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Disney Accelerator Firm Creates ‘Car’ Toy

A Colorado company that had been in the Walt Disney Co. accelerator program has brought out a new robotic toy based on a character from the Pixar film, “Cars.” The Ultimate Lightning McQueen race car from Sphero, in Boulder, is a smartphone-controlled, animatronic talking toy that will retail for $299. The car has a battery for 40 minutes of play time per charge, an LCD windshield with animated eyes, and can move by tapping on the hood, trunk, sides, or top. It can also follow scripts to re-enact scenes from the 2006 movie and make comments in real time while watching the film. In 2014, Sphero was in the first class of the Disney Accelerator, a 15-week program in which startups received financing from the Burbank entertainment and media giant and access to industry mentors to work together to build and expand business plans, product launches, marketing campaigns, and long-term strategies. Sphero had previously created the BB-8 droid toy, the best-selling Star Wars toy in 2015. Shares in Disney closed up $1.14, or just more than a percent, to $108.41 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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