The best Sphero to buy in 2018 including Star Wars and Lightning McQueen

Our pick of Sphero's line up of robotic, app-driven toys

Sphero has only been around since 2010, but in that time, it has produced some amazing robotic toys and moved into branded toys in time for BB-8's on-screen debut in Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens

This year has been the strongest-ever for the company, with new Star Wars droids - including the Last Jedi's BB-9E - the Sphero Mini and the epically-detailed Ultimate Lightning McQueen. 

We've gathered the best Sphero toys right here - which is your favourite? 

Sphero Mini

The cheapest and smallest Sphero

Reasons to buy
+Lots of options+Inexpensive+Available in different colours
Reasons to avoid
-Should you get the SPRK+ instead?-It's very small

Fresh from its popular Star Wars related products (see below), connected toy maker Sphero announced the launch of Sphero Mini – a tiny 4cm-in-diameter app-enabled robotic ball.

As usual, you can control it using the Sphero Mini app (available for Android and iOS), or with your facial expressions (yes, your actual face) via the wild new Face Drive feature. You can even use Mini as a controller to play different and unique games, or program your robot with the Sphero Edu app.

With almost an hour of play time before needing a charge, there's plenty to love about Sphero Mini. 

Sphero R2-D2

The world’s most famous astromech droid

Reasons to buy
+App-controlled R2-D2+Holographic simulations+Authentic movements+Integrated lights and speaker
Reasons to avoid
-Nothing, it's ace

BB-8 is cute, sure, but if we’re talking long-term Star Wars droid crushes then you should know that our heart truly belongs to R2-D2. 

Sphero has made some epic moves to dominate your Christmas shopping this year and the company’s new R2-D2 app-controlled droid is one of our favourites from the 2017 line-up. 

Download the Sphero app (iOS, Android) and you can control this beloved astromech droid’s many movements and sounds, including all those little beeps you know and love. 

Switch between bipod and tripod stances, trigger R2’s trademark happy waddle, or program the droid to create captivating holographic simulations so that you can explore the Star Wars galaxy together. Want more? Sit him down to watch any of the Star Wars films and he’ll react in real-time to the movie. Aw!

Sphero Ultimate Lightning McQueen

An awesome app-controlled remote control car

Reasons to buy
+Accurate design+Fun+Sound effects
Reasons to avoid

Lightning McQueen is epic. It has animated eyes, an animatronic mouth, and emotive suspension. It's not just a static model; Lightning packs six motors, and is - like other Sphero devices - controlled by a app on your smartphone. These six motors and smart tyres allow Lightning to drift around every bend, just like in the films.

As well as the motors, Lightning features five touch panels, so it can respond to taps, three processors to control Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and animation, a digital display, and an OK set of speakers.

When not racing, you can relax while watching Cars, the film and put Ultimate Lightning McQueen in “Watch With Me” mode, where he reacts to the movie in real-time.

Yes, it's expensive, but it's the ultimate toy for any Pixar fan.

Sphero BB-9E

The droid you're looking for...

Reasons to buy
+Control it with your phone+Interacts with other Sphero droids
Reasons to avoid
-The head keeps coming off

You may remember the Sphero BB-8, and the BB-9E is one of the newer members of growing family of droids that Sphero is making.

Like the other models in the range, the BB-9E droid can be controlled by your phone and roll around on its own, and it comes with a few augmented reality tricks as well. 

The rolling motion is very cool indeed and the head keeps attached almost magically (magnetically) although it does fall off when you bump into stuff.

What's more, it can react to movies from the Star Wars saga while you watch them.

Sphero SPRK+

The Sphero for education

Reasons to buy
+Uses the Sphero Edu app+360 degree protractor and sticker sheet+Collaborate with others
Reasons to avoid
-Many home users will prefer the Mini

Originally released in August 2015, Sphero’s see-through SPRK, enabled all aspiring developers to to write their own programs to control a Bluetooth-connected ball. 

But it wasn’t as simple as just telling it to drive forward, backwards, left, or right. Complex programs could be created through the app, allowing the ball to navigate mazes, autonomously explore a room, or even serve as a fortune-telling Magic 8-Ball.

Then, last year Sphero is introduced a new version of the learning toy called the SPRK+. 

The SPRK+ features an improved tap-to-connect feature - primarily for education. Children just need to hold the SPRK+ near a tablet or smartphone and the two will pair.

The + also features an additional plastic coating so the exterior is more scratch-resistant.

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