So way back in October, I ran across the story about Paragon Entertainment striking a deal with Hasbro/Nerf to create Nerf Arenas. Well, the project came to fruition in a Place Called Quest:
Merryhill, I am jealous.
So the arena opens this Friday, but a pro shop of sorts and target range started up a few months ago. So, what does this mean? The UK's planning to have a bunch more locations like this set up, and anyone who might remember 2009-2011 might remember the Nerf Dart Tag League.
Old video of mine (before I had my current cameras, obviously)
Quick history lesson - from 2009-2010 the Nerf Dart Tag League was an event that ran/traveled alongside the Dew Tour Action Sport Tour, going to a number of cities and holding events in BMX, Skateboarding, whatever. I was fortunate enough the BMX tournament stopped in Chicago, so of course I went (it was actually going to this event that got me on Nerf's radar, and the rest is history.)
A pro video of the event:
So this format carried on for 2 years, and then in 2011 the format changed to a one-day tourney in Florida, separate from the Dew Tour and the gigantic inflatable arena was replaced by a more traditional field. Louie C3 was there, and I believe Rogue paid him a visit in that final year of the NDTL.
Some of the stats on the original battledome (the original NDTL was run by a different company, and the stats of their battledome follow):
"...100-square-foot inflatable dome for the NERF Dart Tag Tournament games.
Measuring a monstrous 40 feet wide by 20 feet high by 76 feet long, the
dome featured an interior maze of obstacles, home bases, and recharge
The Quest version looks WAY BIGGER, judging by the relative size of the people inside vs. where the walls, doors, obstacles, and so on. Count on it, I studied as much of the original dome as I could back then and burned it to memory.
EDIT: The new arena is "...25m x 10m. That’s 250 sqm or 2500 square feet!" (quoted directly from Paragon Entertainment)
Quick aside: Visit Quest's Facebook page so you can have a chance to be one of the first to play in the arena, win passes, or qualify as the Biggest Nerf Fan they're looking for! Good luck to all of you!
Games inside the dome were fast-paced, frantic, and awesome. Darts bounced off walls, people vaulted (and often crashed) into cover, and lord knows I hurdled a step or two in order to cap the flag. However, this was also with Nerf Furyfires, and the tech has changed a lot since then. The larger dome helps with the longer ranges, but I also wonder... in the promo shots those are clearly Dart Tag blasters, but I imagine Nerf Elite and other non-velcro ammo might be allowed? (Going to necessitate a follow up here, will update on my Facebook page.) While Capture the Flag and Elimination might be the order of the day, I am curious as to what other game types might evolve from this whole setup.
EDIT : Vortex, Elite, Dart Tag, all will be available for use at the arena! (Which they will provide on loan, you don't have to bring anything they have it all for you. Try before you buy!)
While venue sizes might differ, the UK is going to see a few more of these pop up, and then hit other markets from there. As for the U.S. goes, no word on that yet but bet I'm following that news very carefully. But I think it's safe to say that Nerf's going international in a big consistent way. And if that happens, then the possibilities are endless!
In any event, enjoy the arena, England. Make it successful, that way they see there's a proper market out there just waiting for this.