Sphero Discontinues Disney Products Including BB-8 and R2-D2
Sphero, known for its popular BB-8, BB-9E, and R2-D2 iPhone-controlled droids, today confirmed that it is discontinuing all licensed products.
In a statement provided to The Verge, Sphero CEO Paul Berberian confirmed that Sphero is cleaning out its remaining licensed inventory and has no plans to produce more.
Sphero will no longer make BB-8, BB-9E, R2-D2, Lightning McQueen cars, or talking Spider-Man toys. None of the products are available from the Sphero website anymore, with Sphero instead selling its own Bolt, Mini, and SPRK+ products.
The licensed products are now "legacy products" no longer in production, though App Support is set to continue for at least two years.
Berberian said that Sphero is discontinuing its Disney partnership because the licensed toy business "required more resources" than it was worth, with sales waning over time after a movie was released."When you launch a toy, your first year's your biggest," he says. "Your second year's way smaller, and your third year gets really tiny." The opposite is true of the company's non-licensed educational robots, he says, which become more popular year after year.With its licensed partnerships at an end, Sphero will now focus on expanding its educational ecosystem with the goal of getting more products into schools.