I somehow forgot to make this roundup post at the end of 2016, so here it is, two months late.
2016 was an up-and-down year for Nerf, there were some good releases, and some not-so-good releases. Non-Nerf brands had a fantastic year however, with both Buzz Bee and Dart Zone releasing some real winners.
Alien Menace is a new Nerf theme for 2016, with specially coloured darts and a very different, almost organic aesthetic to the other Nerf lines.
Doomlands received multiple new releases this year, tripling the size of the theme's range.
Doomlands also received its own subtheme, Impact Zone. The primary difference is mainly in just aesthetics, with the Impact Zone blasters having white as their main colour.
The N-Strike line received a few new releases, all single shots.
The Elite line also received relatively few new releases, though at least only one of them was a single shot.
Mega only received two new releases this year.
The Modulus line got a number of additions of varying utility, primarily a variety of blasters to complement its already impressive attachments lineup.
The Rebelle line continues to do well and received a number of new releases in 2016.
The Rival line received two new blasters to its fledgling lineup, both offering something new to the line.
The ZS releases this year focus primarily on the roleplay aspect of the series, which is by no means a bad thing.
Last year's Ultra Tek line gave Buzz Bee a big boost, propelling them into legitimate contender status and really giving Nerf some stiff competition. 2016 saw a number of solid new releases from Buzz Bee, but by far the best of them was the Ultra Tek Destiny.
Like Buzz Bee, Dart Zone really stepped up its game with recent releases, sporting Elite-competitive range claims, and the power to actually meet those claims. Like with Buzz Bee, there was one standout release of the year, the Magnum Superdrum.
Overall 2016 wasn't the best year for Nerf, with a distinct lack of good releases across the board with a few exceptions. For the hobby as a whole however, 2016 was a great year. We saw some great blasters from both Buzz Bee and Dart Zone, who look poised to give Nerf a serious run for its money in 2017. We also saw a massive boom in aftermarket parts available for the hobby, including body kits, flywheels, motors and other accessories.