Go away, Nyan Cat. Mattel is the latest innovator to jump on the hottest craze in crypto as it puts its first digital artwork featuring Hot Wheels vehicles up for sale.
On Tuesday, the laptop maker will offer three digital artworks in the form of a non-corrosive token, or NFT, for auction on the Mattel Creations website as part of its Product Line Hot Wheels NFT Garage. The one-of-a-kind pieces will feature classic cars from its archives: Twin Mill, Boneshaker and Deora II.
The auction will run for a week, and in another first for Mattel, the winner will be allowed to pay in Ethereum, a cryptocurrency.
The company said it is planning NFT auctions for its other toy brands. “Mattel is creating a new way for innovation and artistry to converge in the toy space and will continue to present its brand in the NFT format,” it said in a statement.
Richard Dickson, the company’s president and chief executive officer, said in an interview the move is part of the evolution of the physical toy as a collectible piece of art.
“Part of our effort to make Mattel relevant is to ensure that our brands are timeless and trendy,” he said. “We need to update existing chats.”
NFT is based on blockchain technology, similar to computer code to generate many cryptocurrencies. They have become popular in the art world because they give artists more control over their works by selling limited edition digital goods directly to consumers. But critics say the market could crash if the cryptocurrency falls.
With her announcement, Mattel joins other unlikely creators in the NFT sale, including the National Basketball Association, “Disaster Girl,” and even The New York Times.