Monday, September 24, 2012

Nerf Fire Vision Sports Football: Hutt Hutt

My first experiences with Nerf as a child were not with blasters, but actually with Nerf's original roots as soft sporting equipment. Although we were poor and as a kid could never afford them, I always wanted a Nerf football, having a weird fascination with American sports over Australian ones and did when I was old enough to save up my coin, I finally bought myself a Nerf gridiron ball which I took with me everywhere and became the main source of entertainment and pain in the playground from countless games of "Mug ball" :D

Nerf footballs are nothing new; they've been reinvented and refreshed many times over the years, but here Nerf have done something rather new indeed and brought out a new night time specific line called 'Fire Vision'. We've heard of them for a while now, and finally on my travels I decided to revert back to my childhood and pick up another football, only this time, it comes with 'eyewear'..

The Fire Vision line of sporting gear basically works on the proviso of adding reflective strips on the balls that essentially shine/glow when bright LED light is bounced off it- in this case via red or greed LED's that feature on the enclosed head wear (called 'Frames')

In the box, you get the ball and two Fire Vision Frames- one red and one green. The ball is very similar in size to many other Nerf gridiron balls of the past, but what differs are the reflective strips that are stuck in between the grooves of the ball.

The Fire Vision frames basically feel like glasses frames without any lenses. The slip on comfortably, complete with a nose piece just like a pair of glasses. They're quite flexible and fit even my big head.

The Frames have two LED lights, one on each side of the frame that glow quite brightly when switched on on the top left hand side. They're powered by 4 alkaline pen light style batteries that luckily are included.  I personally prefer the green Frame- makes me feel somewhat Splinter-Cell-esque but that's just personal preference it just means you'll see the ball as green rather than red.

Once you don your Frames, it's a matter of waiting till it's dark and then the fun begins. Switching on your Frame will straight away light up your area with your colour. When someone throws the ball to you, it's pretty cool to see this spiraling ball (well if your QB knows how to throw properly.. otherwise it's just a crazy out of control mess) coming at you glowing in either bright green or red (depending on whatever it is you're wearing)

It's hard to really capture the Fire Vision effect in photos :(
I think in theory, this is a cool idea but in practice, we ended up with quite a number of incomplete passes given the lack of clear peripheral vision at the ball. Because you're running around in the dark, there's still that slight sense of apprehension that gets in the way that doesn't allow you to respond as quick as you would in the day time.

Doesn't really do it justice- but only the reflective bits glow red.
That all being said, it's really fun. As a Nerf ball, the Firevision football is top notch- with the right technique it spirals beautifully, is built well and very much reminiscent of the ball I had as a kid. I still enjoyed the glowing effect and while onlookers were wondering what the hell was going on, we still managed a good amount of field time throwing the ball and playing 'Forcings Back'. It's made it across State lines from CA to TX, and I was concerned the reflective tape would peel off but so far so good. I'm quite the fan of Nerf sporting gear, and I like the idea of playing at night. It does take time to get used to, but it was a whole lotta fun.

One of the other things about the Frames is given how bright they are, they actually double up quite nicely as a headlamp for actual Nerf blaster battles. So while they naturally give your position away, they also make for mad crazy fun for night games and adding them with Firefly tech like the Rayven and Lumitron, and it can get pretty nuts:D

Note- although soft, having the ball hit you in the face isn't going to tickle so it's not recommended you 'aim' for anyone's nose- unless that person has hands like Jerry Rice. While Nerf balls originally were supposed to be for indoor use- I'd also suggest this is best NOT used inside, as I quickly found out in my hotel room where an incomplete pass ended up with a knocked over ice bucket all over the television set..

Although I picked mine up in LA, they're readily available everywhere, including in Australia. I got mine for around 12 bucks and I'll update this review when I find out how much they're going for back home. I personally like this sorta thing, so I'd recommend it. Lotsa fun:)


  1. Reflective tape. big whoop de doo. Nerf outdid themselves with that innovative P.O.S.

  2. Hi, was great to meet you in Ft Worth and sorry for us totally whoomping your ass :P We Texans love our football! Come back any time for a rematch, Jade and I will be ready for ya!

  3. I picked up the wallball Firevision a few months ago and was similarly impressed. You have to sit back and appreciate it in person to understand, I suppose, but the reflective tape they use isn't just any old reflective tape. The luminescence it offers at range is impressive. I think it has a lot of potential.

  4. I'd be very keen to see how well these would work for a night Nerf blaster battle with the Firefly system clips and darts :P