Move over, Nyan Cat. Mattel is the latest creator to jump on the hottest craze in cryptocurrency as it puts its first digital art featuring its Hot Wheels vehicles up for sale.
On Tuesday, the toymaker will offer three pieces of digital art in the form of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, for auction on its Mattel Creations website as part of its Hot Wheels NFT Garage Series. The one-of-a-kind works will feature classic cars from its archive: 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 the Ethereum, a cryptocurrency.
The company said it was 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 express its brands in the NFT format,” it said in a statement.
The move is part of an evolution of physical toys as collectible art, Richard Dickson, the company’s president and chief operating officer, said in an interview.
“Part of our effort to make Mattel relevant is to make sure that our brands are timeless and timely,” he said. “We need to be on top of current conversations.”
NFTs rely on blockchain technology, similar to the computer code that makes many cryptocurrencies possible. They have become popular in the art world because they allow artists to have more control over their works by selling limited-edition digital goods directly to consumers. But critics say the market could crash if cryptocurrencies tumble.
With its announcement, Mattel joins other unlikely creators in selling NFTs, including the National Basketball Association, “Disaster Girl” and even The New York Times.