During Hamleys' Christmas in July showcase held technically in June (and nowhere near Christmas but such is the nature of these things), Pocket-lint's eye was attracted to a new range of dolls coming to the store the very next day. Makies, a British brand that hails from London, was finally ready to let loose its innovative doll line-up on the capital's world famous toy store, and what's more they are ideally suited to talk about on our site.
Why? Because each doll and many of the accessories are 3D printed and to order, ensuring children get a unique Makie that they effectively design themselves.
Makies have actually been around since 2012, but the brand is expanding fast. There are two separate ways to get one, each costing £70, with a Makie Gift Box and a ready-made doll available off the shelf.
The Makies Gift Boxes feature a gift card with a code a child can enter on the official website at makie.me in order to create and order their own 10-inch doll. Alternatively, they can use it with the free Makies FabLab game for iPad and subsequently order their doll from there.
The dolls can be customised by skin tone, hair style/colour and eye colour. Features, such as the nose, eyes, cheeks, mouth, jaw and eyebrows can all be individually shaped using sliders on the creation tools, much like creating SIMs in EA's games.
A child then selects an outfit and the physical doll will then be laser 3D printed in white nylon plastic, which is tough and has been toy certified safe for ages three and up. It's also robust and has been stress tested to ensure a child can play with it as they would any other equivalent doll.
Makies aims to deliver each doll within two weeks of ordering and ships worldwide.
Alternatively, if a child won't wait for two weeks, ready-made Makies are available in Hamleys too, for the same price. They are each unique and one of a kind.
The Makies FabLab game for iPad gives kids the opportunity to use customisable Makies in a virtual fashion workshop, with the opportunity to design unique patterns and makes clothes. As previously mentioned, the player can also choose to have their customised Makie made for real through the app too, but ordered online rather than through in-app payments in order to prevent parents getting a shock when the bill comes in.
Having been up close to the Makies, you can see the laser etching faintly which gives them a unique quality in itself. But you would never know from the sturdiness of the plastic that it was build using a 3D printer - albeit a large industrial EOS machine, such as the P100.
We can already think of a few Pocket-lint daughters who would love their own Makie and can see the trend and brand expanding to great heights. They are already available via Makies' own website and Selfridges. The Hamleys deal is the next important step for wider recognition.