Mattel, the global toy company, has officially launched its digital collectibles marketplace. This comes a year after its first Hot Wheels NFT minting on Ethereum. 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.
“In launching our own marketplace, we’re able to translate iconic Mattel IP into digital art, engaging directly with our customers,” said Ron Friedman, Vice President at Mattel Future Lab.
In fact, several companies have seen the advantage of launching their own marketplaces. This includes DC Comics, which recently enabled sales of NFTs on its website, including for Batman.
Companies with larger communities prefer to host their marketplaces to keep control of their own brands and protect fans from scams on other marketplaces. Trading on secondary NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea includes the risk of owning fake NFTs, although these platforms are also taking the necessary steps to curb these issues.
Additionally, in-house marketplaces make it easier for brands to build a community that can provide exclusive advantages to members. For example, Nike’s .Swoosh gives members access to participate in events with world-renowned athletes and designers.
Mattel has witnessed a turnaround in its profits since 2018 when the company increased its focus on exploiting its intellectual property and entertainment ventures. In 2022, Mattel’s second quarter sales increased by 20% over the previous year, indicating a strong demand for toys, and giving the company the confidence to invest in NFTs. However, its latest results weren’t quite so rosy.
In keeping with the strategy for expanding the breadth of its intellectual property was the partnership with Cryptotoys, to convert Barbie and Hot Wheels into avatar-like digital collectibles in games. Its investment in NFTs was further encouraged by multiple series of Hot Wheels Garage digital collectibles selling out immediately, with the last Series 3 sale in July 2022 raising close to $350,000 in revenue. It’s planning to launch its fourth series in December.