After using one of these at Toy Fair this past February, I’m excited to see the Hyperstrike Bow on shelves! It’s a different flavor than the usual dart blasters we cover, but it’s also a seriously fun item – one that’s being marketed for teens and older, as well as its own PvP games. We’ll try to cover everything!
Choose Your Team
The bows come in three distinct themes – Team Falcon (orange), Team Shark (blue), and Team Wolf (green). All of them perform the same, of course. It should be noted that on the official website, the green and orange colors are highlighted, and the blue is absent. I’m not sure if this makes Team Shark a store exclusive, or some kind of “third team” a la Nerf Rival’s Phantom Corps. In any case, you have a good number of choices.
The ammo, meanwhile, is the same style of arrow you’d come to expect from Zing Toys. A large head with lots of squishy foam padding, along with a plastic whistle tip mounted on the side? Hooks for pulling back the elastic bands? Check. Long body with foam fins and a tail you can grip? Check.
If anything, these have a bit more padding at the front. That’s important, considering how hard you can potentially fire these projectiles.
Do note that the box specifically mentions not leaving the product out in the sun. The bungees are UV-sensitive and will degrade if left out for long periods of time.
I grabbed the bows as soon as they appeared for sale at Target, and proceeded to test them. The bow body itself is sturdy, with two tiny “rails” at the front that can presumably mount arrow “quivers” or other accessories in the future. The bow is stylized after compound bows to go with the “power” feel of the product. Even the elastic band posts get attention; each one has small plastic rollers to better accommodate the fast “snap” of the bands upon launching an arrow.
Rate of fire is slow, but it’s also a bow, not a Rival Prometheus. You have to take some time to hook the arrows onto the elastic bands. In addition, it takes some time to learn the proper amount of force needed to hit a distance; accurate targeting also takes time. It’s a skill you have to learn, but one that’s fairly easy to pick up.
The field test, however, is where the product really shined. If you don’t mind sitting for a few minutes and watching me get back in practice with a toy bow and arrow, then enjoy! If you do mind, then know the bow can in fact hit 250′ distances as claimed on the box. Doing so, however, requires long arms – which isn’t as much of a worry, since the bow is recommended for ages 14+.
The Push for…Toy Archery Tag?
Archery Tag (using real bows and foam-tipped arrows) has been around for a decade; the use of soft-tipped arrows in things like Live Action Role Play has been around for longer than that. However, such equipment can easily cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on just how much equipment you’re buying (and for how many players). It’s clearly sports equipment, and the cost reflects that.
Zing Toys is taking a different approach, using their toys in a similar manner as Nerf has with the Rival blasters. $30 buys a bow and four arrows, with refill packs being (presumably) inexpensive. Face masks for competitive play will be available at the Zing Toys online store.
Meanwhile, the toy line itself has its own website, with sections dedicated to various game types, printable materials like team flags and targets, and looks at the toys themselves. There are also links to various social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc), although content is sparse as of this posting. The product line just came out, after all.
The Hyperstrike Bow does everything it advertises, launching the included arrows a considerable distance. With practice, it’s quite accurate and a ton of fun to use. Even better, it looks like we’re going to see it pushed as the next competitive game for teens and adults. It’s not guaranteed to happen, but it’s a great enough product that it has a shot.