defined backyard football for our generation. From there, NERF exploded its offerings and, at some point, started shooting things. Balls and suction darts, to be precise.

Nowadays, NERF is still dealing in all the delightful toys of our youth, only they are even cooler. Case in point, the soon to be released N-Strike Raider Rapid Fire CS 35. This bad boy could be defined as Shock and Awe for the adolescent set.nerf-n-strike-raider-rapid-fire-cs-35

The CS 35 comes kitted out with a rotating drum holding 35 suction darts. Yes, you read that right, the Raider offers an ammo bonanza. The blaster can be set to single-fire mode for accurate sniping of your little brother or office mate; alternatively it can be operated in “slam” mode for a rapid barrage.

Additionally, NERF has upgraded all of their sports gear as well, offering NFL team-licensed Pro-Grip footballs, basketball gear to jam in your bedroom, and a new model of the ubiquitous Vortex.

Regardless of your age, the pure joy of indulging in some NERF fun can definitely take you back to a simpler time. Whether that means loading up your own kids on some NERF gear or starting a cubicle war with a hail of whistling darts, there’s never a bad time for foam. Consider the following: when asked about his feelings on the subject, fellow Gear Patrol crew member Jon Gaffney replied, “No matter how old I get, there’s just nothing like plunking someone in the dome with a suction dart.”* Truer words were never spoken.

Check the official NERF site to get more of a foam fix.

*Gear Patrol does not endorse doming your humorless, balding boss. Go down that road, and the consequences are on you.