Sphero Discontinues Disney Products Including BB-8 and R2-D2

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Sphero, known for its popular BB-8, BB-9E, and R2-D2 iPhone-controlled droids, today confirmed that it is discontinuing all licensed products.

    In a statement provided to The Verge, Sphero CEO Paul Berberian confirmed that Sphero is cleaning out its remaining licensed inventory and has no plans to produce more.


    Sphero will no longer make BB-8, BB-9E, R2-D2, Lightning McQueen cars, or talking Spider-Man toys. None of the products are available from the Sphero website anymore, with Sphero instead selling its own Bolt, Mini, and SPRK+ products.

    The licensed products are now "legacy products" no longer in production, though App Support is set to continue for at least two years.

    Berberian said that Sphero is discontinuing its Disney partnership because the licensed toy business "required more resources" than it was worth, with sales waning over time after a movie was released.
    With its licensed partnerships at an end, Sphero will now focus on expanding its educational ecosystem with the goal of getting more products into schools.

    Update: Sphero has provided a statement on its plans not to renew its Disney licenses:
    With the new announcement about Sphero's focus on education, the online Apple Store is now selling Sphero's Bolt robotic ball, introduced back in September. Bolt is aimed at teaching children basic programming with advanced sensors, an LED matrix, and infrared communication.

    Article Link: Sphero Discontinues Disney Products Including BB-8 and R2-D2
  2. djeeyore25 macrumors 6502


    Dec 23, 2014
    New York City
    Drat! I was so looking forward to their Star Wars Holiday Special collection.
  3. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    I was really tempted to buy that BB-8 for my daughter that was only like $50-60 on Amazon. The problem is she would always have to use her iPad to control it and we've set strict limits on her iPad time. Around that time I was also thinking about the Ollie—are they discontinuing that as well? It has been out of stock on their site for a long time and can be difficult to find online, especially in certain colors. Hopefully they are just replacing it with an Ollie 2 while clearing inventory. I kind of want one, lol.

    Speaking of licensed robot toys, a few years ago I stashed away a Wall-E RC robotic toy for my daughter who wasn't old enough yet to play with it. I found it at Toys R Us (RIP) for $60 which was a good deal when I looked it up online. I had forgotten about it until I was cleaning out and organizing my storage room so I figured I would just give her the Wall-E since she still loves robots and that movie. I happen to look it up online a couple days ago and it's going for nearly $1000 on Amazon (link). Now I'm really conflicted about what to do—try to see if I can setup an Amazon account to sell this thing and make a hefty profit, or give my daughter a Christmas present I know that she'll love? It's also getting close to the wire on getting her a replacement. What would you guys do?
  4. redman042 macrumors 68030


    Jun 13, 2008
    The problem with costly toys like this is they lack long-term engagement. The robots that teach programming can be much more engaging. But robotics has a ways to go before we will be able to purchase something in this price range that keeps our attention for more than a week.
  5. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007

    In other words, Disney probably doubled or tripled the licensing fees.
  6. rem2 macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2017
  7. hondo77 macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2011
    So the choice is whether to give your daughter something she'll love or making a few bucks. Is this a joke?

    My polite response: Toys are meant to be played with. Give it to her and enjoy her happiness.
  8. roar08 macrumors regular


    Apr 25, 2008
    Too bad. I was hoping for a BB-8 TLJ edition that rolls 30 minutes longer than you want it to, and in frequently meaningless directions.
  9. TheWatchfulOne macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2009
    So... with the Disney licensing ending, does this mean I shouldn't expect iOS-controlled levitating Maximillian, Vincent, and Bob toys?
  10. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Damn. And there I was waiting for the Jar Jar toy. It would have sensors to detect objects in the room and proceed to trip over them in an increasingly painful attempt at comic relief.

