- Super Soaker
Super Soaker Type Water gun Inventor Lonnie Johnson Company Country United States Availability 1990–Present Materials Plastic Slogan "Wetter Is Better!" (classic)
"It's Nerf or Nothin'!" (present)
Super Soaker is a brand of recreational water gun, first sold in 1990 by Larami and now produced by Hasbro under the Nerf brand. Invented by Lonnie Johnson on November 13, 1989, the first Super Soaker, the Super Soaker 50, was originally called the Power Drencher. Rebranding the name to Super Soaker occurred in 1991 together with a series of TV advertisements.
The first Super Soaker blasters utilized manually pressurized air to shoot water with greater power, range, and accuracy than conventional squirt guns. Super Soakers were popular for many years - so popular, in fact, that the term super soaker is sometimes used generically, to refer to any type of toy pressurized water gun. The Super Soaker brand was further popularized in the 1990s by Michael Jackson, who cited it as one of his favorite toys.
Super Soakers use air to force the water out of the nozzle and into the air. Air pressure-powered Super Soakers utilize one of two types of propulsion systems: a pressurized reservoir system, or a separate firing chamber system.
Super Soakers that use the pressurized reservoir system have a single reservoir for air and water. The reservoir is first partially filled with water, then air is forced in under pressure. When the trigger is pulled, the pressurized air forces water out of the reservoir.
Super Soakers that use the separate pressure chamber system have a large reservoir for water only, and one or more smaller air pressure chambers / firing chambers. In this system, water is pumped from the reservoir into the firing chamber(s), compressing the air in the chamber(s). This exerts a force on the water, thus providing the power to push the water through the nozzle when the trigger is pulled. Super Soakers using this system are, generally speaking, more powerful than ones that use pressurized reservoirs.
Other models use piston pressure, in which water is simply forced through the nozzle by the pump's shaft pushing it. Since the power available is directly proportional to the strength of the arm of the user, these models are less popular. On the positive side, no pre-pumping is required, as opposed to the other type of technology where one must pump several times to build up the required pressure.
The Constant Pressure System is the most powerful system used by Super Soaker. The user pumps water from the reservoir into a rubber chamber, which expands as more water is forced into it. The stretched rubber exerts a constant pressure on the water, allowing more energy to be stored without increasing pressures to unpleasant levels. In larger models, the resulting blast is forceful enough that recoil can be felt.
- Tornado Strike
- The Tornado Strike is a pump-action blaster that resembles a Galil ACE. It is designed with a new clip system that uses refillable 300 ml. water magazines (additional refill clips are sold separately), as well as a detachable stock and tactical rail that makes the blaster compatible with most Nerf N-Strike accessories. The barrel rotates like a gatling gun when the blaster is pumped, firing a spinning stream of water. The blaster has a maximum firing range of 20 feet.
- A battery-powered blaster that resembles the Mauser C96, the Thunderstorm uses the same 300 ml. clip system as the larger Tornado. The blaster is designed with a stock attachment and tactical rail. The Thunderstorm's firing range is 25 feet. It is also reminiscent of the Entertech AK Centerfire that was released in the mid-1980s.
- Hydro Cannon
- Resembling a Strela 2, as well as appearing to be the Super Soaker version of the Nerf N-Strike Raider CS-35, the Hydro Cannon is a pump-action blaster that comes with a blast shield, which can be attached to other Nerf and Super Soaker blasters equipped with tactical rails. The blaster itself is designed with three tactical rails. Once the blaster is filled with water and air is pumped 20 times, pulling the trigger releases a large burst of water. The Hydro Cannon's maximum firing range is 35 feet.
- Scatter Blast
- The Scatter Blast is a pump-action blaster that resembles a sawed-off shotgun. It features a retractable barrel sight and tactical rail. The blaster holds 600 ml of water and has a maximum range of 25 feet.
- Point Break
- The smallest in the new line, the Point Break is a pistol-type blaster that looks like a revolver and appears to be the Super Soaker counterpart of the Nerf N-Strike Maverick REV-6. It is activated by pumping air at least 20 times through the bottom chamber, which allows the blaster to fire a long stream of water at the pull of the trigger. The blaster holds 200 ml of water and has a firing range of 16 feet.
- Flash Flood
- The Flash Flood has two nozzles a high powered stream and the flash flood nozzle which blasts out over 300 ml per a blast.
- Quick Blast
- The Quick Blast is an air pressure-type blaster with a capacity of 1 liter.
- Bottle Shot
- The Bottle Shot is a pump-action blaster with a firing distance of up to 20 feet. It is capable of using plastic soda bottles (up to 2 liters) for extra ammunition.
- Secret Strike
- Secret Strike has a hidden nozzle.
