Sunday, October 17, 2010

Review: Nerf N-Force Stonewall Shield + Short Sword set

Leonardas was admittedly a tad underwhelmed by his new stonewall short sword.
Although it has been available in the US for a few years now, Nerf's N-Force foam sword line has yet to really make itself known in Australia. As a concept, it was probably inevitable that Nerf would bring out a foam sword line; already they'd made foam versions of sporting goods, guns and even..um.. flying dudes, so the natural progression of developing safe foam "thwacking" instruments was perhaps long overdue.

Actually, what was probably MORE overdue was a means to defend yourself from said thwacks..

Ta daaaaa. The Stonewall Shield and..er.. toothpick.
The N-Force Stonewall Shield is quite attractive in terms of design; it has a sort of futuristic looking tilt with medieval cues. Build-wise it is relatively strong and well made,with a durable tough black plastic forming the bulk of the shield (and striking area) and a softer foam surrounding the edges for safety (and aesthetics). The foam is a stronger, more resilient type than on the original Fury swords which is a plus.

The Shield also comes with an additional "short sword" which basically looks like a midget version of the yellow N-Force Thunder Fury sword; one would assume the motivation to include this would be so you have a melee weapon ready to go rather than having to buy a separate sword. That being said, we suggest you'd probably want to do this anyway:)

Back of the Stonewall shield. Awkward..
The back of the shield has a small adjustable velcro strap that you're supposed to feed your arm through and rest against your forearm. This is one of those times where if someone would say "Nerf is for kids!" you'd have to say "err maybe" because unless you're under 12, particularly slim or never use your forearms (all you catholics out there raise your hands:P..) I'd suggest you're going to have issues with fitting your arm through this strap. I probably would have liked a handle to hold onto as well- in the end I had to use the strap as my grip to hold onto, which wasn't that comfortable.

In comparison with a N-Strike Maverick. Could almost put it above a fireplace.
The Stonewall Shield isn't huge; it'll cover your forearm.. and that's about it. That being said, so long as you can get your arm through it, it'll cover your forearm pretty well:) The shield is very light though which is a bonus.

Forget the sword. Pack a Maverick:)
The short sword at best could be called "cute" and at worst you'd probably call it "pathetic". It's not just because it's small; it's because it feels quite flimsy and poorly made with visible seams and glue points. It doesn't feel very good in the hand either and I can totally understand why you'd need a shield to accompany this "weapon" because it's not very useful in any form of melee combat.

The front of the shield after taking it from a Warlock + Battle Master.
We tested the shield against two Thunder Fury Swords, a Warlock axe and a Battle Master mace over the period of.. 15 minutes. The shield at first appeared to take quite a beating and still managed to come up unscathed. There'd be no issues with it cutting into your forearm, or feelings of impact vibrations (although we are going up against foam swords so it's to be expected) 

On closer inspection after our little "battle", the foam areas did show signs of wear, especially on the yellow front plate. 
N-Force cops it.
Interestingly enough, the grey side foam seems to be made of a different compound to the yellow front plate because it seemed to be more durable and not show as much visible wear.


Bam!
Soo ultimately.. what do we think in the end? The Stonewall Shield looks fantastic; it's got a slightly futuristic tilt to it but should also please those junior medieval LARP'rs.  
 
It is a little small though, and I definitely don't think it's aimed at grown ups and to be honest the short sword is pretty useless. The shield DOES takes a beating, and will probably survive your average battle better than an ice cream bucket or Eski lid, but obviously anything that takes impact is going to show signs of wear. It doesn't look like the foam areas on the Stonewall Shield will "rip" easily, and so it should last for a while especially against other N-Force gear (as opposed to a kitchen meat cleaver or garden hedge clippers)  but aesthetically I'd suggest it's going to look like it's seen better days pretty fast.
 
We thought it was better than we expected, but probably not as good as we would have hoped (if that even makes sense!) Makes for a great gift for your young, but not that great for grown ups.

Currently unavailable domestically in Australia but the US price is around 25-30 dollars.

14 comments:

  1. This sword and shield combo is just the perfect right size..... for a 2 year old kid.

    The shield is barely large enough to cover my crotch. The sword can be used to pick my nose.

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  2. I think it would work better if they made it a bit bigger. Not like "child dwarfing" big but rather "works for both age levels" big. Any chance we can convince Nerf to make a ballistic shield N-Strike battles with matching face guard? Just a thought.

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  3. Hahahaha use the "sword" as a bayonet

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  4. Make the sword into a bayonet tactical rail attachment. Perfect for the recon.

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  5. Use the short sword as a knife with the Maverick and it's sorta' like the Magnum with Tactical Knife in Modern Warfare-ish.

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  6. Better yet, you could mod the dagger into a wrist-blade like Assassin's Creed. Just put in a spring-loaded mechanism mounted on a gauntlet and then it's concealed and frees up your hands for a primary/secondary weapon.

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    1. Good luck with that, champ.

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  7. I just want the short sword as a battle knife

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  8. I've found that the short sword makes great throwing knife, mwahahahaha!!

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    1. Yeah, by 'Throwing Knife' you mean throwing it away?
      *Innocent Grin*

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  9. I'm ready for them to make a nerf Spear.

    Then I could really call myself a spartan.

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  10. I figure that Nerf thought a shield would be cool to make but decided no one would buy it unless it came with a sword too. ... Since they already had a sword they sort of made one that looks like a broken blade. (Reminding me of the broken sword in Ocarina of Time.)

    Either way, I think the sword would make a pretty cool bayonet for a Recon or Deploy.

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  11. Duct taped the nose picker to my long strike :P

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