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Nerf product designer has his sights set on upcoming ‘Overwatch’ collaboration

Blizzard has been in the video game business for decades, and while franchises like WarCraft and StarCraft may be popular, Blizzard’s latest original title, the superhero-themed team-based shooter Overwatch, has caught fire in a way those older franchises never have. Go to any nerdy convention these days — whether celebrating video games, comic books, or what have you  — and you’re likely to find more than a few people dressed as Overwatch characters.

It’s easy to see why Overwatch has enchanted so many fans from all corners of the globe. As we noted in our review, the game has a diverse roster of “uniquely cartoonish” characters whose distinct designs make it “a fun game to play under almost any circumstance.” It certainly helps that Blizzard continues updating the game with new characters, maps, and even features.

The fan culture surrounding Overwatch is almost bigger than the game itself, and Blizzard has embraced this, collaborating with other companies to make Overwatch-branded merchandise like Funko Pop! figures, Lego sets, and soon, a line of Nerf guns. Jae Yoo, Nerf product design manager, appeared on Digital Trends Live to talk about the new blasters, working with Blizzard, and where he gets his inspiration.

The Nerf/Overwatch collaboration consist of a few different products, modeled on the weapons used by characters in the game: Three Micro Shots blasters (D.Va, Tracer, and Torbörn), two blasters in the Rivals line (McCree and D.Va), and a big shotgun modeled on Reaper’s gun that’s complimented by a re-creation of Reaper’s mask. Given Overwatch’s colorful designs, Yoo described the collaboration as “holy matrimony.”

Asked where he gets his inspiration for his designs, Yoo said: “Things I find are more mechanical … maybe automotive design, or something more mechanical …  I don’t take inspiration from weapons or any of the more mature materials … At the end of the day, we’re making toys, so I look at stuff that’s more fun, could be exciting for younger consumers.”

The Overwatch Nerf guns will be available for pre-order from GameStop in January, with a larger retail release later in 2019.

Digital Trends Live airs Monday through Friday at 9 a.m. PT, with highlights available on demand after the stream ends. For more information, check out the Digital Trends Live homepage, and be sure to watch live for the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card, among other prizes.

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