- Sneak Attack
- Sneak Attack has four different nozzles all which fire large amounts of water.
- The XP-215 gift pack comes with two pistol-type blasters; one in blue/light blue and the other in green/gray. Each blaster shoots streams of water up to 25 feet away.
This line of Super Soaker blasters is painted in red or blue for competition wars. These blasters were re-packaged in 2010, dropping the Soaker Wars moniker.
- Shot Blast
- The Shot Blast rifle-type blaster shoots water up to 25 feet. It features an adjustable stock that fits most Nerf N-Strike blasters and a Tactical Rail System that is compatible with Nerf N-Strike accessories.
- A blaster that is more compact than the Shot Blast, yet can still shoot water up to 25 feet. Like the Shot Blast, the Rattler features a tactical rail.
- Bottle Blitz
- The Bottle Blitz is an upgraded version of the Bottle Shot that shoots up to 25 feet. As with the Bottle Shot, this blaster is capable of using larger plastic soda bottles for extra ammunition.
- Hydro Fury
- This set comes with two pistol-type blasters colored red and blue. Each blaster has a firing distance of up to 16 feet.
Crossover promotional products
Many Super Soaker blasters are marketed to promote other film and comic book franchises such as those below.
- Iron Man 2 Water Blaster
- A dual-nozzle blaster marketed for the 2010 film Iron Man 2, painted in Iron Man's familiar red/yellow colors.
- Marvel Super Heroes Blaster Pack
- A gift set featuring three XP-215 blasters painted in different superhero color schemes: blue/red (Spider-Man), yellow/red (Iron Man) and blue/yellow (Wolverine).
- Transformers Universe Bumblebee Water Blaster
- Marketed as a crossover promotion for Transformers, this blaster holds up to 47 ounces of water and is painted in the yellow colors of Bumblebee. It is identical to the Super Soaker Sneak Attack.
- SS (Original)
- The Original Power Drencher (later renamed the Super Soaker 50), which first appeared in 1990, easily outpowered other water guns of the time. This model was followed by the Super Soaker 30 (light rifle) and 100 (heavy rifle) in 1991, the pistol-type 20, 25 and cannon-type 200 in 1992; the additional pistol-types 10, light rifle 40, and additional cannon-type 300 in 1993; and a number of "gimmick" soakers like the MDS and Power Soaker series along the way. The MDS (Multi Directional Soaker) had a pivoting nozzle that allowed for "around the corner" shots.
- [XP (eXtra Power)]
- This range used the same air pressure systems as the originals but with more durable construction. It began with the XP75 and XP150, "updated" versions of the 50 and 100 featuring a different reservoir-mounting mechanism, and the XP250 and XP300, ostensible replacements for the old 200 and 300. The XP Revolution fully kicked off in 1995-97 with the XP35 light rifle, XP55 and XP65 medium rifles, XP85 Triple Shot, XP95 and XP105 heavy rifles, and XXP175 and XXP275 cannons (successors to the old 200 and 300). The XP90 Pulse Fire, made in 1999, served as a swansong for this generation of XPs, and the XP15 pistol, made in 1998, replaced the old 10 while also acting as a transition to the third wave of XPs: the XP20 light rifle was the successor to, but not replacement for, the XP15; XP40 light rifle replaced the XP35; the XP70 for the XP65; and XP110 for the XP105. The roles of cannon-type blasters, like the old 200 and 300 and the XXP 175 and 275, were now filled by the CPS models. The XP 15-110 were eventually replaced by the XP 215-310, which were, in turn, replaced by the Max-D 2000-6000. Ultimately, the Max-D2000 replaced the SS20, the Max-D3000 replaced the SS30, the Max-D4000 replaced the SS40, the Max-D5000 replaced the SS50, and the Max-D6000 replaced the SS100. The relative power of later blasters was defined in multiples of that of the XP70. This line was accompanied by the normal gimmick blasters; generally speaking, the one regarded as the worst is the XP Backfire.
- XXP (eXtra eXtra Power)
- Part of the XP line, this range consisted of two double-barreled models.
- CPS (Constant Pressure System)
- The most powerful Super Soaker range, with up to 20 times (or more, in the case of the CPS2000) the power as the "standard" XP 70. Introduced in 1996, this range initially included only a single blaster: the CPS 2000, which earned infamy for its alleged ability to cause physical injuries to people. The second wave of CPS blasters consisted of the CPS 1000, CPS 1500, CPS 2500 (the toned-down successor to the CPS 2000), and CPS 3000. When the XP 15-110 were replaced by the 215-310, the CPS line saw a similar rotation to the 1200, 1700, 2700, and 3200. The fourth and final wave consisted of the CPS 2100, to replace the 1200 and 1700, and 4100, to replace the 2700 and 3200.
