US TOY FAIR: Mattel brings back ThingMaker as 3D printer

Mattel and Autodesk revealed the 3D printer at New York Toy Fair.
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Mattel has revived its retro ThingMaker toy into a 3D printer at New York Toy Fair.

First released back in 1964, the ThingMaker allowed kids to create toys of their own, such as Creepy Crawlers. However, the toy was axed allegedly because it required kids to work with a mini furnace.

Now the toy company and Autodesk is bringing it back in the form of a 3D printer known as the ThingMaker 3D Printer, which prints parts in batches.

Aslan Appleman, senior director at Mattel, said: “In today’s digital age, it’s more important than ever for families to transcend the digital world and make their ideas real.

“ThingMaker pushes the boundaries of imaginative play, giving families countless ways to customise 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.”

Fans can pre-order the device in the US now on Amazon for $299, which also pairs with an app for iOS and Android.

The app then allows users to create their own toys by combining parts from a library or customising pre-made templates for new characters and jewellery.

Samir Hanna, VP and general manager digital manufacturing group at Autodesk, added: “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.”


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The Copyrights Group is one of the licensing arms within The Vivendi Group. Acquired by Vivendi in 2016 Copyrights manages the licensing for a portfolio of properties to include Paddington Bear. Some of the other companies within the Vivendi Group include Universal Music Group, and their licensing arm Bravado, Gameloft and Studiocanal to name a few.