Spidey’s senses are tingling.
Whether kids are trying sneak up from across the room or help him catch a villain, Sphero‘s robotic Spider-Man interactive app-enabled superhero knows what’s going on and is ready to bring kids along on his superhero antics. Spider-Man challenges kids to hone their inner hero and complete missions and defeat his villainous enemies—while also providing jokes on command.
While setting up the app—which is both Android and iOs compatible—Spidey invites the user to create his or her own alter ego by mixing and matching some suggested words. I went with “Stealth Wolf” with a “Super Bark” power (boark, boark). And luckily for us, this new secret identity can be created without having to go through the whole bitten-by-a-radioactive-spider thing.
Once an alternative personality is created, kids can start going on missions within the Marvel universe. Spider-Man likes to name drop some of his friends, such as Tony Stark, when he takes you through the battles, or sneaks in a joke while you’re trying to stop a bus. You can either ask him to “Fight some bad guys” or specifically select an activity. Not all of the showing off is left up to Spider-Man though, as he asks you to use your powers in the heat of a fight.
If kids aren’t quite up to foiling an evil plan, they can simply hang out with Spidey by asking him to tell jokes or stories, as he has plenty in his arsenal. He also comes with dozens of activities that help him get to know his new sidekick, like testing stealth by having the user go across the room and sneak up on him without him sensing any motion. The more users hang out with Peter Parker in disguise, the more he tailors his responses and objectives to the user.
For kids who don’t respond well to a loud bell and need a friendlier voice to wake them up in the morning, Spidey has an alarm setting. Kids can also put him on “Guard Mode,” which takes advantage of the actual Spidey senses this little pal has. With his motion sensors, any movement nearby will activate him and he will also give a report when he’s told to “Stand Down.” He comes with a base that gives him a solid charge, or he can be taken off and charge more remotely for the user. When fully charged, he lasts about two hours of play.
Sphero captured the quick wit of the teenage hero we all know and love, and his LED eyes highlight his expressive personality. Many of his activities encourage kids to get up and act as a superhero, instead of just sitting along to watch the ride. Spider-Man can not only shoot webs, but he can also connect to the web allowing for updates with new missions to do some more hero stuff. With Spidey, there is always a skill to perfect or evil to stop.