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Sphero ditches the robots for a storytelling Spider-Man toy

Sphero ditches the robots for a storytelling Spider-Man toy

Toy robotics company Sphero is building its business around connected play, or the idea of toys that theoretically never age because they're frequent refreshed by software updates.

Sphero has launched a new toy today as it continues its long-standing partnership with Disney that has brought us toys like the BB-8 and Lightning McQueen.

We had the chance to get hands on and speak with the little Marvel superhero at a Sphero event in Toronto weeks ago where the interactive Spider-Man was first revealed and were impressed by the amount of dialogue, the app options, and even the little Easter Eggs added in. The Verge likened the toy to "a camp counselor at a bonfire".

So what does his appearance in the Insomniac's Spider-Man mean? Both are though rather high-priced toys and likely find more geeks owning them than kids.

In combat, the player can make clever use of Spider-Man's environment to clobber creeps, like webbing up a large crate and using it as a makeshift weapon to slam into his enemies, or tossing high-tech trip mines that entangle foes who walk by. Remember how excited everyone was when the latest movie version of Spider-Man could squint his eyes? Just use simple voice commands like, "Hey Spidey, tell me a story".

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The toy also comes with LCD eyes, which lets Spider-Man be a bit more expressive. Watch him react to people passing by, set him to wake you up, or have him guard your room to stop snooping siblings.

An accompanying iOS and Android app is required to set up the toy. Once you do that, the logo lights up and microphones listen for key words and phrases, like "What's the crime report?"

And the wireless feature will allow for new missions, games, stories, jokes, and other content updates.

The interactive Spider-Man toy is available now from Sphero's online store for $149.99. It's not the one Tom Holland wears in in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's not the black symbiote Peter Parker wore in the comics (that eventually turned into Venom), but one that has a white spider design that's completely new.

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