    Other features would include:

    - A deafening fanfare of shrieks to wake you up at 3AM

    - A painfully short loop of quotes from the film, repeated unprompted at inopportune moments

    - The ability for it to keep talking even when you’ve removed all batteries or pummelled it to a pulp with a blunt object
  11. 69Mustang macrumors 603


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    If you can get a grand, sell it. I'm sure you already have other Christmas presents for her and she won't miss what she doesn't know about. You can ask her if there's one thing she really, really wants and possibly get that for her. Guaranteed she'll enjoy it and you'll have money to spread further.
  12. sinsin07 macrumors 68040

    Mar 28, 2009
    Or maybe it just what the article said:
  13. Dustin Lenzz macrumors newbie

    Dustin Lenzz

    Sep 13, 2018
    ‘These aren’t the droids... yada-yada...’
    And on another note...
    ‘Luke be a (Last) Jedi tonight..’
  14. NexusEclipse macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2009
    My view is that if give a toy to a kid, they will get bored with it quickly or worse yet, destroy it. It’s a fact. Sell it and get something else. Add it to her future school fund if you feel guilty.

    I actually did the same thing but it is too late for me. I inadvertently gave a 1,600 stuffed animal to my daughter (15+ year old beanie baby I found at my folks house still in a plastic bag with a tag). She had many stuffed animals and this is just one of them (though this is one of the favorites).
  15. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    It’s a toy and $1000 is $1000. So you’re telling me that a week before Christmas someone shows up at your house and offers you $1000 to buy a toy you paid $60 for your kid for Christmas and you wouldn’t consider it, especially if you could use that money to get even more toys? She has other toys already lined up for Christmas and I would use part of the money to get her something nice. She already probably has too many toys. We buy a lot of extra toys second hand for our licensed daycare so there are a lot of toys around the house. That being said I don’t really need the $1000, I just grew up kinda poor so it still seems like a lot to me. My grandpa’s voice is in my head telling me to be cheap!

    Yeah this is what I was thinking, I wasn’t quite sure if I would get that much, like if they are actually selling on Amazon (and I would be a new seller with 0% feedback) or if it would go down after Christmas? I could also do eBay but they’re only going for $350 there and at that point with the seller fee and potential risk and $60 I already spent, IDK if it’s worth the hassle. And so realistically that’s probably the truer market value.
  16. H.E. Pennypacker macrumors 6502

    H.E. Pennypacker

    Oct 23, 2017
    Because it’s being advertised at $1000 doesn't mean it’s selling for $1000. In regards to your daughter present. Guess you need to determine what’s a higher priority, possibly making a large profit, or give your daughter the gift you meant to give to her. The only way I seeing you getting a father of the year award is if you give her the gift or sell it for $1000 and put the profits in her college fund. Just my opinion.
  17. jeffrow925 macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2016
    Glad I got my RD-D2 off their site on Black Friday for $36 shipped. It took forever but I’m supposed to receive it today. Can’t wait to play with it and sit it on my desk.
  18. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Her college fund is already maxed out for the year, lol. And yeah, I see what you’re saying about the price. I was just saying to someone else that I looked up Ebay today and it’s only going for $350 so now idk if it’s worth the hassle with sellers fees and the $60 I already put into it along with the “Ebay risk”. If I make an Amazon sellers account it might take forever to sell and idk if I’d have to file taxes on it or whatever. At the end of the day I’m not hurting for cash so she’ll probably just get it.
  19. denro55 macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2011
    I am also glad I bought my R2D2. I am such a geek I just love it. I did jump on ebay tonight and buy the two I didnt have since I expect them to go up in price after the announcement...
  20. rjohnstone macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2007
    PHX, AZ.
    Still have my BB-8 and R2-D2.
    They sit among other dead products.

    Attached Files:

  21. inhalexhale1 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2011
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Father of the year right here.

    What’s your child’s happiness when there’s $940 on the table.

  22. iZac macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2003
    Not that I’ve charged my BB-8 in a year or so I don’t really have a problem, but they mention App Support will continue for two years ... so little BB-8 will be a paperweight in 25 months time?
  23. CarlJ macrumors 68030


    Feb 23, 2004
    San Diego, CA, USA
    FWIW, I ran across the Ozobot Evo at a recent Maker Faire, seemed pretty impressive for the price, much more oriented towards learning and experimentation than being a toy.
  24. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    I bought all four* and I don’t regret it, they’re great.

    *no love for R2-Q5 here then?
  25. YaBe macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2017
    App support only for 2 years? I mean when you make a toy that relies on a phone, either you release a remote control when you are done with it or you should support it.

    This is planned obsolescence, you want to play with your toy? too bad you upgraded the phone.

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