I am not a child nor do I have children, so my sense of what makes a commercial for kids’ toys these days is skewed. My only reference for this is old Crossfire ads which are undoubtedly an inseparable part of any person’s brain who is around my age. The other day, this changed, as I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness. I was in the unusual circumstance of being alone in the movie theater, waiting for the person I was meeting up with. While I was there, I was watching that weird previews-while-waiting-for-the-previews thing that some theaters have implemented. Those previews containing things like 10-minute documentaries on how Rizzoli and Isles is made or whatever. Well, at the end of that mess, there was one ad that stuck in my head. An ad for beloved childhood brand, Super Soaker:
So, two new models in Hasbro’s Nerf Super Soaker series: the X-TREME Switch Shot and X-TREME Arctic Shock.
The first thing that caught my attention was the complete lack of interest in the announcer’s voice. The coy, self-negating dialog the narrator had to read.
So you can unleash a rush of x-treme cold in every blast to freeze your friends! Okay, maybe not that cold but it’s cold.
You can unleash waves of x-treme soakage! Well, not that much soakage but you’ll get soaked.
Have some purpose to your life, man who’s trying to sell me things!
Now as an adult who has seen an adjustable shower head and knows what a kid full of Popsicles is capable of, I also see: Switch Shot, because nothing says breakable toy like movable parts!
The end of the commercial I find especially weird, the part where the freezing gun is unfreezing the logo. Why does this happen? Is it a continuity error? In film, continuity errors happen for a variety of reasons. One of them is that in editing, stuff might be cut for timing, uselessness to plot, or changes to the story. These things that are cut out of the film might have originally explained some tiny change in a person’s clothes or something else more interesting. Could it be that this graphic comes from a deleted scene?
My hypothesis is that originally the new water guns were supposed to be a hot/cold dichotomy. X-TREME probably stood for temperature extremes. X-TREME Switch Shot was originally called the Hot Shot but after realizing no one likes being covered in hot water in the summer, they decided to rename it and forget about telling people to add boiling water to the reservoir. X-TREME Arctic Shock got to stay the same because it didn’t cause severe burns on children.
Remember, it’s Nerf or nothing! Alright, maybe not that nothing.
How hard could it be to just take over a toll booth and start collecting fare? I’ve spent a good deal of time traveling over the past month and every