For nearly 30 years, Nerf has been synonymous with foam — foam balls, foam darts, and foam arrows blasted across playgrounds or over cubicle walls.
For its new awesome-looking Hyper blasters, Nerf brand owner Hasbro had something different in mind. To increase their performance and capacity, it charged a small team of engineers to develop a smaller projectile using a new material. They came up with a tiny ball made of thermoplastic elastomer; effectively, rubber instead of foam.
Before they could perfect that ball, the company’s designers had to build a new set of blasters to actually fire those projectiles, too. The $30 Hyper Rush-40, $40 Siege-50, and $70 Mach-100 were developed at the same time as the new rounds, they told me on a conference call.