3D printers have the potential to revolutionize a number of industries, especially the toy industry. With 3D printers, toy manufacturers can more easily prototype new designs and even inexpensively create toys using the machines. Now one of the largest 3D printer companies in the world has entered the toy industry in a big way its latest acquisition.
3D Systems announced today that it has acquired Gentle Giant Studios - a company that does 3D modeling for the entertainment and toy industry. By using 3D printing and scanning, Gentle Giant Studios helps toy companies create toys based on film and TV franchises, like Star Wars, Harry Potter and Marvel.
“Gentle Giant Studios catapults 3DS’s consumer platform forward with highly curated, licensed characters, content publishing know-how and first-mover experience for the benefit of leading toy companies, movie studios and their merchandising divisions,” said Avi Reichental, President and CEO, 3D Systems.
So, what does 3D Systems intend to do with its new acquisition? The company says that it wants to "immediately leverage Gentle Giant Studios technology and vast library of digital content into its consumer platform and extend its existing brand relationships to further the reach of 3D scanning, modeling and printing for entertainment, toys, collectibles, [and] action figures in conjunction with numerous blockbuster films and evergreen licensed properties."
In other words, 3D Systems is entering the toy industry in a big way with its latest acquisition. Of course, it only makes sense for a 3D printing conglomerate like 3D Systems to have a finger in the toy industry pie, but starting off with such a high profile acquisition just shows that 3D Systems is serious about this.
It will be interesting to see how, and if, Stratasys responds to this. The other major 3D printing company made waves last year with its acquisition of Objet and MakerBot. Adding a toy company to its portfolio in 2014 certainly wouldn't hurt.
Image via Gentle Giant Studios