Longtime readers of this blog will know that I own a special customized 3D printed doll from a British company called Makies. I ordered my elf doll, Victoria, just a few months after the company had set up shop. The customizing process to create an icon version was easy, ordering a real-life version of that icon was easy, I paid for that doll via PayPal, and the overseas shipment was also pretty easy as well. Here’s the most recent photo of the doll, which I took nearly a year ago in the wake of that violent attack on the Paris office of the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo.
At the time the doll (including the separately sold outfit) cost around US$150, which was pricey for a 10-inch doll (in comparison, an 18-inch American Girl doll sells for around US$115) but I didn’t regret it because I felt like I was a part of a new wave in terms of manufacturing and customizing of products. I also liked that she was customizable so I customized her soon after I received her.
Since she was created on a 3D printer, I took her to the local STEM makerspace to show off to the people there and they were pretty impressed with the Makies. I went on the Makies forums and I knew that there were other Americans who also ordered Makies but the vast majority of the people there were British. That didn’t bother me too much. In fact, I felt like I had something that was more unique and less available than Barbie (which I saw on sale in both Hamley’s and Harrod’s during my trip to London back in 2007).
I haven’t ordered another Makies doll since due to tight finances. Today, while being snowed in due to the Blizzard of 2016 that hit the Washington, DC area, I was reading a review of the latter Makies on the Toybox Philosopher blog. (Where I learned that, in recent years, the company had altered the manufacturing process so the price of a doll has dropped to US$78.)
I hadn’t visited the Makies site in a while so I went online and I found this announcement on the front page.
Whoa! That’s a big surprise! What’s more, their support page says that the store and the Makie maker (where you design your own doll) are now closed due to the upcoming move to the U.S.
It’s pretty ironic that Victoria was among the first wave of dolls that were shipped to the U.S. and now the company is moving here as well. I’ll end this entry by re-posting this photo of Victoria standing in front of the TV set, which was broadcasting the Fourth of July celebration in Washington, DC. (That photo was taken right after the doll first arrived before I gave her a faceup.)
UPDATE (February 27, 2017): Makies never relocated to America. Instead it closed down completely, which you can read about in full detail right here.