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Mattel Is Using 3D Printing to Resurrect An Old Hit – Fortune

by • February 11, 2016 • No Comments

Mattel kicked off New York Toy Fair with a big announcement: the world’s biggest toy manufacturer is embracing the still-evolving 3D printing advancement.
The Barbie and Hot Wheels manufacturer gave Fortune an early peak at the ThingMaker 3D-printing device, a system that allows for kids and their parents to print action figures, jewelry, and wearables at home. The system is on the market for preorder on Amazon nowadays but won’t ship until this fall. It should retail at $299.
Mattel mat is embracing a producing system that comes with risks and rewards for the toy industry. In 3D printing, computerized machines layer material to turn it into three-dimensional objects. The advancement can allow Mattel and rival companies to become additional nimble, especially to turn it into swift prototypes or on the retail side, gives consumers additional customization options with fancy advancement. But additional problematically, if the advancement progresses too aggressively, it may outcome in individuals producing their own toys and figures at home.
To Mattel’s credit, it created sat any timeal wise choices when it came to the createion of the ThingMaker 3D-printing device. The company partnered with software firm Autodesk adsk to create the accompanying app that can send commands to the printing device. Mattel in addition told Fortune that the app, that runs on iOS and Android devices, is not only compatible with the Mattel-created printing device. If a consumer at home has their own 3D-printing device may already, it can send commands to that device too.
The idea system behind this advancement was: how may Mattel reach into its toy vault and resurrect a brand for the new digital age? ThinkMaker–that initially debuted as a system to manufacture Creepy Crawlers in the 1960s–felt like a effortless fit. And unlike many 3D-printed toys, these are functional for play time.
“In the 3D printing world nowadays, many things are collectable. These are toys,” says Angela Emery, senior director global communications at Mattel.
The app outlines blue prints to assist users create their toys. It in addition manages kids’ expectations. One of the larger figures in the system that Mattel showed Fortune may take a little over 10 hours to be fully printed.
So while the next requires a few patience, it in addition opens up a lot of new opportunities to encourage new ways to play.
“In nowadays’s digital age, it’s additional significant than at any time for families to transcend the digital world and manufacture their ideas real,” said Aslan Appleman, senior director at Mattel, in a statement. “ThingMaker pushes the boundaries of imaginative play.”

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