The deal with the NFT marketplace will see Mattel use IPs such as Barbie and Hot Wheels to create playable avatars sold as NFTs in a metaverse.
Mattel has signed a multi-year partnership with toy-focused nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace Cryptoys to exclusively feature its brands on the platform.
Cryptoys is expected to launch in late summer 2022 on the Flow blockchain and is the flagship product of OnChain Studios. OnChain has received funding from venture capital firms such as Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Dapper Labs.
OnChain Studios will also develop a Cryptoys metaverse and other play-to-earn games where Mattel’s intellectual property, including brands such as Barbie, Hot Wheels and Masters of the Universe, will be made into playable avatars.
Mattel president and chief operating officer Richard Dickson said: “Mattel sees incredible opportunity in the Metaverse for our cherished brands and iconic IP.”
Cryptoys posted a cryptic 17-second video on its Twitter account (@Cryptoys) featuring some of Mattel’s retro product advertisements, to tease the campaign.
Mattel has explored NFTs in the past and partnered with the WAX blockchain in October 2021 to release a collection of Hot Wheels NFTs. January 2022 also saw Mattel auction three one-of-one NFTs in collaboration with French luxury brand Balmain, which netted the brands close to $49,000.
Cryptoys itself also plans to sell a collection of original avatar-like NFTs with the “digital toys” featuring customisation through further NFTs which can change clothing, accessories and attributes for use in a wider “Cryptoyverse” that the company plans to build.
The NFT sector is being explored by other toy brands which have launched NFTs to capitalize on the growing interest and generate new revenue streams: Hasbro launched its first NFT collection in October 2021 for the Power Rangers brand and Funko has created multiple NFT collections.
Pog Unlimited has also announced the launch of Pog NFTs, Jazwares has teamed up with World of Women (WoW), Cartamundi and Warner Bros. have partnered on DC-licensed hybrid physical/NFT trading cards and Toikido will produce licensed Smighties toys and merchandise bundled with NFT collectibles.