A few years ago, CryptoKitties took the world by storm and had people rushing to get their hands on limited edition crypto kittens.
Now, CryptoKaiju is bringing their own creation to life with limited edition vinyl toys that use blockchain technology for improving the handling of provenance, authenticity, and scarcity for physical collectibles. As each toy is backed by a non-fungible token, each toy is “digitally unique” which each physical figure having a unique serial number, name, and description.
BEG sat down with a member of the team to talk Blockchain, authenticity and all things toys.
What brought about the creation of the Kaiju toys?
I’ve been collecting vinyl toys since I was in my teens and love the space.
I met James and Andy from BlockRocket at the Blockchain Manchester event while they were launching KnownOrigin.io I was really interested in the idea of tokenizing physical art so we worked on the idea, found that it worked and then released batch one in November.
How do you decide which token will be immortalized in form of a toy?
Currently, we base them on cryptocurrencies that we use, so Ethereum and Bitcoin. In time we may cover other tokens. we’ve recently been working on some prototypes for a Dogecoin toy.
The collectibles market is riddled with fakes and scams. Do you think Blockchain is the answer to this problem?
For me, it makes complete sense. For bigger artists and toy companies, forgeries are a serious issue that cost producers money and devalue their art. A lot of the more popular artists have attempted to combat this by using holograms on packaging, but it’s still not enough.
Firstly, with how advanced printing techniques have become, these holographic stickers can be easily replicated. Secondly, there’s no guarantee that even if the packaging contains the real hologram that the collectible inside is genuine.
Using a public blockchain allows buyers to see the provenance of a collectible and check that it is authentic, knowing that the information has not been tampered with.
There are other benefits aside from just provenance. Being able to see how scarce a collectible is, adds even more transparency to the buying process.
ERC-721 takes this even further by giving toys digital attributes, making some rarer than others, giving collectibles additional value.
Could you explain the process of determining the authenticity of each toy?
Each CryptoKaiju contains a tamper-proof NFC sticker containing a unique serial number. The number can’t be changed and can’t be duplicated due to an anti-collision system from the supplier. If someone attempts to remove the sticker to attach it to another toy (For example a fake toy) then the aerial inside snaps and will no longer function.
We map the serial number to the token ID in the smart contract, linking each collectible to a unique NFT token.
Authenticity can be checked by reading the serial number with an NFC enabled device and checking that this matches with what’s recorded in the smart contract.
Have you noticed any trend with regards to where most of your customer base comes from?
Wev’e sold Kaiju all across the world, with no area in particular, standing out. We’ve noticed an increase in popularity from China, Singapore, and Japan since launching and expect this to be an area of growth for us.
Personally, I’d love to sell a lot to Japan, after all, it was watching monster films and collecting toys in my teens that inspired the project in the first place.
Which Kaijus have proven to be your most popular so far?
We’ve only sold Genesis so far which was the giant Bitcoin dressed as a Godzilla type monster. The purple version which was much rarer than the green proved particularly popular.
After everything sold out we saw that people were selling their Kaiju on Ebay, or Bitcointalk for over $200 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5101259.0
What other Kaijus do you intend to release soon?
We’ve sketched up so many ideas so it’s hard to say which will be used for generation 3. Personally, I would love to release our Doge design as a slightly larger figure and have some ideas about naming each after a famous dog.
As well as exploring new designs I would love to re-visit the design of our first toy and work on something similar in completely different colours. We’ve also had conversations with sports teams and other art projects and would love to work on some collaborations.
Tara Townsend’s recent talk at NFT.NYC about licensing in the NFT space was one of the standouts from the event and what she said about licensing and NFTs really rang true to me. One day we would love a shot at working with already established characters.
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