Mattel’s Barbies join metaverse as Mastercard gives nod to NFT purchases

By Raffaele Redi

OnChain Studios signed a multi-year partnership with American entertainment giant

Closeup of a Barbie doll collection                                 
Barbie could be one of the first toys to dive into the metaverse as a VR character – Photo: Shutterstock

OnChain Studios has confirmed a multi-year partnership with American entertainment giant, Mattel, to bring the likes of Barbie and Hot Wheels toys on to its Cryptoys NFT platform, creating a “new generation of digital toys” living on the Flow blockchain.

Although financial terms were not disclosed, the first NFTs are expected to be dropped on the Cryptoys’ platform in Q3 2022.

As the companies explained, the partnership will bring Mattel’s iconic brands into a “collectable, interactive world through Cryptoys’ playable universe”. However, the first characters may not be intended for children as NFTs cannot be managed by users under the age of 18 and would need the creation of parental control tools.

“Playable and interactive NFTs will be the first foray into Web3 and blockchain for millions of people, and we want Cryptoys to be the on-ramp that makes it fun and easy for everyone to collect and play,” said Will Weinraub, CEO and co-founder of Cryptoys parent company OnChain Studios.

“As owners of one of the largest portfolios of children and family entertainment franchises in the world, and as the first toy company to launch NFTs, we see incredible opportunity in the Metaverse for our cherished brands and iconic IP,” said Richard Dickson, president and COO of Mattel.

Mastercard allowing card payments for NFTs

Elsewhere, American financial giant Mastercard announced it has started working with metaverse-related companies, such as Immutable X, Candy Digital, The Sandbox, Mintable, Spring, Nifty Gateway, and Web3 infrastructure provider MoonPay, to allow users to buy NFTs with Mastercard cards.

“With 2.9 billion Mastercard cards worldwide, this change could have a big impact on the NFT ecosystem. For NFT creators, these changes grow their potential customer base to millions more people all over the world,” said Raj Dhamodharan, executive vice-president for digital asset and blockchain products and partnerships at Mastercard.

The financial giant aims at expanding the adoption of Web3 and making crypto “more accessible” while “helping the NFT ecosystem keep growing, innovating and bringing in more fans”.

According to a Mastercard survey of more than 35,000 people in 40 countries, 45% of the respondents had bought an NFT or would consider doing so. About half of those polled wanted greater flexibility around being able to pay for everyday items with crypto or being able to use a credit or debit card to buy an NFT.

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