3D Printer for Kids Resurrects Old Toys

3D Printer for Kids Resurrects Old Toys
At the New York Toy Fair over the weekend, Mattel unveiled an old toy with a new life.

Back in the 1960s, Mattel's ThingMaker was a primitive "at-home maker device" that let kids make little toys like bugs and flowers by pouring liquid plastic into metal molds that were "baked" in an oven. Now, Mattel looks to bring back the at-home maker with a new ThingMaker for the modern age. Dubbed the ThingMaker 3D, the overhauled toymaker pairs with an app that allows kids to create jewelry, scorpions, figurines, and more. The ThingMaker Design app is already available on iOS and Android and comes packed with blueprints for printable toys. The 3D printer uses a hard PLA plastic filament for the printable toys, but Mattel has not announced how many colors will be available at launch. According to Toyland, Mattel is planning on offering a multitude of colors and had at least two dozen on display at its Toy Fair booth. Mattel may also release different printing materials like a softer plastic or a glow in the dark option. The ThingMaker 3D is priced at $299.99 and Mattel will start taking pre-orders for the printer from February 15 and it will be available in fall 2016 in the US.

"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 customize 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," said Aslan Appleman, Senior Director at Mattel. Mattel partnered with software company Autodesk for the ThingMaker 3D.

Photo: © iStock.