If you picked up the Sphero BB-8 when The Force Awakens was released, you already know what you can expect from their products: high-quality interactivity with a mind-boggling attention to detail that fans will appreciate. Their latest product, the new Spider-Man by Sphero, doesn’t disappoint. The Sphero Spider-Man is like having a new best friend delivered to your doorstep, and his name is Peter Parker.
With interactive superpowered stories and the ability to customize content just for your family, kids will happily take a screentime break to listen to storytime with Spidey.
The Sphero Spider-Man is an interactive toy that talks to kids, tells stories, shares jokes, and even gives them choices in a choose-your-own mission to fight bad guys. While the body itself doesn’t move, Spidey’s eyes are incredibly expressive thanks to the LCD screens in his mask.
A push of the spider button on his chest starts the adventure. Spider-Man is not voice-activated, which can be a blessing if your kids are the types to endlessly chat up the Amazon Echo, like my daughter is. While almost all of his commands can be entered by voice, the companion app is indispensable, especially for the combat portions of the missions.
Spider-Man not only offers stories and jokes, he can also be set in “guard mode,” where his sensitive motion detectors will tell you if anyone has been in the room until you turn the mode off. He can even wake up the kids in the morning, and who wouldn’t want Peter Parker as their alarm clock?
Set Up Spidey
Install the companion app from the App Store or Google Play before powering up Spider-Man. There’s no physical setup beyond taking the charger from the box and plugging it in; after Spidey has been perched on the charging platform, he’s ready to go. (He can also be removed from it once charged.)
Load up the app and press the spider button on his costume, and you’re ready to start crafting your superhero persona. The powers and name you choose will make up Spidey’s partner on your adventures together. These can be changed in the app later, so don’t worry if you don’t love the combo you pick.
Our Spider-Man started chatting with us without the LCD eyes powered up; sliding the Powers activation in the app finally turned on the eyes, if you’re experiencing the same problem.
From Screentime to Web-Slinging Storytime
Spider-Man’s audio adventures are arguably his most impressive feature. His personal stories are short but are filled with his trademark humor; his jokes are just as entertaining, if not a little groan-worthy. The missions with the listeners swinging alongside him are where Spider-Man truly shines.
Kids will make choices about how to best fight the bad guys, use the app to activate their superpowers and fight at Spidey’s side, and even answer Spider-Man when he asks them what they should do next. Spider-Man’s voice recognition is impressive, and, while it’s not as robust as Siri or the Amazon Echo, it’s still easy to have a conversation.
If you are met with arguments and eye-rolls when you tell the kids it’s time to get off the screens, Spider-Man by Sphero will get them away from the TV or iPad with zero complaints. (While the app does require using a screen, most of the action takes place with Spider-Man himself.) Spidey’s stories are so detailed with amazing sound effects that they’ll use their imaginations and listen closely as the mission gets underway. My eight-year-old even hopped around the room, using her superpowers against invisible bad guys as Spider-Man described what was happening around them.
The Sphero Spider-Man has a retail price of $149.99 and is now available to take on bad guys with your family. A wi-fi connection will enable free content downloads for even more adventures and updates.
GeekMom received a promotional item for review purposes.
All Images © Sphero / Marvel