The Sphero R2-D2 App-Enabled Droid stands out among the ever-expanding universe of licensed Star Wars toys and collectibles as one of the most authentically fashioned and feature-packed pieces released in 2017.
From R2-D2’s first appearance in Episode IV – A New Hope, to its presence in Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, the fan-favorite robot has remained an indelible Star Wars icon for over forty years. Now, courtesy of the talented creative wizards at Sphero, fans can enjoy the companionship of the plucky little automaton in a toy that delivers in both movie-like form and function.
So, what makes Sphero’s R2-D2 a must-have Star Wars collectible? For starters, the 7-inch droid combines an aesthetic that’s close to the film with a robust variety of technologies that bring it to life. R2-D2’s familiar appearance has been faithfully rendered with the distinctive white, blue, and faux-metallic surfaces and contours. From a technological standpoint, Sphero’s Bluetooth-enabled R2 unit boasts sensors that react to nearby objects, internal LEDs, and an integrated speaker. R2-D2 also comes with a gold-colored USB cord to charge the little droid’s internal lithium battery (for roughly an hour of play) when plugged-in.
While the figure is visually stunning sitting on display, once connected via the downloadable mobile app, interacting with Sphero’s R2-D2 becomes a truly magical experience. In addition to the droid’s front and rear lights illuminating and the center leg deploying, users are treated to familiar beeps and chirps as well as to music from John Williams’ timeless Episode IV soundtrack. Users will also find an assortment of control possibilities at their fingertips, which allow them to take direct control of R2-D2’s movements as they twirl the head and drive it around just like the movies. Other options include changing R2’s direction with the swipe of a finger and a “Holographic” mode, which allows for simulated navigation of the interior passageways of the Millennium Falcon. There’s also an autonomous mode, whereby users can monitor R2’s status (via the app) as it independently negotiates the surface it’s placed on .
One of the Sphero R2-D2 App-Enabled Droid’s most exciting features is its range of expressions. From within the app, users can select 18 different emotes ranging from angry chirps and jovial beeps, to the frenetic wail of being zapped and felled by Jawas. Other exciting features include a pair of modes that enable R2-D2 to react to Star Wars movies as you watch them and also to engage and interact with its fellow Sphero App-Enabled Droids including BB-8, BB-9E, and R2-Q5. The combined result of all of these features is a masterfully engineered collectible that’s as fun to look at as it is to play with, and one that every Star Wars fan should experience.
The Sphero R2-D2 App-Enabled Droid is one of most exciting and feature-packed of the recent crop of Star Wars toys. The extremely well put together little droid reseased last year at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $179.99 USD (though ardent shoppers can find it for less).