CAPTION

Trivia” a fan-designed Transformer, in nylon plastic. It transforms into a tablet. By fakebusker83

Hasbro and Shapeways want you to profit from your fan-made artwork based on Hasbro toys.

The announcement is an expansion of the two companies’ new partnership; last month they launched a joint venture to allow select independent artists to post and sell their My Little Pony creations on their new collaboration site superfanart.com. The companies would split the revenue from art sales based on the kitschy, popular colorful horses.

The quick success of this pilot program has led to a rapid expansion to include art based on many other Hasbro properties, including Transformers, G.I. Joe, Monopoly, Scrabble, and more. Meanwhile, they’re also opening the program to additional artists.

“It was clear to me when we were only doing original work that the next big step is derivative work,” says Shapeways’ cofounder and CEO Peter Weijmarshausen, explaining the movement into a new area for the company. He also explains that the project came together relatively quickly, moving forward in just the last few months after some initial discussions with Hasbro at Maker Faire earlier this year. “Hasbro has the attitude to enable rather than disable,” he says.

 

VIDALChristophe_S_front

Spike from My Little Pony, in stainless steel. By Christophe from Vidal Designs.

The project uses a system roughly equivalent to Apple’s app store model. Shapeways’ 3D printing service to create and sell the physical pieces, using their Brooklyn-based factory to output creations in materials that include full-color plastic, ceramic, and precious metals.

Once a design is accepted into the system, the artist specifies the material it will be available in, and the price for the piece. Weijmarshausen explains that for a $30 item, $3.50 goes to Hasbro for licensing, $6.50 to the artist, and $20 to Shapeways for material and manufacturing costs.

While there are 3D communities with uploaded files based on trademarked properties (Thingiverse, for instance, has 32 matches for the search “My Little Pony”), this is possibly the largest official program that has launched. “On this scale, with this kind of freedom, I don’t’ think there’s any deal that comes close to it,” Weijmarshausen says. “In the end, community wins, and that’s what I’m all about.”

 

Mike Senese

Mike Senese is the Executive Editor of Make: magazine. He is also a TV host, starring in various engineering and science shows for Discovery Channel, including Punkin Chunkin, How Stuff Works, and Catch It Keep It.

An avid maker, Mike spends his spare time tinkering with remote-control aircraft, doing amateur woodworking, and attempting to cook the perfect pizza.

Follow @msenese


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