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Nerf Is Dying

By Spoon - The Living End Series

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#1 The Infinite Shindig

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 10:08 PM

Nerf Is Dying

I've been trying for the last three weeks to come up with a topic to talk about. I have been very busy, and to be honest there really isn't much happening in the nerf world today. However there is one thing that has been occupying my thoughts lately given the approaching Armageddon nerf war. To discuss this I need everyone's MATURE (I know that "m" word some of us never learned) support. This may get a bit preachy, but bear with me...

The majority of you reading this will remember the "old" Nerf Online, when it was still at .net, and if you do then I'm sure you'd agree that there used to be a HELL of a lot more people posting on the Nerf Online boards back then. These days it's literally the same 20 people or so. Why is this? Many will say because NO went down for a while then changed address. This would definitely account for a good chunk of those missing people but it's not the answer. The adage "where there is a will there is a way" comes to mind. When I got back into nerf I went looking for Nerf Online. When I didn't find it at the old address, I started trying new ones, searching the net for links, etc. I found it. Many of you probably did something similar. I do not post on the Nerf Center boards, and haven't in a long time but I'm sure that if you asked them they'd tell you the same thing is happening. Not only are there less people overall, but most importantly there are less NEW PEOPLE coming on to the boards. These days on Nerf Online I hardly EVER see a new person come on. Most of the smaller nerf sites that are out there were created at least half a year ago, and the majority of those sites are no longer, or very sparsely updated. The overwhelming conclusion one gleams from this evidence is that the internet nerf community, as much as it has grown in the past couple years, is beginning to thin. Less people, less newbies, less interest. As if this is bad enough, it is only part of a larger trend·

I remember when I used to live in Texas, and the first couple years I lived out here in California. I remember going into Toys R Us (TRU), and salivating as I walked up and down the nerf AISLE. I remember an entire AISLE dedicated to nerf. I remember a time where once a nerf gun was released you could find it on store shelves dependably for years. Not anymore. The two nearest TRU's to me, for the last six months to a year, have only carried TWO OR THREE GUNS at a time. About the only gun you can find out here reliably is the Powerclip. Stores like Target, K Mart, and Walmart used to have an entire aisle of nerf, and now the one or two nerf guns they have are buried at the end of some obscure shelf. Has anyone noticed that nerf doesn't make commercials anymore? Has anyone noticed that in the past few years the company that makes nerf guns has changed three times? With each previous manufacturer having either gone bankrupt (like Oddzon) or been partially bought out (like Larami)? Has anyone wondered why Hasbro stopped making nerf guns themselves in the first place several years ago? When a company stops making something, or hands it off to a different company, it is usually because that product no longer brings in a profit.

All of these facts can point to only one rational explanation: That Nerf, as a sport, and as a toy line, is dying. Sure they release a good gun once a year or so, but can you find them? The Blast Fires were barely released before you couldn't find them on shelves anywhere. Where have the aisles of nerf gone? Where have the hundreds of forum posters gone? Where have the commercials and advertising gone? Where has the overall public awareness and interest gone? Nerf is quickly becoming extinct, as interest and profits wane. Why is this? I think a lot of it has to do with the school shootings epidemic the last couple of years. Parents simply are becoming a lot more hesitant to buying little Jimmy a "gun" even if it's only of the nerf variety. Additionally, with the rapid rise in popularity of paintball and laser tag, the target market for nerf guns is shrinking. The mid-teen demographic that has been so sought after in the nerf market is now moving to "cooler" forms of fake combat, and that leaves nerf as a brand name up a creek without an outboard motor.

