Friday, 14 December 2012

Official UK NERF stores in 2013!

Hey UK Nerf fans! AWESOME news!!! Paragon Entertainment has entered a licensing agreement with Hasbro to open a range of Official Nerf Stores throughout the UK, Europe and South Africa.

I called the lovely Paragon Press Office and got this Press Release info as well as some hot release photos:
  • Quest for Adventure Extreme - an indoor arena with 17 metre scaling ropes across a whopping 4 floors?! (£4.50 Adult, £4.00 kids, height restriction 1.1m+)
  • Nerf Gallery - it will host a shooting range with all the current blasters with pre-release debuts of upcoming blasters! *cha-ching!* (£1.00 charge for 50 dart shots)
  • The store occupies a massive 20,000 sq ft (20,800 sq ft is half a football field!!)

So what does this mean? Well under the license, Paragon agree to build and operate Nerf attractions with purpose build arenas and shooting ranges - including additional developments (can we hazard a guess at an official UK Nerf tournament in the not so far future??).

The stores will be aptly titled 'Quest' - how this works with the hobbyist Quest stores I don't know, but they are pretty much a mish-mash of tabletop wargames, Airsoft etc.

The main point of the iniative is to increase Nerf product awareness and offer a hub to buy all official Stock  products.

There will be an open Stock blaster "try before you buy" shooting range" - at a cost of £1 for 50 dart shots.

They are also in talks with Hasbro to get exclusive upcoming and new range blasters in store for fans to try before they get released! I guess that means us reviewers will be there all the time then!

For those not in the know, the first of many stores has been launched at Westfield Merry Hill Shopping Centre in dear old Birmingham, back on November 9th, 2012. (How to get to Westfield Merry Hill, Birmingham). I've since been to the store, and it's absolutely amazing. Brilliant party days, of family days out. Even if the guys are bored, head on down and have some fun!

Nerf areans are set to be launched in 2013 - along with other store launches as mentioned. Are we excited yet? I am with Stratfiord Westfield (East London) on my doorstep! :)

CEO of Paragon, Mark Pyrah had this to say:

"The award winning NERF brand represents an excellent fit with our strategy to operate proprietary attractions. The 'NERF' and 'NERF Blaster' are fantastic products which for years have been eminently popular with children. We look forward to working closely with Hasbro to create a fantastic attraction experience."

 Adding to the joy, Katherine Buckland, UK Licensing Director of Hasbro Intl said:
"We are delighted to have Paragon building and operating attractions under the banner of our NERF brand. These attractions will be a "world first" for Nerf. Together we are offering a unique and innovative leisure proposition with the chance to experience NERF in a fully immersive environment."
More info on the Paragon Entertainment UK licensing agreement with Hasbro!

All-in-all, it's a GOOd thing that we get some love in the UK, EU (and little S.Africa in the corner :) ) when it comes to Nerf. They plan to have massive arenas setup enough to cross store challenge and possibly a grand final. They won't cap this to 16 year olds which is a bonus o us Kidults! The first of these arenas are earmarked for March 2013 (this may change).

I guess a lot of us will be buying up stock Dart blasters! Hah :)

If it's anything to go on, major UK shopping centres will be targetted, so I would keep tabs with your Shopping Centre Concierege to find out how far down the line you may be!

Final pic... UK Nerfers... keep an eye out for an official arena near you ;)

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