Marvel Entertainment has partnered with New Zealand’s Orbis Blockchain Technologies to launch non-fungible tokens (NFTs) through the company’s VeVe Digital Collectibles app. The NFTs will include digital collectibles, 3D statues, and digital comic books.
Despite screen content becoming mainstream in the last two decades, the printed comic books industry is still worth $7.14 billion worldwide. In the U.S., Disney owned Marvel accounts for 34% of comic store sales.
One of the key features of the Marvel Universe is the collectibles aspect of comic books and hero cards. Fans worldwide have been building their collections with printed comic books, with the most expensive comic being sold for $1.26 million in 2019.
Given current market trends, it is not surprising that Marvel is making a move in the digital collectibles space. This new NFT market can establish a new line of products for fans to collect and, through royalties, create new streams of revenue for Marvel.
The VeVe app already supports DC Comics which owns brands such as Batman and Superman. The NFTs can be purchased with Gems, the app’s currency. Fans can buy Gems through credit card in-app payments, which makes the whole process less intimidating for fans that have little knowledge of crypto.
Marvel and VeVe are looking to build a whole experience for fans around the digital collectibles. Fans will be able to showcase their collections in virtual showrooms and share photos and videos with the fan community through various features in the app.
“Since the beginning, collecting has always gone hand in hand with being a Marvel fan,” said Dan Buckley, President, Marvel Entertainment.”Like us, VeVe understands collecting is about the experience just as much as the product, and we look forward to extending that experience for our fans over the years to come.”
VeVe’s aim is to imitate the physical world of collecting in an enhanced digital format. The company has sold over 580,000 NFTs since last December and boasts more than 340,000 users. Veve has also pledged to be the first carbon neutral NFT platform and mint 100% carbon neutral NFTs. To achieve this, the firm contributes to environmental nonprofits and uses distributed ledger technologies which are more energy efficient than alternative options.
Meanwhile, Sonic’s owner SEGA partnered with blockchain games startup double jump.tokyo to develop digital collectibles based on the company’s intellectual property. Mattel, the company behind Barbie and Hot Wheels, also sees an opportunity in exploring NFTs to expand its products line, and Fox will launch an animated series with NFTs.