Remember that Star Wars: The Force Awakens app-controlled droid by Sphero that came out a couple of weeks ago? Well, I honestly don’t know what came over me, but after thinking about it for a couple of hours and crunching some numbers several times I ended up ordering the BB-8 droid literally the minute it came up on their website.
I honestly was starting to get worried because it was taking them so long to ship it, but I finally got the shipping confirmation a few days ago, and got it yesterday morning. Part of the problem is that I had never bought anything from Sphero, and I guess many people ordered their on the same day, especially people trying to resell them on eBay. Also, it’s interesting to note that their Amazon product page does a better job at explaining that it takes a couple of months for them to ship the product; I’ll take a wild guess and say they’re probably building them as they’re ordered.
Anyway, I finally got mine, so lo and behold!
It looks yellowish instead of orange because of my camera’s flash, but there’s plenty of information around major websites and Youtube channels, so I’m pretty sure most of you already know what it looks like.
One thing that confused me was charging it for the first time. The picture instructions only mention the body is to be placed on the charging station to start charging the battery. Well, it didn’t work for me right away, in fact the base blinked blue only once and that was it. On their website they say the heaviest part of the body has to be placed directly on the charging station, but many people complained that it wouldn’t work. Some people said they drop the body from a few inches from the ground so the body will position itself, but please don’t do that.
Well, after a few minutes of fiddling with it, including pressing the white reset button a few times, I think I found the solution (or at least this worked for me): softly roll the body on a flat surface, and as soon as it stops place it in that position on the charging station. The heaviest point will be at the bottom, and that’s when the inductive charge will work. As soon as I did that the blue light on the base started blinking, and so was the body, blinking in white, blue, and orange.
Once both the body and the charging base started blinking I placed the head on the body, and it started rolling it around. I took a couple of crappy videos with my phone so you can see what the droid will look like the first time it’s charging.
After that the droid will start charging as soon as you place it on the charging station without need to keep finding the heaviest point or anything like that.
Overall the toy look nice and it kinda does what it promises. I say “kinda” because it doesn’t really roll as smooth as the official clips make it out to be, but it’s really cool that it holds the head in place without dropping it.
A friend mentioned why I didn’t buy any of the Star Wars drones instead of buying a robot ball, but I honestly have had bad luck with r/c helicopters and I’d hate to break one of those in public, and I say public because I live in a small apartment and it’s impossible to fly one of those things inside without hitting something. Anyway, here’s the BBae in action.
I did notice that it works better on flat surfaces than it does on mushy surfaces, like rugs and carpets, especially carpets.
I can safely say that I’m satisfied with my purchase, and even if at some point it breaks and doesn’t work again it looks good enough to be a regular figurine. Of course I hope it doesn’t break any time soon, I mean, it’s $150 for crying out loud.
Question: would you buy this for a child? I had a weird conversation with my dad and he said it’d make a great gift for children, which left me thinking, “yeah right, he’d never buy me a $150 toy.”