Funko, a maker of ridiculously popular pop culture toys, is entering the NFT market, with plans to launch its first non-fungible tokens in June. Although NFTs have been controversial, mainly because of their focus on digital property rather than physical collection, Funko argues that his strategy will combine more affordable tokens with the vinyl toys for which he is known.
If you’ve managed to ignore non-fungible tokens so far, bad news: it looks like they won’t be leaving anytime soon. Basically built on the same type of exclusive digital asset technology that underpins bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, NTFs effectively represent digital files associated with art and other items, which only one person can own at a time.
Although they are becoming more and more popular among cutting-edge digital artists, they also generate divisions. For starters, there is no lack of confusion among buyers (and artists) about what “ownership” of an NFT means. There are also concerns about the ecological impact of NFTs, since – as with cryptocurrencies – growing the tokens themselves requires significant amounts of electricity.
At the same time, it is proving to be a catnip for organizations that want to leverage their brand for more affordable options. We’ve seen tennis brands like Nike, apparently, considering how they could use NFTs for virtual shoes, and now Funko wants to do the same with their vinyl figurines.
It bought a majority stake in TokenWave, which is responsible for the TokenHead application and website. This basically works as a gallery for NFTs. Funko did not disclose how much it spent on the deal.
Starting in June, says Funko, it will start offering its first NFTs. They will start with an exclusive property each week, starting at $ 9.99, and will be sold on the WAX platform.
“Our strategy in this space is clear,” said Brian Mariotti, CEO of Funko, “bringing the value-added NFT opportunity to our licensing partners to leverage our wide range of existing pop culture content in television, films, sports, Music, anime, video game and comics. “
What Funko counts to differentiate itself from others in space is the combination of physical and digital. “Our ability to combine Funko Pop! Digital NFTs with Funko Pop! Vinyl figures have the potential to change the game, ”insists Mariotti. “By supporting the rarest of Funko NFTs with Funko Pop! With exclusive redemptions, we are ready to enter the NFT market in a unique way. ”
Whether Funko collectors feel the same, it remains to be seen. The response to news of the deal on social media ranges from accusations that it is a April Fool’s Day hoax to discouragement that the toy maker is embracing the NFT concept. Still, with the statuettes – notable for their oversized heads and connections with pop culture – in high demand, the prospect of a more accessible route to the property, even if it is not a traditional way of doing so, may turn in June, when the first Funko NFTs are released.