Sure, there are months and months to go before you have to start your holiday shopping but we just found the perfect gift for your kids, and you’re going to want to get on this right now. And, yes, it’s ideal even for the kid who has everything because there’s no way they have this. Yet.
The Toy Fair in NYC — the trade show that introduced more female Star Wars action figures to the world, yay! — is still going on and TechCrunch reports that Mattel is bringing us the Thingmaker, a $300 3D printer that lets kids make their own toys.
The device works with a 3D printing app called ThingMaker Design, that is now available on iOS and Android. The app allows users to create items, then links up with the ThingMaker to make them come to life. It’s that app that is going to make Mattel’s 3D printing experience more accessible to
parents a younger audience.
While the app works with other 3D printers on the market, the software can be a bit tricky. The ThingMaker is easy enough for even younger children to design their own toys. Oh, and if the product’s name rings a bell, it’s because it’s based on the 1960s Thing Maker which, back then, allowed kids to build toys by pouring Plastigoop into molds that were heated up then cooled. Think of the printer as a teensy bit of an upgrade.
How it works: Once you have ThingMaker Design, you can use one of their built-in templates or create something from scratch. Once your kids (or you) get the hang of it and complete a design, just save it to your device’s camera roll and, via the app, export the files wirelessly to the printer.
Considering Mattel is behind brands like Barbie and Hot Wheels, we can already imagine unique applications for the ThingMaker. Of course, the company is also covering its bases, saying the device is “designed for users ages 13 and up.”
The printer won’t be available for purchase until October, but you can go to Amazon and pre-order one since you can pre-order just about anything nowadays.
Yes, it’s a little pricey at $299.99 U.S. (that’s about five kajillion in Canadian dollars) but, come on! Think of all the other crap we buy our kids. This is totally worth it. You know, until they get bored and move on to the next thing. But, still!