Star Wars BB-8 Droid Will Be the Gift All Young Jedi Crave This Season


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By Devin Coldewey

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is sure to be one of the biggest blockbusters in years, and it's coming out on December 18 — perfect timing for kids to want a toy from it for the holidays. Fortunately there's one ready to go, and it looks like a lot of fun: a working replica of the film's spherical "BB-8" droid.

BB-8 in the movie rolls along like a ball, with a head (making familiar droid chirps, like R2-D2) that hovers over a spinning body using magnetism, or perhaps the Force. The toy version definitely isn't using the Force, and it's quite a bit smaller, but other than that it's a very close reproduction -- spherical body, floating head and all.

The toy droid not only can be controlled via smartphone, or told to explore on its own — a touch-and-go affair, since it doesn't have any sensors on board to prevent it from crashing into furniture or falling down stairs. But it will keep track of objects it encounters and mark them on a map viewable on your phone. It can also be prompted to make little droid-y sounds and motions indicating assent, curiosity, and so on. Recharging is done wirelessly in a little dock BB-8 sits in.

At $150, this is definitely more expensive than your average action figure — but we'd guess it's also going to be a lot of fun for any kid (or parent) who loves "Star Wars."