Friday 5: Five Must-See Toy Blaster Hot Spots Outside the U.S.
Vas The Stampede
Early on in my blogging life, I quickly learned that Nerf games are not just for U.S. backgrounds, but organized games are an international phenomena. Nerf/Hasbro being a worldwide brand and a top toy maker, that should not have surprised me. Thanks to the advent of the internet and social media though, I see posts from communities abroad and it is a pretty amazing thing to think about. Taken from my analytics and personal observations, let’s look at 5 places outside the U.S. where Nerf blasters have very active player communities and play their games regularly.
Keep in mind, this list is in no particular order! The 5 selected are taken mainly from my own experiences and the amount of activity I see on my website analytics.
|Some basics about Singapore (info taken from Google’s search engine entry:
“Singapore, an island city-state off southern Malaysia, is a global financial centre with a tropical climate and multicultural population. In circa-1820 Chinatown stands the red-and-gold Buddha’s Tooth Relic Temple, Little India offers colorful souvenirs and Arab Street is lined with fabric shops. Singapore is also known for eclectic street fare, served in hawker centres such as Tiong Bahru and Maxwell Road.
The Singapore community is one of the first international Nerf communities I encountered. Once upon a time, there was a blog, SGNerf, and he was one of the first other bloggers I ever communicated with. Other bloggers/YouTubers from there, including Psyk from PWND, Blaster Shogun, the modder Ahtanie, and so many others. I used to frequent their forums, and had many a good conversation with this group. From what I’ve seen, this group has regularly scheduled games and even larger events. I think the group’s been running for at least 6-7 years (2015 was their 6th anniversary, I believe) and is definitely one of the more active communities out there anywhere. Without getting bogged down in details, they do have some very strict gun laws which extends to paintball/airsoft as well, so Nerf blaster games seem to serve as an alternative. I’ve seen a LOT of different events come out of Singapore, from tournaments held in malls, to games in a variety of environments – woods, suburban areas, numerous historical military spots, and parks like this:
Obviously, one of these days I have to go visit. Somehow. But between the locations and the consistency of the players, Singapore definitely seems a must-see place if you’re interested in Nerf/toy blasters on an international scale.
Germany is a Western European country with a terrain of vast forests, rivers and mountain ranges, and 2 millennia of history. Berlin, its capital, is home to thriving art and nightlife scenes, iconic Brandenburg Gate and many sites relating to WWII. Munich is known for its Oktoberfest and cavernous beer halls, including 16th-century Hofbräuhaus. Frankfurt, with its skyscrapers, houses the European Central Bank.
Admittedly, there’s very little I know about Germany’s Nerf/toy enthusiast community, but I see enough posts on the net to make me notice! Between the number of hits I get from there and the posts I see crop up, along with news from the Nuremberg International Toy Fair, AND home to both dartblaster.de and the OWL Community. (whew!) I see a number of LARP related posts on modifications/blaster paintjobs from German hobbyists as well, of astounding work. All that leads me to qualify Germany on this list.
The U.K., made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, is an island nation in northwestern Europe. England – birthplace of Shakespeare and The Beatles – is home to the capital, London, a globally influential centre of finance and culture. England is also site of neolithic Stonehenge, Bath’s Roman spa and centuries-old universities at Oxford and Cambridge.
The UK also showed a strong level of activity on my site hits, and with good reason. The BritNerf forums are pretty active still from the looks of things, along with various other social media outlets out there. Let’s also not forget that one of the first Nerf-sponsored/branded arenas anywhere popped up here:
“Australia is a country, and continent, surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Its major cities – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide – are coastal, but its capital, Canberra, is inland and nicknamed the “Bush Capital.” The country is known for its Sydney Opera House, Great Barrier Reef, the vast Outback (interior desert wilderness) and unique animal species including kangaroos and duck-billed platypuses.
The land down under, home of the kangaroo, Australian Outback, Aborigines, Dream Time, and another of the biggest (and I believe oldest) consistent Nerf communities I’ve seen. The other places I’ve mentioned you can say are countries… Australia however is a Nerf-heavy CONTINENT that stands alone. I’ve heard of groups in Canberra, Wagga Wagga, Riverina, and so many more on their forums. New Zealand is off the southeast coast and has a steady group in Canterbury. In the past, I’ve heard that toy blaster interest really takes off in Australia (especially when the Nerf Dart Tag blasters released in their black and yellow colors. Needless to say, the place is not lacking for active players, albeit they may be spread out.
“Country in North America
Canada, stretching from the U.S. in the south to the Arctic Circle in the north, is filled with vibrant cities including massive, multicultural Toronto; predominantly French-speaking Montréal and Québec City; Vancouver and Halifax on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, respectively; and Ottawa, the capital. It’s also crossed by the Rocky Mountains and home to vast swaths of protected wilderness.
Canada! Oh, I heard about Canada. There is a pretty strong group (groups?) up there from what I remember, and used to hold some pretty massive events (I think they still do) like Massacre. The groups I do remember were heavy into modifying blasters, but they got together to fling darts as much as anyone. I believe most of the connecting is done over Facebook, but chances are if you wanted to get in with the Canadian toy blaster scene, by the time you’ve read this you’re already in it.
And that’s all, folks! As I stated before, I looked at my site data for my spotlights. If you want me to revisit or think I overlooked your country/continent, let me know! And abundant apologies to the countries I did name if I got anything wrong about your fair landmass – again just let me know so I may make the appropriate corrections. Hope this info was useful to you, and see you next time!
I’ll have another post up this weekend, “Super” related (and not a blaster product, but a fun toy all the same.)