By Allison Watkinson
Rocafella Leisure has entered a licensing agreement with Hasbro for a NERF Action Xperience entertainment centre in the UK.
The NERF toy brand is best-known for a line of blasters that shoot foam-based projectiles. The brand is currently owned by the multinational entertainment conglomerate, Hasbro, Inc.
The NERF-based family entertainment centre will open in the recently rebranded Trafford Palazzo in Manchester during the summer of 2023. Two more Nerf Action Xperience (NAX) locations are expected to open in the UK within the coming years.
“The NERF Action Xperience in Manchester embodies Hasbro’s Brand Blueprint 2.0, our strategic approach to bringing Hasbro’s iconic brands to life, for fans of all ages,” said Matt Proulx, VP of Location Based Entertainment at Hasbro, Inc. “As we expand the NERF franchise into new categories, we will continue to introduce innovative experiences for consumers – and we’re excited to partner with Rocafella Leisure to bring the NAX experience to fans throughout the UK.”
Each NAX centre provides guests with a multitude of indoor activities inspired by the NERF brand. It consists of three different zones called the competition zone, the sports zone, and the training zone.
The competition zone allows groups to battle with NERF blasters in three different themed arenas. The sports zone features an atrium of NERF-related sports challenges including basketball and football volley. The training zone allows players to practice their targeting skills using NERF branded products.
The hospitality company, Rocafella Leisure, is working alongside Peel L&P for the project. Peel L&P is the real estate developer that owns and operates Trafford Palazzo.
“We are really excited to welcome Nerf Action Experience to Trafford Palazzo. The brand aligns perfectly with all existing operators and will I’m sure be extremely popular with visitors, old and new,” said Mark Whittaker, Executive Director of Property Investment & Management for Peel L&P.
“Over the past year, we have focused on developing an activations and events strategy within our mall space which has attracted significant interest and demonstrates the power of creating experiences for customers within a retail space,” added Whittaker. “We are excited to develop our strategy and offering further to bring some spectacular collaborations to Trafford Palazzo.”
Rocafella Leisure has also entered a partnership with Archie’s to be the exclusive food and beverage operator within the Nerf Action Xperience FEC. Archie’s is an American-inspired diner based in Manchester.
“We are hugely excited to be partnering with NAX on such a high-profile attraction coming to Manchester,” said Amer Rafiq, co-founder of Archie’s. “The decision to work together was an easy one, as our overall brand proposition and American-inspired menu has great appeal with the intended audience coming to NAX.
“Working with NAX has enabled us to take a huge step in our growth plans, providing a route into new markets where entertainment and dining are possible under one roof. A sector that both organisations are well-equipped and eager to capitalise on through this successful partnership,” Rafiq added. “We look forward to opening our doors next summer as we welcome battle-ready NERFers to experience the high-quality food and drink from our menu as they refuel after a fun and energetic time at NAX.”
In addition, a curriculum is being developed for academic institutions to use the NERF-based facilities for STEM learning through the gameplay and operations within the venue.
Construction work has already begun on altering the layout and infrastructure of the ground-floor unit for the upcoming NERF entertainment centre. Fit-out work is due to be completed in Summer 2023, with an official opening to follow soon after.