It’s Nerf, or nothin’. At least, that’s the case if we’re to believe the tagline of the globally-popular foam blaster brand. And, in the case of classic and contemporary creations — and how much Nerf guns are worth — it’s absolutely true.
“As far as collectability goes,” says James Zahn, Nerf expert and Senior Editor at The Pop Insider, “there’s an entire fandom that’s built around dart blasters — and not just those from Nerf. Though, it is the leader and the benchmark when it comes to that space.”
While they’re not as valuable as certain Lego sets, a combination of rarity, function, and their ability to be modded makes Nerf guns fetch a good price. “Several factors, including the original price, functionality and playability, and length of time on the market can have a drastic effect on aftermarket desirability,” says Zahn. And, because of the huge community of Nerf customizers and modifiers essentially wiping out original models with every new creation, “the market availability of functioning, original, unaltered pieces is shrinking every year, and that’s driving prices up as demand increases.”
Here, then, are the 12 most valuable Nerf guns around. If you’ve got any of them stashed away, with darts, discs, or pellets in the clip, now might be a good time to unload. (All prices are MIB — mint in box — unless otherwise noted.)
1. Nerf Max Force Manta
Average Price: $425
It makes sense that such a unique-looking piece would top this list. The Max Force Manta was Nerf’s first, and only, true shield/blaster hybrid. Built to look like a Manta Ray, the body can block incoming fire, while the multiple barrels (another first in Nerf lore) shot two carefully-angled darts designed to converge on the target. “The first waves of blasters hit the market at just the right time that there’s a lot of parents in their ’20s to ’40s who are now sharing the fun with their own kids,” Explains Zahn. And this one-of-a-kind offering is a truly respected relic.
2. Nerf Dude Perfect Signature Bow
Average Price: $250+
“Hasbro was ahead of the curve with this one,” explains Zahn. “By partnering with such a popular YouTube channel, like Dude Perfect, they were able to create a lot of hype.” Advertised as the biggest and farthest-firing blaser ever (ranges up to 105 feet), it’s become increasingly rare. “I haven’t com across anyone who actually owns one of these,” says Zahn. “On the secondary market, that’s a good thing. I’ve seen them sell for double or triple the shelf price.”
5. Original Nerf Crossbow (purple version)
Highest Sale Price: $250
Originally released under the Kenner brand (which Hasbro later acquired), this dual-dart launcher came with a measly $25 price tag. If you hung on to yours, though, it could be worth some serious foam fundage. “I’ve discussed this one with a friend of mine, Brian Vasquez, who runs the blaster fansite Foam From Above,” says Zahn. “Prices often go into the hundreds because its a very desirable piece for modders and customizers.” He’s not kidding.
6. Nerf Master Blaster
Average Price: $200
Now this is O.G. Nerf. In fact, it’s first iteration wasn’t even a Nerf product — it was released in Europe under the “Gotcha” brand as the “Super Blaster”. Featuring two barrels and eight ballistic balls (Wasn’t that your nickname in high school?), it was only sold for a limited time before being succeeded by the similarly-functioning Action Ballzooka (Wasn’t that your nickname in college?) in 1994. “Adult collectors and enthusiasts are amassing huge Nerf arsenals,” says Zahn. “But, unlike other collectibles, they’re not usually kept in the box to be displayed. Instead, they’re being used and modded more often.” That’s why the rarity and nostalgia factor make a boxed version of this pelting pioneer a prize among purists.
7. Nerf Rayven CS-18 (Light It Up series)
Average Price: $200
The big gimmick here was the implementation of glow-in-the-dark darts and discs, and this compact, versatile blaster featured a clip mechanism that went behind the handle, making it a uniquely-designed, highly-accurate addition to any arsenal. If you’ve got one in the box, it can net you a few C-notes on the secondary market. Or, you can give modding a whirl, as this gun is “very popular with customizers,” according to Zahn.