Nerf is not a socially acceptable sport. It is not like football or soccer or tennis. When you nerf at a park, people look at you with a look of confusion and condemnation. They see you as a "violent teenager". If the general populace considers computer games "murder simulators" I can imagine the field day they would have with nerf. Part of this is due to society's strict adherence to the "stupidity in numbers" philosophy, and part of it is because of us. Yes, we nerfers are partially to blame for this attitude people have towards nerf. I don't know about the rest of you, but in my experiences and in the experiences of others I've talked too, the average nerf war consists largely of teenagers, dressed in either black or camouflage, running around with highly modified (and very powerful) "guns", shooting each other while cursing loudly, and basically taking over parks and unintentionally terrorizing people. This may not be an accurate assessment of all nerf wars, but the majority of them probably fit at least half that description. People don't like teenagers. It's just that simple, and for good reason. Teenagers by and large are immature, disrespectful, arrogant, selfish, obnoxious, rude, conceited buffoons. Of course there are exceptions, but when someone hears the word "teenager" this description usually matches their first thoughts. This is a stigma that we cannot change. All that will help is time, and the hope that maybe teenagers will stop being so stupid. Hey I can dream...Because of this stigma, nerfers are already at a disadvantage when they go play at a park for instance. However rather than rise to the occasion and prove these assumptions wrong, we do exactly the opposite. We are loud, we take over the parks and prevent the little kids from playing on them, we scream and yell (sometimes nasty things), and we generally do nothing to help out image to passers-by. We look less like a group of people playing a sport and more like a roving gang of violent and disrespectful teens, interested in only our own needs and desires. I may be exaggerating here in some cases, but this has largely been my experience. What am I getting at with all this? Oh yes that's right:

Nerf is dying, and we are not helping.

Spoon
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#2 Ballistick

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 07:46 PM

You probably don't know me, I registered a while ago but ive never posted before. I live in Oregon, and yes, I have a big collection of nerf guns and such.
Here is my point of view on the subject.

I know plenty of people besides me, friends, random people I meet, and others at school that nerf. The reason there isnt many around nerf forums and sites to me is the fact that while they might have wars at their homes, they just aren't that into it to plan official wars or go to them. And that just cuts off the whole circulation of it- they dont bother to plan wars at parks and such, and people don't see it and want to participate, and its just not spreading about.

Also, the subject on stores and companies.
I actually have seen alot of nerf toys at Fred Meyers, Wal Mart, and Target, and Toys R Us. These stores around where i live, around Eugene and Springfield, Oregon all have at least a fourth or third of an aisle to theirselves. The Toys R Us that i have been going to for years has one whole side of an aisle of its own.

Hope this makes something of a difference
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#3 Guest_yourface_*

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 12:39 PM

I don't think it does make a difference, Ballistick. You see, this article was posted two years ago, and things change in two years. The writer of this article hasn't even been around since July, and hasn't posted since November 2006. For your own sake, please remember to check the dates before you post. Ask an admin if you aren't sure about any of the rules in the Code of Conduct, which I hope you read.

I'm sorry if I sounded like a backseater there, I just want to make sure you enjoy your stay here and don't get your ass kicked.

ON TOPIC -- Heh, the store near me actually has a Nerf row, complete with some discontinued guns. I think there was a Triple Strike there at one point, too bad it sucks.

Edited by yourface, 04 October 2007 - 12:40 PM.

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#4 CaptainSlug

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 12:49 PM

The writer of this article hasn't even been around since July, and hasn't posted since November 2006.

He was on Today, Posted Yesterday, and attended the LCM Tune-Up and Apoc this year. Shindig isn't dead, he just doesn't post as much as you (or me).
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#5 Guest_yourface_*

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 01:00 PM

Nerf is Dying, By Spoon


This article was originally written by Spoon.

Edited by yourface, 04 October 2007 - 01:01 PM.

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#6 Galorn

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 03:55 PM

Well from my perspective. Why post when most things to post about have already been covered?
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#7 Rambo

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 04:46 PM

Why does it matter when Spoon was last online? He was at a war 3 months ago. Still, it doesn't matter that the author hasn't been online in 2 years- what matters is that the post is 2 years old.

Everytime someone necros around here, it seems to lead to a half dozen more useless posts. We really should stop(I realize I'm being slightly hypocritical here, but there's no other way I see to say this).
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