Get ready for the onslaught of space opera hysteria as the clock ticks down to the release of the latest movie in the Jedi franchise – Star Wars: The Force Awakens – in December. Actually release is the wrong word isn’t it? We’re talking MEGA-MASSIVE-OMG-HYPE FEST opening weekend. With sprinkles. Well we’re not one to ignore massive Hollywood hype, oh no, so we’ve got a pretty exclusive video look at one of the first merchandise money makers to hit the toy shelves.
Ladies and gentlemen, Ta-Da, we present the Sphero BB8 Droid. Not just a little jiggly remote control toy robot, this puppy comes with full smartphone interaction, including voice activation, chat back (with set phrases) and – gasp – augmented reality, aka holographic video support. Our video below shows it all.
The droid comes with a free smartphone and tablet app, as you’d expect from Sphero, the masters of the wireless robot, so you can enjoy all the typical fun and hijinks of an Ollie or original Sphero, except at a slower pace.
The robot features 60 minutes of run time per charge, which is rather excellent, and has a 30 metre range which should be enough for most games and races. Apparently it also has adaptive behavior built in, which will ‘evolve‘ as you interact over time, and the holographic AR stuff is also rather neat, especially since you can record your own ‘Obi-Wan’ type videos for BB8 to beam onto your phone screen.
Whatever your thoughts about the rather sinister connection between Hollywood/Disney and the merchandising juggernaut system, you have to admire the slick, ‘take no prisoners’ , ease with which the machine swings into action when it comes to mega brand opportunities. The timing is perfect, the products enticing and Santa’s definitely going to be busy keeping young Jedis happy come the end of the year. Priced at £129.99 ($149.99).