(Image sourced from Hot Wheels’ official NFT site)
NFTs are here to stay, like it or not. Despite the sensible majority, the idea of selling jpegs and GIFs out of a template for an unpredictable value is tempting, so much so, that disregarding any logic for easy monetary gain is the only motive of buying and/or creating one. The same can be said for toy company Mattel, whose IPs include Hot Wheels, Barbie, Tonka, and most household names for toys.
Naturally, Hot Wheels seems to be the most successful between all of their ventures. Considering their recent shift of focus to adults, this was, in a business perspective, a way to keep up with the trends and generate more revenue. Nevermind the environmental impact and the fact that they are promoting it on the same pages kids would follow, the support for this has now granted a third series.
You may be wondering how some GIFs of toy cars could sell so well. To sum it up, buying them is essentially gambling. It would be easier to understand if you are familiar with the concept of gacha in games, where you spend your currencies on a pure test of luck in hopes of getting valuable items. Mattel has applied this principle to their Hot Wheels NFTs, where premium ones can be redeemed for the actual toy. Still not seeing the worth of these? Me neither. You would have to buy digital packs in hopes to get one that is redeemable, for basic ones are virtually worthless. The premium toys are fetching upwards of USD$100, so there’s a market for it. As you would expect, most of the appealing designs are locked behind that paywall as well.
Not only is integrating NFTs into a franchise directed for kids unethical, most have shown disapproval towards it for obvious reasons. There isn’t much purpose in it either, unless you have friends who would willingly hear you talk about NFTs. For a child or everyone else, it has as much value as a sticker of their favorite car; there is no point in having something you can’t play with without considering how much of a waste it is to let it loose from the package. At the end of the day, gambling is an issue with different takes, but integrating a universally hated subject with something made for kids and adults with a passion is deplorable.