Makies Make U.S. Debut at Chicago Toy & Game Fair

MakieLab makies dollsLondon-based indie toy developer MakieLab is bringing its Makie dolls to its U.S. The dolls will debut at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair from November 22 to 23. Makies, an alternative to mass-produced fashion dolls, are the world’s first safety-certified 3-D printed toy at retail.

No two Makies are alike. With 3-D printing technology, each doll’s hand-crafted face is built individually for its new owner. Makies also emphasize hands-on making and crafting skills, healthy body shape, and expressive individuality.

Customers can build their own Makie at mymakie.com and receive their custom 10-inch doll in two weeks. When building the doll, customers can choose the gender, skin and eye color, hair style, and clothing of the doll. Additional accessories are available for purchase.

Changing Technologies to Add Replacement Toys and Toy Parts to Its 3-D Printing Portal

ChangingTechno_3DprintingChanging Technologies Inc. (CHGT) will add replacement toys and toy parts to the list of products available on its interactive 3-D printing retail portal, which is currently in development.

The portal will allow consumers to create their own products using 3-D printing technology or to search the database for printable 3D models and purchase them from the site. CHGT subsidiary 6th Dimension Technologies and interactive software developer Advarion Incorporated are developing the portal.

In addition to offering original equipment manufacturer replacement-part manufacturing and licensing opportunities with game and animation developers, the site will feature a diverse menu of options, enabling users to determine the specific toy replacement part or toy they require, and allowing parents to easily recreate broken or missing toy parts.

XYZprinting Ships First All-in-One 3-D Printer Plus Scanner

AiO Image.copyToday, XYZprinting began shipping its da Vinci 1.0 AiO 3-D printer plus scanner, the first-to-market combo unit available for purchase in the U.S. market. The da Vinci 1.0 AiO boasts a simplified printing process and consumer-friendly price point, thereby reducing the barrier to entry to 3-D printing.

Features of the 3-D printer include built-in hi-res scanning that scans objects with an industrial grade 0.5mm resolution in minutes, a build size that prints items at 7.8 inches by 7.8 inches by 7.8 inches, and a minimal number of required steps to go from scanning to printing. In addition, any scanned item can instantly be saved as a design that can be replicated in the future or shared with others.

Toys printed by the da Vinci 1.0 AiO 3-D printer, from XYZprinting.

When objects are placed inside the da Vinci 1.0 AiO, XYZprinting’s proprietary software scans it, and provides a sandbox interface through which the object can be rotated or adjusted in size. Users can add more objects, and the scanner will automatically make all of them fit the printer space.

The past year has seen a number of toy innovations involving 3-D printing. [Read more...]

Hasbro, Disney, and 3DPlusMe Team Up for Super Awesome Me

SuperAwesomeMeHasbro Inc. and 3DPlusMe are introducing Super Awesome Me, a personalized 3-D printing experience that allows kids (and those who are kids at heart) to become Captain America or Iron Man. The initiative provides fans with a customized, 12-inch action figure through an in-store experience. In conjunction with Disney Consumer Products’ Marvel Super Hero September celebration, the Super Awesome Me experience will launch at ten Wal-Mart and two Sam’s Club locations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston between September 19 and 28.

Fans visit an in-store scanning station, where a 3-D face scanner captures their likeness to create a 3-D model. Each Super Awesome Me figure, recommended for fans ages 4 years and up, features a traditional articulated plastic action figure body and full-color 3-D printed head. Figures are available for pick-up at Wal-Mart locations or shipped to Sam’s Club customers in four weeks.

More information on the Super Awesome Me experience, as well as a full list of participating Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations, is available at superawesomeme.com.

SuperFanArt Launches, Lets Fans Be Creators Using Hasbro Brands

SuperFanArtHasbro Inc. and Shapeways are launching SuperFanArt, a web site that enables fans inspired by Hasbro brands to showcase their artwork and sell their 3-D printed designs on Shapeways, a 3-D printing marketplace and community. Through the site, the Hasbro fan base will have license to create new art and product offerings.

SuperFanArt will launch with the My Little Pony franchise, and additional Hasbro brands will be introduced in the coming months. At its launch, SuperFanArt will showcase work by several talented fan artists, and consumers can click through to each artist’s shop to place an order. Additional artists and 3-D printed products will be featured on the site in the future.

The artwork featured on SuperFanArt will also be on display at Comic-Con International: San Diego.

ToyFabb.com Opens Shop with Contest Call to Designers

ToyFabb.logoToyFabb, the first specialized online market for 3-D printed toys, has launched its English and German site, www.toyfabb.com, with a contest for hobby and professional designers. At ToyFabb, hobby and professional designers are provided free accounts to present and sell their creations to consumers. ToyFabb offers comprehensive shop functionality, as well as securely streamed 3-D designs to protect the intellectual property of its users. Consumers can also purchase the 3-D toy designs offered and produce them with their own 3-D printers.

ToyFabb is hosting a contest for hobby designers and professional designers, which will last until September 30. Winners of each ToyFabb category will receive $100. Entrants’ toy files can be sent directly to jochen@toyfabb.com.

COMMENTARY: It’s All About the Robots

Earlier this week, Senior Editor Marissa DiBartolo wrote about how the floor of the American International Toy Fair 2014 was lacking in the realm of appcessories, and that many companies were heading back to the classic play patterns, especially in the activities category. I also noticed an emerging trend that does not heavily rely on app technology, but does not veer from the idea of incorporating tech into playtime: robots.

As I walked the floor, I saw a bunch of different robotic products that really displayed where the category is heading—and a lot of that was not app-reliant. Of course, most of these robots can be controlled with or used with smart devices, but gone are the days where “and it has an app!” was a suitable enough novelty to convince consumers to purchase the toy.

Ali.Feb27First, let me introduce you to MiP. MiP, which is short for Mobile Inverted Pendulum, is WowWee’s latest innovation in association with the University of California at San Diego’s Coordinated Robots Lab. MiP has unique dual wheel balancing (thanks to that inverted pendulum science!) and is a fully interactive robot. MiP is able to navigate his surroundings while being controlled by hand gestures or through a Bluetooth link to a smart device. MiP also has a personality that is communicated through motion, sounds, and his LED eyes. [Read more...]

Spin Master’s Air Hogs Offers Custom 3-D Printed Armor Piece

Feb3.HeliCageArmorWith the growing popularity of 3-D printing, Spin Master offers a custom part for its Air Hogs Heli Cage Armored Edition, a helicopter featuring removable plastic armor. Samples of the part were built using a MakerBot 3-D printer, which creates real 3-D objects by laying down drops upon drops of plastic material and building them from the bottom up. The custom part was also flight-tested by engineers and tweaked for weight balance.

Spin Master now provides an open source 3-D file of the armor part online at the Air Hogs blog. Makers can download it for free and print it using a 3-D printer. For those who do not have direct access to a 3-D printer, Air Hogs recommends Sculpteo, which will print from the 3-D file and ship the part to customers. For the very technically inclined, the 3-D file can be fully manipulated to create a truly customizable piece.