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')
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 :(|
|Doesn't really do it justice- but only the reflective bits glow red.|
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:)