New toy from a galaxy far, far away

CASSANDRA MULHERN

Star Wars droid, BB-8 has voice recognition. Source: Cassandra Mulhern

Star Wars droid, BB-8 has voice recognition. Source: Cassandra Mulhern

 

Today saw the release of BB-8, the new interactive app- enabled Star Wars droid toy from Sphero and Disney at JB Hi Fi stores around the country.

BB-8’s release is part of “Force Friday”, the merchandise roll-out for the up-coming Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, which is to be released in December.

The little friend of franchise favourite, R2-D2 is fully interactive and compatible with smart phones and tablets through the use of a downloadable app.

It also features autonomous behaviour, which allow it to explore its surrounding on its own.

Browns Plains JB Hi Fi technology consultant, David Burness said the toy is a saving grace for Sphero.

“They were actually about to go bankrupt before Disney approached them. They couldn’t get any funding for their toys,” David said.

JB tech consultant, David having a play with BB-8. Source: Cassandra Mulhern

JB tech consultant, David having a play with BB-8. Source: Cassandra Mulhern

David said there are education kits available for the droids.

“You can download them from the Sphero website, which is something I’m really keen on doing. They’ve got kits for primary school, high school and university students,” he said.

Kim Colledge was in the store watching David demonstrate the droid and said it would be a great present for her 11 year-old son despite the more expensive price tag.

“You buy them iPads at that price this day and age,” Kim said.

 

Long-time Star Wars fan, Christian Dumas said he’s pretty interested in picking a BB-8 up for himself.

“It’s always good to see new Star Wars stuff come out, especially when it’s to do with a new character. I love how it can be controlled by the app, as well as your own voice,” he said.

People looking to pick up one of these little droids should expect to pay around $250.

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