While Lego will always have a rightful place in childhood memories, toy maker Mattel has decided to move with the times and release a 3D printer aimed at children.
Mattel announced its machine – ThingMaker – at New York Toy Fair earlier this month. Some of you may remember the original ThingMaker from the 1960s which involved making toy parts with heated molds. This is essentially the same concept but revamped for the age of three-dimensional printing.
The gadget is capable of printing parts of models, which you can then put together yourself by clicking together ball and socket joints. Using an app, kids can come up with their own designs for toys such as dinosaurs, animal or human figurines, as well as jewelry.
Mattel says the toy printer will sell for around $300 (£210). While there are a few models of 3D printer available for around this price, Mattel has made the printer and partnering app super-straightforward to use. However, it's also brought in the 3D design software experts Autodesk, to ensure all the technical wizardry is up to standard.
"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 said in a statement.
He added, "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."
The Thingmaker will be released in the U.S. on October 15, 2016, although you can pre-order it already on Amazon.