After winning the Fortress of Solitude’s cage match for the chance to review the Smart R2-D2, I’m pleased to say that all the scratches and bites I received from my colleagues were worth it. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the droid you were looking for.
Requiring only four AA batteries and the download of the Star Wars Smart R2-D2 app on your smartphone or tablet, this is an easy and intuitive smart toy to engage with. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s compact enough to store away and made from a durable plastic casing, without taking away from the character’s original appearance. After all, if you’re going to fork out the big cash for this droid, you want it to look good, authentic, and built to last more than a few years.
Without the use of the app, R2-D2 comes with a few standard options that’ll delight everyone in the house, including your cat. By turning the knob on the droid’s head, you can select three options. The first is a stationary hangout mode where R2-D2 will respond to your voice and actions – don’t be surprised if you find yourself talking about your day and waiting for his wise feedback. The second mode is exactly the same as the first but the droid will move around as well. Finally, the third is an interesting one: guard mode. R2-D2 will move around and set off an alarm if an intruder is detected, which means it’s already more useful you’re your current security company on a good day.
In addition, by pressing the knob, you can engage a dance mode where the droid will dance to the famous Cantina song. Yes, I sang and danced along as well, but there will be absolutely no videos of those shenanigans.
Now, to the app and this is where the fun really begins. Not only can you use it as a remote control, but you can also program R2-D2 to do what you’d like. While it might be a little ambitious to get the droid to go to work for you or hack Donald Trump’s Twitter account, it can be programmed to avoid walls and respond to certain voice and action commands. Additionally, there’s a gallery with some familiar faces from the Star Wars universe. Pressing on them will elicit an appropriate reaction from R2-D2, so let’s just say that the droid isn’t a big fan of Darth Vader or Kylo Ren.
Overall, R2-D2 is a delightful smart toy that’ll appeal to both fans and non-fans of the Star Wars franchise. Seeing our favourite droid light up while emitting those unforgettable beeps is worth every penny. If you do end up purchasing this item, though, my advice is to lock it up when people come to visit. Your friends and family will switch to the dark side and attempt to take the little critter from you. This droid is that much fun.