Introducing Makielab’s Makies
UPDATE 10/2016: The Makies brand seems to be dead right now. The site never re-opened and social media hasn’t been updated. As of this update, I am considering Makies out of business. Brands have been known to surprise us before and come out of oblivion, so you never know what will happen. But, for the time being, I would try to find a Makie second hand if you’re looking to add one to your collection.
There are many things about Facebook that irritate me, however, I must thank it for introducing me to a doll company that seems to be doing something pretty cool. MakieLab is a company that allows you to make your own poseable 10″ dolls, Makies. Based in Shoreditch, London, MakieLab “developed tech that can produce and manufacture the best kind of future-smashing toy”.
The tech? 3-D printing, or more precisely, they’ve created “a system of creating objects using game technologies – 3D Studio Max, Unity, 3D objects – and transmogrifying them into 3D-printable toys complete with internal working joints.” Sounds pretty neat, huh?
Makies were awarded a Commendation in the Independent Toy Awards 2013, which essentially means they earned at least 10% of the votes in the competition and were very close to earning a medal. Pretty awesome for a company that was only founded in 2011!
Now, onto the dolls… Let me state first that it seems like Makies is a line that is constantly re-designing itself, so make sure to check out the company website for info on what they’re currently doing and improving upon.
Makies are 100% customizable dolls. You literally create them using a web based computer program and next thing you know, your own 100% unique doll is at your door step. They cost roughly $110 US or 82 euro, which is comparable to other design your own dolls, like the Muppet Whatnots at FAO Schwartz.
There are four skin tones currently available for Makies, from pale white to chocolate brown. Since the plastic they use is white, they literally dye the bodies the color of your choice. The wigs are glued on, unless you specify otherwise while ordering. They have a head cap that allows you to switch out the eyes, assuming you can find eyes that fit. Currently, Makies have acrylic half sphere eyes inserted into an eye mechanism.
Makies arrive with very light face ups done in non-toxic pencils, but if you want something more powerful, they have tips on re-doing the make up yourself. They’ve recently updated their head molds to the ‘cutie’ line. These images include both the classic and new ‘cutie’ style head.
They have pull off limbs, meaning you don’t have to worry about stringing them.
Now, I know you’re wondering, what in the heck are Makies made from. Is it plastic? Is it vinyl? Is it resin? Well, the best answer I’ve found is that it’s none of the above.
They start out as powder and then eventually (somehow!) end up in something that the website describes as somewhat similar to an “unglazed porcelain, kind of. Sometimes a Makie can feel quite fragile or precious, and early testers have likened it to porcelain, maybe because the only toys that have a bit more weight to them are porcelain. But Makies are actually as tough as (plastic) boots.” According to Makie’s PR, the dolls have a similar weight to ABS plastic (which is what Hujoo‘s are made of), but a totally different feel.
The Makies creation program MakieLab designed is pretty user friendly. You aren’t only given a handful of template choices to choose from for your doll. You can literally manipulate nearly every (if not every) facial feature on your Makie. Eye width and spacing, the bridge of the nose, the roundness of the nose, the size of the lips, the plumpness of the lips, the cheekbones, the chin structure. You name it and you can probably manipulate it! What I really liked is that you can manipulate the ears to make them elf or fairy ears!
After making the face, you can choose an outfit and wig. Their options for outfits and wigs are a bit limited, but those things could be relatively easy to find outside of the site.
I haven’t decided if I am going to take the plunge, so to speak, and order a Makie. I know it won’t be before Christmas, because we’ve hit the point of the year where I have to really conserve my money for Christmas fun.
However, I’ll definitely be keeping this company in my sights! And I have to admit, making digital Makies on the website is quite fun (and free!), even if I can’t put the money down for a 3-D version! You can find the Makies app for your Apple device and/or can find the PC based creation program on their website.
What do you think of Makies? Do you own one? What kind of Makie would YOU make? Share your thoughts below!!!!