You May Be 3D Printing Sooner Than You Think: Mattel To Offer $300 “ThingMaker”

You May Be 3D Printing Sooner Than You Think: Mattel To Offer $300 “ThingMaker”


Mattel isn’t the first to offer a low-cost 3D printer, but when the toy-making giant is stepping up to put 3D printers on store shelves everywhere, it’s a safe bet that we’re very near the tipping point for 3D-printers as mainstream hobby accessories. The new ThingMaker appears to be capable of quality prints (watch the video below), and more versatile than you would expect from a product destined for department more shelves. It seems Mattel hasn’t dumbed-down the technology at all, and has focused on ease of use and safety for young users. And it’s very versatile and easy to use, since the design software is based on Autodesk–which means you should be able to use the ThingMaker to print your own designs, rather than just print what Mattel builds into their app. As Toyland notes,

Mattel partnered with software company Autodesk to make sure that the app was fast, easy to navigate and wouldn’t crash like so many other poorly made toy apps. Because the software was outsourced to autodesk, it actually works with other 3D printers too—not just the ThingMaker 3D.  … As far as it’s ease of use: The ThingMaker 3D is one of the most accessible 3D printers I’ve ever seen. That’s mostly thanks to its ridiculously intuitive app, which makes it super easy for people to understand what they’re printing out and how it would connect to other toy parts. The app also prevents kids from messing up the blueprints and jamming the printing head—which can often be a problem in more professional-grade printers.

Exciting stuff. Full details from Mattel details below.

Take a look at those prints–if the production printer works as well as this demo, we expect to see a Mattel ship a lot of ThingMakers.


Old-timers and vintage toy fans will recall the ThingMaker name first appeared in 1964. Kids used the toy to heat-cure liquid plastic poured into molds.


EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Feb. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) kicks-off New York Toy Fair 2016 by announcing today an easy-to-use 3D printing eco-system for families – ThingMaker Design™ App and the ThingMaker™ 3D Printer. Through a previously announced collaboration with Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), ThingMaker is designed to virtually hand over the “keys to the toy factory.” The iconic ThingMaker from Mattel first debuted as the original at-home maker device in the 1960s, and has been completely reimagined for the 21st century. The ThingMaker 3D printing eco-system, combined with a little imagination, is all families need to design, create and print their own toys from start to finish.

Whether creating figures such as dolls, robots and dinosaurs, or wearable accessories like bracelets and necklaces, Mattel’s new ThingMaker eco-system is the answer for at-home creative play. By downloading the ThingMaker Design App, families can browse through easy-to-follow templates or tap into their imaginations and build their own creations from hundreds of parts. When the masterpiece is ready for creation, designs get sent right to the ThingMaker 3D Printer, which prints parts in batches for easy assembly via ball and socket joints.

ThingMaker(TM) 3D Printer and ThingMaker Design(TM) App Eco-System

ThingMaker(TM) 3D Printer and ThingMaker Design(TM) App Eco-System
“In today’s digital age, it’s more important than ever for families to transcend the digital world and make their ideas real,” said Aslan Appleman, senior director, at Mattel. “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.”

“We’re excited to work with a storied company like Mattel to develop an app that bridges the digital and physical worlds and brings new forms of making to the next generation of designers and engineers,” said Samir Hanna, vice president and general manager, Digital Manufacturing Group, Autodesk. “Creativity begins with inspiring the individual. The ThingMaker eco-system makes building your own creations not only possible, but more intuitive for young creators than ever before.”

Available fall 2016 in the U.S., consumers can purchase ThingMaker 3D Printer at an expected SRP of $299.99 with pre-orders beginning February 15, 2016 on Mattel will have a variety of filament color options available for the ThingMaker 3D Printer with additional design content including branded options rolling out at a later date. The ThingMaker Design App also works with other printers; it is available now and free to download for iOS and Android devices.

For more information on ThingMaker 3D Printer and ThingMaker 3D Design App please visit

About Mattel
The Mattel family of companies (Nasdaq: MAT) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. Mattel’s portfolio of best-selling brands includes Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever produced, Hot Wheels®, Monster High®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends® and Fisher-Price® brands, including Little People® and Power Wheels®, MEGA® Brands, including MEGA BLOKS® and RoseArt®, as well as a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2013, Mattel was named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by Ethisphere Magazine and in 2014 ranked No. 5 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel’s companies employ nearly 30,000 people in 40 countries and territories and sell products in more than 150 nations. At Mattel, we are Creating the Future of Play. Visit us at, or

About Autodesk
Autodesk helps people imagine, design and create a better world. Everyone–from design professionals, engineers and architects to digital artists, students and hobbyists—uses Autodesk software to unlock their creativity and solve important challenges. For more information visit or follow @autodesk.

Autodesk and the Autodesk logo are registered trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

© 2016 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.


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Updated: February 18, 2016 — 8:45 PM
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