Tag Archives: blaster

Being Outside (or Inside) Can Be a Real Blast

Whether you’re looking for some exciting outdoors activities or something just as exciting to do indoors, we’ve got you covered.

Ultra Dash (Play Monster)

ultra dashSet up your five-target course any way you want. Then, press the button on the tagger to start. Whichever color it flashes, you race to it and tag it with the tagger. The tagger instantly flashes the next color and you’re off again. The tagger keeps track of total elapsed time. You can play solo, one-on-one, or team vs. team. Since you and the kids design the course, it’s a different game every time, and you can make it more challenging by using the tagger’s randomizer function. It’s a fast-paced game that will get everyone up, moving, and having fun indoors or outside. Comes with the electronic tagger (batteries included) and five targets. Ages 6+. Under $20. Ages 6+. www.playmonster.com
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Blasting into the New Year

Because playing with your kids—no matter how old they are—is a blast, here are some great ways to start your 2017 off with well, a blast.

Laser X Two Player Laser Gaming Set (NSI International, Inc.)

laser xThere are a lot of words to describe Laser X, but to keep the list short, we’ll limit ourselves to “Wow!” “Amazing!” “Cool!” “Whooo—hooo!” and, most importantly, “Let’s do it again!” Get the point? We reviewed the two-player set, which, if you’re a laser newbie, is the only way to go. Playing against someone else is infinitely more fun than playing by yourself. This set comes with two laser blasters, two vests, an interactive “coach” who tells you to get down and lets you know when you’re running low on ammo, cool sound effects, and hours of fun. It’s great for outdoor or indoor play, and since the vests and blasters glow, it’s especially fun at night. It’s also compatible with other Laser X equipment so you can field teams. Each vest allows you to select Red Team, Blue Team, or to go rogue and blast everyone. Ages 6-16. $24.99 for a single blaster and vest and $49.99 for a double set at major retailers or at www.GetLaserX.com.

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Soaking up the Fun

The hotter it gets—and it seems to be getting hotter by the day in some parts of the country—the more people want to cool off. Running your air conditioning is one way to deal with the heat, but it can be rather pricey. A cheaper—and much more fun—alternative is to go outside and get wet. Here are some of our favorite ways to soak yourself and everyone around you.

Water Warriors water blasters (Buzz Bee Toys)

water blastersBuzz Bee Toys makes more than a dozen different water blasters, all of which are solidly made, reasonably priced, and really fun. The Gargangua uses air pressure and what they call “aggressive soaking technology,” which lets you blast people as far as 40 feet away. And it is, indeed, gargantuan, holding up to 78 ounces of water (more than half a gallon), which means you’ll be able to keep on blasting for a long, long time.  Just fill it up, choose one of three nozzle settings, and start soaking. The Outlaw is a little smaller, but what it lacks in water capacity (it holds up to 48 ounces), it makes up for in distance, outblasting Gargantua by two feet. Both of these blasters are easy to pump, so little kids will be able to hold their own against bigger, older, and stronger opponents. Gargantua is for ages 8 and up, Outlaw for 5 and up. Both are under $20. www.BuzzBeeToys.com


Water sprinklers (Prime Time Toys)

sprinklersRunning through sprinklers on a hot summer day is one of the best parts of summer. Sadly, millions of kids who live in drought-stricken parts of the country missed out for the past few years. Fortunately, reservoirs are almost up to normal levels, so sprinklers are back! The Hydro Swirl Spinning Sprinkler connects directly to a standard garden hose and comes fully assembled, so you’ll be ready to get drenched within seconds after unboxing it. The center fountain of the Swirl spins around, spraying water in all directions, and the squirting “wiggle tubes” ensure that no one escapes dry.  Like the Swirl, the Hydro Twist Pipeline Sprinkler also connects to a standard hose and has wiggle tubes. But this sprinkler also has two fountains. The droughts may be over, but you should still soak responsibly. Both are for ages 4 and up and retail for under $15. www.primetimetoys.com @goprimetimetoys


