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Hasbro launches 3D-printing campaign for 'My Little Pony' fan art

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Hasbro has a new idea about how to make money off fan art: 3D-print it. The company has launched a new site called SuperFanArt where My Little Pony fans can buy figurines designed by non-professional artists, created on-demand by Shapeways. According to The New York Times, Hasbro will approve all the designs beforehand to weed out anything that's "obscene, violent, or hateful," but the site still represents a new kind of legitimacy for fan art, and a way for fans to legitimately purchase figures that might be too offbeat for mass production.

The site launched with five approved artists, but anyone with a eye for design is encouraged to contact Hasbro to join the list. Once approved, artists will publish their own designs and set their own prices, sharing any profits with Hasbro. It's the first project of its kind, but Shapeways is hoping it will become a new standard for companies looking to enable fans while protecting trademarks. "Instead of trying to prohibit it, they're enabling it," Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen told the Times, "and I think that's awesome."