My wife’s mother and sister were acting very excited for Christmas this year when it came to the gift they planned on giving me. I had my ideas as to what it may be. I expected a gag gift, like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle colouring book or something.
Oh wait, I did get that from them.
Well, then this larger wrapped gift was presented to me on Christmas day, and suddenly I had 3 phone cameras recording me. Here’s why – they’d ordered me a BB-8 from Sphero.
I won’t lie. I geeked out and was as excited for this as my kids were with their Shopkins.
The packaging to this toy is stunning. It screams quality from the outside of the box, to how you open it, and how the toy, charger, and cable are all placed well within. The print, colours, and font are a graphic designer’s dream.
The toy itself is absolutely wild, and it much more than just a ball rolling around your floor.
The head of BB-8 is magnetically held to the Sphero ball / body. The insides are done in such a way that the held will actually turn around and face whichever way you point him to go. If you bump into something hard enough, the head may go flying off. However, it hasn’t happened much for me, and it’s really easy to just place it back on him.
Within the body itself, there is a white and red light that allow him to glow quite brightly, and, there is a blue light used to aim his orientation to where you are.
I haven’t tried it myself, but, I did see through some YouTube videos that BB-8 100% water proof. Someone had him in a sink full of water, and he just floated in place, spinning along.
The App (Android)
The Android app is very sharp. You are greeted with the classic Star Wars theme song when you boot the app. Right after the title screen, the app will connect to your BB-8 toy via Bluetooth. The pairing is nearly transparent.
After pairing, you have different options to control him remotely, make and play messages (motion tracks the toy through your camera), and free roam, making him wonder about aimlessly.
I tend to use the remote control option 99% of the time. It is quite a lot of fun, and I enjoy that along with the virtual joy stick to control BB-8, you get little built-in controls. My favourites are his “yes” and “no” actions.
This toy is a heck of a lot of fun. Not only for myself, but my 5 year old (who is able to use the app to control BB-8) and my 2 year old as well.