After successfully reimagining the classic View-Master into the new View-Master Virtual Reality viewer, Mattel has its sights set on bringing affordable home 3D printing to families by reimagining the ThingMaker toy from yesteryear. The iconic ThingMaker from Mattel first debuted as the original at-home maker device in the 1960s, which allowed kids to make various toys using “Plastigoop.” Through a collaboration with Autodesk, Mattel’s ThingMaker has been completely reimagined for the 21st century. The ThingMaker 3D printing ecosystem will allow families to design, create and print their own toys from start to finish.
“In today’s digital age, it’s more important than ever for families to transcend the digital world and make their ideas real,” said Aslan Appleman, senior director, at Mattel. “ThingMaker pushes the boundaries of imaginative play, giving families countless ways to customize their toys and let their creativity run wild. We’re thrilled to work with the 3D design experts at Autodesk to bring this one-of-a-kind experience to life.”
With the accompanying ThingMaker Design app — currently available for Android and iOS, and compatible with other printers — kids will be able to create 3D versions of pretty much anything they can image from dolls, robots, and dinosaurs to bracelets, necklaces, and other wearable accessories. The ThingMaker Design app houses templates, or lets kids create their own designs using hundreds of parts which are printed in batches and are easily assembled with ball and socket joints.
“We’re excited to work with a storied company like Mattel to develop an app that bridges the digital and physical worlds and brings new forms of making to the next generation of designers and engineers,” said Samir Hanna, vice president and general manager, Digital Manufacturing Group, Autodesk. “Creativity begins with inspiring the individual. The ThingMaker eco-system makes building your own creations not only possible, but more intuitive for young creators than ever before.”
The ThingMaker 3D Printer will have an MSRP of $299.99USD and will be available in the fall of 2016, just in time for the holiday season. A variety of filament color options will be available at launch, with addition design content rolling out at a later date. Given Mattel’s wide portfolio including Barbie, Hot Wheels, Little People, Fisher-Price, and MEGA BLOKS, there will hopefully be ample designs available for the ThingMaker 3D Printer and Design app.
Are you planning on picking up a ThingMaker 3D Printer? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.