If you are buying (or are allowed to buy) just one Star Wars: The Force Awakens toy tie-in this year, then this new “ball droid” from Sphero is a very strong candidate to be that toy. You’ve seen the cute new droid named BB-8 from the movie trailers, and now you have the chance to own not just a lifeless replica, but a robot toy that seems like the real thing. It can be controlled, it can be autonomous, and it can even send out holographic messages, as if you were receiving secret messages from Princess Leia herself (or whoever are the new characters in the new movie).
Basically, the BB-8 is a remote-controlled robot that comes in a spherical form. Of course it isn’t as big as the actual movie droid character as it is just 11.4-cm tall and 7.3-cm wide. But in all other aspects, it’s just like the real thing. This is a partnership among Sphero, maker of “connected toys”, Lucasfilm, and Disney Consumer Products. It not only obeys your commands if you control it, it also adapts its personality to whatever it is that you’re trying to make it do. It can be playful, serious when on patrol mode, and listens and responds to its master, although if you can understand what it’s “saying” is another matter. And if you leave him idle for long, it will try and get your attention whatever way it can.
BB-8 can be controlled by an app that has its own very special Star Wars theme of course. It can do three basic things. First, it will obey your commands through the app that controls it. You can set it to Patrol and it will move around autonomously and maybe even capture images that might surprise you. Lastly, it can create and view holographic recordings, which makes it one of the coolest toys ever.
And because it is Force Friday (all Star Wars and pop culture fans should know what this is), BB-8 is now available for purchase through Apple Stores, Best Buy, and Sphero’s online stores. It will cost you just $149.99. But we wish you luck, since this will probably sell out within hours.