BB-8: Move Over R2-D2, There Is A New Droid Stealing Star Wars Fans’ Hearts

Star Wars Force Friday brought the world a sneak preview of what to expect from the upcoming movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. One thing is for sure, the new droid that seems to be stealing fans’ hearts from around the globe is BB-8. He has been featured in everything from t-shirts to remote control toys. If he is on it, you can almost guarantee it is quickly becoming hard to find.

BB-8 was first featured in the original teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Most people watching thought this was a CGI effect. However, Star Wars Celebration revealed BB-8 to be a real life droid. As you can tell from the crowd reaction, BB-8 was destined to be the most sought out figure for the new Star Wars film.

BB-8 has a strong connection to the Star Wars Universe. Ralph McQuarrie was the original artist who helped bring Star Wars to life. Many of his concept paintings are what fans have come to know and love about the “galaxy far, far away,” and BB-8 was one of his original concepts for R2-D2.

Disney and Lucasfilm have been quick to capitalize on BB-8’s popularity. One of the most sought out toys this past Friday and most likely this holiday season is Sphero’s BB-8 remote control toy. The miniature smartphone enabled remote control version of BB-8 sold out in 13 minutes on Amazon. Considering the toy retails at $149.99, it is safe to say production will be ramped up in earnest, probably as you read this article.

Sphero is a Colorado-based company responsible for making the BB-8 remote control as close to the BB-8 you will see in The Force Awakens as possible. Sphero CEO Paul Berberian spoke with the Denver Post about the initial demand for what will have to be the must have present on a lot of Star Wars fan’s shopping list.

“The initial demand has been unprecedented, with Amazon, Best Buy and sold out online before today. For Sphero, we really anticipated this to be the hottest toy and knew we had something special, but it is selling out globally.”

If you were not able to get your hands on the initial remote control BB-8, you still have an outside opportunity this coming week. On Wednesday, Apple is expected to announce the new iPhone. In anticipation of the event, Sphero developed a BB-8 custom display that will go on sale Thursday only at Apple Stores.

What do you think of BB-8? Does R2-D2 have something to worry about?

[Photo by Getty Images/Jesse Grant]