My daughter (turning 9 next month), was counting down the days until her NERF Rebelle Heartbreaker bow was due to arrive in the mail. All of the fun games and videos on NerfRebelle.com had her pretty hyped up about it... and she used the games to "practice" her skills, and wait (impatiently) for it to come.
When the package came, I let her open it up. Her initial reaction upon seeing it was priceless. I wish I would have had a camera. She was in awe. I think she was in disbelief that I would let her hold something that looked so powerful and fierce. She was very impressed by it, and it definitely lived up to all the hype. Usually, when you see photos and videos of a toy before you get to see it in person, it will be smaller, or not as cool looking in the flesh. This wasn't the case with Nerf Rebelle. She said that she wasn't expecting it to be that big.
She loved it's appearance. The colors and designs are beautiful. I was surprised at how sturdy it is. It's not flimsy at all. Even the thinner ends of the bow are very solid, and hold up nicely. The darts are soft foam (typical Nerf texture) with a soft plastic/rubbery like tip. They are very pretty and colorful.
She loaded a dart, and I let her shoot one across the living room. The darts are very light. I was expecting them to just kinda shoot out, and flutter down to the ground like a feather. I did not expect the dart to streamline 30 feet across the room, and "thwap" the opposite wall dead on. But it did. I immediately wanted to try it out. Hehe. I shot my husband in the kitchen. I was standing about 15 feet away from him, and shot it at full capacity, right onto his rear. As much as I would have liked to hear him yelp in pain, I was happy that even in close range, at full speed, the darts could do no harm. I instructed my daughter to shoot me with it. Again, another priceless reaction I wish I'd have caught on camera. I ran around the house, and she took her best shots... She hit me a few times, and it was definitely painless, and a lot of fun for her. I even let her chase her little sister around with it. Her sister loved it.
Next we headed to the park. It has a few big soccer fields, and she and her sister played with it there. Even with some wind, the dart shot strong, and right where she aimed it. Her little sister (almost 3 years) LOVED running after the brightly colored, easy to spot darts to retrieve them for her. Within a couple minutes, a handful of other kids started to watch. My daughter asked if they wanted to play. They all tried to catch the darts before they hit the ground. They came up with a game, where one person is the "Shooter", and the rest are the "Catchers". The Shooter would fire 10 darts in different directions. The Catchers would try to catch, or gather as many as they could. The Catcher with the most darts at the end, then gets to become the Shooter. They all had fun trying to shoot it different ways. With the wind, against it, straight up into the air... They could have played with it there all day.
The younger girls pretend to be Merida from Brave, while the older girls compared themselves to the girl from the Hunger Games. The 2 girls next door (ages 8 and 10) have already begged to borrow it. My daughter said maybe after she's had it for a while, but not yet. They've been asking their Mom to "please please please" get one for them!
All in all, it's a really great, sturdy toy. It's helping my daughter with hand-eye coordination, and is also bringing out her imagination and creativity. It gives her a sense of empowerment, without actually putting anyone else in danger, hehe.