Playboy turns its classic centerfold into NFTs!
The iconic lifestyle brand teams up with Nifty Gateway, starting with a new artwork while teasing releases of classic magazine imagery.
Playboy announced today that it will launch digital collectibles in the form of blockchain-based non-fungible tokens (NFTs), through a partnership with the Winklevoss-owned NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway.
Playboy plans to tap into its 67-year archive of classic photography and artwork, and also collaborate with modern artists on new creations to sell as crypto collectibles. The brand also intends to offer grants to “support emerging and underrepresented artists entering the NFT art community,” a release stated.
An NFT can represent any type of digital item, including still artwork, animated images, and video clips. The tokenized digital artwork and collectibles are probably scarce and could be authenticated through an immutable blockchain technology. Collectors can resell the artwork on secondary marketplaces, while the original artist typically receives a share of their future sales.
The first Playboy NFT drop will feature the artwork of Mike “Slimesunday” Parisella, a former Playboy print collaborator and an artist famous for his erotic collage-style compositions. Slimesunday is now entrenched in the prospering NFT space, having sold the artwork through the SuperRare marketplace and hosting an NFT-themed podcast.
Playboy also announced a June drop with 3D artist Blake Kathryn, who will develop a Pride-themed collaboration with the magazine brand.
Playboy’s announcement has called out a classic magazine imagery from artists like Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Keith Haring, and Andy Warhol, but didn’t particularly reveal plans to turn their compositions into NFTs. But the press release does suggest that the brand’s longer-term plans with Nifty Gateway are to tap into its library of artwork, photography, cartoons, and more.
The NFT artwork market has surged so far in 2021, with some $342 million in trading volume in February alone between the top three NFT marketplaces. It is more than the total sales in 2020. Last March, crypto artist Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann sold a single piece of NFT artwork for $69.3 million through Christie’s auction.
The surge in NFT demand has brought in brands that are as diverse as Taco Bell and Charmin with their digital collectibles, it has also sparked NFT efforts from a handful of legacy media brands. TIME magazine sold four limited-edition magazine covers for around $500,000 while The New York Times sold an NFT image of a column for $560,000. Last week, classic music magazine brand SPIN announced plans to release “eco-friendly” NFTs of its library of cover photography.
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