Saturday, November 15, 2014

Avastars Makes You the Star

Avastarship by Avastars
The Avastarship, which launched yesterday in the main foyer of the St. Louis Galleria Mall, would have looked right at home on the set of the original Star Trek series. An aluminum cylinder, ringed with glowing bands of psychedelic color, is hard to miss. The 3D scanner in the center of the ship won't break you apart and beam you through space, but it will launch you instantly into a 65 inch tall, personalized Avastars video where you are the star.

The animated videos let you be a rockstar, fashionista, cheerleader, veterinarian, firefighter, cool rocker, special forces hero or a martial arts master.  A few days after the mall experience, you will receive a 3D printed personalized doll or action figure with your own face.

"This isn't about 3D technology," explains Avastars' cofounder Dan Lauer. "The girl who comes to Avastars doesn't care about 3D printing.  She wants to be a princess or a popstar and that's what really maters."

Avastars doll and action figure
The St. Louis startup was cofounded by Lauer and Jill Barad, the former Chairman and CEO of Mattel who led the explosion in the popularity of Barbie in the 1980s and 1990s. Lauer's previous ventures include the creation of the Water Babies brand of realistic baby dolls. The management team also includes Scott Harmon who honed his 3D technology experience at Zcorp prior to and after its acquisition by 3D Systems and Brandon Elliot, formerly the Director of Digital Ventures at Build-a-Bear Workshop.

In addition to the St. Louis Galleria, Avastarships are also launching this year in Oak Brook, Illinois and Cincinnati, Ohio.  The companies goal is to expand into thousands of retail locations.

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