When holders of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs turned up at their exclusive “warehouse” party in New York last December, they might have been disappointed. Comedian Aziz Ansari introduced Beck on stage. Chris Rock cracked some jokes before giving way to The Strokes. Drinks were free and the place was packed with wealthy young people up to date on the latest fashion. All decent benefits for owners of digital images typically worth six figures each.
But the stars of the night didn’t turn up. No bored apes propped their elbows on the bar and complained about life on ships.
That’s a small complaint but it says a great deal about one of the challenges of NFTs. The collections depend on items that may or may not have broad appeal. Either you get the irony of rich, dilletante cartoon primates in strange clothes or the greatness of colorful, pixel-block punks, or the whole NFT thing just flies over your head.
For many people, the joke flies over their heads.
But strange cartoon characters aren’t the only kinds of NFTs, and some collections have come with a fan base attached. Both William Shatner and the family of Leonard Nimoy, for example, have turned some of their private photographs into NFT collections, allowing Star Trek fans to own some star memorabilia.
A new collection from Sylvester Stallone is now bridging the gap between celebrity branding and the kinds of collections that center on cartoon characters.
The SLYGuys are a set of 9,997 NFTs featuring Rocky and Rambo film superstar Sylvester Stallone. Collectors can own NFTs of the movie star in a range of different costumes with more than 250 unique traits. The NFTs consist of artworks drawn by Clark Mitchell, an artist whose works have been used by Marvel, Hasbro, and Disney.
Stallone himself will digitally sign and number twenty-five of the rarest items in the collection.
Like other NFT collections, owner will be able to resell their tokens on secondary markets so rare combinations of appealing traits should generate higher prices. The tokens will launch on the Ethereum blockchain and can be bought and sold on OpenSea.
Where SLYGuys becomes really interesting though is the point at which the collection meets the real world. Owners of Bored Apes are able to feel that they’re members of an exclusive club. They spotted the potential of NFTs early. They own expensive artworks. And they get to attend star-studded parties.
Owners of SLYGuys NFTs will be able to attend a Stallone experience, dinner, and after-party with the actor himself. The event will take place in Florida some time in 2022, and will be available only to people who own three of the tokens.
It’s a move that brings a new functionality to the world of NFTs. These aren’t just pretty images stored in a digital wallet. They’re membership cards to an exclusive club focused on a celebrity brand. The experience they promise extends beyond the pride of ownership and extends to meeting and partying with like-minded people.
And when owners of SLYGuys attend the event to which their NFTs grant access, they can actually feel confident that the star will turn up.