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Holidays in the Metaverse: Macy’s Parade Goes Virtual, Mattel Debuts Marketplace for Toy NFTs

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is marching into the metaverse.

Two of the biggest names of the holiday season — Macy’s, producer of the iconic Thanksgiving Day Parade, and toy maker Mattel — are doubling down on the world of Web3 this season with the debut of new virtual activations.

The 96th edition of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade can be experienced in the metaverse this year, and fans will have the chance to vote on which of five NFT projects will be turned into a real-world balloon for the 97th edition of the parade in 2023. At the same time, Mattel is expanding its previous NFT projects for brands like Hot Wheels and Barbie with the launch of a new NFT marketplace.

The Macy’s Parade Marches into the Metaverse

In 2021, the Macy’s Parade made its first foray into Web3 with the release of 10 limited edition parade-inspired NFTs that were auctioned off to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This year the retailer is going a step further and bringing the whole parade into the metaverse with a digital experience powered by the OnCyber metaverse.

On Nov. 24, 2022 at 9 a.m. EST (the same time the real parade kicks off), the virtual parade will begin on macys.com/NFT. The event will be accessible on desktop or mobile without the need for a crypto wallet, login or VR headset, and will feature iconic parade balloons from the nine-decade run of the holiday march — the same virtual balloons that were featured in last year’s NFT collection.

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Within the virtual parade experience, visitors also will be able to explore five galleries featuring NFT collections from Boss Beauties, Cool Cats, gmoney, SupDucks and VeeFriends. From the start of the virtual parade on Nov. 24 through Dec. 4, 2022, visitors can vote for their favorite project, with the winner set to become an IRL balloon in the 2023 parade. The first 100,000 fans to vote also will receive a free Macy’s digital collectible.

For $50, collectors can also mint a virtual gallery pass to receive an OnCyber NFT gallery space, with 100% of the purchase price going to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. During the voting period, additional votes will be given to NFT collectors who choose to mint as well as to holders of Macy’s 2021 Parade NFTs, with voting power based on the NFT rarity of those collectibles. Holders of NFTs from Boss Beauties, Cool Cats, gmoney, SupDucks and VeeFriends also will receive additional voting power.

“Our genesis collection of parade NFTs last year was so successful that we wanted to give our digital community the opportunity to select a native NFT design to be transformed into a real-world Macy’s Parade balloon, while also creating an opportunity to raise critical funds for our partner Big Brothers Big Sisters of America,” said Will Coss, Executive Producer of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in a statement.

The 2022 Macy’s Parade Metaverse/NFT project was produced by Macy’s in partnership with Media.Monks and Transparent House.

A New Space for Digital Toy Collectors

Mattel Hot Wheels series 4 NFT Garage NFT art

Mattel is no stranger to the world of NFTs — the toy brand has launched a series of digital collectible initiatives for both its Hot Wheels and Barbie brands over the last year, and now it has launched its own NFT marketplace.

Housed on the company’s collector DTC platform Mattel Creations, the marketplace is built on the Flow blockchain. Designed for mainstream users, the marketplace will not require users to own cryptocurrency to make purchases and will also feature a peer-to-peer trading platform set to launch in early 2023. Also in early 2023, customers who own Hot Wheels Garage NFTs on the WAX blockchain will be able to transfer their tokens to Flow in a 1-for-1 exchange.

“Mattel is pioneering the future of play, constantly deepening our connection with fans of all ages in both the physical and digital worlds,” said Ron Friedman, VP at Mattel Future Lab in a statement. “In launching our own marketplace, we’re able to translate iconic Mattel IP into digital art, engaging directly with our customers and providing a best-in-class user experience. This is the latest evolution of our digital endeavors, and we look forward to sharing more drops soon inspired by some of the world’s favorite Mattel brands.”

Mattel Hot Wheels series 4 NFT Garage die-cast cars
Collectors that receive certain rare digital collectibles will also get a physical die-cast replica.

The first offering on the Mattel Creations Digital Collectibles Marketplace will drop on Dec. 15, 2022 — Series 4 of the Hot Wheels NFT Garage. Developed by the same team behind Hot Wheels die-cast cars, Series 4 of the Hot Wheels NFT Garage lets fans collect valuable and rare digital artwork of iconic Mattel IP and features some of Hot Wheels’ most popular car designs in an all-new digital format.

The Series 4 artwork is comprised of 60 cars from McLaren, Chevrolet, Honda, Aston Martin, Oldsmobile, Pagani and Cadillac, as well as Hot Wheels originals. Sold in packs priced at $25 each, customers can purchase up to eight packs per transaction. Each pack includes seven Hot Wheels NFTs: four basics, two epics and one guaranteed rare car. Collectors lucky enough to receive a Premium or Treasure Hunt digital collectible will be able to redeem them for a physical die-cast replica

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