MakieLab Launches Personalized Doll Collection Via 3D Printing
Britain-based startup MakieLab is looking to disrupt the toy industry by letting customers design and 3D print their own doll. CEO Alice Taylor has been at this mission for over a decade, as she explained in an interview with Wired:
Taylor has been experimenting with the idea of dolls that can talk to the web for some time. In early 2000, she set up stortroopers.com, which allowed users to build Creative Commons-licensed avatars on the web. A decade later, while in the basement of the NYC Toy Fair looking at digital toy avatars that were physically and commercially separated from the “real” dolls on the floor above, she had a brainwave. “I was aware of 3D printing anyway, and wondered whether you could build an avatar-maker that could automatically output a toy and I also wondered whether that toy could then affect the digital world it had come from, [to create] an infinite loop of play.”
What are Makies?
From the MakieLab website:
MAKIES are 10″ gosh-darn poseable action dolls with faces and features designed by YOU.
You get to choose what the face looks like: the eyes, nose, jaw, smile, the hair, the clothes and the hands and feet too. Once you’ve finished creating, we manufacture your exact figure for you, dress it with the clothes you’ve chosen, add the hair and eyes you’ve chosen, and put it in a beautifully recycleable cardboard tube to be sent directly to you.
According to Wired, the dolls are not ready for children yet, but MakieLab expects to complete the necessary safety testing to expand the market.
We’re also excited to see MakieLab embracing open innovation through Creative Commons.
Digital MAKIES are about to be CC-licensed: we’ll post the license details as soon as we can (backlog of things to do …!)
Alice Taylor photo by NEXT Berlin used under Creative Commons license.