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Disney Returns To NFTs 🏰
NHL goes public, Top Shot Rookie drops, Cal Ripken comes to Candy, and UFC launches Series 2. What a week!
By now you’ve heard the news.
Disney is launching an NFT mobile app, titled “Pinnacle”, in partnership with Dapper Labs. The app will feature digital pins of famous Disney characters including Star Wars and Pixar.
Very little is known at this point outside of the fact that interested collectors can register for waitlist via the website, or join the Facebook group (yes actually),
However, local sleuth and proud DAY ONE member Diamond was able to pull some info from the site/API, which gives us a hint as to what the collections and tiers may look like.
Now of course, some of you sharps out there may note that this is not Disney’s first foray into NFTs. Heck, its not even their first drop on Flow!
For years now, Disney NFTs have been available (and dropped in increasing supply) on an app called Veve. I even bought an R2-D2 on there once, and flipped it for $200!
And just this past Summer, Star Wars and Mickey Mouse NFTs were dropped on Cryptoys, which is also built on Flow and features my favorite villain of all time in Skeletor (not a disney character).
However, Disney Pinnacle has a more official feeling to it, as Dapper OG and head of product Arthur Camara even expressed that this would be the next Top Shot.
The launch even got a nod from Serena Williams’ husband, who also happens to be a strategic advisor on Doodles, which moved to Flow last year.
My Personal Take
Although exciting, many people were obviously quick to point out Dapper’s history with NFT markets. So for me, this could go one of two ways, and I actually think it will go both of these ways.
On one hand, Arthur is right: this could easily be another Top Shot or Cryptokitties.
I can see a world where 200k people line up in the digital queue for Disney pins in the hope of landing a Gold tier Jar Jar Binks and flipping it for $500. Despite Disney absolutely milking its IP down to the bone in recent years (please stop making Marvel movies), it still boasts the most recognizable brands on the planet.
On the other, Disney has seen hard financial times lately, so getting them and recently-returned CEO Bob Iger to the table for a launch like this would take some large revenue targets (this is a personal assumption, not a fact). And thus, even if the first few months or years of drops sell out like hot cakes and show a 20x for collectors, supply may inevitably be diluted in the name of contractual obligations.
That being said, revenue is not a bad thing.
These are businesses after all, and culture, vibe, and scarcity must be balanced with bottom line. That’s normal!
In a best case scenario, Disney Pinnacle offers a chance for flippers to flip, but also a solid experience for collectors who may be new to NFTs.
I think both can be true, despite many other NFT platforms failing to properly strike that balance when it comes to dropping new supply on a regular basis.
And with the absence of “OGs”, like the Cryptokittie people who were offered first access on Top Shot, this game is already starting from a level playing field.
The road to something ambitious like say 1M+ monthly users is not an impossible one, and like Arthur said, they’ve been here before, for better or worse.
In a worst case scenario, well…I’m not sure to be honest. I can’t see a world where NO ONE uses this and the app becomes a ghost town. But I could see technical difficulties like packs with randomization issues totally killing the sentiment. However that has not proven to be a death sentence for other platforms.
Perhaps the worst case scenario is one where Disney follows a path similar to the NBA, where they over-license their IP and elect many more vendors to drop NFTs on other platforms. Think about the NBA with Sorare or The Association - these weren’t Top Shot killers, but they did show that the NBA was aiming to maximize its revenue with NFTs, rather than create a cohesive cross-platform experience.
But maybe we’re already there, with Veve and Cryptoys acting as guinea pigs as Disney has saved their best effort for last. And I can guarantee that this one will last longer than The Association.
Note: There is no timeline for release of Disney Pinnacle, but I would assume that it’s very soon. So keep an eye out.
In today’s newsletter:
NHL Breakaway Goes Public with 10k Fandom Packs.
Top Shot Releases even more rookies.
Candy drops Cal Ripken Jr. collection.
UFC drops Series 2.
Monster Sales on Top Shot and Reignmakers.
