Sphero BB-8 Review

The Grandfather of the Sphero Revolution

Sphero started off with little balls that rolled around on the ground. It was neat and especially fun in many schools as a technological learning tool. Then, Star Wars started to reach a new audience and BB-8 captured the hearts of the universe. Sphero, being the intelligent business people they are, found a way to add a little head to their balls and created BB-8. A somewhat genius evolution and the starting brick that built the Sphero kingdom. Since the release of BB-8, there have been a wide variety of other figures to purchase, such as Lightning McQueen, BB-9, R2-D2, and Spiderman. But it all started, in my opinion, with BB-8.

BB-8 hasn’t been matched in pure enjoyment either. It may be that we are getting used to what Sphero is able to pull off, but something about opening up BB-8 for the first time, before experiencing the other Sphero products, made it an incredible adventure into the future. While small in scale, the personality of BB-8 was as big as it is in the films. Watching this ball roll around the house, with a head that stayed in place, was nothing short of mind-blowing. And, now that you can purchase him for under $100 US, he is worth every penny.

There isn’t a whole lot to review here. The app is simple, but like mos Sphero toys, the integration of watching their film with you is enjoyable, if a bit gimmicky. The biggest gripe with BB-8 is all the sound is produced through the device you use the app with. So if you don’t have solid speakers, BB-8 sounds drunk. Sill, as a little droid that rolls around your house, the controls are tight, and the fun comes from watching your kids and pets try to keep up with him.

There is also a band that can be purchased separately, or included if you are lucky enough to find a deal, that lets you control him without your phone. I haven’t had a chance to try out the band, but I imagine it just adds to the fun. If I do pick it up, I’ll add the review in here.

The build quality is also stellar. I’m not sure how many things BB-8 has tried to act as a battering ram on in my house, but he hasn’t been scratched yet. It is true, about a week after we purchased him, that he sits on a shelf as a showpiece more than a toy that comes out much, but he still gets to come out and play from time to time.

Ultimately, if you are interested in what Sphero is pulling off, BB-8 is a great place to start as he is often a cheap point of entry and includes enough features to impress. Overall, this is a great toy that doesn’t break the bank. If only the sound came from BB-8 instead of your phone or tablet.

If you are interested in some of Sphero’s other offerings, check out my Lightning McQueen review here, and my Spiderman review, here.

Sphero BB-8

8.5

Score

8.5/10

Pros

  • Easy to control
  • Great size for younger kids
  • Looks great sitting on a shelf

Cons

  • No sound from the toy
  • Limited games to play
  • Antenna on head is not as sturdy as the rest of the build

Chris Gravelle

Author and Talker. Chris has two talents, and wasn't sure how to make those work. Then he discovered that he could just talk and write about entertainment and, for some reason, people listened. So, here we are. Talking and authoring. Getting into your eye-holes and ear-holes.

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