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What I would have given for this as a kid. Photo: Mattel

It’s easy to assume that traditional kid’s toys are taking a beating due to the sky-high popularity of tablets and smartphones among the younger generation.

But toy-maker Mattel is attempting to strike back with a concept that, honestly, sounds amazing: an affordable $300 3D printer designed to let your sprogs (or, let’s be honest, immature adults everywhere) print their own toys, as designed on an accompanying mobile app.

The project is a collaboration with software company Autodesk, and the app is already available on both iOS and Android. Pre-made blueprints include those for “rings, necklaces, scorpions, skeletons, and more.”

Like most current 3D printers, the ThingMaker 3D printer can only print one color pieces, although users can select different colors for different toy parts and then attach these together using ball-and-socket joints.

The ThingMaker 3D printer won’t be released until this fall, but you can pre-order it on Amazon starting today. The app can also be used on other 3D printers, so if you’re lucky enough to own one you can get started right now.

As a massive action figure fan, I can’t tell you what I would have given to have had this opportunity when I was a youngster!

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