Claudia Ng had recently purchased a 3D printer, and one of her first projects was to create the model for a Pokémon-themed planter for a friend. She posted it online, and it quickly went viral. The first version of the planter was a little rough, as you can see.
She then put the design on Shapeways, a site that allows you to create and share your own 3D-printed objects, and once again the design blew up. It's a simple idea, but one that we've yet to see in official merchandise. The game the design came from wasn't named, but the listing made a few winking references to the Pokémon franchise. Sales went well, but of course it couldn't last.
"Shapeways got a cease and desist from Pokémon International for infringement. They received this on Friday, and Shapeways took it down within the last hour," Ng told Polygon. "They are asking for all the money associated with this model and shapeways will not be printing or shipping any order for the past few days." She may be put in contact with Pokémon International, and she's not sure if anything will come from that potential meeting.
This outcome isn't very surprising for anyone involved. "I thought that this would fall under the boundaries of derivative and transformative work. I'm also not a lawyer, and I guess that is the least defined of rules and regulation," she explained.
"It's not that surprising. I just expected that they would go after people with more infringing designs," she continued. "Although I admit that it was inspired by my personal favorite starter Pokemon. It's generic-ness has been adored by people who are not Pokémon fans. Most commonly recognized as a Fat Cat. I've also had requests to do other animals and creatures."
It's a great idea for an official piece of merchandise though, so let's hope something comes of an official spin-off of the product. You can download the original model to print your own as well.