Spider-Man is the second mouthiest superhero out there, but likely the most kid-friendly. Sphero is a tech company that knows its audience. They made a baby. Sphero’s Spider-Man is a technological toy for kids and adults, that doesn’t shut the… (editors got involved here) up.
Essentially, you sit Spider-Man on a shelf, desk, table, cat, dog, body, whatever won’t move much and let him talk. Something akin to Alexa or Google Home, he can reply to basic commands and makes a few enjoyable hours of fun conversations. With LCD eyes, he is also emotive, though he isn’t animated like his bigger, more expensive brother, Lightning McQueen. You can pose his arms, but that’s all you get.
In addition, you can interact with the Spider-droid by using the Sphero app. This allows you to create your superhero persona. I am now known as Midnight Master (something I can’t get anyone else to call me in the house). There are a number of choices, with two different sliders to choose from. You could be Midnight Unicorn, or Rainbow Master if you so desire. And Peter… Spidey will refer to you with that name going forward.
Also included are a few basic games that let you train, fight bad guys and play through a choose your own adventure style story. It isn’t as robust as I would expect for a $130 US toy, but it is enough to have a little fun. Like most of these tech toys, this is more of a fan piece or something to show off.
Also included are two alarm modes. One is a proximity detector where Spider-Man will call out passers-by and tell them to leave. He does this in silly ways, such as saying things like “I’m going to web your butt. Sploosh sploosh. I webbed your butt” in addition to other threats. Still, it is an immobile robot that will likely not scare anyone off. In addition, Spidey can be used as an alarm clock, though I see no real reason for this as the last thing I want to wake up to is Peter Parker watching me sleep. Still, for the younger kids, it may be a good way to get them used to waking up on their own.
Finally, there are some sensors in Spidey. If you throw him in the air, he will make web-slinging noises or quips about flying through the air. The toy is really fairly impressive, but with no movement at all, and a very limited range of movement with his arms, it’s a bit of a steep price to pay for a toy. If you are a collector, though, he fits right in with the other statues you may own. The quality of the build is extremely high, and when you have him speak, the emotive eyes add a lot to what he is saying. Try to catch it on sale if you aren’t sure if the investment is worth it, but there are worse things to drop this type of money on. Just don’t expect to play with him for more than a few days.