6. Nerf N-Strike MEGA Mastodon Blaster
Average Price: $150
As the first motorized Nerf MEGA blaster, this 24-dart delivering dominator features a gnarly rotating drum. Released in 2013, the MEGA line featured an assortment of blasters that launched specified whistle darts more than 100 feet. “Size does matter when it comes to Nerf enthusiasts,” says Zahn. “The MEGA line is really, really popular. And the Mastadon, being a fairly recent offering, is a huge blaster with a lot of power and ammo storage.” Too much dart gun for you? Try its little brother, the Megalodon, which will be released this fall.
7. Nerf Combat Creatures TerraDrone
Average Price: $150
Yes, Nerf makes drones. Or, rather, made drones. Originally known as the “Attacknid” (Well done, Nerf), this somewhat ill-fated creation didn’t quite hit the mark. “The TerraDrone and TerraScout (see below) may have been just a few years ahead of their time,” explains Zahn. “Combining RC with dart launchers was a great idea, but the initial $200 price tag put them out of reach for some families.” The video function of the TerraScout, per Zahn, really brought the appeal of the emerging drone category into a new realm. “I’d love to see Hasbro revisit these ideas with current and future tech like HD cameras and smart device control. If Hasbro doesn’t, there are other companies in this space who will.”
8. Nerf N-Strike Elite TerraScout Recon
Average Price: $140
Just like the TerraDrone, the TerraScout is almost too awesome for its own good. Both are/were remote-controlled dart launchers designed to navigate almost any terrain your living room, basement or backyard could dish out. This clip-fed,18-dart version was originally a Toys R Us exclusive, upon release, but has now been made available on Amazon. At the time of its debut, the TerraScout Recon was the most expensive Nerf product ever released and, thanks to its distinctive features and limited release, it’s only become more sought after.
9. Nerf Slingshot
Average Price: $120
Packing three balls in its vertical chamber, the best conditioned one we could find on eBay right now is in Greece (and in a Spanish language box). Others have reportedly sold for north of $100. “Even the blasters that are devoid of motors and batteries have a lot of tech and science behind them,” says Zahn. This slinger is a perfect example. While there’s some debate regarding its actual release year (somewhere in the early 90s), the low-tech toy is a perfect example of Nerf’s ability to twist a take on classics, such as our favorite stick-and-rubber-band standby.
10. Nerf N-Strike Longstrike CS-6 Dart Blaster
Average Price: $110
Known as Nerf’s longest blaster (just less than two feet) at the time of its release, this lengthy launcher was part of a “bolt-action” series that didn’t exactly work out as planned. Design errors and constant malfunctions irritated users, as did the relatively weak firing power. “This one is known for having been discontinued pretty quickly,” says Zahn. “It was only on the market for a short time, which can equal big bucks on the secondary market.” Fun Fact: This blaster was actually first debuted in the Nerf N-Strike Elite video game, almost a year before it was released as a functioning blaster.
11. Nerf N-Strike Elite Rhino-Fire Blaster
Average Price: $100
This double barreled beast comes in two colors – white and blue. “The blue one is more desirable for collectors,” says Zahn. There are two reasons for its desirability. First, it’s known to jam up less during use. And, second, it was released as part of a Costco-exclusive value pack in 2015, which came with two extra drums, fifty extra darts, and was the first Nerf set to feature pre-packaged batteries.
12. Star Wars Nerf First Order Stormtrooper Deluxe Blaster
Average Price: $90
The Force is strong with Nerf, and this 14-inch battle blaster takes full advantage of one of parent company Hasbro’s most popular licensees. “Hasbro is great about cross-polinating their brands, and licensing for Nerf is something that’s really ramped-up in recent years,” Zahn explains. “The NERF Star Wars collection paved the way for that, and the First Order Stormtrooper Deluxe Blaster is a recent hit. My own daughters really enjoy the Star Wars range. With Episode IX being released this fall, we should see some new items before year’s end.” And after that? The Star Wars onslaught will still likely continue, and be joined by a new licensing powerhouse. Ever hear of Fortnite?