There were a lot of exciting toys announced yesterday during the epic 18-hour Star Wars Force Friday reveals, but none as exciting as the BB-8 toy from Sphero. We’ve been gushing about BB-8 since Star Wars Celebration and counting down the days until we could own one. And now that the day is here, it is perhaps even more fun than we ever could have imagined.
A ball perhaps the size of a small apple, BB-8 is described as an “app-enabled droid,” which essentially means it’s a really cool robot you can control with an app on your smartphone. The setup is remarkably easy: A magnet quickly connects BB-8’s head, then all you need to do is charge the unit on the attached base and you’re ready to go. If the idea of having to wait to play with BB-8 is driving you nuts, just know that while it’s charging, it will beep and boop and twirl it’s head, keeping you company.
When you’re ready to take BB-8 for a spin, it’s best to go on a hard surface (it does work on carpet, but not as smoothly or quickly as a hard floor). You can either set to “Drive” or “Patrol” modes. In “Drive” you’re in control and can basically do exactly what you would want to do: scootch BB-8 all around, under chairs, through rooms, chasing pets and whatever other adventures you want to get in. You can set patterns (BB-8 will do a figure-eight pattern or in a square with the push of a button), create responses (you can make BB-8 give its version of yes or no answers) and even talk to it. If you tell BB-8 “It’s a trap!” it’ll run away in the other direction.
Once in “Patrol” mode, it’s almost like a Roomba. You just set it to walk around and, before long, BB-8 will honestly start to feel like a pet. More than once, I had to stop myself from talking to the toy. “Oh you got stuck again? Let me help you…” It’s dumb, but it feels so real that it’s hard not to.
But, OK, enough of me telling you how cool BB-8 is (and it’s very cool, easily one of the best Star Wars toys I’ve ever played with), you want to experience it for yourself. Unfortunately, because BB-8 is so cool, everyone wants one. Reports from last night’s Force Friday events at major retailers reported that the in-stock items sold out almost immediately. Amazon.com was out of stock by 1:00 a.m. That’s OK, we’ve got BB-8 right here for you and winning it is super easy.
All you need to do is follow both @ScreenCrushNews and @ComicsAlliance on Twitter and retweet the tweet below to be entered. Winners will be drawn on September 11.
Be sure to check out the official rules here before entering. This contest is only open to residents of the United States. Good luck!