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Maqet Launches Design-Your-Own Toy Making Website

Miscellaneous: Jay Cochran - 2009.12.17
PRESS RELEASE: MAQET, a creative online service where anyone can custom design their own toys, today announced its beta launch at the height of the 2009 holiday season. MAQET enables users to create their own professionally produced collectible art toys using simple 3D design tools. People can choose from a series of diverse characters and select different poses, facial expressions, colors, and patterns. There's nothing to download; MAQET's free toy design app works with any browser. Prices start at $25 for a single, personalized, small sized toy.

"What kid, young or old, wouldn't want to build something in 3D and then have an actual toy produced from their design"Ě quipped Keith Cottingham, MAQET's founder and CEO. "DIY toys inspire a lot more imagination, creativity, and personal involvement. There are a lot of generic, mass produced toys on the shelves right now, but MAQET is about the experience of making your own and feeling like an artist. No two are exactly alike. We even assign every one its own DNA.?"

The $21 billion mass-market toy industry has been heavily scrutinized over questionable toy safety and manufacturing practices. MAQET's collectible toy figurines are made in the United States from a starch-based material that is non-toxic and biodegradable. The company‚?Ts motto is Designed Globally, Made Locally. This means that a global community of artists creates the characters, while each toy is produced on-demand near MAQET‚?Ts headquarters to ensure the best conditions and materials. Ghostbot is the first creative team to collaborate with MAQET on the company‚?Ts character designs.

"People use the web to make their own books, t-shirts, cards, stickers, photo albums, stamps and play lists. Toys should be a part of that mix too," said Cottingham. "Fortunately, rapid-prototyping equipment now makes it possible to affordably produce one toy at a time. We can't wait to see how people use MAQET's technology to create the coolest custom toys."

To make a MAQET, users visit the company's website and click on MAQET MAKER. Characters, colors, patterns, poses, facial expressions, and features are then chosen by the user to create their own unique mini-figure, who then becomes a physical, personalized collectible that is shipped to their home. Users can then trade, collect, and share their characters. At launch, MAQET characters include ninjas, octopi, an enchanted forest collection, a superhero called cat girl, and more. New characters and customization features will be released throughout 2010.

MAQET makes it possible for anyone to design a toy like a professional. Founded in 2009 by artist Keith Cottingham, MAQET has set out to bring imagination and creativity back to the world of toys. The word MAQET is a play on the French word maquette, which means small-scale model used for visualizing ideas. People of all ages can navigate the website's free 3D design tools to create collectible mini-figures that are eco-friendly and affordable. Prices start at $25 for one small MAQET standing up to 6 inches tall. Everyone is welcome to play, create, and share at www.maqet.com.


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