Been looking for a way to express your love of all things My Little Pony? You may be in luck. Hasbro just launched a new site that gives fans a way to purchase fan art created by amateur artists in the form of 3D-printed figurines.
Now, before you start getting nervous at the prospect of the artwork being vulgar don’t worry: Hasbro will approve every single design before it’s added to options from which people can make purchases. With the potentially unseemly stuff weeded out, the site will offer an outlet for fan art from that’s totally respectable, even if the designs aren’t quite universally appealing enough to be sold at retail.
Five preapproved artists were featured on the site at launch, the majority of whom are bronies, but anyone who likes to create pony art can contact Hasbro to join up. The cool part here is the artists get to set their own prices and will share the profits with Hasbro. Traditionally, companies discourage fan art as a breach of trademark but Hasbro is instead embracing it by offering an official outlet. It’ll be interesting to see if this is picked up by other franchises with large fan bases, since this appears to be the first time a major toy company has approved 3D printing of their intellectual property.
This is just another step toward the mainstreaming of 3D printing. Earlier this month, Home Depot began stocking MakerBot, a 3D printer for at-home use.