Train lovers have model railroads, car fans have Dinky Toys, and now architecture fanatics have Ittyblox. Often described as “SimCity in real life,” the 1/1000 scale miniatures of Ittyblox allow everyone in the world to compose their own miniature city using houses, offices, hotels, street blocks, waterways, parks and much more.
Just as fascinating as the highly detailed miniatures themselves is their production process: the buildings are produced on an on-demand basis using a 3D printing partner (Shapeways) which produces and ships the buildings all over the world.
Once you get your custom buildings or other features, they can be assembled and rearranged in their own modular bases. This is the perfect desktop toy for any office worker, and it’s also educational for kids and can foster an appreciation of architecture.
Because a large production volume is not required, many unique buildings have been added to the Ittyblox collection.
This allows everyone to not only use famous architectural landmarks such as the Flatiron building in New York but also more anonymous buildings like general office towers from Chicago or historical monuments from London.
The company recently started to use Kickstarter projects to launch new buildings. After a successful campaign to build the Flatiron building, it just successfully completed a new Kickstarter campaign to fund a set of Amsterdam buildings.
The company is based in The Netherlands, and they offer a wide range of international landmarks, as well as everyday buildings from different nations.
The business model of Ittyblox seems to be the modern day answer to problems that face traditional miniature hobby companies that still rely too heavy on traditional production with factories, large volumes and retailers. Also appealing: collecting these dense cities don’t require an entire basement or attic.
With a collection growing this fast, you can expect your personal favourite building to sit on your own mantelpiece in no time. This could be the next step in the evolution of the building toy.
You can follow Ittyblox on Facebook to keep up with all their future releases. Using technology you can build and rule your own world.