Shapeways, a company which is considered as one of the pioneers in the 3D printing world, are well known for the wide range of 3D printers and accessories, that they have been offering to the public for so many years. On the other hand, is another company named Hasbro which is an American multinational toy and board game company and is also one of the largest toy makers in the world. What do you think happens when these two plan to join forces? The resultant of this a new website called SuperFanArt.com.

Hasbro which own popular toy brands like My Little Pony, Transformers etc has started a new website which will enable the fans of My Little Pony brand to showcase their art as well as sell the 3D printed designs with the help rendered from the 3D printing company, Shapeways. The chief marketing officer of Hasbro, John Frascotti says, “We are opening up our [intellectual property] and giving authors and designers an opportunity to create with us.”

Consumers can browse through the 3D printed products and then click to select the model that appeals the most to them and place an order. Some of these models will be exhibited in the San Diego Comic- Con this week. According to Hasbro, “SuperFanArt grants the passionate and talented Hasbro brand fan base a license to create exciting new art and product offerings.” In 3D printing technology successive layer of materials gives rise to the finished three dimensional products. This undoubtedly creates a lot of advantages as well as challenges for the still to develop toy industry which is considerable new to this technology. The adaptation of this technology in this industry will definitely make the entire process more agile for companies such as Hasbro and enable them to create proto- types at a faster rate thus bring in new toys into the market at a faster pace. As John Franscotti rightfully says, “Many fans of our brands have remarkable creative talents and SuperFanArt empowers these artists to create unique expressions of Hasbro brands. By partnering with Shapeways, the largest online marketplace for custom 3D printed products, we are able to provide artists with an unprecedented opportunity and also provide brand enthusiasts with access to unique one of a kind creation.”

These new ideologies have been accepted with open arms not only by Hasbro but by many other companies that are in this business of toy making. Carter Keithley, president of the Toy Industry Association says, “These companies have to be very fast on their feet and figure out ways to adapt to new technologies like [3D printing].” As per Keithly this amalgamation of 3D printing and toy industry will speed up the manufacturing process and help in the customization process.

The prices of these models range from $24.99 for a 2-inch-tall version of Muffins the pony, up to $99 for a complex nearly 5-inch-tall rendition of Spike the Dragon, Twilight’s assistant. The most expensive 3D printed item is the model of Celestia, a pony which has flowing rainbow locks and a very fluffy tail. The price of this princess is $54.

Image credit: rjrgmc28 (flickrhandle: rjrgmc28)