When Jackson Aw was introduced to blockchain technology in 2018, “he did not understand it at all.”
“Can anyone fool me even more? Can you tell me what I can get as a consumer?”
That was four years ago. Today, it seems that Aw has the answer to that question.
The 32-year-old Singaporean, who runs Mighty Jaxx – a multi-million dollar toy company that produces collectibles and lifestyle products ̵[ads1]1; has incorporated blockchain into its products.
A blockchain is a decentralized digital ledger that records every transaction that has taken place. Nor can it be tampered with or altered retroactively.
CNBC Make It finds out why it “makes sense” for the collector’s empire to use blockchain functions and focus on the meta verse.
Founded in 2012, Mighty Jaxx has partnered with some of the biggest global brands and visual artists, producing trendy collectibles that include pop culture and design.
Aw said the company has since sold millions of toy collectibles to people in more than 80 countries.
Limited edition Mighty Jaxx collectibles can cost up to $ 1,200 on the website, but in the secondary marketplace they can fetch “five to ten times” more than the original value, Aw said.
But there is one problem.
“When you want to sell the product, the number one question everywhere is ‘Is it authentic?'”
Aw added: “For collectibles, what [sellers] is that they take pictures of the figure and post it on Facebook groups, and ask people to do an authenticity check. “
However, Aw was not happy with this authentication method.
“Whose word is it? Where is the origin of it? So we thought, ok, that’s what we need.”
Mighty Jaxx designed a near-field communication chip and built one into each toy. NFC technology enables short-range wireless communication between two devices.
“With our app you can [scan the chip]register your ownership of the item [to show] it’s an authentic Mighty Jaxx product, “said Aw.
Powered by blockchain, the platform issues and validates unique, tamper-proof certificates for each product. It also gives a digital footprint when the ownership of an item changes.
“If Jay Chou or JJ Lin owned that character before you, it’s definitely a lot more valuable than I own it,” jokes Aw. Jay Chou and JJ Lin are popular mandarin pop singers.
Providing reliable authentication through blockchain technology is just the “beginning” for Mighty Jaxx.
A “fygital” side
With the non-fungal token market seeing explosive growth in 2021, Aw said that was when there was “a change in culture as we knew it.”
“[Being] artists and creators in general… has always been more of a service-based work. But now it turned around. Now content and intellectual property are the key, for without any of this [visual] representation, that technology does nothing, “Aw explained.
“Nothing speaks louder than visual form.”
NFTs are crypto-based digital assets that also act as collectibles – something Mighty Jaxx is no stranger to.
Therefore, it makes “sense” for Aw to venture out into space by offering fans exclusive digital experiences with physical collectibles.
“When you buy our NFTs, you get access and the opportunity to buy the physical manifestation of it in that design. So only this bunch of people would be able to buy this figure,” Aw said.
“Because only they could do it and they can combine both asset classes together, it generates even higher value for them.”
Aw believes it is Mighty Jaxx’s “fygital” advantage over competitors – being able to offer both digital and physical assets.
“The fact that we make digital assets before we produce the physical toys … means that we can enter the market faster as well,” he added.
“I can not think of, you know, 10 other companies that do it all over the world, simply because the work involved in making a hardware or a [physical] collectible, it’s just a steeper learning curve, of course. ”
In 2021, Mighty Jaxx launched its first collection of NFT trading cards, with cats that look like Chinese cuisine, dim sum.
“We launched 6,000 units, within … two seconds they were just sold out,” Aw said.
Mighty Jaxx made his big breakthrough with DC Comics by obtaining a licensing partnership in 2015, so that it could “restyle” the creative intellectual property.
Since then, it has partnered with well-known brands to reach fandoms around the world, from Adidas, Hasbro and Nickelodeon, to Formula 1, Sesame Street and Netflix.
Aw says “there is a lot more work to be done,” with plans to expand the IP collaboration to the metaverse as well.
Metaverset is a set of virtual worlds where people live, work and play.