During yesterday's landmark unboxing event that unveiled the new toys for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Sphero finally showed-off their consumer version of the popular ball droid BB-8. Today, the company released a new two-minute video, which breaks down some of the features of this toy, which will surely be one of the hottest items for sale during Force Friday. While an official price hasn't been revealed yet, Entertainment Weekly reports that BB-8 is expected to retail for approximately $150. Here's what Sphero had to say about BB-8 on their official blog.
"Meet BB-8 - the app-enabled Droid whose movements and personality are as authentic as they are advanced. BB-8 is your very own Astromech Droid, and his traits begin to shine the second he wakes up. He is playful, personable, and true to the Star Wars™ galaxy. BB-8 has something unlike any other robot - an adaptive personality that changes as you play. Based on your interactions, BB-8 will show a range of expressions and even perk up when given voice commands. If he is left idle for too long, BB-8 will playfully attempt to get your attention. BB-8's advanced traitware makes all of these actions possible. This is not a toy, this is a Droid!"
We got our first glimpse of BB-8 during the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser that debuted in November. While most were convinced that the ball droid was a completely CGI character, director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy thrilled the crowd at Disney's D23 Convention, when the droid rolled out onto the stage. It was later revealed that a Colorado start-up company named Sphero is behind this amazing device.
The BB-8 droid moves forward by internal gyroscopic propulsion, and the internal battery lasts for 60 minutes. The droid comes with a charging station, and is also Bluetooth enabled, so you can communicate with the device through a headset. BB-8 is also voice enabled, reacting to the owner's voice commands, or you can also control it through a downloadable app on your smartphone and other handheld devices like tablets. Through the app, users can map out a route for BB-8 to travel, and you can even create and send holographic messages that BB-8 will display.
In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, BB-8 winds up in the possession of Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, during one of her desert scavenges on the planet Jakku. He serves as Poe Dameron's Astro-Mech droid and X-Wing pilot. For those looking to purchase their very own BB-8, the droid will be available for purchase starting at 12:01 AM tonight local time, at either Sphero.com/StarWars, or through a number of retail partners throughout the world, which you can see at Sphero.com/Retail-Partners. In the meantime, check out this video to see what BB-8 can do.