Not long ago, Geoffrey the Giraffe looked like he could be an endangered species—but now the 56-year-old Toys “R” Us mascot is poised for a big comeback, via a coming shop-in-shop with Macy’s and now, a new NFT collection.
Debuting Saturday, the non-fungible token series is the result of a collaboration between Toys “R” Us parent WHP Global and NFT platform Ethernity. It marks the retailer’s first foray into the trendy space.
The collection, from digital artist Bryan Lopez—also known as Exacto—will include one auctioned piece, “The Geoffrey Stroll,” with a price starting at $2,500, as well as eight other pop-art type portraits of the memorable giraffe that range in price from $150 for some pieces to $1,000 for more rare art.
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“Geoffrey Through the Years” shows the animal through the decades since his birth in 1965. The Toys “R” Us site offers a glimpse of what to expect, with a timeline that shows the giraffe’s physical evolution, one that included a more real-life appearance in 2001, just a year before he made headlines in 2002 when he starred in a commercial that was named “Top Spot” of the Year by Advertising Age. A few years later, however, the chain’s sales began to deteriorate, culminating in a bankruptcy in 2017. Geoffrey’s current interpretation shows him as a minimalistic cartoon.
The NFT collection is designed for “all ages,” a spokesman for the retailer said, not just nostalgic adults with fond memories of the brand’s 80s jingle about being a Toys “R” Us kid. Yet a recent Forrester Research survey suggests that few consumers understand digital goods.
The October report found that 45% of respondents were not familiar with NFTs, and 28% do not understand them.
Even still, the trend shows no signs of slowing down as more and more brands enter the space. Toys “R” Us joins a growing list of marketers including American Eagle, McDonald’s and Hot Wheels. Even insurer State Farm last week launched a virtual treasure hunt that included an NFT prize.
As it continues to market its revival, Toys “R” Us shops will soon open within 400 select Macy’s locations. The deal is expected to help Macy’s reach younger customers and families as a toy destination, executives said last month.
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