CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Get a Sphero robot ball for $84.99 shipped

Controlled by your Android or iOS device, this uber-cool toy is tons of fun to drive around. Plus: three bonus deals!

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
3 min read
Here's a rare opportunity to score a deal on the way-cool Sphero robot ball.
Here's a rare opportunity to score a deal on the way-cool Sphero robot ball. Amazon

Most of the time I focus on practical products, but can't we have a little fun once in a while? Yes, yes we can; today's deal is all about fun.

Today only, and while supplies last, Amazon has the Sphero app-controlled robot ball for $84.99 shipped. That's the lowest price I've ever seen for this way-cool gadget, which normally sells for $129.99.

Note: If Amazon does sell out, don't be surprised to suddenly see a higher price. What usually happens is that the product page flips over to a third-party seller, even though it's still under the Amazon banner.

Still, 85 bucks for a ball? I agree that's a little steep, but I defy you to show me another orb as entertaining as this one. The Sphero is a Bluetooth-connected gizmo controlled by your smartphone or tablet. Using tilt sensors (or onscreen controls), you can "drive" the ball around, which is cool enough by itself.

But Sphero can also play all kinds of games, including some new augmented-reality games that debuted earlier this year at CES. For example, try steering Sphero away virtual zombies that appear on your screen. That one's called The Rolling Dead, perhaps the most awesome game title ever.

The ball is darn near indestructible. It glows in all sorts of cool colors. It charges wirelessly. It's waterproof. In short, it's one seriously sweet little toy, at least based on what I saw at CES and the 4.1-star average rating from Amazon customers.

I am so, so tempted to grab one of these for my kids (uh, yeah, kids), who are already running out of summer activities. That said, I do wonder about its long-term replay value. Once the novelty wears off, is it still fun? (If you happen to have a Sphero, hit the comments and share your thoughts.)

Bonus deal: When it comes to powering your remotes, game controllers, spin-head toothbrushes, and the like, nothing beats rechargeable batteries. Today only, and while supplies last, Pennywise.biz has a 12-pack of Duracell AAA NiMH rechargeable batteries for $14.99, plus a penny for shipping. That's after applying coupon code dealnews1 at checkout. To put that in some perspective, Best Buy charges $19.99 for a 4-pack of the same batteries.

Bonus deal No. 2: Game time! Today only, Green Man Gaming is offering the LEGO Complete Pack (PC) for $28.97. The bundle includes Lego Batman, Lego Batman 2, Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4, Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7, and Lego Lord of the Rings. This last title usually sells for $29.99 all by itself, making this the single best Lego game bundle I've ever seen. Remember: Let the kids have a turn once in a while. Update: Sadly, the deal was short-lived and has no expired.

Bonus deal No. 3: Tablet Tuesday! I have no doubt that Google is soon to introduce some new Nexuses (Nexi?), but if you're happy with the current models, this is the deal for you: TigerDirect has the refurbished Google Nexus 7 (32GB) for $179.99, plus around $4 for shipping. It sells new for $249. The Android 4.2-powered Nexus 7 is widely regarded as the best "pure" Android tablet currently available.

Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.

Curious about what exactly The Cheapskate does and how it works? Read our FAQ.