They say it's not how much a gift costs, it's the thought you put into it that counts.
If that's true, why not try a Makie the next time you need a gift for someone special (you know, someone other than your in-laws).
What's a Makie?
It's an ultra-customizable, 3D printed doll from London-based Makie Lab. They are certified by the European Ecconomic Area as safe for kids 3 and up, but these things are neat for just about anyone.
"The plastic is a simple white nylon, and is recycled into each print run," Makie Lab founder Alice Taylor said. "There's almost no wastage, and what little there is can be upcycled into nylon clothes. The nylon itself is a bioplastic, meaning it is non-toxic. We color Makies and accessories with Dylon Multi-Purpose Dyes."
Makies come in either sex with three different, hand-dyed skin colors (cocoa bean, strawberry milk and pale pistachio), not to mention porcelain – which makes for a spookie Makie.
Virtually all of the variables can be customized, including nose, mouth, hair (length, style and color) and eyes (color and shape). The eyes are even moveable if you unclip them inside the head. There is a whole line of attire that lets your Makie be everything from skater Makie to doctor Makie.
A full accoutrement of movable joints also makes the Makies extremely poseable. In fact, the company's Web site brags, "They can do karate, yoga and kung fu, or at least stand in positions which look a bit like that."
The dolls don't talk yet, but the inside is designed to fit a Lilypad Arduino, for aftermarket LEDs, RFIDs and battery packs, voice chips and Bluetooth. There's room in the neck for wires and in the back for batteries. If you get to hacking your Makie, the company would love a picture to share with everyone on the Makie Forum.
"Future Makies series products include an iPad game, tracking for launch in early (second quarter of 2014), and further expansion of Makies' customization options, accessories and kits on an ongoing basis, in response to customer needs and requests," Taylor said.
It doesn't cost anything to give it a shot. The site lets you customize your virtual doll for free, just to see what it would look like. Just be sure you are on the authentic Makie Web site though, otherwise you will be making a fakie Makie.