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Sphero

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Sphero Specdrums are app-enabled rings that play music using colors

Toy robot maker Sphero hasn't had the best time of late, with slow sales forcing job cuts this time last year and, more recently, an end to production of some of its licensed products. There must be high hopes for its latest product, then, which is a new type of musical instrument for that responds to different colors.

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Sphero ends production of licensed toys, including BB-8, Lightning McQueen, and Spider-Man

Toy robot manufacturer Sphero has stopped making its Disney and Marvel licensed products after deciding that the return on the investment isn't strong enough. Products currently on shelves will continue to be sold and supported, but once they're gone, that's it.

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Sphero BOLT review: A good robot for schools, but not for everyone else

As the name might suggest, Sphero's claim to fame is its sphere-shaped toy robots. These include the original Sphero, Sphero 2.0, Sphero Mini, BB-8, and BB-9E. The company has also been marketing some of its products towards education as STEM learning tools, particularly with the SPRK+.

Sphero's latest product is another educational robot - the Bolt. It's a minor upgrade from the existing SPRK+, with a configurable LED matrix display, infrared sensors for communicating with other robots, and "more than two hours of continuous play."

I think the Sphero Bolt is a well-designed product, but I'm not sure there's enough value to justify the $150 price tag, especially when it's only an iterative improvement over the company's existing robots.

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Bolt is Sphero's most advanced educational robot yet, retails for $150

Sphero is known for creating both educational and recreational robots in a variety of different forms. The original Sphero was a robotic ball, and the company has since released movie tie-ins and numerous upgrades. Bolt is something of a modern-day reimagining of the company's very first product.

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Sphero forced to make staff cuts following disappointing holiday sales

Interactive toy-maker Sphero appeared to all the world as though it was in fine shape as the holiday season approached last year. Thanks to licensing deals with Disney and Marvel spawning a range of remote control Star Wars robots and an app-enabled Spider-Man toy, the company's product portfolio burgeoned in 2017. The more affordable Sphero Mini came out towards the end of the year but apparently wasn't enough to ensure decent holiday sales numbers. As a result, staff cuts have been made and Sphero will release products at a slower rate in 2018.

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Sphero Mini is coming soon, according to briefly live Play Store app listing

Even if you're not that familiar with the original Sphero remote control ball, you've probably seen the more recently released Star Wars tie-ins, such as R2-D2 and BB-8, or Lightning McQueen of Cars fame. The impressive toys have garnered much praise from reviewers, the robotic balls especially. A few days ago, a Play Store entry for a new app briefly went live before being taken down again, which leads us to believe a Sphero Mini is about to be released.

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