sphero spider man

Screengrab via Sphero/YouTube

This chatty Spider-Man robot is the new must-have toy for kids

Who needs friends when you have this talkative Spidey?


Sarah Weber

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 15, 2017   Updated on May 23, 2021, 2:57 am CDT

High-tech toy maker Sphero won nerd hearts everywhere when it debuted a tiny, robotic BB-8 around the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now, as we await Spider-Man Homecoming, Sphero has announced a new must-have geek gadget.

Feast your eyes on this adorable little Spider-Man. While the BB-8’s primary draw was its rolling mobility, Spidey is special for his ability to talk. In true Spider-Man fashion, the toy drops an endless supply of one-liners, but it’s also smart enough to have a conversation. Just be forewarned, Spider-Man is a teenager, so you should expect topics like school and field trips come up.

While adults seemed to make a large segment of the audience for BB-8, Spider-Man was designed to be kid-friendly. Picking him up and playing with him prompts reactions, and he has a “guard mode” that will spot trespassers with his built-in infrared sensor. He’ll also tell kids stories about his adventures and give them play prompts. (While Spidey is dropping around the same time as the new Marvel movie, Sphero says they’re unrelated.)

You can interact with Spider-Man with just your voice, but you control him through an app for Android and iOS. Sphero co-founder and chief software architect Adam Wilson told TechCrunch that Spider-Man is essentially a full Android device that uses third-party speech recognition. Wilson emphasized you don’t need to worry about this high-tech Spidey eavesdropping on your household’s conversations. He’s only listening when the spider on his chest lights up, and conversations are never retained or shared.

The only not so kid-friendly part of this toy is its price tag. You’ll have to drop $149.99 to bring this little guy home.

H/T TechCrunch

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*First Published: Jun 15, 2017, 3:00 pm CDT