Toonstar announced Wednesday that it will partner with retail Hot Topic chain to provide NFTs and Web3 experiences for its original projects and Hot Topic products, according to a press release.
Toonstar sees the intersection of NFTs and retail as an opportunity to take the Web3 space mainstream, according to CEO and co-founder John Attanasio. With Hot Topics’s 800 stores across the US and 11 million existing members of The Hot Topic HT Fanatics community, the company can onboard new users to the space.
Attanasio told CoinDesk that at the intersection of the entertainment and retail spaces is “transmedia”: a term he defined as fostering connections on screen and through merchandise. He cited Disney (DIS) as “the gold standard,” with Mickey Mouse as its flagship character (and subsequent product).
Attanasio said NFTs might be the new backbone for transmedia. Alongside Hot Topic’s existing community, this can further bring Web3 adoption mainstream.
Toonster will support Hot Topic in initiating in-store NFT sales, facilitating physical NFT merch redemption, and help to bring customers’ favorite brands carried in-store to Web3.
Additionally, Toonstar, which co-produces Web3 show “The Gimmicks” with Mila Kunis’s company Sixth Wall, will offer exclusive NFTs and show merchandise through the store. With the official launch of the partnership on July 21 at San Diego Comic-Con, Hot Topic community members will get the chance to have a cameo feature in an episode of the show.
Attanasio said the partnership’s thesis is “around the idea that entertainment is the thing that will take Web3 mainstream,” and “The Gimmicks” was “built with that in mind.”
Although Toonstar’s partnership is exclusive to Hot Topic, Attanasio says that future partnerships are “on the horizon,” potentially with a streaming service to perpetuate the intersection of entertainment and Web3.