🏒 NHL Breakaway Goes Public
Man, you know NFTs are back when you get this text from a buddy about NHL Breakaway, which finally went public (out of beta) this week:
Paired with a huge press release that was even featured in The Hockey News, the platform got full play from the NHL itself and celebrated by releasing “Fandom” highlights minted to 10,000 each.
How the Fandom Highlights work:
Each team gets one player NFT.
They are minted to /10,0000 each.
They are geared to being “accessible” to the every day fan.
They will also feature a set completion challenge, coming soon in Series 1.
A Massive Growth Lever
The really interesting part of this campaign is not the 10k mints (gross), but the part where these are designed to “share”.
On Wednesday, every beta collector was given 11 Ice Nation Packs and told to share 10 of them with friends and keep one for themselves!
The idea here is that current users can select people in their lives that would like the product, and give them a potentially nice highlight (like a Nylander or Tkachuk) to get their collection started for free.
My Personal Take
I love the growth metric, but I’m meh on the press release. I don’t know if traditional PR is the way to go for NFT products right now, as they’ll just draw that misunderstood (yet deserved) ire from potential users.
The NHL Breakaway team has been off to an impressive start, charting some of the best community sentiment we’ve seen in the sports NFT space in years. The idea of free + shareable packs is a really good one, and I think the idea could have perpetuated on its own without the flashy and corporate-sounding press release.
Because after all, my buddy also followed up with these texts:
As for the actual collectors, the hottest drop of the season is coming up on Cyber Monday (Nov. 27), which will include highly-touted phenom Conor Bedard.
📦 Top Shot Drops More 2023 Rookies
For the second straight week, Top Shot released new rookie Moments on the platform, this time loaded with more Wemby and top 5 guys, alongside all the rookies you’ve never heard of.
And - they’ve got ONE MORE drop planned for next week, also with the rookies! This upcoming one is dubbed “Last Call”, as it should mark the end of the start of the season on TS.
Something to keep an eye on: “A New Way To Play”. The team has promised some type of in-season game or mechanism to keep fans engaged, in lieu of prediction challenges.
That’s from a blog post way back on October 26, and they’ve been tight-lipped on what that may be. But I did like this take from TFM DAY ONE member Captain Plantain in our discord:
With only 4,300 Buyers Unique Marketplace buyers so far this month, the deployment of this game will be crucial to the platform this season.
⚾ Cal Ripken Comes To Candy Digital
Candy announced that Cal Ripken Jr. will be launching an anthology-type collection on the platform, with limited availability and featuring the best moments from his hall of fame career.
828 packs total
$40/pack, with 1x highlight + 1x memorabilia
No early access for the drop
November 28 @ 1pm ET
Although Candy has not made tons of headlines this year, I do believe this is a drop to keep an eye on as these NFTs will definitely become “grails” on the platform.
NOTE: this is actually the second Cal Ripken Jr. drop on Candy, with the last one coming in August 2022.
🥊 UFC Launches Series 2 with “Fresh Faces”
Yesterday, UFC Strike finally launched Series 2 with the Fresh Faces release, which also included a revamped tier system and reduced common count (now only 3k each, down from 5k in Series 1, and 24k in Series 0).
I do like Strike and their pack design, and I’ve made it known that the product is what got me into UFC.
However dropping packs on a Friday afternoon, a full 6 days after a major UFC event, is just bizarre to me. That’s literally dead air time on the internet and in the news cycle.
A Tuesday morning or something similar would be much better, both for pack sales and for general chatter amongst collectors!
Series 2 features tons of new and familiar faces in the UFC, including Sean O’Malley, Sean Strickland, and Kamaru Usman.
🔥 Monster Sales Across The Board
Any week with five-figure sales is a good one in the sports NFT world, and we saw a handful across Reignmakers and Top Shot.
Unfortunately that Draft Kings purchase was made hours before Bengals QB Joe Burrow went down with an injury 🥶.
**This is not financial advice. Nothing in this newsletter, podcast, or publication should be considered financial or trading advice of any kind. Please do your own thorough research and make your own trading decisions. This is not advice.”
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