For me, this is the best December since 1978. I was in the third grade and had spent the previous year and a half thinking about my favorite movie, Star Wars.
My uncle took me and my brother to see it during the summer of ‘77. We dressed up. (I dressed up.) We went to the one movie theater in town, waited in line to buy tickets, then waited for the showing on the one giant screen. As I sank into the velvet of the theater seat, the air was electric. The theater was totally full. By the time the twin suns set over Tatooine, I was all in. Then I saw Han Solo and knew I liked boys, but that’s another story.
Star Wars had run for weeks, and young people were returning to see it over and over. This was a big deal back when single-screen theaters ran one movie for one week then went on to the next big release.
Even more than a year later, we were still obsessed with Star Wars. Christmas 1978 was the first one I remember for toys that tied into a movie. Now it’s normal. In fact I suspect most movies for kids are written with an eye for tie-in toys, video games, and sequels. But since Star Wars was the first, it was special.
While I didn’t get any Star Wars action figures that year, my brothers hit the mother lode of plastic goodness from the Kenner company. They got every good character, and even a few no kid really wanted. I’m looking at you R5-D4. Get outta here with your bad motivator.
This year, I am all in on Star Wars once again. We have tickets to the first possible showing of The Force Awakens. I have my outfit planned, as have my kids. My husband isn’t that kind of nerd, though he does rest his head on a Star Wars pillow case at night.
My daughters and I are very excited about the new character Captain Phasma. My younger daughter even dressed up as her for Halloween.
Sure, Phasma looks like a bad guy, but in Star Wars movies characters don’t necessarily stay on the Dark Side forever. (Or vice versa. I’m worried about Luke, you guys. Was the vision he saw of his head in Darth Vader’s helmet in that cave in Dagobah going to come true?)
I’ve already spent some cash on Star Wars products, and I’ll talk about those in another post.
My favorite so far is the BB-8 app-enabled droid put out by Sphero. Marbles the Brain Store sent one to me to review. No other consideration was given, and I am not required to have any opinion other than my own. Luckily, I really like it. Please note that links can be affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I do get a small percentage of what you’d pay anyway.
I’m not even saving the BB-8 Droid for under the tree. He lives on his little charging platform in my office to keep me company. I take him for a spin around the upstairs when I need a play break.
BB-8 comes out of the box ready to go. He charges on a platform through a USB cable, so no batteries. There’s no remote control—you download the app from iTunes or Google Play to your smartphone or tablet, enable Bluetooth, sync up, then bust a move.
Check out the tutorial video here.
Sounds come from your phone through the app, not from the droid itself. You can guide BB-8 with your smartphone, let him run on his own and explore (he reports back), create and send holographic messages (viewed through the app).
Besides making sure you have a device compatible with the app, and most smartphones are, there’s nothing else you need to get up and running.
Let me know if you have any questions. I love my BB-8. He makes me feel like I just got that Darth Vader head full of Han Solo and Princess Leia action figures for Christmas. I think he’s a great gift for Star Wars fans of all ages, but at his price point, I’d buy him for a grownup or a very appreciative child. I think for a fan, he IS the Droid you’ve been looking for. You knew that was coming.
BB-8 is currently in stock and comes with free shipping at Marbles the Brain Store. It’s exempt from coupon codes.