We don’t normally talk about toys here at Engaged Family Gaming, but I saw a line of products at the 2015 New York Toy Fair that really caught my eye.
I was following the Power Rangers around looking to get a picture taken with them when I found a room full of smaller booths. I happened to look down one of the aisles to see a pair of young men fighting with foam swords. Our love of boffer LARPing is well documented so I felt compelled to go and see what they had to offer.
The product I found was a line of foam weaponry called “WhomBatz,” named after the sound they make when they hit someone and the fact that they look like foam bats. I have been using foam weapons for over a decade and I was immediately impressed with their solid construction. These toys were clearly designed with heavy use in mind.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and in this case we had three rambunctious brothers from Alaska who wanted a safer way to pretend to swordfight than beating each other with actual sticks. They eventually settled on wrapping PVC pipe with foam and over the years their technique grew and the designs became more intricate. Years passed and the brothers realized that this could be a source of income; surely there is no shortage of youngsters who want to do battle in a way that won’t raise Mom or Dad’s suspicions!
They took their inventions to the Alaska State Fair where their goods sold like wildfire! A few more years passed and there they were bringing their goods to the masses at NYTF 2015!
They have five different items in their 2015 toy line. They have the Bolt which is a 24” sword and the Thunder (also 24″)which has extra padding at the end so it makes a great mace. They also have the Rif, which is a foam-crafted axe, and the Thorn which is a 17” dagger. The best they had to offer? A double-bladed sword called the Torrent! This beast was essentially two Bolts stuck together and was just begging for some crazy sword tricks!
The company is even building a whole fictional world around their toys! They are working to publish “The Way of the Wombat” which is a fantasy story about these weapons and the world they were forged in.
I was very glad to have spoken with them even if our time was brief. There is a very important lesson to be learned here: never take your children’s play for granted. You never know when they are going to dream big and make a future for themselves!