Bobble heads are so over. Unless they are pixel-art interpretations of bobble heads, of course. A new app called LEBLOX lets you create pixelated 3-D printed figurines of any object. Want a pixelated selfie or a pixelated 3-D replication of your cat? Want a tiny, pixelated statue of LeBron James? Or Miley Cyrus? Or President Obama? Or Pharrell with his big Arby’s hat? The app (coming in March to the Apple store), which is a joint venture from Paris-based technical director Mathieu Lecoupeur and creative director Soy Phompraseuth, gives you the ability to customize to your heart’s content and then clutter up your desk with your creations.
Users can create pixelated avatars or pixelated versions of any image. They can also get a 3-D printed figure of their chosen image, or browse and print others’ creations.
According to Phompraseuth, LEBLOX is all part of the current pixel zeitgeist. “Pixel art is a kind of pop art already,” he says. “In France it belongs to the collective unconscious though advertising and marketing.” He says through pixel art isn’t old-fashioned, it hearkens back to a simpler era of aesthetics.
“Today a 3-D hair model looks more realistic than real hair and this makes it ‘unreal.’ I think pixel art has something reassuring in it, because a simple colored square/cube IS STILL a square or cube. It’s fundamental.”
The LEBLOX app also has a social element, whereby users can view and comment on each other’s creations. But if you want to have a LEBLOX in hand (or “Blox” someone you know), just send the creators 20 euros and you’ll get your pixel fix in just a few weeks (figures are being shipped from France at launch; a U.S. printing partner is being arranged). Phompraseuth doesn’t know whether LEBLOX will have the same cultural penetration as other office trinkets (crazy-haired trolls anyone?), but he’s hopeful.
“Will it be a fad or a phenomenon? All I know is that there are infinite possibilities for Bloxes. I’m waiting for users to appropriate them.”