“Star Wars” is one of the most iconic franchises of all time, notably because it has produced some of the most captivating and memorable characters ever created. “Star Wars” made robots like 3CPO and R2-D2 household names and, thanks to the seventh film, a new robot called BB-8 quickly became a fan favorite. Like R2-D2, the orange-and-white hued BB-8 does not speak words but he still manages to perfectly convey his emotions through gestures, clicking noises, and blinking lights. The character became such a huge hit, that there was an incredible overnight demand for his likeness in toys and games. And so, just in time for the 2017 holiday season, Spin Master released the incredibly like-life and high-tech “BB-8 Hero Droid.”
The BB-8 Hero Droid stands a total of 19 inches tall which makes it on par to what a real BB-8 robot would stand. It is equipped with voice and sound responses, and a motion sensor. The robot responds to multiple voice commands (like “Come here!” and “Stormtroopers!”) and can be programmed to automatically follow anyone who is holding the controller. Moreover, using the controller, anyone can turn the BB-8 360-degrees. There are two parts of the BB-8, the body and the head, and both must be charged up separately (the body via a regular wall plug and the head via a USB cable). When fully charged, the head attaches to the body and makes an “airplane take-off” sound. At that point, the BB-8 is ready to be played with.
Pros and Benefits
The most enchanting thing about this expertly-designed toy is how amazingly life-like it is. BB-8 has a personality and mannerisms that are spot-on–or even surpassing–those conveyed in the film. In fact, he is so emotive that is it difficult to view him as an inanimate object after only playing with him for a few minutes
Cons and Drawbacks
The downsides of the BB8 are that it is a very highly advanced toy and, to truly use it properly, you must go over the instructions carefully since he has many different modes, functions, and capabilities. It can also be difficult to find the well-camouflaged charging ports. Most unsettlingly, whenever BB-8 hits a piece of furniture, or a wall, or simply is driven too fast, his head can come off and face being damaged.
Fun Additional Ideas
As a robot, BB-8 is a prime example of a toy that can lead to some really interesting stories about technology and the possibilities for the future. Moreover, because BB-8 is part of the “Star Wars” universe, children can have hours of fun creating their own “fan fiction” type storylines and acting them out in “role play” games which strengthen beneficial imaginative skills.
“BB-8 Hero Droid” retails for $230. To learn more, visit the official Spin Master website.
Meagan J. Meehan is a published author, poet, cartoonist, and produced playwright. She pens columns for the Great South Bay Magazine, Blasting News, and Entertainment Vine. She is also a stop-motion animator and an award-winning abstract artist. Meagan holds a BA in English Literature and a MA in Communication. She is also an animal advocate and a fledging toy and game designer.
Meagan is a contributing editor to Kidskintha writing on Toys, Games, Entertainment, and other topics that are happy and fun!