I can have clobbering time?
August 3, 2012 8:36 AM   Subscribe

East coast Canada, where can I find nerf/foam swords? Local stores appear to be sold out, but suggestions of places I might not have thought of are helpful. US websites have a lovely selection, but the Canadian versions are less helpful (is this a restriction i didn't know about?). Need them for this weekend. I didn't think this was going to be hard!
posted by platypus of the universe to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
They always seem to be in plentiful supply in "Dollar Store" type places. Don't know how plentiful they are in Canada.
posted by DWRoelands at 8:37 AM on August 3, 2012

Costume stores (ala "Halloween Adventure"). Party stores (ala "Party City"). Failing that, maybe call up a local community theater group and ask, "Yo, dude, the last time you did 'Pirates of Penzance', where'd you get your swords?"
posted by julthumbscrew at 8:47 AM on August 3, 2012

If you can't find them, buy some foam at a craft supply store and make your own with a hot glue gun?
posted by Sukey Says at 8:50 AM on August 3, 2012

Can you simply get pool noodles and cut them down, or do they need to look "swordy"?

Or, buy supplies and have a DIY party.

TRU may have some, but I'd call the local store for availability.
posted by tilde at 8:52 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was going to suggest that most people I know of who spar with swords use pipe insulation duck-taped over PVC. So I think maybe you need to clarify: Is this for sparring, or for costume?
posted by straw at 8:55 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Nthing dollar stores.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 9:34 AM on August 3, 2012

Dollar stores usually have these. Wal-mart might be an option, too, if they've already got their Halloween stuff out (which wouldn't surprise me).
posted by asnider at 10:31 AM on August 3, 2012

Swords are for a grand melee of whacking ridiculousness, so functionality is more important than appearance.

I'll check dollarstores (good thought!) and keep DIY as a backup.

On the making side, nerf swords, do they have a rigid core, or just foam all the way through? (it'd be dishonourable to outclass my opponents :P )
posted by platypus of the universe at 12:59 PM on August 3, 2012

I think most of the serious SCA/reenactment type people use rigid cores. I suspect that the actual Nerf™ brand swords are more flexible than that.
posted by straw at 2:51 PM on August 3, 2012

Nerf brand weapons have some... issues... A lot of them are very plastic-y, some of them have plastic on the outside (ouch) or are very narrow (ow) or don't have soft stabbing tips (yikes). Most of them are not sturdy, if you plan on spending more than ten minutes hitting people they will fall apart. Further, if you're planning on going to a pre-organized event most Nerf brand weapons will not pass weapons safety check at most LARPs. (On the other hand, this goes the other way sometimes, I guess, if you're goofing around with friends and they all have Nerf brand weapons and you have a LARP sword then they may make fun of you, so best to clarify this.)

Anyway, here is a video showing how to make a boffer sword which will pass weapons check at most fast action LARPs, is sturdy, pleasant to use, and not too hard to make. If you really only need it for the weekend you can skip or modify the caulking step (caulk needs to dry overnight so that part takes time).

If you're not satisfied with just a basic sword, you can look around the web for some inspiration for customizing it.... All of this goes on top of the basic sword so it's still safe! a) Add an extra piece of foam along one side to give an edged look, b) cover the whole thing in an awesome color of duct/electrical tape, c) cut decals out of shiny tape to apply to your sword for a "jeweled hilt".
posted by anaelith at 3:45 PM on August 3, 2012

Plan is for semi-organized goofing around with 'nerf' being the term used by the event initiators.

So I should be thinking of cheap crap with a bit of internal structure. If their swords were all 100% floppy foam, I didn't want to show up with plastic core foam. But if they'll have cheap plastic core foam, I'm more than happy to show up with a custom-made quality plastic-core foam.

(If LARP had been mentioned I would have known exactly where to turn. It's this semi-normal-human non-geeky stuff that throws me ;P)
posted by platypus of the universe at 4:52 PM on August 3, 2012

Oh, you're freaking with the mundanes. I see the issues. So what did you end up with? Oddly enough I checked a US Target store and all they had was Nerf brand swords, built with water gun innards so you could whack and squirt your opponent.

Let us know how it turned out!
posted by tilde at 10:52 AM on August 6, 2012

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