Sphero's new Spider-Man toy is like an overly chatty camp counselor

Technologically it was impressive, but that was eventually overshadowed by controversy after security researchers found the toy was using vulnerable encryption to send conversations with children to the cloud for processing.

From a technical standpoint, what's really cool about the toy is that it shouldn't worry parents.

A different beast altogether, Sphero's Spider-Man uses sensors, an app, and Bluetooth to "sense" what's going on, creating what is basically a Spider-Man themed variation of an augmented reality game with a physical counterpart, telling you what's around, encouraging you to fight the bad guys, and basically using an app made for both iPhone and Android to have fun with Spider-Man. "One of the hardest things about working on this game is everyone knows Spider-Man".

Spider-Man is iOS and Android compatible, and he's available now on the Sphero website. Sphero Spidey is in stores now for $149.99 (USD).

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A better way to describe Sphero's new toy is as an Echo, Amazon's Alexa-powered intelligent speaker, for kids.

When I connected the app to Spider-Man (you just hold the phone near Spider-Man), he immediately used my name and asked me if I was royal by birth.

Everything the toy can do is definitely geared towards kids, however.

It's worth noting that while Spider-Man's launch is timed to just a few weeks before the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 7, he isn't supposed to represent the movie version of the character, and he's not voiced by Homecoming actor Tom Holland.

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Thanks to a pair of LCD displays, Spider-Man's expressive eyes match those in the comic books.

Spider-Man has fully-animated eyes and motion detection, so he can guard your room, serve as an alarm clock, and react to people passing.

Even though he's a superhero, this Spider-Man has a decidedly Funko-like figure (giant head, squat physique) and a rubberized body.

Sphero's Spider-Man in some ways feels similar to this, but in a much larger capacity, with a microphone that can listen to your phrases and respond, and with an app that you can take on various adventures. That adds up quickly. It doesn't more around like the droid or the racing auto, the new Sphero Spider-Man toy has actually been described as a "storyteller".

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Spider-Man for PlayStation 4 will release in 2018.

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