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I got a BB-8 and my cats now hate me: a review

BB-8 by Sphero

BB-8 by Sphero

Force Friday has officially come and gone. Besides Black Friday, rarely do I feel the force so strong with a retail event. I myself was skeptical, “Oh, some Star Wars collectible toys? What a money grab. “ Then, I saw it. I locked in on its adorable little droid eyes and antennas: remote control BB-8, that little ball droid from The Force Awakens trailer. I had to have it.

To cover the basics, there are two BB-8s on the market. The first is a Target retail-exclusive made by Hasbro. It has its own remote control and runs for $79.99. The other is made by Sphero, is sold at other retailers, and costs $150. This BB-8 is controlled by an app on your smart devices.   Evidently, many consumers thought they were getting the same product at Target and were disappointed when they couldn’t control the Target BB-8 using their smart phones. This is not the droid you are looking for.

Well… maybe it is. In fact, these toys are hot. I got to my local Target yesterday at 1:30 pm. There were only two BB-8s left! But I had my eye on the Sphero BB-8. I went to Bed Bath and Beyond at 11:00am and there, right in front of me, was one single BB-8 with a sticky note reading: “LAST ONE!”. “Haha- my kids will love this!” I exclaimed to the cashier. I got into the car and ripped off the plastic cover with my teeth. Oh, and did I mention I don’t have kids? Just cats. More to come on that.

I charged my BB-8 on the docking station and even the charging of BB-8 is adorable. He moves his head around inquisitively and lights up as he’s being charged. After he charged, I let him loose in the kitchen. He has three settings: drive, message and patrol.   Drive allows you to control his movements via the app. The message function records a video of you that BB-8 can transmit (well, sort of. Think of the transmission segment of Star Tours). And the third function is patrol. This turns your BB-8 into a Roomba essentially. Only it doesn’t get rid of cat hair with a vacuum, in fact, BB-8 finds all the cat hair.

I put BB-8 on the ground and used the app to control him. BB-8 himself doesn’t actually make noises, but your phone does. BB-8 is just cute. His movements are very intuitive and they did a great job of making him feel like he has heart. When he bumps into things, his head looks around as if he’s surveying the area. I feel like this toy is what other robot toys hope to be.

Seriously... How adorable is this!?

Seriously… How adorable is this!?


I wasn’t as big of a fan of the message function. The message plays back on your device screen. I’m not sure what capabilities I thought this toy would have, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they upgrade BB-8 to a premium version complete with projection screen (and an increased price) released just in time for Christmas.

My cats, on the other hand, do not like BB-8.   They are completely scared of this talkative, softball-shaped robot rolling around the floor. Here’s a video of my cats, Archie and Matilda, running away from BB-8.

When we left the house last night, my husband suggested we put BB-8 back into his box, because “he’s Archie’s known enemy now”.

All in all, BB-8 is just stinkin’ cute, and fun to play with. I should also say that I’m going to be 30 in a month. I’m not a collectibles type of person and I’m also practical in every way- I am not the one to buy and play with toys. Should you shell out the $150 on this toy? I would say yes. BB-8’s movements are so lifelike it felt like we had another pet in our house. And the one thing it really drove me to do? Clean my kitchen floor.

Shifty eyes...

Shifty eyes…

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