• Fri. May 20th, 2022

Gender Bending with Nerf – Rebelle Hammershot switch!

Why do we even need boys and girls Nerf?

You might consider this a politically motivated mod and that’s cool, I do want to make a statement about gender restricted toy marketing… again. If you’ve followed my Nerf modding work for some time you will already know my feelings of restricting toy blasters to strict gender role demographics, I despise it (see my thoughts on the Nerf Rebelle range in the article Rebelling Against Hasbro’s Nerf Rebelle Range).

Toys have – in some way – always been segregated by gender, but recent studies actually suggest toy companies are getting worse and not better. So, as women / girls make small strides in gaining equality, so it is that we still entrench our children in damaging gender roles, knowingly, or unknowingly.

Girls toys are generally more about domesticity, caring and of course beauty. Boys toys on the other hand are generally aimed at building, competitiveness and learning. Whether you’re a parent or not you can already see the problem, it’s glaringly obvious and it’s damaging to girls. Think about that next time you’re shopping for your daughter, niece or other female child.

gender bending nerf blasters hammershot and sweet revenge mods by nerfenstein girlygamer

Hasbro’s Nerf line is clearly marketed towards boys, other than the new Rebelle line. I have issue with the Rebelle line, not with the overall design, but with the color choice, naming and accompanying nonsense, social app, silly additional genderised info etc. Come on! Hasbro is a GREAT company and this is the best they could do? I said it in my Rebelle article, ALL Nerf should be marketed to ALL people, not just young boys. Hasbro has now split Nerf into a distinct boys and girls line of blasters, when what they could have done was release the new range as completely non-gender specific and marketed to both. This would have been a nice transition into follow-up lines being neutrally marketed. It’s not a big ask to add girls to regular Nerf box art, or to have the Rebelle line be a segway into open marketing. That’s where the idea for this mod came from.

gender bending nerf blasters hammershot and sweet revenge mods by nerfenstein girlygamer

I chat with Nerf fans a fair bit on social media, via email, private messages etc and it became apparent guys like the Rebelle line, but not the pink (because eewww pink is for girls ‘obviously’). I decided to swap the elicit gender roles within the inanimate and show how colors are everything. Sure the Rebelle line / Nerf uses the age old artistic adage of curves for girls, angles for boys, but color is key. In changing the colors between both weapons, my aim was to show that sadly, we are all entrenched in assuming certain colors are for certain genders. When can we move away from this and – as already stated – work towards more neutral inclusivity. What of the girls who don’t like pink? Where are they on the normal Nerf packaging? What of the boys who prefer the curves of the Rebelle line but are too afraid to buy it because it’s marketed towards girls? In 2013, it just seems all a little bit dated, so that’s why I wanted to change it up a little and see what I could come up with.

Galleria de Nerfenstein
Gender Bending – Nerfenstein Circa 2013
The aim of this piece is to show the outdated hegemony of the genderization of toys. The sleek curves of the Nerf Rebelle line juxtaposed against the masculinity of the post apocalyptic paintwork show how the shallow exterior overshadow the true core of an object. The angled design of the Nerf Hammershot impregnated with the seed of the Rebelle Sweet Revenge color aesthetics challenge your conception of gender and the visual aesthetic. Sound wanky enough?

Still Rebelling, but as always …. do good things!
Nerfenstein out!

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Originally written for GirlyGamer.com.au home blog of Nerfenstein / GirlyGamer / BoardGameGran. Catch up with me on my Facebook page, or if you Tweet… there’s always Twitter and guess what, I actually reply!

GirlyGamer / Board Game Gran

Nonna who loves her family, travel, board games, video games, VR and all things geeky (oh and some terrible reality TV.. don't judge lol).

13 thoughts on “Gender Bending with Nerf – Rebelle Hammershot switch!”
  1. I have both, the Hammershot and Sweet Revenge and I think they are both greatbut yeah the colour has to go. Lol I want to paint them to a Borderlands Style Revolvers and I’m new to prop painting/building thing. Now I assume you would need to dismantle them, sand off any names or text, prime then paint them the colors you want. Now my question is what did you use for paint, was it spray, brush, sponge or air brush?

    1. Hi Patrick,
      I used both spray enamels and brush acrylics on this pair (no airbrush), a little drop and drag on edging. I’ve got a full painting tutorial on this site, just type “Beginners” into the search and it will pop up with all the info you need, it’s called Beginners Guide to Modding 🙂

      Good luck!

  2. Amazing job! How did you achieve the colour for the main body of the Sweet Revenge? Is it silver drybrushed over black? Also, how did you get the grip to look like wood?

    1. Hi Daniel,
      you’ve got a good eye, that’s exactly what the main body is 🙂
      The grip is the same, only instead of silver / metallic colors, it is different shades of brown.

  3. These look great really inspiring and has convinced me to man up a rebelle for my niece who loves nerf weapons, she is not a girly girl at all and really likes modded nerf gun (cause they are better than the boys she plays with anyways as her uncle paints them up cool)

    One question though in the main picture there is an extra gubbin running along the tactical rail is this just an addition you bobed on (if so where from?) or is it the holster?

    Anyway thanks for being so inspiring

    1. I am so surprised no one else mentioned this. You want to know what that is, it’s called major human error lol Essentially I tried to be way too clever there and it failed, I had to cover the complete disaster. I found a piece from another blaster that fit snuggly and attached it, thus disguising the mess. So you see, it serves no purpose other than adding a little but if texture there.

      Thank you for saying such nice things. Appreciate it 🙂

  4. These look excellent and has inspired me to paint my own sweet revenges too.
    I particularly like the use of the silver paint dry-brushed over the black on both blasters. It makes it look very much like blued-metal in the photos.:)

    Do you mind if I could please do a paintjob on the Sweet Revenge based off your design?

    Thanks for being so inspiring and keep up the good work! 😀

    1. Well it’s nice to be asked. I don’t mind people using my IP, so long as they actually credit the idea. It’s really only when people make out something is there’s when it isn’t that it becomes a problem… or if they’re selling the idea / design. Thanks for being awesome and honest! Good luck with your project I’d love to see it.

      Thank you for taknig the time to ask and comment 🙂

  5. Thankyou for summing this up so eloquently. I was having a similar discussion about the Lego “friends” line. Unless the toy is operated with the genitals it isn’t gender exclusive, if it is then it’s not a kids toy. I hate that they genderise toys. I really liked the movie “inside out” i was looking for The toys everywhere, I finally found them in the pink asile and I threw a little tantrum “boys have feelings too!” As I decided not to purchase said toy

    1. “Unless the toy is operated with the genitals it isn’t gender exclusive”

      I love this so much and agree 100% it is utter nonsense. People still do it though and assume silly things. My grandson’s favorite toy was an Emma doll from The Wiggles, she went EVERYWHERE with him for months. Now his favorite toy is a ride on digger and tip truck.

      People need to stop being so closed minded and judgy.
      Don’t get me started on the Lego Friends line 😉

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