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Today FigurePrints revealed their brand new line of 3D printed WoW products in the form of 3-piece collectible non-combat pets -- FigurePets! As always I was on hand with a camera, a knife and a box of products to open cautiously on camera to give you the first impressions on this exciting new product range.
Also I managed to sit down with Ed Fries, the FigurePrint founder, and ask him a few questions about the new FigurePets and what else might be on the horizon for 3D Printed WoW Products.
Behind the break you'll find the video, interview and a photo gallery of the FigurePets.
The pets are produced to the same high quality that I found my FigurePrint to be albeit in a smaller, cheekier form. They still have the bright yellow font on the front, which I didn't like on my FigurePrint, but think it suits the less serious atmosphere of the FigurePets better. This being said, I have spoke with Ed Fries since my review and he has informed me that he is looking to add more font options to the FigurePrint creation process so watch this space!
If you collect non-combat pets like I do in game then you will more than likely appreciate a few of these critters making their way around your desk or standing valiantly beside your full sized FigurePrint. As just a first run I think that there is lots of potential in the FigurePet concept, a Children's Week quest reward trio would be a great way to complete the achievement that would otherwise take three years!
In short I am as smitten by the FigurePets as I was by the FigurePrint, it blows me away that these are just printed in a machine (My printer at home struggles with photos!), and if already have a FigurePrint or can't afford one then I think these make a great addition to any WoW collector's display.
Gallery: FigurePets First Impressions
I also got a chance to talk with Ed Fries who answered a couple of my questions on the new FigurePet collection.
WoW.com: First up, thanks very much for taking the time to talk with us, since WoW.com last spoke with you back at BlizzCon '08, we've seen the Lottery system withdrawn and FigurePrints are now available in the EU, has the continued growth surprised you at all or is this all going according to plan?
Ed Fries: From the beginning we've wanted to reach all WoW players, wherever they may be. We knew we were doing something that had never been done before and so we wanted to make sure that we maintained very high quality and at the same time gave everyone a fair and equal chance to get our product. That lead to two things: the lottery, and a staged launch where we started in North America, got the bugs out, then moved to Europe, and are now working to move to Asia. I guess the surprising thing for me is that it just always takes longer than I think it will to move from one stage to the next. I'm glad our customers no longer have to deal with the lottery, but I can't wait to start to be able to reach players in Korea, Taiwan, and ultimately mainland China.
WoW.com: Now obviously the reason we are talking today is about the new FigurePets range. Can you let us know how these are going to be available and when we can get our hands on some?
Ed Fries: FigurePets(tm) started as something fun we did for BlizzCon last year. We were printing up some one of a kind stuff to show in the display cases in our booth and thought "why don't we make some pets?" At the time we didn't have any plans to turn it into a product, but people at the show had a really positive response so that got us thinking that maybe we could offer this as a real product. Blizzard liked the idea but it took a lot of work to turn it into something real. Now we are ready to launch our first set of three pets. They are limited edition in the sense that they will only be sold until July 31st and then this set will be discontinued. If we get a good response we will produce another set of three pets in a few months and so on.
WoW.com: How big are these pets going to be? Will they come in glass domes like the full-sized FigurePrints?
Ed Fries: The pets are roughly 3 inches on a side and do not ship in a glass dome. The cheapest way to buy them is as a set of three in which case they cost only $24.95 (22,95 euros) each. Some people will want to buy these because they are pet collectors in the game. For some people it will make a nice complement to their FigurePrints statue. For some people this will be a less expensive way to experience what FigurePrints technology is like in person and hopefully get them interested in having their custom character statue created some day.
WoW.com: Are there any plans to produce any more variations on the original FigurePrints? We've spoken in the past about mounts, hunter/warlock/death knight pets, dead character bases, etc.
Ed Fries: Now that the pets are launched we can turn our attention to the next big thing. Behind the scenes we've been working on everything on your list. The one we've had the most requests for is combat pets so that's going to be our primary focus through the summer. We'll definitely have something to show at BlizzCon in August but when it will be available for sale, I just don't know at this point.
It is worth noting that if you order a FigurePet your account will be credited with a 10% discount on your next purchase of a regularly priced FigurePrints statue.