Sphero unveils iOS-controlled Lightning McQueen racer for $300

Since the company’s launch, Sphero has grown to be a household name for many with its line of RC toys. From the standard model to interactive BB-8, Sphero has managed to capture a real sense of wonder and delight in its creations. With Cars 3 right around the corner, it only makes sense for the Disney-backed company to add yet another lovable character to its lineup. Today, Sphero has launched the Ultimate Lightning McQueen, which lets you drive, play games, and train for the next big race with the iOS-enabled racing star.

The Ultimate Lightning McQueen is absolutely Sphero’s more impressive toy yet. But with everything it can do, calling it a toy really doesn’t do it justice. The company’s partnership with Disney has resulted in a final product which is extremely life-like. In fact, the RC Lightning McQueen is just as expressive and captivating as its animated counterpart is.

Right off the bat, you’ll notice McQueen’s extremely expressive eyes, which are powered by a 320 x 120 LCD display. That’s not all though in terms of Lightning’s ability to express himself. Thanks to the soft plastic used around his mouth, this will be Sphero’s first toy that can actually talk. Which is fantastic, because Lighting McQueen is loaded with 300 different phrases.

With the help of five capacitive touch sensors, McQueen can respond to one’s touch, furthering the life-like nature of the car. On top of all this, he also has a bunch of extra bells and whistles like working head and tail lights and the ability to reach a maximum speed of six mph.

Like the rest of Sphero’s products, Lightning too pairs with a companion smartphone application that allows you to drive, interact and play with the sports car. In this instance, the app has four distinct play features. There’s the basic free drive mode that lets you control Lighting McQueen by using the app’s virtual joysticks to drive around and even do drifts, donuts and more.

The ‘Pit Stop Panic’ mini game allows you to help mechanics outfit cars while Lighting coaches you with advice. A script editor lets you create custom strings of phrases and actions for McQueen to perform. You can even watch the first Cars film with Lighting McQueen, to which he’ll provide some ‘actors’ commentary on scenes throughout the movie.

Thanks to its Bluetooth connection, McQueen has a 100 foot (30 meter) driving range. Battery life seems to be about what you’d expect from a RC toy like this; a single charge will earn you at least 40 minutes of play time.

Sphero’s Ultimate Lightning McQueen is available for preorder today. He retails for $299.99, but won’t be shipping until later this summer. In the box you’ll receive all the cables and AC adapters you need, as well as a quick start guide to help get you started.

This. Is. Lightning McQueen.

Ultimate Lightning McQueen is the top of the line racer packed with personality. With animated eyes, an animatronic mouth, and emotive suspension, experience Lightning like never before.

A seven-time Piston Cup Champion, Ultimate Lightning McQueen was born to race. Connect to the app, hit the gas, and see Lightning respond to your commands with his personality on display, thanks to emotive actions and speech. Watch him lean into hairpin turns and drift like a pro.

When you’re not driving and drifting with Lightning, sharpen your pit crew skills in Pit Stop Panic, create scripts for Lightning to perform in his next Rust-eze spot in the Acting Studio, or kick back and relax by watching Disney•Pixar’s Cars with Lightning while he reacts to the movie.

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