Even comic book conventions are giving space to digital collecting. Topps, established in 1938 and long known for sports and pop culture trading cards, took the floor of New York Comic Con this weekend with a brand new expansion of one of its own non-fungible tokens offering.
The Godzilla Rage Across Time NFT collection features original art and animations of the radioactive, Japanese movie monster based on his comic book limited series of the same name. But, the King of the Monsters wasn't the first foray into crypto collecting for the Topps platform.
"We have almost about a decade's worth of experience in terms of catering to a digital collecting market," Gino Ferrazzano, Topps director of marketing and communications said. "It just made perfect sense to get into NFTs."
He also noted that Topps had success with its own Garbage Pail Kids property in the space and that all of its digital collections have rapidly sold out. Ferrazzano also explained that the return to NYCC was a chance to celebrate both the return to the live pop culture event and the upcoming Godzilla Rage Across Time collection
"Those are collectibles that won't be in the Godzilla collection," he said. "The only way for you to get them is if you attend New York Comic Con. So, that was kind of a nice touch to basically reward people making it out to the show."
From the NFTs and the Future of Collectibles panel at New York Comic Con on October 9, 2021. From left on the stage: artist Gideon Kendall; writer, producer, animator Mike Federali; Curio co-founder and CRO, Ben Arnon; Heavy Metal CEO Matt Medney; and moderator Rob Salkowitz. Credit: Mike Nam
And Topps wasn't the only one evangelizing NFT collecting at the event. A panel titled "NFTs and the Future of Collectibles" also made its way onto the schedule, offering the views of creators, developers, and publishers in the crypto collectible world.
Speaking to the audience of enthusiasts, collectors, and creatives, Ben Arnon, co-founder and chief resource officer of NFT marketplace Curio, provided a basic explanation of non-fungible tokens as digital certificates of authenticity, touting the benefits for both collectors and creators.
"For creators, it's a massive evolution in IP monetization. It's like a music publishing model … where creators for the first time ever have an opportunity to participate in a perpetual royalty stream from their art," he said.
From the "NFTs and the Future of Collectibles" panel at New York Comic Con on October 9, 2021. Actor and creator Erika Alexander via pre-recorded interview. Credit: Mike Nam
Meanwhile, actor Erika Alexander of Living Single and Wu-Tang: An America Saga, talked about how she approached the new digital medium with her work from the older print medium of comic books — specifically the series Concrete Park by Alexander and artist Tony Puryear.
"We're looking for new ways to engage with our fans, and we're a sci-fi series, we're sci-fi fans, and everything's about the future," she noted. "We are about the future getting cool Concrete Park collectibles into the hands of our fans is a really cool idea."