Table 1: Preparation and Initial Assessment Questions
Development: The Nerf N-Strike Alpha Trooper CS-12 was developed and released on to the market on May 15, 2013. Nerf released this new blaster to three different markets which included the United States, the United Kingdom and also Hong Kong. At the time of development Nerf was focusing on improving this blaster upon its successor the 2010 Nerf N-Strike Alpha Trooper CS-18. It was time for Nerf to release a new addition to the N-Strike Alpha Trooper series so they focused on making the CS-12 lighter, cost the same and jam less by using a 12 dart magazine rather than an 18 dart magazine.
Usage: The Alpha Trooper CS-12 is intended as a recreational toy to be used by children and teens to shoot a harmless yet fun projectile at their friends. In most cases children will use their imagination to put themselves in mock battle situations to enhance the fun of playing with Nerf blasters. Nerf guns are designed as a toy for home usage, not professional. The jobs that this Nerf gun was designed to do are create a fun interactive toy, encourage children to play with each other with their own blasters and create a safer alternative from products like airsoft and paintball for small kids.
Energy: Nerf guns use a combination of kinetic and potential energies. The kinetic energy transferred from the user to the gun when the slide is pulled back and forth transfers potential energy in to the spring inside the gun. When the trigger is pulled, the potential energy transfers back in to kinetic energy that propels the dart out of the Nerf gun.
Complexity: Without taking apart the Nerf gun there seems to be six different components that make of the entire system of the dart gun. The first component is the overall structure/ body of the Nerf gun that holds all of the other components. The second component is the slide that allows the user to transfer kinetic energy to potential energy in the internal spring. The third component is the spring which is what allows energy transfer to propel the dart. A fourth component is the trigger mechanism which initiates the transfer of potential energy in the spring back in to kinetic energy in the dart. A fifth component is the chamber/barrel in which the dart travels through. The sixth component is the jam door which allows the user to gain access to the barrel if a dart is jammed. The seventh and last component is the magazine which holds 12 darts. The complexity of the components working together can be broken down in to two steps. The first step starts with the transfer of kinetic energy from the user pulling the slide back and forth which gives the internal spring potential. Also when the slide is pulled backwards, it opens the barrel chamber and allows a dart to enter from the magazine. When the slide is then pulled back forwards it closes the barrel chamber with the dart inside. The second step is when the trigger is pulled and the potential energy in the spring is transferred to the dart and the dart is then propelled out of the gun.
Material: The most prominent material visible is plastic which all of the exterior body is made off. The magazine is also plastic and contains a metal spring to keep pushing darts in to the barrel chamber. The darts are made of foam and have a rubber tip which adds weight to the dart but keeps them safe at the same time. The only other material that is believed to be inside the Nerf gun is metal.
User Interaction: The user interfaces and interacts with the Nerf gun by loading the darts in to the magazine and then loading the magazine in to the designated location on the gun. Then by using the sliding mechanism to load darts in to the chamber and then pulling the trigger, is bale to shoot foam darts at a desired location up to seventy-five feet away according to the advertisement distances. The user than can shoot at stationary objects as a form of target practice or shoot the darts at friends with their own Nerf guns. The interfaces are not very intuitive for anyone over the ages of 10. The packaging says the Nerf gun is for ages eight and up but someone this young may need an adult to help them with the use at first but after that it is very easy to operate. The product is very easy to use and easy to un-jam since there is a jam door above the barrel. The Nerf blaster is very user friendly and can essentially be used be almost anyone. There is no regular maintenance required with Nerf guns since there is nothing to clean or replace.
Product Alternative: Many other alternative Nerf blasters and other brands exist although Nerf products are by far more popular amongst consumers. One alternative product is the Nerf N-Strike Elite Stryfe Blaster for the same price as the Alpha Trooper CS-12 Advantages of this alternative- • Uses batteries so no pumping is required and is always semi-automatic. • Smaller in size which increases portability and ease of storage. • Same range as the CS-12 model Disadvantages to this alternative- • Batteries will cost extra money to replace when they die. • Makes a humming noise when the blaster is turned on so hiding becomes difficult. • Smaller magazine size of six darts means reloading will have to occur more frequently.
A scenario in which this alternative product may be used is when kids having a “Nerf Battle” need to equip themselves with a smaller blaster that can shoot faster in close quarters such as smaller home.
The formatting on this material still needs touched up and this covers all of the minimum information. It is suggested that pictures and videos be added for clarity which I have not done yet either. Kyle