Skip to main content

Ditch the Pokemon Cards: NFTs Are Gen Z's New It Collectible

NFTs are shaping up to be the Zoomer generation's version of Tamagotchis, Beanie Babies, and Cabbage Patch Doll Kids.

Like Tamagotchis, Beanie Babies, and Cabbage Patch Doll Kids, many have labeled the hottest trend of 2021 -- the gifting of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs -- to be a passing fad that will at best make it into the time capsule of Christmas-past gifts that ended up as amusing albeit useless and potentially worthless collectibles.

Wall Street and those in immersed in the rapidly growing world of cryptocurrencies, digital assets, Web 3, staking, gassing, mining, and minting, see it very differently.

From Nike  (NKE) - Get NIKE, Inc. Class B Report to Adidas  (ADDYY)  to Sony (SNE) - Get Sony Corp. Report and AMC Entertainment  (AMC) - Get AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. Class A Report to electric car maker Fisker  (FSR) - Get Fisker Inc Class A Report, Wall Street, Main Street, and Silicon Valley are as busy as elves offering up NFTs to their employees and the broader public.

In layperson terms, NFTs are blockchain-verified digital pieces of whatever you can think of – art, shoes, sketches, a coffee cup with YouTube star Mr. Beast’s face on it, or a digital rendering of former First Lady Melania Trump’s eyes.

Fisker Jumps Into the NFT Game

And they are going for prices that when translated into dollars and cents don’t seem to make much sense, since you can’t actually touch them, wear them, hang them on a wall, display them in a gallery or museum, or place them in a garden.

Fisker is the latest public company to jump into the NFT game. The carmaker announced on Monday that will launch exclusive digital art NFTs of original pen-on-paper sketches from the hand of founder and chief designer, Henrik Fisker.

Fisker by Hand: OCEAN Concept Collection NFT - Source: Fisker

Fisker by Hand: OCEAN Concept Collection NFT - Source: Fisker

As part of the first-ever "Fisker by Hand: OCEAN Concept Collection NFT sale," Fisker is donating 50% of primary sales to nonprofit organizations supporting corporate ESG principles. For the inaugural release, a total of 100 Fisker by Hand: OCEAN Concept Collection NFTs are available for purchase.

Sports apparel and shoe giant Adidas minted a cool $23 million in Ethereum, the world’s second-biggest digital currency, this past weekend. 

TheStreet Recommends

An NFT Museum That Displays... Nothing

Some companies are gifting NFTs outright. Figment, one of the world’s biggest blockchain, crypto staking and Web 3-focused infrastructure providers, is gifting all of its employees NFT-minted caricature portraits of all of its employees. 

Illustrating the company’s passion and focus on digital assets, Yannick Folla, Figment’s Montreal-based product lead, runs an NFT museum.

And the list goes on. Fashion icon Iris Apfel earlier this month auctioned off NFTs of greeting cards illustrating some of her best holiday moments. The NFTs were offered in a partnership with photo book company Shutterfly  (SFLY) - Get Shutterfly, Inc. Report, with proceeds going to the Boys & Girls Club of America.

One of the most eye-opening NFT sales of the year: a $435,000 package of NFTs titled "Belugies" that sold via the Solana network, by a 14-year-old artist known as "PeachSunday." 

Investments, Collectibles, or Both?

Least understood about NFTs and digital assets in general is the concept that they can be traded like baseball cards or other real-life collectibles. 

For Figment's lucky employees, that means their self-portrait NFT Christmas gifts could actually be worth something that is more than a lark - if Mom or Grandma can figure out how to set up a digital account to buy them.

For others, it means betting that owning the verified digital rights to Jack Dorsey's first tweet or the first Wikipedia entry will be something someone else wants to own down the road.

For those who have an understanding of what the future might look like, specifically the metaverse, where real and virtual reality will intertwine, the idea of having a custom pair of Nikes or Adidas, an exclusively owned and digitally verified music track or a rare rendering of a digital car from 2021 hanging on the virtual wall is enough to click buy now. 

Just ask Facebook owner Meta's  (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report Mark Zuckerberg.