Best toy crossbow

Pretend Play

The actual bow portion of toy crossbows and real crossbows is called a limb, while the metal loop used to brace certain crossbows while reloading them is called the cocking stirrup.

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Which toy crossbow is best?

Toy crossbows can be great gifts for children and teenagers interested in target practice, pre-modern ranged weapons or shooting-related outdoor activities. The design, grips and aiming techniques of toy crossbows are intuitive for kids familiar with spring-loaded toy guns, while their relatively simple mechanical system is easier for both children and adults to maintain and modify.

Handmade wooden crossbow toys like the Adventure Awaits Handmade Wood Toy Crossbow Set generally are the highest in quality due to their sturdy construction and non-fragile toy bolts. Depending on the age of the toy owner and their home environment, however, other toy crossbows with a weaker draw weight and softer ammo may be more suitable as gifts.

What to know before you buy a toy crossbow

Intended user

If you’re buying a toy crossbow set for someone else, select a model most suitable to the recipient’s age and temperament. If they’re a hyperactive 5-year-old, for instance, it’s probably best to get them a kids’ toy crossbow with a weak draw weight so they don’t accidentally bruise their family members or break expensive household objects. Older teenagers, responsible children or adults looking for crossbow props are less likely to misuse more-powerful toy crossbows.

Location of use

Another factor to be mindful of is the home environment where toy crossbows will be used. Does the intended recipient live in an urban neighborhood with small backyards and front lawns? If so, they’d be better off with a model that fires soft foam darts or suction cups. Is their home located in the countryside next to open fields and forest groves? If so, they’d benefit from a toy crossbow with durable, brightly-colored toy bolts that are easy to spot and retrieve.

Care and maintenance

Responsible hunters with real bows or crossbows frequently take the bowstrings off their weapons during off-seasons to keep them from breaking or losing their draw weight. Kids’ toy crossbows have far weaker draw weights than actual crossbows; even so, it’s prudent to store toy crossbows in warm, dry, secure locations between uses to keep them from prematurely breaking.

What to look for in a quality toy crossbow

Durable crossbow mechanism

Any crossbow, toy or otherwise, endures stress from being repeatedly cocked, loaded and fired – sometimes to the point of breaking. To avoid having to regularly order replacements, check and test the bow limb, bowstring and trigger mechanism of a new toy crossbow to make sure it can hold up to frequent use.

Durable and plentiful crossbow ammunition

The toy ammunition, or bolts, used with toy crossbows generally endure more strain than the toy crossbows themselves. When fired at hard targets such as metal boards or trees, toy crossbow bolts have a tendency to break, particularly if they’re shot from close range. To mitigate this, look for toy crossbow products that come with a large number of relatively durable or flexible bolts.

Accuracy and the right amount of power

Some toy crossbows don’t propel bolts with a lot of force; this makes them good for dart games in rooms free of fragile objects, or small outdoor areas. Other toy crossbow products have relatively stronger draw weights; these models are good for shooting distant targets in large outdoor areas. Accuracy is a good quality to have in a kid’s toy crossbow, making it less likely the owner will hit unintended targets.

How much you can expect to spend on a toy crossbow

High-quality toy crossbow sets made from tough materials such as wood generally range from $20-40 in price. Cheaper toy crossbows made from plastic can cost $15 or less.

Toy crossbow FAQ

Who invented the historical crossbow?

A. The earliest crossbows appeared in ancient, pre-dynastic China, then independently arose in ancient Greece sometime during the Hellenistic period. Artificers introduced several innovations to the basic crossbow concept over the centuries, ranging from heavier bow limbs made of steel to increasingly elaborate spanning mechanisms such as windlass pulleys and lever action.

Do pistol-shaped toy crossbows have a historical basis?

A. Pistol crossbows show up frequently as both toy products and the chosen weapons of assassins from fantasy fiction. Most pistol crossbows, however, are modeled after the designs of flintlock pistols, modern semi-automatics and other one-handed guns, making it unlikely that pistol crossbows existed before the proliferation of firearms.

What’s the best toy crossbow to buy?

Top toy crossbow

Adventure Awaits Handmade Wood Toy Crossbow Set

Adventure Awaits Handmade Wood Toy Crossbow Set

What you need to know: This wood crossbow with sturdy arrows and a sturdy firing mechanism is a great gift for kids and adults.

What you’ll love: This hand-carved toy crossbow is very durable compared to plastic toy crossbow products. It comes with a quiver of 10 rubber-tipped bamboo bolts you can shoot across long distances.

What you should consider: The hard-tipped bolts of this toy crossbow can be hazardous in the hands of unsupervised children.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top toy crossbow for the money

Adventure Awaits 2-Pack Handmade Wood Toy Crossbow Set

Adventure Awaits 2-Pack Handmade Wood Toy Crossbow Set

What you need to know: Siblings, friends and families will enjoy playing with these two wooden crossbow toys.

What you’ll love: This bargain product contains a pair of hand-carved, wood toy crossbows and 12 soft suction darts. Their small size and pistol grip makes them good picks for outdoor activities and long-range dart battles with adults and kids.

What you should consider: The suction dart bolts are soft but can sting if fired at people from close range.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

SA Sports Sniper Toy Crossbow

SA Sports Sniper Toy Crossbow

What you need to know: The tough stock and functional sights of the SA Sports Sniper make it a good toy crossbow for kids who want to practice sharpshooting.

What you’ll love: This toy crossbow has a sturdy plastic frame and a steel spring crossbow limb similar in form to actual crossbows. It comes with six suction darts, a colorful target board and basic iron sights similar to those on hunting rifles and hunting crossbows.

What you should consider: Its plastic darts have been known to break when shot at close-range targets.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Coleman Gailloreto writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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