At first glance, Sphero’s Ultimate Lightning McQueen is almost too amazing to be true. With expressive LCD eyes, a mouth that actually moves when Lightning talks, little mannerisms that give the toy personality, and the ability to drive it with just your smartphone, Ultimate Lightning McQueen is a Disney character brought to life. Such amazing technology isn’t cheap, of course, but if you have a diehard Cars fan in the house, this toy is a dream come true.
Like Sphero’s other innovative products, Lightning is powered by a companion app that gives you more than one way to play.
No, literally, get behind it. We found that Lightning McQueen is controlled best when you stand behind him, press the button in the app to align the controls to your position, and then stay behind him while you steer him around the floor. Lightning McQueen isn’t a traditional RC car, but it is pretty fast in its own right.
Press the donuts button in the app to effortlessly spin Lightning around and around in circles, sure to inspire gasps and giggles every time.
The toy is (thankfully) sturdy. While it does go in the direction you’re moving it with the app more often than not, Lightning will sometimes ram into a wall or the furniture from time to time. Instinctively, we cringe each time, expecting it to break the front bumper, but so far Lightning doesn’t even have a scratch.
The companion app not only gives you the ability to drive the car, but includes a mini-game played within the app with occasional cheering by Lightning McQueen. You can also use the app to program a series of movements for Lightning to follow.
Even more adorable, you can even watch Cars alongside Lightning McQueen in a special movie mode for a one-of-a-kind family movie night.
With expressive eyes and body movements that mimic the movies, it feels like a mini-Lightning McQueen is right there on your kitchen floor. Owen Wilson’s voice adds even more authenticity, along with a moving mouth, and a button in the app to make him talk on demand.
Like Sphero’s Spider-Man, Lightning McQueen is not voice-activated, but does sense movement—in Lightning’s case, it responds by moving when tapped on the body. That doesn’t mean you won’t catch yourself talking to it from time to time, however, because it’s easy to forget that it’s just an incredibly innovative toy.
With all of these features, it’s no surprise that this isn’t a cheap toy. With a retail price of $300, Ultimate Lightning McQueen is quite an investment for a Cars fan. If you think you’ll get lasting playtime with a remote-controlled car, this is likely one of the most incredible you’ll ever own.
Sphero provided a promotional sample for review purposes.
All Images © Sphero
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