Toy manufacturer Mattel is set to launch a peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace for its virtual collectibles platform, Mattel Creations Virtual Collectibles. The company has teamed up with wallet-as-a-service provider Magic and blockchain firm Flow to add the P2P feature, which will be powered by NFT company Rarible. The launch coincides with Hot Wheels NFT Garage Series 5, a collection of 40 popular Hot Wheels car designs that will be sold in digital packs for $25. Those who receive a premium, “Treasure Hunt” digital collectible will be sent a die-cast replica of the same car. Mattel is among a number of toy companies entering the NFT space, including Funko, Hasbro and Walmart.
Mattel Creations Virtual Collectibles Platform
Mattel Creations Virtual Collectibles is a platform that allows fans of Mattel’s iconic brands to buy, sell and trade virtual collectibles. The platform provides a range of features, including augmented reality experiences and collaborations with top artists and brands. Fans can purchase digital collectibles from different categories, such as Barbie, Masters of the Universe, and Hot Wheels.
Mattel Creations Virtual Collectibles was launched in response to the growing popularity of NFTs, which allow fans to own unique digital assets, such as art, music, videos and other digital content. Since the introduction of CryptoKitties in 2017, the NFT market has grown exponentially, with sales reaching $2.5 billion in the first quarter of 2021 alone, according to DappRadar.
Mattel’s foray into NFTs began in October 2020, when it launched an official Masters of the Universe digital toy collection to celebrate the franchise’s 40th anniversary. The collection featured 10,000 unique digital toys, each with its own attributes, such as rarity and power. Mattel also collaborated with the Veefriends NFT project and released a limited edition UNO deck featuring Veefriends NFT characters.
The P2P marketplace feature marks a significant development for Mattel’s virtual collectibles platform, enabling users to sell and trade their virtual collectibles in a peer-to-peer fashion. Ron Friedman, Vice President of Mattel Future Lab, stated that the P2P marketplace feature is a “step toward realizing” the company’s vision of creating an unrivalled, best-in-class virtual collectibles experience for its fans.
NFTs in the Toy Industry
Mattel is not alone in its foray into the NFT industry, with many other toy companies launching NFT products in the last few years. Funko, for example, has partnered with the digital collectibles platform DROPP in order to release Jay and Silent Bob NFT collections. Walmart has entered the metaverse through its Walmart Land and Universe of Play on the gaming platform Roblox. Disney has been one of the pioneers of the NFT industry, with its Disney Digital Collectibles platform offering a range of NFTs, including 8-bit character NFTs.
The toy industry is recognizing the potential of NFTs to provide new revenue streams, as well as opportunities for fan engagement and monetization. NFTs allow toy companies to offer unique, scarce digital assets that fans can own and sell, creating a new market for collectibles. In addition, NFTs enable toy companies to offer digital experiences and collaborations with different artists and brands, adding value to their existing products.
Mattel’s launch of a P2P marketplace for its virtual collectibles platform is a significant step for the toy company into the NFT industry. The addition of the P2P feature enables fans to sell and trade their virtual collectibles in a peer-to-peer fashion, creating a new market for collectibles. Mattel’s move into NFTs is part of a growing trend in the toy industry, as companies recognize the potential of NFTs to offer new revenue streams and opportunities for fan engagement. The NFT market is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, as more players enter the market and demand for unique digital assets increases.