By Gary Symons
TLL Editor in Chief
The company that launched the Spawn franchise is now spawning a collection of new ‘phygital’ products.
McFarlane Toys, the toy company founded by comic book creator Todd McFarlane, will be releasing its first-ever digital collection featuring classic McFarlane Toys’ characters including Spawn, The Redeemer, and The Clown, with the first release being the SPAWN LAUNCH SERIES.
The company says the aim of this new collection is to allow fans to purchase and engage with action figures in a whole new way.
The digital collectibles will be available on McFarlaneToysStore.com Dec. 1. All drops will be available first on McFarlaneToysStore.com, as physical and digital products, or on McFarlaneToys.Digital as digital-only releases.
The custom digital storefront was built by the Rarible Protocol and will be released on Polygon. The digital collectibles can be held in any Polygon-supported digital wallet.
Rarible and Polygon are, of course, involved in creating collectibles known as NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, but in the world of licensing and gaming, brands have shied away from the term NFTs, due to the spectacular meltdown of NFT investment assets.
The vast majority of brands are not trying to create an investment class of NFTs, but rather are using the same blockchain technology to manage digital collectibles meant for fans of their brand. As well, there has been a strong trend toward the release of simultaneous physical and digital collectibles.
“We have seen the emergence of digital collectibles as a new way to engage with fans and the toys they love,” said COO Stephan Tetrault. “This unique space allows us to build a better platform and digital experience that can only enhance the traditional art of collecting and create a collector space that can house an infinite number of toys,”
In the case of McFarlane Toys, the digital assets will be released across the McFarlane Toys portfolio concurrently with their physical counterparts, bundled with physical, or as digital-only releases. Important pieces from McFarlane Toys’ 30-year history will be released as digital-only.
“This new and exciting detailed content has been created by the same artists and development teams that work with AAA game studios like Sony, Riot Games, Infinity Ward, Treyarch, EA, 2K, and many more,” the company says.
McFarlane is also launching a new Buy to Earn Program, essentially a loyalty program that benefits the company’s most avid fans.
Consumers that place an order for $100 or more at the McFarlane Toys Store during November, and use the promo code *DIGITAL* at checkout will receive 5% off their order and also one SPAWN LAUNCH SERIES digital collectible.
Additionally, the top 500 McFarlane Toys Store spenders during November will also receive three SPAWN LAUNCH SERIES digital collectibles. This is the first ever McFarlane Toys Digital collection, featuring appearances from Spawn, The Redeemer, and The Clown. Fans who collect the whole set will win secret rewards.
When the program launches launch on Dec. 1, McFarlane Toys will release a viewer app on PC featuring gallery spaces that consumers can build and decorate. This also includes sharing features and gamification of the program, as everything consumers do in the app with their collection will earn them experience points to unlock exclusive rewards and drops.