Toys "R" Us' parent company WHP Global has partnered with NFT platform Ethernity to launch the toy brand's first non-fungible token (NFT) collection. The limited-edition NFT collectibles feature the brand's iconic giraffe mascot Geoffrey, and is available for sale in digital marketplace OpenSea.
Titled "Geoffrey Through the Years", the NFT collection was created by digital artist Bryan Lopez, better known as Exacto. The collection includes six separate editions in pop-art style, Warhol-inspired modern portraits of Geoffrey, each one a reflection of the mascot's look from 1960 to present day.
Additionally, the NFT collection also includes an exclusive 3D NFT titled "The Geoffrey Stroll", which is currently being auctioned - auctions will close on 17 November 2021. The 3D NFT features Geoffrey as he "steps into a bright new future" to the tune of a modern instrumental version of the Toys "R" Us jingle "I Don't Want to Grow Up, I'm a Toys "R" Us Kid". The buyer of this NFT will also have the chance to attend a US Toys "R" Us store grand opening in 2022 with a guest, including transportation to that city and a two-night hotel stay.
Yehuda Shmidman, chairman and CEO of WHP Global and Toys "R" Us, said that as it continues to invest in the growth of the brand, entering the blockchain signifies a momentous step into the future and allows it to broaden its engagement with its loyal and expanding community of Toys "R" Us fans.
WHP Global said in a statement the launch comes on the back of several other new initiatives, including the return of Toys "R" Us in the US and the UK through strategic partnerships with Macy's and Toys "R" Us ANZ respectively.
The toy brand had previously filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for a certain of its U.S. and Canadian subsidiary in 2018, after it attempted to deal with with its debt maturities by “evaluating a range of alternatives”, according to media reports. This came after news of its potential bankruptcy emerged in September 2017.
Separately, Toys "R" Us joins several other brands in tapping on the NFT hype. For instance, Vogue Singapore pushed the boundaries by stepping into the NFT space. In August, it launched the first NFT mystery box uniting all 28 editions of Vogue to feature a sunrise as a leitmotif indicating a hopeful outlook towards a new dawn. Its September issue also featured a unique print cover in the form of a QR code that acts as a portal to two digital-only covers created in partnership with local and international digital designers.
As for F&B brands, McDonald’s launched a new set of NFTs earlier this month to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the McRib - a burger with a boneless pork patty inside – and its return to the US market. This comes after its first NFT collection that was released about a month before, in celebration of its 31st anniversary China and the opening of its new headquarters in Shanghai. Other F&B brands also released NFTs, such as Coca-Cola, Campbell and Budweiser, among several others. Meanwhile, Luxury brand Karl Lagerfeld released two NFTs on its birthday in September, in collaboration with fashion digital platform THE DEMATERIALISED. Additionally, August saw DKNY auction its redesigned logo as an NFT for charity, and Louis Vuitton roll out an NFT video game to celebrate the founder's 200th birthday.
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