Okay, review done.
What? You want more? Fine...
There are certain Plans you ought to have as a family. The Fire Escape Plan, for starters. In the event of your home catching fire, how is everyone going to get safely out of the building? The one many, though definitely not everyone, tends to overlook is the Walking Dead Plan. In the event of the recently deceased returning to life and attempting to eat one's brain, what are you going to do? Who ya gonna call?
If Hollywood has taught us anything it's that the emergency services will be overrun almost immediately. You're going to have no one to count on but yourself. You need to be prepared.
Firstly, you're going to need somewhere safe to hold up. Not only does it need to hold off an invading horde of mindless monsters, but also the remaining humans, those who didn't plan ahead and are now desperate and starving and want what you have.
While thoughts, understandably, may first turn to the pub as a place of refuge there are many reasons against such a course of action. There's the shopping mall, though the odds are that this will be a prime target for many of the surviving humans. A prison, if you can find one, is good security-wise just as long as the place is empty when you get there.
Provisions are a must. Remember the shops will be emptied out very quickly after the Rising so start stock-piling tinned food now. Assuming you survive the initial outbreak, in the future seeds will be extremely useful, and something most people will overlook, so head for the garden centre and stock up.
And finally we come to the biggie: weaponry.We're not in America and guns are going to be hard to come by. Cricket bats and golf clubs will be good for close-combat, but close-combat with creatures after your brain is something you really want to avoid. You need something easily available, with plentiful ammunition, that can take out the biters at long range.
You need a crossbow. And there are loads of them available at Toys R Us.
Watch out, undead, you're in for it now.
The NERF crossfire bow is one of a line of weapons Hasbro has produced for it's zombie-fighting range. It comes in a bright green/orange/black colour combination which is fantastic for ensuring you can quickly find it in an emergency.
To fire, you need to pull back the...pullback bit and then squeeze the trigger. This will launch the uppermost dart. Subsequent firings launch the progressively lower darts. The crossbow holds 4, which is fine for a small group of advancing walkers, but I would invest in extra darts (it takes the standard foam N-Strike Elite ones) just in case you find yourself surrounded and unable to recover those you've already fired. This is especially important if you're being attacked by the breed of zombies that are inexplicably able to run.
There is a sight on the crossbow, but it's pretty much useless as an aiming device. The darts are very lightweight and prone to be deflected by the wind anyway, which is the reason I haven't been able to measure the maximum distance with which it's possible to take down a biter. It was certainly far enough for our garden.
While called a 'crossbow', I will admit that that the string doesn't do anything other than make it look more like a crossbow. The 'cross' bit of the bow comes unassembled out of the box and could be left off, if desired. Once clipped into place on the stock it is unremovable.
The age on the box is 8+. An (almost) 4 year old can't quite cock the weapon, so I'd say anyone 5 and up should be okay. Pulling the trigger to fire is very easy and ought to be accomlishable by virtually everyone. The ability to aim is completely dependent on the person. The A-Team, for example, is comprised of grown men and none of them can aim for toffee.
The box recommends not firing at eyes or faces, however this is when practising against humans. Come the Apocalypse, it's important to remember that the only way to take down a zombie is to remove the head or destroy the brain.
Bringing this review full circle, I will say again that this is a NERF zombie crossbow and is therefore possibly the most awesome thing you can currently find in Toys R Us. Perfect for the Apocalypse, Halloween or just having fun in the garden (or house for that matter).