It is such a ridiculously simple idea that I really have trouble believing that we haven’t seen officially licensed Pokémon themed nesting dolls yet. Over the years there have been a handful of home made examples on Etsy but that’s really about it. Pokémon is second only to the Super Mario Bros franchise in terms of popularity and most crucially, the ability to sell lots of licensed toys, t-shirts and consumer products. And since Nintendo will slap one of their IPs on the front of virtually anything if they think it will sell, why no official Pokémon themed nesting dolls? I mean, the Pokémon live inside of a Pokéball, it practically screams make me a nesting doll.
In the Pokémon series of video games, cartoons and comics, Pokémon are cute little animals that live in the wild and have special powers. The Pokémon tend to have a type, or a classification, that they belong to, like a Plant Type or a Water Type and some Pokémon types are more powerful against other Pokémon types. For some reason, in the Pokémon world, parents let their children wander around unsupervised so they can capture these cute yet unpredictable wild animals and make them fight against other Pokémon. But the fighting isn’t just a junior version of dog fighting; the Pokémon fights actually help the Pokémon evolve into larger and more powerful version of themselves.
“Because inside of us all, is the person we once were. Cut yourself in half, and you’ll see, the smaller, younger version of you inside. Pokemon are the same way! Their previous evolutions exist within them,” wrote ClassyGoat on Thingiverse.
Aspiring game designer and Thingiverse user ClassyGoat found himself inspired by some Pokémon themed nesting doll fanart that he found. The artwork showed each Pokémon inside of its evolved form, all the way up to the final, largest doll which was actually the red and white Pokéball that the little pocket monsters live in. Being a big fan of Pokémon, and a 3D printing enthusiast, ClassyGoat decided that he could make his own Pokémon nesting dolls and print them out on his 3D printer.
“I saw that, and I was like: ‘I could 3D print that,'” ClassyGoat told 3DPrint.com.
Luckily, he didn’t even have to model the Pokédolls from scratch because he found 3D models of just about every Pokémon in the Pokédex that was pulled directly from game files.
Pokémon evolutions don’t just come with bigger powers or more attacks, they also come with name changes, and sometimes even personality changes. For his set of Pokémon themed nesting dolls, ClassyGoat decided to focus on the Squirtle, Wartortle, and Blastoise evolution chain. He would name the largest of the dolls Kapral Blastarsky (Blastoise) and when you open him up there would be a Leytenant Vartortal (Wartortle) inside, who in turn will be hiding a tiny little Comrade Squirtov (Squirtle) at the center.
ClassyGoat grabbed all three of the Pokémon 3D models and put them into 3ds Max 2016 for editing. Because most of the 3D modelling work was already done, Mr. Goat only needed to spend about three hours redesigning the models in order to transform them into nesting dolls. He just had to do some model resizing, chop the models in half so they could hold their smaller counterpart and then he added in some pegs to hold the parts together. The 3D printing time for all three models was about fifteen hours in total using 10% infill with his MakerBot Replicator 2.
Once all of the Pokédoll parts were printed, ClassyGoat carefully removed the supports using some pliers and used some files to smooth out the rough spots. Just the bare 3D printed models alone look pretty great just in the white PLA that they were originally printed in. But ClassyGoat decided to paint them up to match the video games. Painting PLA is actually a little tricky and the model will need to be fully primed before you start. If acrylic paints are applied to plastic without a spray on primer coat first, then the paint tends to chip off and basically look terrible. But by applying a spray primer to the plastic it creates a rougher surface that really helps thicker modelling paints adhere to the plastic.
In a world with 3D printing, fans are quickly learning that now they can just make themselves the products that they want, and the company who owns the intellectual property is just going to have to play catch-up. ClassyGoat wanted some Russian Nesting Pokédolls, and if Nintendo wasn’t going to give him some, then he was just going to have to make them himself. Thankfully, ClassyGoat was kind enough to share the results of his hard work with the entire Thingiverse community.
Have you printed out any of these dolls? Let us know in the 3D Printed Nesting Doll forum thread on 3DPB.com.