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pcsguy88

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So I bought this for my daughter today from Amazon since they have it for $93. She wants to trick or treat as Rey this year with BB8 following her around. Can’t believe I got it for cheaper than the Sphero palm sized one and the Lego one. Why couldn’t we have something like this as kids?!?

 

nacho

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On the river...
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Seeing it truck thru the grass with ease is what made me hit the buy button. That BB8 is way too big to be truly enjoyable indoors unless you live in Nacho Manor.
My house isn't THAT big, but it's true I don't have stairs, likely the biggest enemy of BB8. That looks like an outdoor toy. I could imagine my kids loving one of those. The cats... not so much.
 

pcsguy88

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So after 45min of playing with BB8, I have to say it’s easily the best $100 of toy money I have ever spent. Not even a close 2nd. He weighs around the same as a couple gallons of milk and has strong motors, a long shag rug was nothing to him. For the first minute I was pissed because the head would fly off as soon as he moved, even though I twisted it around until he made the connection sound, but then I actually figured out what they mean by locked in place. When the magnetic lock truly engages, his entire body will manually turn with the head as one piece. It does not go flying off until he runs into something at a decent speed. He has very fine control from inching along by barely moving the throttle stick all the way up to normal human jogging speed. The right stick controls a weight inside of BB8 to make him lean quite far to the left or the right at the maximum, letting you steer him around smoothly if fairly tight circles. I’d say he can do a 360 in under 5 sqft.

I just can possibly express how pleased I am value and quality of this purchase.
 

pcsguy88

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The biggest downside I see with BB8 is unless you have a lot of open space inside, you'll have to play with him outside in full view of the public in order to use the fun features like autonomous and follow mode. His lack of collision detection makes autonomous mode useless in confined spaces.
 

pcsguy88

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Nope. They apparently couldn't sell the basic model if they've knocked 59% off the MSRP in less than a year. ;)

I wouldn't pay $230 for it just for what it is, but the quality is up there. It's even weathered on top of the paint apps which is funny since all the negative Amazon reviewers say they got a used one because it looked dirty in the crevices. Mine came in the Hasbro shipping carton and then inside an Amazon box, so triple packed and case fresh. Damn thing looks like BB8 sitting in the corner of my room. Looks like Walmart and Target have dropped their prices to match Amazon, but my local Target only dropped it to $150 in store.

Amazon Link

I'll update you guys in a few weeks once Ella has had her turn with it and we've ran it outside. Not like they are flying off the shelves. Video will never do it justice.

This is one of those toys that if the store had one running around, kids would be beating down the doors to get one. it's irresistible once you learn how to use it properly.
 
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pcsguy88

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How sturdy is the outside? Is it going to be ruined driving him on a concrete driveway or paved road, i.e. do you have to keep him in the grass?

While I respect your opinion, the whopping 24% who gave it a 1-star on amazon is eye-opening.
The 1'ers seem like they either didn't figure out how to lock all 3 magnets of the head on, truly got a used one sold as new, a defective one or they are just jamming the stick all the way forward causing it to accelerate full throttle. This thing MOVES! You really need to start with 25% or under throttle and then ramp up to speed and don't expect the bowling ball travelling at full throttle to turn or stop immediately. Because I am use to RC toys and understand less is better and smooth stick motions are even betterer, I have yet to throw the head without a collision (since learning how to lock the head properly). This is why I said let me get back to you guys after a 12yr old with no understanding of stick finesse does with it.

I saw pictures of someone who ran their's on the pavement a lot... Remember Bigwheel plastic wheels? Yeah... Fuzzy plastic and not much paint left. The chewed up plastic made it where the head could no longer roll across the surface. The main body feel like PVC pipe plastic and then the head is thinner and lighter, but not fragile.

I have not tried "Follow Me" mode yet due to cramped quarters at the moment, but it works on IR. Pretty sure you can figure out what happens to IR in strong sunlight. I have some hope considering the video chick had it working midday at the park. Apparently it works better the lower the IR blaster on the controller is.

Mine will be staying on grass when outdoors, so the daughter's Trick or Treat dreams are off the table.
 

pcsguy88

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Also, paying $137 less than a lot of those reviewers tends to lower the frustration levels in addition to being well read and knowing exactly what to expect upon arrival. I've read over 100 reviews good and bad on Amazon and not a single one mentions that when the head is truly engaged, the magnets are strong enough to make the several pound body spin with the head by hand. I think the confusion comes from when the first magnet catches, BB8's head immediately syncs up and he makes a noise, leaving you feeling like your job is done.
 

pcsguy88

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IDK, just drove him all around the apartment for 20min, up onto the rugs, on the tile and back and forth over the raised metal divider between carpet and linoleum. Not a single time did his head separate unless I hit a piece of wood furniture at 50% throttle. Spin Master has either given him stronger magnets or people have no patience to learn how to operate him. He steers like a drunken boat, so maybe people are driving too fast for the space and can’t stop hitting things.

