For starters, this article has perhaps one of the most awkward sounding titles I’ve written in a long time. Questionable product naming aside, my 3-pack of Nerf Super Soaker Hydro Balls arrived and I popped open the package to see what lay within…
As the box states, the Nerf Super Soaker Hydro Balls are made of soft material. Feels like some mix between plastic and rubber, but the material is actually more rigid than the previously released (and no longer sold) Storm Gun: Tsunami Balls (2001).
Unlike the Tsunami Balls, Hydro Balls are actually comprised of two more-or-less identical halves that fit into each other to make a complete sphere.
Due to this design, the Nerf Super Soaker Hydro Ball cannot be easily filled from a tap or running water. As the box shows, it is meant to be plunged/submerged into a pool or bucket of water for filling. The then loaded Hydro Ball is supposed to be thrown at ones target and should split upon impact, releasing its watery contents onto the victim.
As with the older Tsunami Balls, I fear that even though these halves should come apart on impact, this is not quite guaranteed and there’s still going to be a good amount of force received from a throw during the hit. While I have not tried throwing a filled Hydro Ball against a wall or tree just yet, dropping a filled Hydro Ball from ~1m to 1.5m (3-5 ft) into a bathtub did NOT always result in the ball splitting. In fact, about 50% of the time, the ball bounced with a decent thud. One can argue that this was because not enough force was applied to “pop” the Hydro Ball, but I found the impact disconcerting.
I do plan on running a little more testing before writing up a longer review for iSoaker.com. Nevertheless, these are my current impressions on these devices. Even if the Nerf Super Soaker Hydro Balls end up working as advertised, I would still strongly recommend against and remain wary of potential head shots with these things. While balloons are considered messy and somewhat less environmentally friendly, when it comes to re-usable water “grenades”, the sponge-based fabric-wrapped devices remain my preferred re-usable throwable soaking device.