Mattel, the global toy company, has officially launched its digital collectibles marketplace a year after the first Hot Wheels non-fungible token (NFT) was minted on the Ethereum network. In January 2022, Mattel’s Barbie released a ready-to-wear NFT collection in collaboration with Balmain, a luxury fashion brand. The current marketplace is built on the Flow blockchain and does not require users to own cryptocurrency to make purchases. This platform also enables owners of Hot Wheels Garage NFTs on the WAX blockchain to eventually transfer their tokens to Flow.
“By launching our own marketplace, we are able to translate iconic Mattel IP into digital art, connecting directly with our customers,” said Ron Friedman, Vice President at Mattel Future Lab. “This is the latest evolution of our digital endeavor and we look forward to sharing more drops inspired by some of the world’s favorite Mattel brands soon.”
The launch comes as NFT technology has faced uncertainty amid months of declining sales and a crash in the cryptocurrency market triggered by the collapse of major exchange FTX. But Friedman said the brand remains focused on delivering a digital collectible that stands out from market volatility and offers fans some form of real-world utility.
According to the company, the NFT marketplace is designed for “ordinary consumers” and users are not required to own crypto to make purchases.
There are also plans to integrate a “peer-to-peer trading platform that will allow collectors to trade their digital collectibles among themselves”. However, this integration will take place sometime in early 2023.
The marketplace is built on top of Flow, the blockchain that powers the NBA Top Shot platform.
Mattel focuses on producing goods such as games, dolls and action figures. The company also owns the intellectual property (IP) rights to brands such as Hot Wheels, UNO, Fisher-Price, Barbie and Matchbox.
Mattel plans to make NFTs for all of these brands and has so far released collections for its Barbie and Hot Wheels franchises. The latter consists of works of art featuring 60 cars from top brands such as Aston Martin, McLaren and many others.
The NFTs will be grouped into packs, each consisting of seven hot wheels costing $25 (approximately Rs. 2,000) per pack. And each pack contains NFTs of varying rarities. The rarest ones can be exchanged for physical die-cast replicas.