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When I was a kid, my action figures were only capable of two things: Smashing into each other while I made “Boosh” and “Kapow” sound effects with my mouth … and being chewed up by the family dog.

Now toys are gaining a lot more digital interactivity, especially with video games, through the evolution of the smart toy genre. And FabZat, a company that specializes in 3D printing services, is trying to make entry into this marketplace a little bit easier by combining its current services with a special, free smart toy development kit, the Phygitoys SDK.

The Phygitoys SDK will help developers tackle several problems that they will face creating a smart toy line. For instance, the toolset will help creators deal with the evolution track of each figurine’s gaming stats, whether it needs to function as a virtual piggy bank storing points and currency, or track experience point progress along a larger game leveling system.

Phygitoys SDK will also, obviously, deal with some of the core technical issues of NFC (Near Field Communication) signal detection and QR (Quick Response Code) code reading solutions, which are key for current smart toys. Additionally, there will be options available for dealing with ID tracking individual figurines and authenticating the statue with the product line.


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On the production end, FabZat will manufacture the physical figurines, set up SKUs, and act as a distributor selling directly to the customer base — for a cut of the post-production and materials revenue. FabZat will also work with smart toy developers on production numbers, so rarity and supply of product in the marketplace can be controlled however the franchise owner wishes.

On paper, this sounds like a potentially solid option for inexperienced small to mid-sized operations that don’t want to deal with distribution or storing product. That is, depending on how much of a percentage FabZat’s cut of the revenue is. How scalable this arrangement is for larger franchises that want big box location shelf placement, I can’t say. I definitely want to keep an eye on this and see how it goes post-launch.

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