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Mattel's New $300 3-D Printer For Kids Is Reboot Of 1960s ThingMaker

Introduced at the NYC Toy Fair this weekend, the ThingMaker 3-D printer lets kids design their own toys using a smartphone app.

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For kids who aren't satisfied with Mattel's new and improved Barbie, the company's latest product might do the trick. During the New York Toy Fair this past weekend, Mattel debuted the ThingMaker 3-D printer, a $300 device that empowers kids and adults alike to create their own toys.

In a press release, Mattel said the ThingMaker would give newbie makers the "keys to the toy factory." While the ThingMaker's capabilities have now been upgraded, Mattel has been peddling a version of the device since the 1960s, when the original ThingMaker allowed kids to build toys using liquified plastic and metal molds.

With this new iteration of the ThingMaker, users can fashion their toys through an app (available for iOS and Android) on either their smartphone or tablet; once finished, they send the designs to the printer. The app offers a selection of existing templates—jewelry and dinosaurs, for example—but kids can also dream up their own designs.

Head over to The Verge to see more photos of the ThingMaker from the Toy Fair.

Related story: Use A 3-D Printer? You Should Read This Study

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