Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rant: Tribute to the sucker and whistler dart

Gratuitous TMNT placement:P
Nerf’s bid to ‘streamline’ (hehe) their new Elite series darts was a great idea; one ammo type to rule them all per se. Whether it be a clip system blaster like the Stryfe and Retaliator, to a revolver style like the Strong arm or a single shot like the Fire Strike, all Elite series blasters now use one single type of dart. Which is awesome.

That all being said, I would like to take a small moment to pay tribute to the darts of old- those that were the preferred options for the casual nerfer. I am talking of the suction cap “micro darts” and the whistling “sonic micro darts”:)

When it comes to office desktop warfare (unless you’re in a casual dress environment such as an IT area) it’s pretty rare to see large clip system dart blasters. Clip system blasters just stand out too much and are considered a little too full on for most offices- even the most liberal of supervisors will still suggest you put them away when the big cheeses come around for their monthly walk throughs.

What you do often see though, are single shot blasters. My first memories of office wars were via a four pack of Nerf ‘Eliminators’- (basically the precursor to the Reflex IX-1) that were distributed and rotated around 9 desks along with a packet of suction cap "micro darts" that we bought ( the darts the Eliminator set came with got lost within the first hour of play)  Warfare was always quite stealthy and unexpected and to this day I can still say there’s not a whole lot that gives me more satisfaction in the workplace than the sweet “chock” noise of landing a perfectly lined suction cap round, missing the unsuspecting target’s ear by inches and having it firmly stick to the front of their LCD monitor. (Normally followed by a huge expletive and maybe the odd literal knee jerk into their desk cabinet).  It’s such an aggressive move to pull off out of the blue too and basically tells your target “you never know when I’m going to take you out” or “next time I won’t miss” and maybe just “bahaahahahaa”.
Photo courtesy of Shawn Campbell via Flickr

This was equally as effective on the home front, landing your shot against a 55” flat screen TV or the front of your fridge while your partner stands in front of it…

Suction cap darts are basically the equivalent of an arrow landing at the feet of an enemy army in historical piece tv shows/movies. Nerf darts especially will stick to almost any smooth surface, even for a few seconds and just enough for someone to wet themselves in shock:P They are also a lot of fun to shoot at the ceiling and make bets on how long it will take for each dart to finally fall.

I also pay tribute to the “Sonic Micro dart” or better off known as Whistlers, which in their own right had their place in office warfare. The were the ideal ammo of choice as a long range tilted shot from one side of the floor to the other that basically gave warning to all those around us that “foam be shed!”. Many an afternoon would be spent typing away on my PC only to hear the high pitched almost turbo sounding noise pierced the air and quickly reaching for my own blaster, only to turn around too late and feel the dart smack me firmly in the chest. Rather than the stealthy nature of the sucker dart, this whistler declared it was coming for you way in advance..

Not one to come in between the way of progress, I understand and welcome the Elite series dart, but I think back at many of my Nerfing memories and a lot of it did revolve around the ol' suction cap darts and whistlers.  Lemme hear your stories and tributes to the suction cap or whistler dart.. for they may no longer be officially available, they will always be remembered:P


  1. I was at the Battlefield 3 pre-release party when I picked up my first Maverick. We got those darts to stick to handicapped parking spot signs, store fronts, and two to stick to the back of some guy's neck.

  2. Awesome article, tho I have concerns there is no "turtles were not harmed in the writing of this article" disclaimer. This might anger the animal rights hippies.

  3. ...they will always be more accurate as well. they have a place.

  4. I 100% agree with everything in this article. I will definitely Remember and also treasure up my Suctions and Whistler until they are all gone. I've been even thinking about buying a bunch off ebay so I still my have some when they are all but gone. it is true that they fly better than the elites but I don't think that is the sole reason I want to keep them. There is something special about them that I can't quite put my finger on.

    The whistlers feature was awesome. In the Nerf wars in my barn as we took cover the sound of whistlers coming over the couches and unpainted window shutters could be heard over the epic music playing in the backround. my favorite was the swarmfire when you put whistlers in that blaster. the whistle matched with the "pipreepipreepipreepip" of a stock swarmie is music to my ears. it's the reason I keep a swarmie bone stock is to hear that sound.

    As for the suctions. those are my favorite dart. even though it is awesome to be able to have one dart that works with everything. I just love suctions. nothing better for in the house I can tell you that. and they are GREAT for testing non streamline blasters. cuz they don't bounce away and get lost in the room. you can just fire them at the wall and most of the time they will stick for a second and drop to the floor waiting to get picked up later. :) personally I don't think you can have nerf without the suction cup dart. I've talked to people that don't know much about Nerf but when I say it's a hobby of mine I would say about 25% of them say "Oh! those guns that shoot suction cup bullet/darts" and I'm like (cringing inside) "yup!"

