Mild(ish)-mannered editor-in-chief by day; superheroine by night! That’s me. Well, sometimes, anyway. While I do have a bachelor’s degree in theatre, and did spend a decade of my life fighting and frolicking as a gypsy/pirate/sorceress/noble lady/faerie in the woods and teaching others to do the same, my days of acting the hero may well have faded — but it’s always nice to remember all the times I’ve spent portraying someone’s hero. I’ll never get rid of some of the mementos of those years, like a letter a child wrote to me, telling me I was her favorite faerie and had helped her get through some tough times, or a bag of rocks a guy and his initially-unenthusiastic girlfriend picked up for me throughout an entire day on a gypsy quest. Most days, rather than donning a costume, I now sit behind a desk (or jet-set off to conventions and media events), taking in the work of other kinds of heroes, like surgeons and prosthetists who use technology to improve and save lives.
Still… it’s nice to think about being a hero, and to keep a little motivation at my side — and companies like 3DplusMe, which was acquired early this year by WhiteClouds, are making it ever easier for all of us to visualize ourselves as our own heroes. And not just any heroes, either: superheroes! Want to be Black Widow? Iron Man? A Jedi (or a Stormtrooper)?
If you’re in the LA area, you’re in luck! Today, 24 Target locations throughout the greater Los Angeles area are rolling out kiosks where shoppers can be scanned and order their own personalized action figures on the spot. In less than a minute at the kiosk, a customer can have his or her face scanned, choose their preferred superhero, and place an order for a customized 3D printed action figure. And the best part? The promotional launch price is pretty darned affordable, at $34.95 per figure.
“The process lets fans become part of their favorite story line by making them an action figure that looks like them,” 3DplusMe founder Cydni Tetro explained to 3DPrint.com. “Hundreds of thousands of people have gone through the experience. The company has also used its platform with MLB, NFL, Assassin’s Creed and other brands.”
Working with powerhouse 3D printing company WhiteClouds has been raising 3DplusMe’s profile, positioning both firms more strategically in the marketplace. While we’ve seen 3DplusMe’s 3D scanning and printing kiosks take on major retail locations in the past few years, including turning shoppers into Major League Baseball players at Sam’s Club, as well as working with other partnerships along the way, working under the auspices of the wide-cast WhiteClouds umbrella will surely continue to enhance the company’s standing among larger players. Founded in 2012 with a look toward consumer 3D printing, 3DplusMe has been working steadily to bring this technology to the masses — and indeed, even high-tech capabilities like those offered by 3D printing seem much more approachable when introduced to it at a kiosk at a local Target store.
While I’m nowhere near LA myself, I’m hoping soon to send in a photo to have my own 3D printed hero-self made. My only question is: Black Widow or Jedi? When that’s the trickiest question arising from an announcement, you know something seems to be going smoothly! Would you visit one of these kiosks at a Target? Tell us over in the Target to Offer 3DplusMe Kiosks forum at 3DPB.com.