Nerf toys are the gold standard when it comes to weaponry that doesn’t really hurt – guns that fire soft darts, bandoliers that store ammo and now a foam axe that lets kids become their favorite mythical, blade-wielding hero (or villain).
Oddly, this large foam axe is named the “Nerf Warlock”, which is a little weird considering the context. Warlocks are associated to magic, usually of the dark variety, and weren’t given to using massive double-bladed axes.
The axe itself only weighs a pound but comes in at two and a half feet in length, giving kids plenty of reach when it comes to defending castles or marauding the countryside. It is part of a whole set of Nerf medieval weaponry known as "N-Force" that includes swords, maces and shields to give kids the chance for some up-close and personal battling action.
Nerf went with a bright yellow for the axe, which isn’t a terribly attractive color but keeps it from looking like it could actually be used to maim someone. Kids chasing each other with darkly-painted, highly-detailed weaponry might just generate a number of concerned calls to police.
Though the Warlock could still end up causing injury if swung hard enough or at a small animal, this should be easily avoided by prudent parents by encouraging sensible play from their medieval champions.
The Warlock is available at Amazon, but we’d recommend against Googling “Nerf Warlock” unless you have a real hankering to learn about the World of Warcraft computer game, as one of its characters classes uses this name and “nerf” is a term used in the gaming world to mean “make less effective”.
Up-front and personal play is coming back into vogue with systems like the Wii and the Xbox Kinect, and Nerf is smart enough to realize that sometimes electronics bashery simply isnt't enough. Fortunately, the Nerf Warlock delivers both safe and aggressive fun.