DC Comics, one of the largest and oldest American comic book companies, is closely following the NFT industry and is launching its own set of collectibles.
A recent partnership between DC Comics and Veve, a startup dedicated to creating NFT collectibles, marked the beginning of a new phase in the American comic book studio’s merchandising strategy. The company announced a collection of digital Batman statues with a black and white color scheme.
The collection consists of 4 different designs. Each design has a limited number of copies, so their value varies depending on their rarity. The most expensive token —a digital statue of Nightwin— costs $89.99 and consists of 1,850 copies.
Selling all the tokens would generate DC Comics just under $1 million —$996,304 to be exact— in revenue. On the secondary market, each token’s value could increase a lot, especially considering the current hype around the NFTs.
DC Comics’ interest is not in vain. The world of digital collectibles is capturing the attention of large companies. It has already proven successful in business models adopted by several UEFA clubs with is digital cards developed by Sorare and even the NBA with its “Top Shot” program Likewise, Christie’s auction house recently auctioned the most expensive NFT in history for $69.3 million.
No wonder DC Comics wants its slice of the pie, especially considering that it has exclusive merchandising rights to Batman, the most profitable superhero to date, and on which some NFTs have already been sold —with zero dollars going to DC Comic’s wallets.
Stop Tokenizing Batman! Or Else…
It looks like DC Comics is getting its fangs out. A leaked memo shows how the company warned its creative team that it owned the exclusive rights to all of the characters published under the DC Comics franchise and that it was in no mood to allow any publication or business move (in NFT form or otherwise) without their consent.
“DC is exploring opportunities to enter the market for the distribution and sale of original DC digital art with NFTs, including both new arts created specifically for the NFT market, as well as original digital art rendered for DC’s comic book publications.
As DC examines the complexities of the NFT marketplace, and we work on a reasonable and fair solution for all parties involved, including fans and collectors, please note that the offering for sale of any digital images featuring DC’s intellectual property with or without NFTs, whether rendered for DC’s publications or rendered outside the scope of one’s contractual engagement with DC, is not permitted.”
The memo appears to be a nod to the collaboration between former DC comic artist José Delbo and crypto artist Trevor Jones, who created a collection of Batman-themed NFTs which sold for a combined 540.86 ETH, or more than $200,000 at the time, on Makersplace.
According to Gizmodo, Delbo has made more than $1.95 million from the sale of NFTS portraying different DC Comics characters, something the studio probably won’t like at all. And as decentralized as it is, DC Comics is likely to seek any legal remedy to enforce its rights if things don’t change in the near future.
After all, in the blockchain world, anyone can own a token… but if the token represents a DC Comics product, in the legal/jurisdictional world, the studio may have a different vision.