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NFT Joins Retail-Los Angeles Business Journal

Non-fungible tokens are expanding into the field of merchandising, and both retailers and Web3 creators are excited about collaboration between markets.
Most recently, downtown-based Toonstar, Web3 animation studios, and retailer Hot Topic Inc. have announced a partnership to sell NFT and other Web3 products in-store and online.

Web3 is a futuristic vision of the Internet, including blockchain and token-based means such as NFTs.
NFTs work like any other cryptocurrency, except that each token has its own serial number. That is, the token is associated with its own image, music, or membership. Buying an NFT is similar to buying digital art. If an individual owns this “image”, they can sell it or take advantage of other perks such as exclusive content.

Under the terms of the partnership, Toonstar will create NFTs and other digital content for hot topics. The deal officially launched on July 21st at Comic-Con in San Diego, during which time one hot topic fan was selected to make a cameo appearance in Toonstar’s web series “The Gymmics.”

Toonstar co-founders John Attanasio and Luisa Huang said their experience in animation studios such as Warner Bros. and DreamWorks understands the importance of retail in building franchise properties and expanding community building platforms. ..

Attanasio said Hot Topic was “thinking positively” about the world of Web3, creating a financial condition that both parties refused to discuss.
“They want to push the boundaries and innovate. They are interested in pushing the boundaries of Web3 and NFTs,” he said. “This is because we both have a vision of what Web3 can do, both from a retail, digital, and physical commerce perspective, and from a storytelling, character, and world-building perspective. I was connected. “

NFT assembled by Subnation on display at Fred Segal in Sunset Boulevard.

Steve Vranes, CEO of Hot Topic, said the company has a very enthusiastic community of pop culture fans, and the partnership will allow them to participate in entertainment facilities in new ways.

“Hot topics have been a destination for pop culture products for decades,” said Vranes. “We believe this partnership with Toonstar will continue its legacy and together we will build some really great programs.”
The two companies work together to create a product, but the product is more than a regular stolen item.

“I think the first development … will be cool shirts and hats that interact with NFTs. Expect more innovation in that regard,” says Huang. “It’s more than a cool printed shirt. Everything needs native Web3 capabilities.”
Vranes said fans can look forward to “innovative” ways to combine both digital and physical collections.

“We see this as an opportunity to bring digital components to products that our customers are already enjoying collecting,” continues Vranes. “Whether it’s a T-shirt, backpack, or traditional collectible toy, this program helps us accelerate that connection.
According to Attanasio, retail is an important factor in building the Toonstar franchise.
“Entertainment will be Web3 and NFT mainstream,” said Attanasio. “And part of it is retail.”

Just the beginning

In December 2021, Santa Monica-based retailer Fred Segal opened an NFT Gallery installation in Sunset Boulevard in partnership with Metaverse Marketing Agency Subnation. The interactive gallery displays digital NFTs that allow customers to purchase both physical and digital products.

NFTs and digital assets change monthly and focus on cultural themes. This month’s theme: Photo.
Doug Scott, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Subnation, said:

“Some of the items we have are limited edition Polaroid cameras made by artists such as Keith Haring and Supreme cameras, and some antique cameras.”
Bringing NFTs into retail space is important because it can educate potential buyers on how they can interact and live with their products, Scott said.

“This is an opportunity to educate consumers about what an NFT is, introduce them in a physical environment, and help them in this all-new Web3 environment,” Scott said. ..

As NFTs become available in retail spaces and the consumer base expands, Scott said the NFT market is set to evolve into a world where physical products have “digital twins.” ..
“When you buy a bag, it comes with an NFT that authenticates the bag. [and] We verified and authenticated that we were the owner of the bag at the time of purchase, and now we have a digital twin that the Metaverse avatar can actually carry around, “Scott explained. “The market is expected to advance as there are digital twins in physical commodities, represented as NFTs, and the market will expand around these types of assets.”

Scott said he can see more retailers in the fashion and electronics world incorporating NFTs into their business models.
Cryptocurrencies and NFTs are struggling in the market, but Scott said events like Fred Seagull have the opportunity for new buyers priced from buying good NFTs priced between $ 10,000 and over $ 75,000. I believe it will bring.

“I don’t think it’s a secret [the NFT market] I’m experiencing a bit of growth pain … I don’t know what the other end will be and what it will be, but I know there’s something great building in the Web3 space right now. “Attanasio said. “This is the construction season.”

NFT and community

Created in partnership with Mila Kunis’ Six Wall, Toonstar’s “The Gimmick” is about three wrestlers recruiting newcomers to regain their slumping career and regain their relevance in the wrestling world. This is a web series.
The 20-week episode of the first season was written by about 5,000 owners of Dave Ehrenfeld, David Wright, and a series-related NFT.

Gimmicks are a collection of randomly generated NFTs on the Solana blockchain.Each represents a unique character that “lives in space” [the] Animated series. NFT holders participate in the show’s creative process by voting on what should happen next.

“Each episode is community driven. That is, there is a cliffhanger at the end of each episode, and NFT holders can vote on what will happen. It’s very” choose your own adventure, “” said Attanasio. Said. “Voting will determine what will happen in next week’s episode.”

That’s not the only collaboration of owners. Collectors also have commercial rights and can write their own backstory of gimmick characters. It will be published on the gimmick Wiki page. You can also participate in ongoing audio and art contests.
In addition, NFT owners can interact with each other through a social layer called the Decentralized Inclusive Community (DIC) Punch.

“We built one of the first on-chain social layers in Web3.“ DIC punch ”is similar to Facebook’s“ pork ”,” explained Attanasio. “There is also a direct messaging component so you can not only hit someone with DIC, but you can actually send a message. It will make the NFT dynamic and this expression of social credibility, or participation in the community. . “

Attanasio and Huang say they are proud of the company’s engagement figures, which are close to one million DIC punches so far.
“In the world of regular engagement and retention in projects, these are numbers we haven’t seen like any other project yet,” says Attanasio.

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