BB-8, the adorable droid that stole the spotlight at the Star Wars Celebration convention last week, is coming to stores this fall thanks to collaboration between Disney and connected toy maker Sphero.
Earlier this week, Sphero CEO Paul Berberian confirmed rumors that Sphero is involved in the creation of BB-8 and that a retail version will be hitting stores later this year. Sphero (or rather Orbotix, as the company’s formal name goes), a Boulder-based startup that has received funding from Disney, is best known for its eponymous motorized ball, which users can control with their smartphones through Bluetooth.
While Sphero’s toys are fairly well known in tech circles, the connection to Star Wars will almost definitely catapult the company into mainstream.
“What an incredible honor it is to work with the team at Disney on one of the most interesting new characters in the Star Wars franchise,” said Berberian. “Opportunities this significant are rare. If anyone can execute and deliver on an exceptional BB-8 experience, it’s our Sphero team in Boulder.”
Official details are scarce for now, as Sphero only put up a teaser page with the outline of a BB-8 and the obligatory “this is the droid you are looking for” tagline, along with a signup form.
However, Gizmodo discovered a listing from a toy store (since removed) showing what could be Sphero’s BB-8 robot, along a $150 price tag and a September 1 release date. Separately, the New York Times reported that the Sphero BB-8 will be about the size of a large apple, though larger versions will be made that will be shown at Disney’s amusement parks.
You’ll probably have to wait for the end of the year to get your hands on a BB-8 toy from Sphero, unless you’re the handy type and you’re willing to get your hands a little dirty, like this guy did.
How much would you be willing to pay for your very own BB-8?