Barbie debuts in the metaverse as Mattel and Balmain drop avatar NFTs

By Raffaele Redi

5,000 free Barbie and Ken avatars and three exclusive NFTs launched with French luxury brand

Barbie and Ken avatars NFT sample                                 
Barbie, the most popular doll in the world, dives into the metaverse – Photo: MintNFT
                                

Mattel, Inc. has announced a partnership with French luxury fashion label Balmain to mint collectable Barbie NFTs.

The companies are dropping three one-of-a-kind NFTs of distinctive Barbie and Ken avatars, marking Barbie’s debut in the metaverse.

The three exclusive Barbie x Balmain NFTs will be available through Mattel Creations, via an online auction hosted on mintNFT. However, the event is limited to 5,000 registrants who will each receive a free Barbie x Balmain NFT even without possessing a wallet.

The three auction winners will also receive a physical version of the miniature designer outfit worn by their Barbie x Balmain avatar.

The promotion was devised and styled by Charlotte Stockdale and Katie Lyall, with photography by Norbert Schoerner.

Event organisers say that Barbie, who debuted at New York Toy Fair nearly 63 years ago, has become a “globally recognised influence and arbiter in the worlds of fashion and pop culture, creating an intersection between the brand, art and collectability”.

From 13 January a Barbie x Balmain ready-to-wear and accessories line will be available to purchase for humans.  The launch statement explained that the collection would draw on the Balmain fashion house aesthetic developed by its creative director, Olivier Rousteing, but be filtered “through a Barbie lens”. 

Barbie’s NFTs collection is unisex

The 50-piece fashion collection, modelled digitally by dolls, is said to intertwine the toy’s signatures with the label’s hallmarks, “like its marinière and Labyrinth patterns”. It features a nostalgic 1990s era Barbie logo, uses a ‘Barbie pink’ Pantone shade and emulates Barbie’s iconic packaging, the companies say.

The companies say the collection rejects any arbitrary gender limitations,  calling it “an almost 100% unisex collection”.

“As our campaign images make very clear, Barbie and Balmain are embarking upon a distinctly multicultural, inclusive and always joy-filled adventure,” notes Rousteing. “For this collaboration, we are building upon the New French Style of Balmain’s most recent collections, once again showing that Balmain is inspired by the truly diverse and exciting beauty found on today’s Parisian boulevards and avenues.”

“Together, Barbie and Balmain are creating a new chapter in the legacy of the toy and fashion industries,” adds Richard Dickson, president and CEO of Mattel.

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