You’ve never seen a Nerf blaster like this one before. It fires soft, water-infused gel pellets rather than foam darts or balls that may be reused.

Pellets are so small and inexpensive that you can fit 800 of them into this blaster right out of the box. With a 7.4V battery that is included and rechargeable, swappable, and rechargeable using a USB-C cable, it will shoot them automatically, exactly like a phone.

It’s called the Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic and will cost $79.99 in November. It’s amazing to see that such a thing even exists, in part because it’s so different from kid-friendly darts and in part because it seems like Hasbro is finally admitting that it doesn’t need to invent the wheel to appeal to an older audience.

It’s not aiming to develop a completely new type of blaster with a secret new dart or ball after spending the better part of a decade trying to make Nerf competitive with more violent pastimes like airsoft and paintball.

Image: Hasbro

Instead, it has simply created its own entry into the rapidly expanding market for gel blasters, a type of toy gun that has proven especially popular in China and Australia (though Australia has severely cracked down recently and the Chinese government has voiced disapproval) and, from what I’ve heard, is also expanding across the United States. They normally fire pellets that must be soaked in water for a few hours, which when they reach their target, explode like a miniature water balloon and whose shells break up into powder.

The company hasn’t yet made any claims about the blaster’s range or velocity; all we know for sure is that it can fire up to 10 rounds per second and that it fires loudly enough to warrant including a set of eye protection in the box. This raises the question of whether Nerf’s blaster is intended to compete with other gel-shooters in the US and abroad. (While safety glasses were also provided with Nerf’s rubber-ball-firing Hyper, this is still a relatively new practice for Nerf.)

Image: Hasbro

But in comparison to Hasbro’s other initiatives to raise Nerf’s level of competition, it doesn’t seem like a particularly difficult sell. In order to participate in a Nerf battle with a Hyper or Ultra blaster, you would have to either buy a big stockpile of ammunition for a lot of money or spend the entire game gathering up the missiles you launched. Here, you can transport a massive tank of pellets that are normally biodegradable and, ideally, dirt inexpensive (though Hasbro makes no explicit mention of that in the announcement).

A retractable stock, a barrel that can be removed for different play styles, and a design that hardly resembles a real gun make it look cool. (Unfortunately, a lot of gel blasters do.) This fall, I’m excited to give one a try.

Image: Hasbro

But if you want to be the first, you can pre-order it today at 10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m. ET at Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Hasbro Pulse in advance of a rumored November 1st release.

On the off chance that Hasbro is seeking for further tried-and-true strategies to draw older players into the pastime, may I simply recommend shortening your current darts? It really, truly works and is what modders have been doing for decades.