Bunch O Balloons (ZURU)

bunch o balloonsPreparing for a water balloon fight can take hours, filling them with water and tying them up one at a time.  Bunch O Balloons gives you an incredible advantage. Just attach it to your hose and in less than a minute, you’ve got yourself 100 filled, tied balloons, so you can get down to the serious business of battle while your opponents are still fumbling around. Bunch O Balloons come in a variety of colors. The pack we reviewed also included a scoop-like launcher, which can extend your range. It’s for ages 4 and up, and retails for about $13. http://bunchoballoons.com


Hurricane Water Balls (Prime Time Toys)

water ballsBunch O Balloons may speed things up, but eventually, you’ll run out of ammo. Not so with Hurricane Water Balls, which can be reused up to 1,000 times. The clever design allows you to refill the ball by simply dunking it in a bucket of water for a few seconds. Just like regular balloons, Hurricane Water Balls explode painlessly on contact, leaving your opponent wet but bruise-free. For ages 5 and up and anyone who’s looking for a more environmentally sustainable way to soak each other. They’re about $12 for a package of three. http://hurricanewaterballs.com

Aw, Blast It!

No matter how politically incorrect it is to play with things that shoot, the fact is that kids—and plenty of adults—love ‘em. So here are some of our Spring faves.

Djubi Classic (Djubi)
djubiPlaying catch must be one of the oldest games in existence, and one might think that after millions of years, we’d have exhausted every possible variation. But then along comes Djubi Classic, which is part slingshot, part baseball glove, part lacrosse stick, part racquetball racquet, part butterfly net, and all fun. The game comes with two racquets and two balls called Djubis, which are attached to a stretchy rubber loop. Just hook the loop over the special notch on the racquet, pull it back like a sling shot, and let ‘er rip towards your partner who can be as far as 100 feet away. Then all you have to do is catch the Djubi in the racquet’s deep net. While not intended for indoor use, the racquets and Djubis are waterproof, which means you can take the fun to the pool or the beach. For ages 8 and up.  $14.50. djubi.com

Djubi Dart Ball (Djubi)
djubi dart ballWhile the Classic is meant for cooperative play, Djubi Dart Ball is made for head-to-head competition. The set comes with two launchers (miniature versions of the regular racquets but without the netting) six small Djubis, a target (essentially a dart board made of netting), and a dry-erase scoreboard. Load up your Djubi and start firing. Players can compete on points, speed, or anything else. Meant for outside use, but if you have a big enough play area and you’ve removed your fine China, there’s plenty of fun to be had indoors as well. Ages 6 and up. $10.50 at your favorite retailer or djubi.com.

VMD Cannon Commando (Sky Rocket Toys)
vmd cannon commandoThe Cannon Commando is a remote-controlled (RC) blaster that shoots further and harder than anything else in its class. And just in case there was any doubt about what this toy is about, VMD stands for Vehicles of Mass Destruction. The Commando responds well to the control unit and can move in any direction while firing off its 16 foam darts. Interestingly, unlike some other RC blasters, which allow players to adjust the dart trajectory up and down from the control unit, the Commando needs to be aimed manually. That gives parents a great opportunity to have the all-important safety discussion that absolutely must be a part of any game that involves shooting. The manual adjustment also reduces the chance that anyone will get shot in the face. Requires six AA batteries and one 9-volt. For ages 8 and up. $40. http://www.skyrockettoys.com/

Tek Recon 55450 Hammer Head Battle Pack (Tek Recon)
hammer head battle packThe Tek Recon battle pack includes two hand-held blasters (one green, one orange), two targets, and about 80 of what the company calls N.R.G. rounds, which are small, thick, rubber bands that can fly up to 75 feet. The rounds are reusable, don’t leave stains, and can be loaded into removable magazines. What makes this set of blasters so much fun is that players can go beyond simply shooting each other. The blasters comes with a bracket to attach a smartphone, which (when running the free app), players can use to communicate with each other, track (using the phone’s GPS), and access special features like night vision, custom scopes, and very cool sound effects. For ages 8 and up. $34.  http://www.tekrecon.com/