As you'd expect, these guns are insanely popular, mostly with young guys. And, as you'd expect, several of them have set up Web sites devoted to painstakingly careful descriptions and reviews of Nerf guns.

One AOLer named "Eric6750" has created the Nerf Reviewed Page, in which he profiles about two dozen Nerf guns and discusses the "wars" he conducts with other Nerf-oriented friends—sort of like tag, but using assault weapons. In an email to me Eric6750 noted the origins of his Nerf fetish: "I must have been like five when I had a missile launcher," he said. "That was the equivalent of the Nerf 'missile' (as in the ammo type) that was on a blue stick, which was attached to a yellow bag. You slammed down on this bag and it shot the missile. Very violent."

Another prime Nerf-gun site is the 'Foam Weapons Arsenal', a site created by Seattle resident William Dickson. Unlike Eric6750, who is a fan of the Nerf handguns, Dickson is a man who appreciates raw power: "The heavy weapons are those that would strike fear into an opponent's heart, were they not merely firing foam projectiles," he writes. "The assault weapons, the rapid-fire repeaters, the rocket launchers—these are the weapons that can decide a battle with a single ammo load."