Downtown L.A.-based Feldspar Studios Inc., which does business as Toonstar, has a track record at developing animated content for new platforms in the digital universe.
Founded by entertainment industry veterans John Attanasio and Luisa Huang, the company’s projects since its 2015 launch include a live-streamed animated series for TikTok predecessor Musical.ly and a popular cartoon series that airs on Snap Inc.’s Snapchat app.
Now, Toonstar has become one of the first production studios to develop a series specifically for holders of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
Like cryptocurrency coins, NFTs are bought and sold on digital ledgers called blockchains. Unlike digital coins, they are rare or unique nonfungible items – often digital images or pieces of virtual memorabilia.
Toonstar announced March 14 that it would launch a new NFT series called “The Gimmicks” in partnership with Sixth Wall, a division of Orchard Farm Productions co-founded by actress Mila Kunis.
The show will air weekly on a dedicated website, with NFT owners getting first access to episodes and the ability to vote on future storylines. The NFTs will initially be offered for free on the Solana blockchain.
Attanasio, who formerly served as vice president of global marketing at Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., said the format of the series gives the company new opportunities to engage and interact with viewers.
“A lot of why this made so much sense is that when we think of projects, we think about utility and access,” said Attanasio. “For us, utility is really co-creation and community-driven storytelling and narrative.”
Attanasio said that the NFTs obtained by viewers will depict characters from the show’s fictional universe, inhabited by washed-up wrestlers voiced by real-life World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. stars. Fans of the show can then create fictional back stories for the characters for future episodes.
Attanasio said NFT holders will also have access to dedicated chat groups nd may even be recruited as writers and producers. He said the series will be “fundamentally different” from entertainment experiences offered through traditional online platforms.
“If I buy my Gimmicks NFT, I now have ownership in a community,” said Attanasio.