Nerf updates laser tag with smartphone AR – TechCrunch

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There’s nothing like an awesome new toy to make you mourn the ghost of bygone youth. I don’t have the chance to attempt many out at this job, however after I do, there’s an invariable pang of jealousy for youths at this time who’ve a lot broader entry to stylish playthings than we did in our day.

Nerf Laser Ops Professional is a fairly strong instance of this. It finds the corporate combining a strong little bit of nostalgic IP with some trendy expertise, to good impact. The brand new toys, which hit digital retailer cabinets subsequent Monday, seem like a Nerf, play like a Lazer Tag and incorporate your smartphone to assist take them a step past what both line has supplied previously.

Arguably probably the most compelling bit in all of that is the worth level, with not one of the units operating greater than $50. I’ve a imprecise reminiscence of the unique Lazer Tag system being prohibitively costly in my youth — or perhaps that’s simply what my mother and father advised me as a result of they didn’t need any pretend weapons mendacity round the home.

There was, in any case, some controversy with the road from the outset. Right here’s a fairly miserable story from the peak of Lazer Tag’s success that little doubt brought about its producers to rethink the product’s presentation. In 1998, the model was bought by Hasbro, and in 2012, it was rolled into the Nerf line.

The froth gun model has at all times supplied a hotter, fuzzier tackle toy weapons, and that’s very a lot at play right here. The probability of ever mistaking Nerf Laser Ops Professional for an actual gun is slim to none. That stated, true diehards will doubtless miss the Knight Rider-esque black and pink vibe of the unique product. But when that’s sufficient to spoil your childhood, it was most likely already on shaky floor to start with.

The extra essential query is whether or not Laser Ops Professional is enjoyable. I solely performed with it briefly at this time (reminder: I’m an grownup with a job), however I can unequivocally state “sure” on that entrance. Habro’s finished a superb job marrying the brand new with the previous right here. The weapons are massive and plasticky and hearty, combining digital expertise with mechanical haptic suggestions.

Smartphone use is optionally available, which is nice for the little ones. Once you add that in, nonetheless, you get the good thing about issues like leaderboards, states and GPS monitoring (all safe and personal, the corporate assures me). There’s additionally a enjoyable little AR capturing sport you possibly can play while you’re all by your lonesome.

The blasters will likely be accessible on-line July 16, with retail availability subsequent month. They’re a strong summer time buy for folks searching for methods to get their video game-obsessed offspring up off the sofa whereas the climate’s nonetheless good.

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