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TOO x TOO

Issue #091

By Megan Hotson, on 17th December 2021

Welcome to your weekly dose of TooXToo, this week featuring LEGO’s build together apart tool, ‘MetaBirkins’, Aldi’s champagne bar, and Ebay’s “hard to find” gift shops.

LEGO’s build together, apart tool

LEGO is rethinking the way in which their lovable bricks can be used or played with, this is reflected by the soft launch of their new tool. The tool will allow the process of building LEGO to be more cooperative. The project is called the ‘Build Together’ experience and was inspired by LEGO fan, Dominik Brachmanski.

The tool facilitates up to five different LEGO users- who have downloaded the LEGO building instructions app, to begin building with others simultaneously. First the user must scan a QR code on a box of LEGO, which will then give them access to personalised steps they must complete to finish their part of the collaborative project. Upon completion of their element of the build, the app will instruct the user to pass it onto the next player, who will then also be given a task to complete.

LEGO is clearly responding to the desire from consumers for meaningful connections in everyday life. They are giving LEGO users a chance to communicate and connect, through play.

Strengthening social ties through LEGO bricks- who knew?

‘MetaBirkins’

Meta this, Meta that. It seems the only way forward for brands, is to embrace the metaverse with open arms. Hermès, however, is not too pleased with the re-creation of their bags in the metaverse.

Responding to the creation of the NFT Birkin, Hermès commented: “These NFTs infringe upon the intellectual property and trademark rights of Hermès and are an example of fake Hermès products in the metaverse.”

There are only 100 of these stylish new NFT bags on the market, each bag has been uniquely rendered in different shades and patterns of colourful faux fur. Digital artist and co-founder of Terminal 27 (a new LA fashion concept store), Mason Rothschild is responsible for their creation. The bags were released for sale on platforms like Discord and Twitter on December 2nd for the price of 0.1 ETH (the cryptocurrency native to the Ethereum blockchain), which equates to approximately $450.

Rothschild has, since Hermès negative response to the metabirkins launch, said that “This is my artistic take on an icon, my remix,” and has further explained that the NFT bag never claimed any official or formal connection to Hermès.

Whether liked or disliked- one thing is sure and that is the profit-making potential of these luxury NFT’s. However, as digital creators embark on their ‘meta-journeys’, they will have to be careful to consider the intellectual property issues that they will inevitably face.

Aldi’s Champagne Bar

“The people’s supermarket” meets luxury. Aldi opened a pop-up champagne bar in the West End of London last week, selling a glass of bubbly for only £2.33. It might seem like a bit of a juxtaposition, but hey- cheap champers, we are not complaining.

As well as champagne, you could also get your hands on a champagne-based cocktail for £1.09 last week. The bar is called “Veuve”, and for the short time it was open (8th-12th December), was known as the UK’s cheapest champagne bar.

Before the affiliation with Aldi was announced, customers who attended Veuve’s opening were asked to guess the price of the samples of champagne, and largely it was agreed amongst visitors it could be valued at £13.50. When asked to explain why, customers explained the premium taste and location meant the bubbly had to have a higher price point. Well, well, well- how wrong were they.

Aldi successfully hoaxed walk-in customers with the marvellous décor and detailing of their champagne bar. Not only did the bar’s interior feature warming festive decorations fit for a true celebration of the season, but brushed gold, and marble walls and furniture. 

Unfortunately, Veuve had a rather short London debut, but perhaps if we ask Santa nicely, January might welcome its return…

Ebay’s “hard to find” gift shop

Online marketplace retailer, bay is offering customers the opportunity to buy highly sought-after products with the creation of their new concept: “hard to find” gift shops. Their new storefronts will open in select locations across America.

Detroit is now home to ebay’s “hard to find” sneaker gift shop, selling the most coveted authentic sneakers to sneaker fans in America. Their in-store collection will include sold-out styles from top brands. From Yeezy, to Jordans and OFF-WHITE, this store will stock them all.

This new venture, and concept was commented on by Jordan Sweetnam, SVP and General Manager of ebay North America: "We created the Hard to Find Shops to bring our unmatched selection to life - from the rare and coveted to the sold-out-everywhere-else. The experience mirrors the impossibility shoppers are facing this year - and reminds them that eBay has something for everyone on their list."  

It is hard to find the perfect gift for someone, and the task is only made harder when everything ‘on trend’ sells out in seconds. Ebay are standing out from other online retailers by giving customers what they want: a ‘second-chance’ at getting their hands on the perfect gift, this Christmas.

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