Saturday, May 19, 2012

Summer Toys - Air Foam Bow Shot

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Cheap Summer Toys are generally comprised of three main categories. You have your water based items. Things like squirt guns, water balloons, sprinkler attachments, and generic slip-in-slides. The second is one I like to call "old school fun". The kinds of things that used to be popular back in the 1950's but not quite so much today. These are your jump ropes, marbles, jacks, sidewalk chalk, and paddle balls.

The Air Foam Bow Shot falls under the last category, the 'Nerf Knock-Off'. Toys that shoot some sort of foam dart or ball. Out of the three I've always found these types of toys to be the most interesting and the ones that provide kids with the most bang for your buck.

Nerf Toys, the actual licensed ones, are insanely fun to mess around with. Even if you fall out of the suggested age bracket, there is always fun to be had in shooting high powered foam balls at things. About the only real knock that I have on Nerf is that over the years the price of there toys has grown out of the range of what most kids can afford. The cheaper launchers retail for around $30... which by my count is like half a summers worth of lawn mowing money from back when I was a kid.

That is why I am so thankful that things like the Air Foam Bow Shot exist. It is not quite as cool looking and is no-place near as deadly as real Nerf products but it is a hell of a lot cheaper. You are also far less likely to get into trouble with one of these cheap Summer Toys than you would be with a powerful Nerf launcher, so lets give it a closer look!
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If you have been reading all of the Summer Toys articles that I have posted (and you really should!) by this point you should start to notice a trend with how they are all packaged. Almost all of them try to showcase the actual toy as much as possible. Believe it or not this is a trend that is not always followed by the Summer Toys more expensive, name brand counterparts. Seriously take a walk down your local stores main isle and you'll see how a much greater emphasis is put on the brand name of the product. The actual toy seems to take a back seat, so long as it has one of Michael Bay's "Transformers" on the front of the box I guess they assume it does not matter what is inside the thing. Kids will want it all the same.

This is part of the reason why I like these cheap Summer Toys so much. It is all about showcasing the item itself, sometimes with outlandish claims but always with much more heart and integrity. This is basically a really long winded way of saying that I enjoy the look of the Air Foam Bow Shot package. With the exception of this kid of the front of the box...

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Seriously. This kid right here. I do not know what it is about him that drives me so nuts, maybe it is his teeth. Maybe its his goofy looking haircut. But something about him strikes me a strange and I do not like it. For some reason he looks strangely Vulcan, which I guess if there is one thing that more Summer Toys could use, it would be indirectly looking like Spock.

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Here is what the Bow looks like, out in natural habitat... ready to fire upon unsuspecting cats. Orange and blue is an interesting color scheme but it works well enough for what your spending on this toy. Which came in at the low, low price of $1.50. Even though I purchased the Air Foam Bow Shot at the start of the Summer Season, it was already in the clearance area. So there was either a recall on this toy and I am going to get cancer in five years from playing with it... or it was something leftover from last years Christmas section. Onto the demonstration video:


Considering that the Air Foam Bow Shot is really nothing more than a plastic tube you pull back on that, when released, forces air through a small nozzle which in turn launches the dart forward... it works pretty well. As you can see the first dart that I launched flew a sizable distance, all things considered. The second one showed a bit of the units limitations. Sometimes the darts seem to get wedged on and then sort of comically fall to the ground. Ehh, best to remember this thing only cost a $1.50 ... only working fifty percent of the time is sort of expected.

Price: 5 out of 5 -- This one is a bit of a cheat, considering that it was technically a clearance item... but at only $1.50 the Air Foam Bow Shot  is an absolute steal! Even if you spend someplace in the 4-5 dollar range for this toy, you would still be doing alright.
 
Quality: 4 out of 5 -- Its clearly made of cheap plastic and the little holder that it supposed to hold onto the extra dart doesn't really do a good job of... anything. The springs that hold the sides of the bow in place seem like they could be very easily broken, but all in all it is a pretty sturdy toy. I do not think I would go throwing it down a flight of stares but I think it would hold up to normal use.

Package: 4 out of 5 -- The Vulcan looking kid leaves some obvious room for improvement but other then that I do like the way it looks. Nice and bright. It reminds me of the general look that Nerf goes for... without obviously trying to copy Nerf. I quite like the way the toy is presented, taking up 90% of the box.

Replay Ability: 4 out of 5 -- I think there is plenty of replay to be found within this item. Unless you live in the jungle, I doubt you are going to loose the darts in a tree. And if you do live in the jungle, you've probably got more important things to be doing than playing around with a $1.50 knockoff Nerf toy.


Overall: 5 out of 5 -- This is a great Summer Toy. It really is. It hits all the major checkpoints that I think are important. Its cheap, its fun, it promotes being outside, it makes kids be at least a little active, you can shoot it at people. You really cannot go wrong with the Air Foam Bow Shot!

1 comment:

  1. I don't think the neighborhood cats have too much to worry about. Looks like fun though!

    ReplyDelete