    I say long live the Micro Dart Family!

  5. Dart tag darts too :)
    So accurate and nicely ranged

  6. I always keep a Triad loaded with three stickies in the passenger seat of my car... in case me and a friend are driving along and come across a flagman sign. (We did once, but the Jolt was loaded with a whistler... it was a headshot.)

    Also I'm personally disapointed at how inaccurate elite darts are, even at close range they often miss the dot by feet. Thus I always keep a stockpile of Buzz Bee darts.

  7. I was once at a Christmas office party, and it was getting dull. Suddenly, I heard the telltale sound of a Barricade, and everyone (including myself) broke out the blasters. Best office party ever.

  8. Suction darts are good for competitions, as they can be easily marked and stick to a target to determine who has more chest hair.

    Whistler darts have the unique "almost hit" adrenaline boost when they fly by. You just want to retaliate and show the bastards to either hit, or lay down in fetal position and dedicate the rest of ones life to catatonia.

    Plus we'll get new ammo types. It won't stop with the new sniper rifle. I wouldn't be surprised if elite bows or other hijinx would emerge eventually.

  9. I wish there was such a thing as whistler elites...

    That would make my day.

    Personally, Many of my first Nerf memories revolved around streamlines, because my first gun (The Raider) was a clip system gun. Once I got the maverick though... That was a different story :P

    I wish Nerf would create whistling and suction cup elite darts, but that would be hard to make... Just wishes...

    Whistlers were always my preferred dart in wars, because I just loved how you heard it before you saw it... The last rush of adrenaline thinking maybe I can dodge it... But it never worked.

    Oh Whistlers, how I miss them...


  10. I'm keeping my whistlers. Nuff said.

  11. I keep all my new non-clip system blasters loaded with suckers. So much more fun around the house. I think i could actually count on one hand the amount of time I've even shot elite darts from my strong arm. Hardly ever.

  12. Probably my fondest suction tip dart story is this-
    I was about 10 or 12 at the time, and challenged my aunt to a Nerf war on one of her visits. Anyway, after a few rounds of play, I turned the corner of my garage and there she was, we were both surprised. I shot first from my rather trusty Firefly, and I ended up shooting her in the middle of the forehead from the hip and having the dart stick for a few seconds.

    Worst memory-
    I brought a foam sword into a war against a friend, and long story short, ended up getting stock-bashed by a Longshot

  13. Suction darts will be missed for their ability to call targets. One of my best says ever NERF-wise was when I made the Robin Hood shot with a Mav at least five times (of course, it was from ten feet away...)

  14. It is good that now ammo is standardized. I remember when I first got into nerf. My cousin had a blue Longshot and sometimes I would need to fill a mag by pickin up darts and they would always be micros. My first blaster was a maverick. Suckers are still my favorites. Worst memory involving sucker: getting shot in the eye from 10 feet by my friend (accident) I've always wished that there was a sucker with a sucker with a narrow tip so you could fit it in a mag. They need to do that. Long live the sucker.

  15. There is nothing better than Magstrikes (or RF20's, but I don't have any :( ) spam your friend with whistlers, or a window with suction darts, have some good lols.

    My first blaster was a nitefinder, and I loved it when I hit the included target and the dart stuck to it. I also hit a travel-size deodorant I had lying around, and I was able to support the deodorant by the dart. mega darts are fun too :).

  16. I grew up in the days when it was more arrows and balls than darts. All I want is an Elite worthy ball blaster.

  17. Haha! I remember getting hit by a suction cup dart during a nerf war one hot and sweaty summer day and the dart stuck really well to my forehead! Good times! :)

  18. Don't worry, we have whistling tagger darts!

  19. I remember using my swarmfire in a nerf war against my friend's elite strongarm. I would always use suctions and my friend would always use the elite darts. I always manage to hit my friend dead center on the chest with one, single shot from the swarmfire. Then my friend would get mad and start to ambush my hiding place. I always seemed to escape and get around 5 extra hits >:O. sorta funny, since my friend hasn't won any of our nerf wars YET with his strongarm.

    About those elite darts...I feel they're overrated. It's easier to co-ordinate darts, but the darts just sorta....don't look like they work. TBH, i actually had trouble hitting a 3-foot diameter excercise ball with elite darts, from 24 feet away. I hope suctions and whistlers are kept.