Mattel launches new NFT Marketplace to turn toys into digital collectibles
Mattel is rolling out a new marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as it looks to expand its digital collectibles business.
The toy giant is launching a platform called Mattel Creations this week on the Flow blockchain where fans will be able to buy digital art related to classic products like Hot Wheels and Barbie. The marketplace’s inaugural collection will be the final set in the brand’s Hot Wheels NFT Garage Series, which the company claims has seen success in its previous three releases.
“By launching our own marketplace, we are able to translate iconic Mattel IP into digital art,” said Ron Friedman, Vice President of Mattel Future Lab. “This is the latest evolution of our digital endeavors, and we look forward to sharing more drops soon inspired by some of the world’s favorite Mattel brands.”
The launch comes as NFT technology has faced uncertainty amid months of falling sales and a crash in the cryptocurrency market triggered by the collapse of the FTX exchange. But Friedman said the brand remains focused on delivering a digital collectible that separates itself from market volatility and offers fans some form of practical utility.
“Mattel remains steadfast in our long-term vision to innovate and deliver value to our customers,” Friedman said. “While market volatility is beyond our control, we are in control of our product and user performance, and we’re excited to continue building best-in-class digital experiences that pioneer the future of play and create stronger relationships with our community.”
Friedman said Mattel’s Hot Wheels NFTs, which are sold in $25 packs and include a coupon for a physical die-cast model, have sold out immediately in each of the brand’s previous releases.
“Our Hot Wheels digital collectibles, which are different from most other projects in the space, are built on solid collecting dynamics,” he said. “This creates incredible value for our vibrant collector community using, for example, IRL redemption opportunities for exclusive die-cast cars that they love.”
Mattel has also seen success with a collection based around Barbie in collaboration with luxury fashion brand Balmain and a collection called Masters of the Universe in collaboration with designer Cryptoys. The company plans to further complement its Mattel Creations platform with a new Barbie collection later this year in a team-up with women in technology organization Boss Beauties.
The marketplace is designed to appeal to people outside the crypto community with features available to regular consumers and without requiring the buyer to pay in cryptocurrency.
As the initial wave of hype in the NFT space appears to be winding down, many brands that remain committed to the technology are doubling down on turning tokens into loyalty programs, embedding real-world experiences and rewards, or tying them to valuable intellectual property.