Look, we loved what Mattel did with Lazer Tag last year. But, let's be honest, that thing was pure testosterone. We're not saying the ladies couldn't get down, but the alien-blasting AR solo games weren't exactly designed with little girls in mind. Rebelle ditches the lasers for NERF arrows and slaps a supposedly female-friendly coat of purple and pink paint on the whole thing. While the blasters still operate without the optional Mission Central App cradle ($15), it's once you get the whole kit together that things really start to fall into place. The attachment lets you drop in an iPhone (4, 4S or 5) and fire up the free companion app. (And don't worry Google fans, an Android version of the app along with a universal mount are also in the works.) Rather than focus on solo games and individual competition, the Rebelle Mission Central app encourages kids to form squads and compete not just for supremacy over their friends but also for in-game perks, like accessories for their avatars. Those virtual personas can be completely customized, allowing girls to fully embrace their secret agent fantasies.Of course, you can also document your foam-arrow battles and share them.
The blasters themselves are pretty standard NERF fare and all some basic variation on a crossbow design. The rotating barrel Crossbow ($25) has a pump-action and a rail for installing the cradle, a feature that's not on some of the smaller models like the pocketable, single-shot Sneak Attackers. The other model currently slated for cradle compatibility is the Heartbreaker Bow ($20), which sticks with a more traditional bow and arrow design and has a dash more wickedness to the design than some of the other blasters. The whole Rebelle line is expected to hit shelves in the fall -- so little brothers beware.
Gallery: NERF Rebelle hands-on
Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.