Nerf Blaster Initiation

vintage nerf blaster

What was your first Nerf Blaster?

When I started to get back into the wonderful world of Nerf, I couldn’t help but reminisce on the good old times. Times when I was a kid and my parents home was littered with Nerf darts. There were blasters everywhere, with foam weapons strewn across the sofa. This made me think about the first Nerf blaster I ever held. So take a walk with me down memory lane… 

Nerf Blaster Initiation.

cyber stryke nerf blasterIt was circa 1997 and my father bought me what seemed like the entire Nerf Cyber Stryke collection. I had the Defender, the Ratchet Blast, the RotoTrack, the (Cyber) Strongarm, the AutoGrip, and the Perceptor. Wow. Anyway, so yeah, the Defender was definitely one of my favorites. But let’s go over all of them real quick in a little retro review of sorts.

The Nerf Defender T3.

vintage nerf blasterThe Defender T3 is a single-fire sidearm Nerf blaster, with an external mechanism priming handle. It has an attachment that it slides into that adds a Nerf missile arrow launcher to the top. This makes it two blasters in one. The design of this blaster is very futuristic, like all the blasters in this series. It holds two extra darts under the muzzle as well as one in the barrel. It also holds 3 arrows, one on the tube and two on the back. There is a scope up top that doubles as a fold-out handle, for shooting the arrow launcher sideways. As we all know, turning a gun sideways makes it far more dangerous. For more info and a look at the Defender in motion, check out this video from famous Nerf modder LordDraconical: Vintage Review: Nerf Defender T3 Cyberstrike Blaster.

The Ratchet Blast.

vintage nerf blasterThe Ratchet Blast was the first break-action Nerf blaster. Operating like a shotgun with a 4 shot revolving barrel, the Ratchet Blast was a *blast* to use. (See what I did there?) The included oversized hand guard was a nice touch, too. It came with a dart holder that held 4 extra darts up top.  I never tried back then, but according to Nerf Wiki, you can fire the blaster with one hand. This means you can dual-wield this blaster. Pretty cool. This might be a little easier to dual-wield than the Nerf Zombie Strike Slingfire blasters that I’m working on mastering right now.

The RotoTrack.

vintage nerf blasterThe RotoTrack was another interesting design for a Nerf blaster. It was a single fire, chain-fed blaster that strapped to your hand. It had a high capacity of twelve darts and pretty good accuracy for the time, but the chain would sometimes get jammed. It also had a weird firing mechanism that I really didn’t like. But forget about this blaster, seriously. They just announced the crazy new Mega RotoFury Nerf Blaster. That’s the only “Roto” blaster you should be worried about.

The Strongarm. (Cyber Stryke Gear)

vintage nerf blasterNerf really loves strap-ons, don’t they? In the late 90’s they sure did. The Strongarm (not to be confused with the Elite Strongarm) was another Nerf blaster that you strapped to your arm. The barrels would also flip down at the push of a button, almost like the AutoGrip. It also lacks a trigger, like the RotoTrack. The Strongarm had two distinct barrels, but they were not fired simultaneously. You actually have to select which barrel you want to fire from with a little switch up top. Then you slide the cocking mechanism back and push it forward to fire. This blaster would have definitely been cooler if it had a trigger and you could fire both darts at the same time.

The AutoGrip.

vintage nerf blaster

vintage nerf blasterThe AutoGrip is a small back up Nerf blaster. It basically looks like a Nerf Jolt, but with a huge external direct plunger attached with a tube. It straps to your right arm, folded up. You would push a button and the AutoGrip would swing up into a position to grip it with your hand and start blasting away.  That’s so cool. I always loved this idea and I’m actually surprised vintage nerf blasterNerf hasn’t revisited this idea. Imagine a Nerf Jolt (or Triad or BigShock) on an arm anchor drawer-slide on your arm. Underneath your jacket. That would be amazing in a Nerf War. Having something like that would be a game changer, for sure. You can now be the Travis Bickle of Nerf. A Nerf blaster Desperado. Or just that guy from Alien Resurrection.

The Perceptor.

vintage nerf blasterThe Perceptor isn’t technically a Nerf blaster. It’s more like body gear that happens to fire a Nerf dart occasionally. It is worn on the body, a vest on the chest and a headpiece. The main part of the blaster was on the chest, with the barrel attached to the side of the head. The head gear had a flip down optical sight that was meant to ensure you shot wherever you were looking. The idea of this was pretty cool and I commend Nerf for making the effort. However it didn’t really work out too well. It just wasn’t very accurate and it was a bit slow to reload.

You Never Forget Your First Time.

The Nerf Cyber Stryke Gear line of Nerf blasters were some of my first Nerf blasters. They will always be held near and dear to my heart. With that said, they all seem pretty terrible today. I’d still rock out with a modified Nerf Defender, though. And I’m very strongly considering doing an arm anchor/drawer-slide mod for the Nerf Jolt/Triad/BigShock line of Nerf blasters. I don’t currently own any of these Nerf blasters anymore, unfortunately. I don’t even know what happened to them. I left them at home when I moved out. My parents sent them off, I know not where. I looked on Amazon and the only thing I found was a listing for a used and overpriced “collectible” Nerf AutoGrip. Anyway, that’s all. That’s my story. The Nerf Cyber Stryke Gear blasters were some of my first Nerf Blasters. What were yours?

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Executive Web Development Manager at Nerf Gun Attachments
Live and Breathe NERF! I started this site after I became a dad - to learn about all of the new blasters and review and catalogue them - because I wanted to share one of my favorite childhood pastimes with my son -- and now, I fell back in love with the hobby! It's Nerf or Nothing!