- SC (Super Charger)
- Introduced in 1999, this range allowed quick pressurization using a garden hose, used the CPS system in most models, and included two backpack guns.
- This line was similar to the SC series, but bigger and sporting a different color scheme. And like the SC, the blasters in this line could be filled with a garden hose. Introduced in 2000 were the Monster and Monster XL (which is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest water gun ever produced). In 2001, the Monster was renamed to the Monster X, and the "Monster" designation was transferred to a new, smaller blaster.
- Max-D (Maximum Distance)
- In 2002, Super Soaker introduced the Max-D line, the final successors to the XP line. The Max-D guns introduced newer technologies, including ball valves for the trigger to maximize flow. They also brought back the use of pressurized reservoir systems in medium-sized blasters.
- EES (Enhanced Electronic Soakage)
- Released in 2003, this unpopular line had battery-powered sound effects.
- In 2004, Hasbro launched "SoakerTag", which utilized a number of small "tags" attached to one's shirt. The tags were starch based and dissolved when hit by water, thus allowing players to determine who had been hit in a waterfight. Hasbro also released a line of "SoakerTag" blasters, which fans considered underpowered.
- SoakerTag Elite
- This 2005 SoakerTag line was considered underpowered, although it did include two CPS models.
- Max Infusion
- This 2006 line was hose-fillable without removing the cap. The blasters could use a universal 50 oz. water "bandolier" or the 100 oz. backpack that came with the Overload.
- In 2006, Hasbro released a controversial Super Soaker blaster called the "Oozinator." It was a green blaster that resembled an Alien head and fired either water or "bio-ooze".
- Aqua Shock
- This 2007 line contained both good and relatively underpowered water guns. There were a couple of CPS models, but several other blasters were quite weak with low range and output. Also, on each box there were "Aqua Shock" ratings, apparently ratings of how good the blasters were. They ranged from 3.0 to 11.5. It remains publicly unknown what criteria were used to determine these ratings. Overall, the Aqua Shock series' performance were similar to models released in the previous couple of years. The Aquashock series contained 4 blasters: Sneak Attack (piston pressure), Secret Strike (pressurized reservoir), Arctic Blast (CPS) and HydroBlitz (CPS).
In June 2010, Hasbro sued Buzz Bee Toys for patent violation of its Super Soaker brand. In November, Hasbro won its patent case against Buzz Bee with the latter banned from producing certain water guns.
- ^ iSoaker.com: History of the Super Soaker
- ^ "Who invented the Supersoaker?". Customer Service. Hasbro. http://hasbro.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/hasbro.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=490&p_created=1017266054&p_sid=wwx6nkaj&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9MTQmcF9wcm9kcz0wJnBfY2F0cz0mcF9wdj0mcF9jdj0mcF9wYWdlPTEmcF9zZWFyY2hfdGV4dD1zdXBlciBzb2FrZXI*&p_li=&p_topview=1.
- ^ Michael Jackson.com - It's a Super Soaker!
- ^ iSoaker.com: Armoury -Super Soaker CPS 2000, Manufactured by Larami Ltd., 1996
- ^ Popular Mechanics - Nerf Super Soaker 2011 Line-Up
- ^ a b c Hasbro - Super Soaker Catalog
- ^ Super Soaker Original / Classic Series @ iSoaker.com
- ^ a b Super Soaker Xtra Power Series @ iSoaker.com
- ^ Super Soaker Constant Pressure System (CPS) Series @ iSoaker.com
- ^ Super Soaker Super Charger (SC) Series @ iSoaker.com
- ^ Super Soaker Monster Series @ iSoaker.com
- ^ Super Soaker Max-D Series @ iSoaker.com
- ^ Super Soaker Enhanced Electronic Soakage (EES) Series @ iSoaker.com
- ^ a b Super Soaker Soaker Tag (ST) / Soaker Tag Elite (STE) @ iSoaker.com
- ^ Super Soaker Max Infusion (MI) Series @ iSoaker.com
- ^ Oozinator @ iSoaker.com
- ^ Super Soaker AquaShock (AQ) Series @ iSoaker.com
- ^ Per-Lee, Myra. "The 11 Best Toys of 2011". InventorSpot. http://inventorspot.com/articles/11_best_toys_2011_toy_industry_awards. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
- ^ "Hasbro Sues Buzz Bee Toys and Lanard Over Patents". Reuters. 2010-06-02. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0217725520100602. Retrieved 2011-01-25.
- ^ "Hasbro Wins Patent Case Against Buzz Bee". Reuters. 2010-10-30. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN3029143220101130. Retrieved 2011-01-25.
- Entertech - A defunct line of water guns from the 1980s by LJN Toys.
- Xploderz - A toy gun line by The Maya Group that uses water-based pellets.
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