Through its freshly minted kids and family division, New York-based TIME Studios—the legendary publishing company’s TV and film production arm—is turning to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for inspiration for a new animated kids series.
The prodco has teamed up with artist Pablo Stanley to bring his Robotos NFT collection (pictured) to screen. The series is currently in development, but no additional details were available at press time. Stanley’s NFT range spans more than 10,000 randomly generated droid characters, which have been made into digital tokens with different levels of rarity.
This is a fitting first project for TIME Studios’ kids and family unit, which is focused on finding untapped sources for unique IPs, says division head Maria Perez-Brown. She adds that NFTs—with their collectible nature, digital availability and popular art style—have built-in appeal for digitally savvy kids and families.
“Kids today are digital natives, growing up consuming digital content,” Perez-Brown says. “[We] want to amplify the vibrant world they live in, inviting them to engage their creativity and take action. We feel that partnering with NFT creators helps us meet kids where they are.”
For creators, deals like this could signal a growing awareness that digital collectibles have life beyond their token roots, adds Stanley.
“NFTs are bringing art, community and technology together to create something unique and innovative. I believe that we’re breaking new ground and defining the future of storytelling and world-building, fueled by an engaged community,” he says.
NFTs have recently caught the eye of kidcos, including Funko, Mattel and WildBrain. And there’s growing interest from consumers as well—roughly one in 10 Americans bought an NFT in early 2021, according to research firm Statista. TIME has made multiple investments in the tech over the past few months, launching a TIMEPieces e-commerce initiative in partnership with more than 40 NFT creators in September, and naming 12-year-old artist Nyla Hayes as its first-ever NFT artist-in-residence in October. Looking ahead, the studio’s goal is to partner with additional creators to build other animated franchises, says Perez-Brown.