Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

The Sphero BB-8 Is The Coolest Star Wars Toy You've Ever Seen

0.6.jpg


Take a piece of paper. Right now. 

Write, in your best script, "Christmas wish list". Underline it, just to be clear. Then, in the boldest hand you can muster, write "SPHERO BB-8 STAR WARS DROID".

Because no matter what your age, nor your view on 'gadgets', anyone with even so much as a passing interest in Star Wars is going to want one of these little guys.

1

Sphero hasn't just made a "toy-of-the-film". They've created an actual, personal droid companion. And that's massive.

Sphero have an impressive range of app-controlled toy offerings, most notably their titular Sphero ball, which nips about your ankles with a cheerful whir. This new partnership marries a superb toy to one of the biggest narratives in pop culture history - and it's the perfect match. 

Packed into an escape pod/box, the BB-8 comprises of two units: a droid-like head, which swivels and pivots to point the BB-8 'forwards'; and the tennis ball-sized body, one of Sphero's heavily modified robotic balls. These snap together with magnetic attraction (or using "the Force", as Robert Maigret, Sphero's chief creative officer, likes to put it). Charge it up on the contactless power dock, a quick calibration on the accompanying app (it takes all of about 10 seconds) and you have your very own droid.

1

Besides piloting your BB-8 around your bedroom/living room/desk from your smartphone, the app contains some neat features that build brilliantly on the Star Wars partnership.

Pre-programmed movements can be selected, allowing you to act out "scenes" from the forthcoming Force Awakens. Augmented reality allows you to view holograms: hold your smartphone up to BB-8's position and you can play clips from the film (more will launch once it hits cinemas in December) or record your own messages. There's voice command, a patrol mode - he even gets scrambled should you collide with a chair leg hard enough to knock his head off. 

We weren't sure if BB-8 was going to have even an ounce of R2-D2's charm and personality - but if this little droid is anything to go by, JJ Abrams' screen version will equal, if not eclipse everyone's original droid hero.

At £129, it would be harsh to label this as an overpriced 'toy'. It's more than that: a gadget, a demonstration of robotics, a digital pet. It might sound childish, but Sphero and Star Wars have managed to box joy and give it an app. 

The Sphero BB-8 is released at midnight tonight

Stockists include Apple, Disney, Firebox, Harrods, Amazons, PC World

Related

benicio1.jpg

Benicio Del Toro Talks Chris Pratt, Escobar & Star Wars

starwars3.jpg

This is the new Darth Vader PlayStation 4

empirestrikesback.jpg

Incredible Rare Footage of the Creation of The Empire Strikes Back Sou

3.jpg

If Star Wars was given a True Detective-style intro

storage.jpg

How to get more space on your iPhone

quantum.jpg

The coolest trailers from Gamescom 2015

Comments

More

New app will rebalance the London rental market in favour of landlords

Finally, the capital's hard-up property owners will get their due with Rentberry

by Tom Mendelsohn
26 Apr 2017

This knife-toting robot playing stabby hand will make you nervous

I for one welcome our new robot overlords

by Tom Mendelsohn
25 Apr 2017

Now you can turn your iPhone into a retro mac

For the man who has everything

by Tom Mendelsohn
21 Apr 2017

The best turntables of 2017

How the tables have turned

by David Cornish
20 Apr 2017

The Tamagotchi is back

Great news for fans of neglecting responsibilities and watching tiny creatures literally shit themselves to death!

by Emily Reynolds
11 Apr 2017

Self-healing smartphone screens could exist by 2020

Could it be curtains for shady smartphone repair stalls across Britain?

by Tom Mendelsohn
05 Apr 2017

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is being released in less than a month

This is the Korean giant's first major new release since all that embarrassment with exploding Galaxy Note S7s...

by Tom Mendelsohn
29 Mar 2017

Someone's built a robot that prints and burns all of Trump's tweets

Robo-lighter knows what's up

by Gary Ogden
29 Mar 2017

Apple has patented a new laptop chassis which is powered by your phone

Is this the future of laptops?

by Dave Fawbert
27 Mar 2017

Amazon's new Alexa update means it can bring you beer in two hours

"Alexa, we're going to need more booze"

by Matt Tate
21 Mar 2017