Quincy Robinson and Natalie Mathis wanted to solve the problem faced by any consumer looking to purchase a new fashion doll. Because the clothing and accessories from one line don’t carry over to fit on a doll from another line, some individuals find themselves chained to the same brand. The duo, who have already been 3D-printing for some time and are long-time veterans of the toy industry, decided to make a customizable, 3D printable doll with a variety of swappable limbs to fit any brand. They named the doll Quin and they hope to bring her to life on Kickstarter.
“The biggest problem with modern retail-purchased fashion dolls in our minds is that they’re just too restrictive on the consumer,” goes the Kickstarter, “…I think we’ve reached a point with 3D Printing and our modelling abilities where this can change, and hope that Quin will be a foundation for exploring that change. For example: Let’s say you want Quin to wear Barbie shoes. If you have a file for Quin’s lower leg that matches Barbie’s foot profile, you just need to print that file and replace her previous lower legs with the new Barbie-like feet. Now your Quin will be able to wear most any Barbie shoe you’ve previously purchased.”
So, Mathis and Robinson took their toy modelling and 3D printing experience and combined them to make a doll that is printed in a number of separate pieces, without the need for support structures. You can print an entire Quin doll in one job and, then, snap the pieces together to have a full-assembled figure. There are variations of different parts. Take the hand, for instance. You can print an open palm, a fist, or a gripper, depending on what sort of pose you’d like Quin to take. In this way, Quin is completely customizable. Check out the Kickstarter video below:
In order to get the .stl files to print your own version of Quin, you’ll need to contribute $55+ to the campaign. Once you do, though, you’ll be able to design your own parts for the doll; perhaps, turn her into a space creature by attaching an octopus body to her head or give her a Yoda makeover by printing her a Yoda head. Or, if you want to do something truly amazing with the doll, you could try challenging the body ideals promoted by Barbie and Bratz.
Just as Quin is made “to interact with clothes and accessories from preexisting fashion doll lines,” it reinforces the problems of preexisting fashion doll lines. So, instead of allowing Quin to assimilate to the patriarchal feminine form, which is narrowly defined and impossible for most women to achieve, you could try to give Quin a whole variety of body types, transforming her from another fashion doll to a symbol for empowerment and change. You might then consider attaching the parts of Ken dolls and GI Joes to reflect the fluidity of gender.
In that way, you’ll find yourself addressing the restrictions placed on consumers by current fashion dolls and, as a result, Quin truly utilizes 3D printing to enact progress. Whether intentional or not, Mathis and Robinson may have created a doll that doesn’t just challenge the sales tactics of mass-manufactured brands, but that challenges the basis for the fashion doll market in the first place. If that sort of thing sounds like it’s up your alley, donate to the Kickstarter campaign here!