Here’s a more detailed first look at the upcoming Sphero Spider-Man, an interactive app-enabled superhero, including some actual product images I dug up online. A while ago, fan-site fandom posted some pictures related to FCC ID documents, indicating Sphero was working on a signal-transmitting-and-receiving Spider-Man something something. Then several weeks ago, Sphero posted a teaser on their website, showing a partial Spider-Man face with animated eyes.
This is when I first got wind of this new product. Immediately I deployed my go-to research tool, Google, to find out more. Most of the information pointed back to the aforementioned fandom post about the FCC ID documents that include a description as well as a not-so-revealing image of the bottom of the product.
But then I found, hidden in Google’s unforgiving cache, an Amazon China page for Sphero model SP001ROW , which does not appear to provide much of a product description, but does include what appears to be a full set of product images.
Disclaimer – I do not know if the product information and images shown are correct, or if they represent the final product. Per Google’s cache info, the date it was retrieved was May 8th 2017, so it is fairly recent. Also, apparently KOHL’S knew about this toy back in September 2016, so it has been in the making for a while.
Here are some screenshots of the cached Amazon China page (a live version does not exist, and results in a ‘404 page not found’ error).
That looks seriously cool. Kind of like a slightly chubby, kick-ass high-tech Funko Pop Spider-Man.
The on-page product description only says “A robot that can talk to you“, but the product feature descriptions on the packaging seem to indicate the following
- You can ask questions and Spider-Man will answer – apparently cracking jokes as well.
- This is a smart toy – Spider-Man listens and adapts to the person speaking, and “learns from conversations”.
- The LCD eyes change depending on what’s going on. This is kind of like the upgraded Spider-Man mask from the movie.
- A motion sensor allows Spidey to detect movement, being held upside down, etc and he will respond differently depending on what he senses.
- A web (wi-fi) connection allows for the toy to be updated.
- The toy is controlled via BlueTooth
- The images show the arms in different positions, so I assume they move. The head seems to be in the same position in all of the images.
- Accompanying the Spider-Man robot are both iOS and Android apps. The app appears to include a video game / story game that changes depending on choices you make, allowing for different outcomes. The game includes missions in which enemies need to be defeated (Venom, Lizard, Kraven etc.)
Based on the BB-8 and Ultimate Lightning McQueen toys by Sphero, I would expect the app to include some sort of watch with me feature, where you can watch one or more Spider-Man movies and the toy will comment on scenes as they play.
Based on Sphero’s Cars 3 Ultimate Lightning McQueen RC vehicle, which sports Owen Wilson’s voice, I would also predict the voice of the Sphero Spider-Man to be that of actor Tom Holland, who plays Spider-Man in the latest movies.
The Amazon product page indicates a price of 1298.00 Chinese Yuan, which is about US $190.00. I have no idea about pricing / value differences between the United States and China so it could be more, or it could be less (probably) in the United States.
Apparently Google at some point also indexed a Best Buy page that had a link to the Sphero Spider-Man toy, but obviously the live link does not show the product (no cache version available):
Note the references to motion detection and advanced speech recognition.
I searched other sites where one may buy the Sphero Spidey, but am getting no hits.
Last but not least, another source shows that in the first week of May about 5000 units were shipped from China. There are probably others as well but I could not access that info (paywall).
I’m sure there’s more to be discovered about it, so I’ll just keep digging or wait for the official reveal some time later this month, before Spider-Man: Homecoming starts playing in theaters on July 7th.
Update – There’s also a cached page for UK-based retailer John Lewis. It has an image, price (GBP 149.95 = US$ 190.00) and release date of June 15th 2017. So I guess the official Sphero announcement will be some time next week.
Apparently the Sphero Spider-Man has been spotted at a Best Buy somewhere in the USA. The following picture was posted to Reddit – it confirms a US retail price of $149.99. I scanned the QR code in the image but the Best Buy web page it is supposed to go to is not live yet.
A retailer in Australia now also finds itself in Google cache. The complete product page can be viewed.
The only new things I found from the product description are
- It apparently has some sort of motion detection mode and yeps to passers-by
- The same motion detection allows for a ‘guard your room’ mode. In other words, it sits there ‘watching’ the door and if someone comes in it will say something snarky to them
- It can be set as an alarm clock
Last updated 6/13/2017.