NFT built on blocks

Stickmen Toys NFT collection shows major brands are exploring token utility

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Major companies and brands are beginning to experiment with NFTs as more than just collectibles. Warner Records U.K. and Bose have created “Stickmen Toys”—a free, limited-run token drop that Warner says is the first time a major label has offered NFTs with utility that includes “full creative and commercial freedom” and copyright ownership to the tokenized tracks.

Stickmen Toys is built on the Ethereum blockchain, and owners will be able to trade their NFTs on secondary markets such as OpenSea. Also in the collaboration are tech-culture specialists Kapsule, which is handling the creative side of the campaign, and Web3 specialists Probably Nothing. The NFTs will be available from 7 p.m. U.K. time on July 27.

Though the Bitcoin (BSV) blockchain would offer far more in terms of cost, speed, and usability, Ethereum, for now, remains the most popular platform to promote NFT collections.

The initial run will be 5,000 unique Stickmen Toys tokens. Owners who receive rare Bose-themed NFTs can redeem the tokens for limited edition Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones (with a Stickmen Toys theme) or SoundLink Flex Bluetooth speakers. All 5,000 NFT owners will have access to exclusive live events, merchandise, and other cultural offerings through access to “The Playground.” 

Each token comes with “bespoke generative technology” by Kapsule, which includes visual art and an “audio stem”—a 30-second track generated using musical samples such as bass lines, vocals, melodies, sound effects, and drums created by The Stickmen Project. An algorithm maps the visual art to the audio creates a unique track and character for each token. As mentioned, owners will have copyright for the generated track, including the ability to use them commercially. 

Warner Records U.K. Vice President of Audience and Strategy, Seb Simone, called the Stickmen Toys series Warner’s “genesis collection” and added that future NFT drops would be coming soon.

“NFTs present a powerful extension of the artist-to-fan relationship, giving people the opportunity to invest in an artist’s future success and providing them value along the way. We’re proud to be the first major label providing collectors with authentic and meaningful ownership of the underlying audio-visual copyright, free to collectors. We’re even more thrilled to be collaborating with Bose on adding further value to the project,” he said.

The Stickmen Toys website asks the public to collaborate and offer opinions on how NFT drops should work, with a “Governance” header asking them to “help write the rules and have a say on what’s to come.” 

Even though this project is built on Ethereum, it’s encouraging to see major brands and labels exploring the utility side of NFTs. Too much time has been devoted to creating token collections that offer little other than their artistic merit and the hope of a higher sell price at some point in the future. Let’s be honest here: most purchasers are thinking more about the latter.

NFTs are capable of so much more, and that’s even more true if they’re built on the Bitcoin blockchain. Having a unique digital key that’s collectible and comes with the ability to open exclusive doors is a valuable marketing tool and also demonstrates NFTs’ usefulness in other areas of business. We hope that major brands will take a look at BSV and the extra power its blockchain offers—the ability to store near-unlimited data and large file sizes, and reliability that all transactions will be fast and cheap, unburdened by the congestion and high costs other chains (such as Ethereum) have suffered in the past.

Projects like Blarecast, Jamify, and Soundoshi are working on ways to handle content and rights management using NFTs and the BSV blockchain, with payments already built into the network. ForeverRealm is also working to build a better NFT marketing experience for its creators. One struggle all companies in creative industries like music and visual art will face is discoverability and branding, which is why all will be looking for collaborations in the future with higher-profile acts.

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