MakieLab: '3D printed toys and retail can co-exist'

Printing in-store is messy and slow, but shops are ideal for stocking accessories, says Makie CEO.
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The owner of a digital-inspired doll start-up believes retail has nothing to fear from the potentially lucrative 3D printing manufacturing process.

Shoreditch-based firm MakieLab allows customers to create their own virtual character using its website,

For a fee, the company can turn this into a physical toy Makie doll using special software and 3D printers, before posting it out directly to the consumer.

MakieLab founder and CEO Alice Taylor says that while 3D printing is unsuitable for retailers, as it’s ‘smelly and messy’, there’s still an opportunity for them to get involved.

“We’ve had a couple of meetings with retailers and we’ve talked about things like kiosks and printers in the shop,” she told ToyNews.

“FDM plastic smells of warm, burning plastic. And so I’m not thinking shops will have 3D printing on-site. 

“Plus it’s kind of slow, unlike Build-A-Bear teddy bears, so I don’t think retail will get in on this angle of 3D printed toys yet.

“That said, once you’ve created a toy, you’re back into the little accessories world. We might make some Makie sticker sets that can go into retailers. You could also have point-of-sale gift cards.”

Check back on the ToyNews website soon for a full interview with MakieLab's Alice Taylor.

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