It is no secret that pop-culture and media have a direct and powerful impact on the toy industry. Movies and TV shows such as “Finding Dory,” “Star Wars,” “SpongeBob Squarepants,” “Ninja Turtles” and numerous other franchises have directly led to the release of countless plush toys, playsets, apparel and more. Whilst merchandise for kids inspired by kids shows is not at all unusual, it is somewhat of a rarity for adult-themed media to inspire toy companies. The case of “#The Walking Dead#Dart Blasters by ALEX Brands is precisely that situation.

Franchise 

“The Walking Dead” is an immensely popular comic book series that began in 2003 and inspired the hit television show.

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The plot chronicles the state of the world after a zombie apocalypse. A ragtag team of survivors must protect themselves against the undead—and ravenous—and they usually do this via the use of weapons.  Although the show includes gore and violence and is intended for mature audiences, it—and zombies in general—have proven very popular with tweens and teens, too. ALEX Brands recently released a line of dart blasters that are directly inspired by the comic book series of the same name. Akin to Zing Toy’s “FireTex” line and Hasbro’s famed “NERF” series, “The Walking Dead” dart blasters are designed for hours of outdoor play.

Blasters 

In 2013, ALEX Brands purchased Buzz Bee Toys which was one of the foremost makers of dart blasters and water guns. Upon buying the company, ALEX Brands aimed to continue to produce dart and water guns that held appeal to a large consumer audience.

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“With the increased popularity of ‘The Walking Dead’ products the Comic Book Series with Skybound Entertainment seemed like perfect fit,” said Sally Lawrence, the Senior Manager of Public Relations for Alex Brands, who noted that the blasters are designed to have realistic characteristics, while still being a toy. “You will notice many ‘scratches’ and ‘grooves’ in the blasters that are purposefully designed,” explained Sally. “We did that to make it seem as if the blasters have actually been through battle with the non-living.” Well crafted, the largest of the blasters can shoot darts up to seventy feet which is markedly further than most blasters produced by other brands such as Zing, which tend to stop at about thirty or fifty feet. That said, the blasters in "The Walking Dead" series are quite large and tend to be somewhat cumbersome and not as easy to run with as some of the smaller NERF offerings. 

Upcoming 

To date, “The Walking Dead” dart blasters have proven to be very popular with consumers and ALEX Brands is planning to unveil additional models in 2017.

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“Kids and adults have always liked comic books, and ‘The Walking Dead’ series has become the most popular comic series in modern times,” Sally stated. “For that reason, we are going to continue to expand this line.” Moreover, the company will also be unveiling new wares in their Ultra-Tek line, promising better performance and longer distance capabilities for 2017 releases. #Toys & Games