I’ll let you know if things change whenever I decide to take him in the grass. No way would I let the daughter drive it inside until our move at the end of the month.
 

pcsguy88

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Took BB8 in the grass last night and he performed every bit as well as that lady’s video. He does surprisingly well on the rolling hills in my green space, but does have a realistic limit of how steep of an angle he can tackle. I did get stuck once in a divot of a frisbee sized manhole, the perfect droid trap. Speed is greatly reduced in the grass, so you will have it at full throttle most of the time to achieve a walking speed. BB8 lost his head exactly once out there when he hit a small unseen incline (I was 30ft away) which directed him smack into a fire hydrant. Kids can definitely drive it outside without the frustrations and finesse required for indoor driving. After this better than expected outdoor trek, I logged into Amazon and gave it a 5 Star review. Toy of the decade in my eyes.

Here is a pic of the battle damaged picked up from indoor collisions and going off-road:


61409EB6-D4EE-48AF-990D-654CAB95FA14.jpeg
 

pcsguy88

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That does look pretty cool.. does it do anything else cool? Or just use it like an RC car?
My daughter and I sat down with BB8 on voice command mode for 45min just talking to it like a dog and watching the reactions. We were laughing and having a ball with her putting him in her lap and hugging it several times saying how much she loved it. They really nailed the animations, making it feel like a live droid in your living room. Apparently BB8 has several different moods that’ll he’ll flip into on a whim which only add to impression of being alive. I’m completely sold on the thing and can’t ever see myself buying another Star Wars toy or collectible because what the hell can live up to a near life size droid with attitude?
 

ThunderDan19

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Ok, ok, you talked me into it! :p. Nah, my daughter's b-day is coming up and she can't decide what she wants. She and her sister got Rey costumes made when they were in Peru earlier in the year. This will be an excellent addition. I can't wait to watch the little guy following them around in the back yard. Oh, and I got it for $58 with the $40 gift card for signing up again for the amazon card that expired a couple years ago... Not bad!
 

pcsguy88

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Dang Dan. You can’t be disappointed for that price even if it sits in a corner. Just take the time to learn how to lock the head on correctly and how to operate it before handing them the keys. Also, the body takes 3hrs to charge the first time (NIMH battery), so you might charge it up before wrapping it.
 

ThunderDan19

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Good pointers! I remembered you mentioning the head lock thing, and using finesse with the controller. Keep 'em coming! I'll look back at your advice once it comes in next week to make sure we get the most out of it, despite the bargain price. My plan is to start outside in the grass in mostly flat areas and work up to the hills and indoors once we got a handle on the controls.
 

ThunderDan19

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So BB-8 arrived today and my daughter loves it! It was storming so we had to start off inside. Thanks to your pointers, we got the hang of mounting his head properly and driving him gently inside. The only problem now is that my youngest wants time with him too and everybody tries to talk at the same time. My older daughter is talking about saving up for an R2-D2. I told her maybe another BB-8 since they have multiple channels. We'll see which way she'll go.
 
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pcsguy88

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Yeah, once you get that head popped on right, it’s hard to read all the poor reviews with a straight face. Maybe they gave it stronger magnets halfway thru production or maybe there are just that many people without the patience to figure their new toy out.

Glad your girls love it. The money spent instantly became worth it when my daughter stopped looking at it as a toy and started looking at it as alive. She doesn’t care to drive him (or any RC vehicle), but the VC mode had her swooning.

It’s sad it was such a failure at retail that they are dumping them for 60% off everywhere since a few upgrades or tweaks to the design could make it so much better. I’d like a mode where BB8 would sit in one place like the couch or a car seat while moving his head around and respond to voice. Collision detection combined with a free roam mode would be another great addition. Lastly would be a few more voice commands to get him to turn instead of just moving forwards and backwards. Move Ball!

The number one thing BB8 does that blows my mind is he turns his head to face you when you say “Hey BB8”. How does he know? Maybe he has multiple microphones and can tell which one is the loudest input? Whatever it is, it’s creepily accurate and a huge factor in giving him life. Feels like a steal paying less than $100 for this droid.
 

ThunderDan19

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It's funny that you mention the collision detection. That's the main thing I thought too, especially when he starts doing his different reactions. In our bedroom where we started him last night, he was bumping things and getting hung up along the bed often. Maybe in the 2.0 model someday?

What I really like:

That reaction you mentioned to voice input. I told the girls to always preface the voice commands with, "BB-8." That way we know he's listening to them for the next command. He does have a little trouble with their voices, so I am always telling them to raise and project their commands to him. He has no problem with mine though... :p.

The moods. I think we only got a taste of it, but it definitely seems to randomize the reactions a little and mix things up. I look forward to more of that.

Likewise, the follow mode. I think that will shine much more outside. Definitely a cool feature.

All in all, my daughter is delighted with him/it. I'm sure he'll get a workout outside today once she finishes up her school for the day. I'm hoping there's at least a little battery power left for me when I get there this evening!

Thanks again for the recommendation! Maybe that's why they've had trouble selling it. I would never have known about it had you not posted about it here.