Sphero had spent a few years sat in a state of start-up obscurity until Disney came along with the design for BB-8, set to debut in the new trilogy. The BB-8 remote control toy that followed changed the fortune of the company seemingly overnight. With ‘The Last Jedi’ just around the corner, the company is looking to recapture the initial magic with another spherical droid and the return of Star Wars royalty.
Once more Sphero is offering a first full glimpse at a new droid set to feature in the new film. Until now BB-9E’s only appearance has been on some Lego Star Wars: Episode VIII packaging that leaked early. As the naming implies, the robot comes from the same astromech series as BB-8, with a head similar to an R5 droid and a blacked out paint job. Basically BB-8’s goth brother.
Accompanying BB-9E is fan favourite R2-D2, who like more recent Sphero toys such as Lightning McQueen and Spider-Man, steps away from the core technology that the company was founded upon, but functions using the same core mechanics. The droid will utilise the same app for control, as will all the new droids, with a series of sounds a presets designed to emulate the movies.
BB-9E and R2-D2 retail for $149 and $179 dollars respectfully, which certainly isn’t pocket change. But with the release of Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi just around the corner, they’re sure to be beeping flying off the shelves.