Perhaps inspired by MakerBot’s recent addition of Sesame Street-branded content into their Thingiverse 3D model-sharing platform, Shapeways and Hasbro have teamed up to offer branded My Little Pony content to those willing to fork up to $100 for one of the bright and colorful accessories.
Operating under the site SuperFanArt (on a side note…you couldn’t think of a better name?) the platform will enable My Little Pony fans (Bronies) to 3D print and sell their own creations based on Hasbro-owned content.
If we back up for a second, perhaps what is most important about this move isn’t so much that you can create your own licensed Hasbro content but rather…this is opening the door for what will surely be an influx of other branded 3D printed content from other companies within the next few years.
“We have been investigating 3D printing for quite a while, as have many people…what 3D printing truly empowers is the creation of artwork that maybe wouldn’t make sense for mass production, but it makes sense for a unique item.”
-John Frascotti, Chief Marketing Officer at Hasbro
With larger companies such as Nike offering 3D printed products to consumers, it might only be a matter of time before their closed source designs become open…even if it only comes down to being able to replace the studs in a pair of golf cleats.
Additionally, this creates an interesting new business model for Hasbro as they will be able to take a cut off of every 3D print sold via Shapeways…meaning that rather than being limited to a small studio of corporate toy designers at Hasbro HQ, anybody in the world can become a Hasbro toy designer. It also opens up the door for literally hundreds—if not thousands—of new My Little Pony designs.
“This is a major step forward in realizing the creative potential of 3D printing, to make products on demand that might otherwise never make it into people’s hands. Hasbro has been incredibly forward thinking and open minded, to realize that the existing unmet demand within their fan base can be satisfied with the help of those very same fans. We expect to see many more partnerships like this, to enable user generated content to be 3D printed based on existing intellectual property, with fair attribution and compensation for all parties involved. We’ve seen this model work successfully in the digital realm, and we’re thrilled to be leading the charge in the physical.”
Alice Taylor of MakieLab discusses the intersection of 3D printing and toy design on SolidSmack’s Maker Galaxy Episode 06.
You can find out more about Hasbro’s move into 3D printing over at SuperFanArt.