Mattel will be making a move to the metaverse by transforming some of its iconic characters into avatars that can be played in Cryptoys’ NFT Playworld.
It is amazing how many adults, whether they are American Gen Xers or Millennials, can recall the idyllic days of their childhoods – the days when they would race Hot Wheels cars on precariously constructed loop-de-loops and arrange American Girl dolls at the tea table while lunch cooked on the Fisher-Price polyvinyl stovetop. However, their children will create memories that will be somewhat different from theirs.
New Era for Toys
Hot Wheels might be considered a toy by youngsters today, but they might drive them through imaginary mountain ranges halfway around the world, or American Girls might be considered a toy that they use to defeat hordes of pixelated jungle creatures in a quest to defeat a virtual boss.
That is possible in the 21st century with the power of imagination, as well as a new partnership between legendary toymaker Mattel and Cryptoys, a company that creates a platform for programmable NFTs.
Some of Mattel’s most beloved intellectual property will become playable avatars on Cryptoys through this partnership, including some of the most popular brands, including Hot Wheels, American Girl, Thomas the Tank Engine, Polly Pocket, Barbie, and Masters of the Universe. However, the names of the brands that will be part of the partnership have not yet been released.
With a platform built on the carbon-efficient Flow blockchain, the Cryptoys platform allows users to create avatars and sell them as new digital currencies (NFTs) on the company’s “metaverse.” Developed by OnChain Studios and funded by the likes of Andreessen Horowitz and Dapper Labs, the Cryptoys platform uses NFTs to run minigames on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices. It has been compared to the Zynga of Web3, where you have creator privileges and can create your own custom skins to hide your identity and eventually create your own rules based on open-source blockchain, which is a trend that the platform aspires toward.
“We are not trying to create a Web3 equivalent of Warcraft,” states Will Weinraub, the founder, and CEO of Cryptoys, noting how such gigantic, highly immersive games can take years to design and whose steep technological and financial barriers make them difficult for players to enter.
Mattel’s president, Richard Dickson, said:
“No doubt about it, the playground is expanding. We want to be at the forefront of that evolution of toys in both the physical and digital worlds . . . our business leads us to wherever the consumer is, and that includes the metaverse and NFTs.”
Alternatively, a child might choose to buy a $50 NFT in order to play as an avatar in a virtual universe rather than buying a $50 action figure to play with in their bedroom.