They just worked on a collection including three NFTs and real items. Mamma Mattel previously collaborated with Gucci on a limited edition collection of Hot Wheels automobiles. But are virtual luxury fashion toys the future of collectibles?
Fashion toys aren’t new. For example, in 2014, the Japanese firm Medicom’s collectable Bearbrick toys included ten different designers’ logos. Raf Simons, Dries Van Noten, Marc Jacobs, Thom Browne, and White Mountaineering were among the names. Stock X, for example, currently sells them for up to $2,500. As businesses gain confidence in the NFT realm, some are noticing parallels between tangible collectors and digital artworks made for the metaverse.
“Barbie is a worldwide known figure in fashion and pop culture, which offers an exciting convergence between the brand, art, and collectability,” said Mattel President and COO Richard Dickson. With Barbie and Balmain, we’re using our shared inventive legacy to provide art, fashion, and culture to all fans in a new manner.
Women’s ready-to-wear and accessories in 50 pieces; and three unique NFTs of Barbie and Ken were revealed last week by fashion house Balmain. The NFTs will be available on Mint NFT this week. The toys, via collectors site Mattel Creations, are basically blank slates on which outside artists may exhibit their work, much like Bearbricks do.
Barbie’s vintage styles are echoed in the nostalgic RTW line. Balmain’s distinctive marinière and Labyrinth motifs are featured on large Balmain capes, purses and kimono outfits. It will be available at Balmain shops, online at balmain.com, and at Mattel Creations starting January 13.
“This collection transcends any arbitrary gender constraints – it is nearly entirely unisex,” stated Balmain creative director Oliver Rousteing in a press statement. Today’s Barbie shows us that nothing can stop us now!” As a result of the heritage of the Barbie doll, this is not a one-off partnership.
Digital collectibles definitely appeal to Mattel. “Proven collaborations like these will make toys as significant as other fashion items to fashion labels and ignite a whole new audience and industry,” says Dickson. Since last year, it has introduced three NFT collections across its brands.
From the Hot Wheels NFT Garage Series, it released its initial set of three in June 2021. Then followed Gary Vaynerchuk’s NFT Uno card partnership with VeeFriends. Mattel was the first to link its commercial success with the burgeoning community of NFT makers and customers.
Toys and fashion combined will be a whole new business, we believe. “The epidemic has shown us that the human impulse to ‘play’ at whatever age is quite real,” added Dickson. “Our brands’ enthusiasm has always remained ageless, giving us a runway to provide fresh, redesigned methods for adult fans.” Toy collectibles might help heritage companies across sectors get newfound interest and attention as premium fashion labels try the market of NFTs.
Both the Hot Wheels and Balmain x Barbie NFT collections were auctioned via proof-of-stake blockchains, saving electricity. The NBA NFTs formerly utilised Flow. Given the industry’s focus on sustainability, several fashion designers have resisted participating in infamously energy-intensive NFTs. Curiosity will decrease as industry leaders focus on proof-of-stake techniques for NFT and blockchain initiatives.
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