The Force Awakens saw the introduction of a brand new robot friend in the adventures far away. BB-8 probably was the most standout character with its unique attitude and obviously innovative design inspirations. Soon after Star Wars fans were left in a lurch as they simply wanted one for themselves. However, finding a toy that replicates the movements of the android was impossible until now. Fans can now breathe a sigh of relief thanks to Spin Master and their Hero Droid BB-8 model that retails for around $229. This robot even responds to voice commands much like the original in the Star Wars movie.
At the recent New York Toy Fair 2017, Spin Master showcased this creation and impressed fans with accurate replication of the character. It is worth mentioning though that Spin Master isn’t the first toy company to make a BB-8 toy. Previously Sphero made a tiny BB-8 toy. What makes Spin Master’s creation stand out though is its 16-inch full size. This is ideal for children and adults at the same time.
Through the demonstrations, we came to notice how the droid moved with voice and the accompanying controller. Yup, it doesn’t just respond to voice commands but has a controller for old school control. With the controller, we saw how the body rolled separate from the head. To achieve this the makers used magnets on the body. Another advantage of this is that the head is easy to remove and then reattach.
Just like the movies, BB-8 life replica can move around on its body without the use of any wheels on the base. As for authenticity of design and styling, everything is at par with the actual BB-8 in the movies. Orange markings on its singular eye plus the marking across the body are all perfection exemplified.
Let’s get to the voice commands. You simply speak to the BB-8 giving specific commands such as “follow me” or “ball away” and it responds with the right movements. With the first command, it uses sensors to follow your movements and the second command makes the robot retrace a few steps back. These were the only two commands on display at the Toy Show but the eventual commercial version will have total of 10 voice commands taken straight from the plotline of the movie. One particular command is “Kylo Ren”, which will trigger a fear mechanism in the robot making it act scared.
After a closer look at Spin Doctor BB-8, it is safe to say that this version is probably the most droid like among the competition. Hasbro and Sphero both brought out their BB-8 take on the film robot but they do not have voice commands and realistic life like movements. It is safe to assume that this BB-8 replica is more intelligent and capable than the one used in the movie.