Mattel has brought back its ThingMaker toy from the 60’s with a modern outlook: it was presented at the New York Toy Fair as the 3D Printer from Mattel in collaboration with Autodesk.

The first ThingMaker allowed kids to create their own toys from plastic molds and baked Plastigoop. Now, Mattel has re-launched its brand with a 3D printer along with a 3D design app for kids to choose or to create their own design.

Photo: TechCrunch
Photo: TechCrunch

This product was an expected evolution of 3D printing. During the 2016 Toy Fair trade show, it was announced that the 3D printer would be available on Amazon starting at $299.99, later this year. Visitors at the New York Toy Fair this year had the chance to look closely at the vast variety of toys that can come out of the ThingMaker. Mattel’s innovating product is available for pre-order as today February 15.

The possibilities are endless considering that each toy is made of batches and kids can create an infinity of combinations from them. The users can choose from a variety of colors, and even some of them, which can glow in the dark. The 3D platform contains not only a template of numerous designs but also a program that allows kids to create their own personalized design. The ThingMaker offers a rather matchless product, as this can be whatever the user wants it to be. While other toy companies can only offer custom products on demand, Mattel has broken the barrier separating manufacturers from clients.

The 3D printer’s app is suitable for both Android and iOS so customers won’t have any problem regarding compatibility. This app will allow parents and children to design new figurines and send them wirelessly from their phone or tablet, directly to the 3D printer. According to reports from USA Today, the printer itself is aimed at children aged 13 and up, however, adults are welcome to use it and play with it as well.

The ThingMaker’s target is to provide users an easy way to build and create their designs without dealing with the technical side of 3D printing. Thanks to its partnership with Autodesk, a carbon copy made for the toy named Tinker play makes available a pool of components for users to mix and match. The apps are available for download already; still, the 3D printer will be available for customers later this year. For now, Amazon holds the exclusive sales of Mattel’s printer.

“We’re excited to work with a storied company like Mattel,” said Autodesk’s Vice President Samir Hanna. “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.”

Source: The Verge