My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has a diverse and devoted following. Give this community a chance to design and sell 3-D-printed figurines, and the people will come. That’s why it was so smart of Hasbro and Shapeways to team up on SuperFanArt. It’s a website that facilitates and encourages the creation of fan art, instead of ignoring it or lodging copyright complaints.
And it’s not going to stop at My Little Pony. If SuperFanArt is successful, Hasbro will add its other toy universes like Transformers to the mix. Artists will have to be approved and their designs will be curated on the SuperFanArt site to keep standards high, but at least Hasbro is one of the forces behind the project instead of the one trying to stop it. As Engadget points out, Hasbro is now allowing people to sell fan fiction based on the company’s GI Joe universe, so maybe there’s going to be a new era of fan involvement. And Hasbro knows that with Comic-Con starting later this week, it’s the perfect time to get all the bronies pumped up.