It’s a sad day on “Sesame Street.” You’d think the one place safe from NFTs, it would be a place of childhood joy, learning, and merriment. Well, it seems like nothing is actually safe anymore, as the blight of the non-fungible token is coming to the childhood street so many of us grew up on. The first target?
On March 19th, 5,555 Cookie Monster NFTs will drop. Each of them will be valued at $60.00. The VeVe platform hosting the sale noted that is “only the first” of several NFTs they are planning to release over the course of the coming year. No specific plans have been mentioned for what characters will be available next, though it is kind of interesting that they started with a character whose known for succumbing to the temptations of greed.
Both VeVe and the Sesame Workshop offered statements on the partnership. Jennifer Ahearn, the VP of global strategic partnerships commented that it’s a “great way to celebrate [the series’] enduring legacy and give our long-time fans a new way to showcase their love for ‘Sesame Street’ and its characters. Meanwhile VeVe cofounder and COO, Dan Crothers said, “We can’t wait to share these with our VeVe community of collectors as well as ‘Sesame Street’ fans who may be new to digital collecting.
The popularity (or infamy) of NFTs hit a spike in 2021 with various companies wanting to invest or expand into them. Kevin Smith wanted to make his next movie as one, Fox invested $100 million into the Creative Labs company to make animated shows with NFT integration, and the band Gorillaz got into them to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Largely these efforts have been met with backlash as it feels like companies are just trying to take advantage of fans and consumers to find a new method of income via exclusive content that can only be obtained in limited quantities with questionable worth.
What makes this particular offering seem tasteless though, is the further monetization of a beloved childhood franchise. Sure, merchandising is to be expected and the Tickle-Me-Elmo doll brought retail stores to their knees in 1996, but at least they were physical toys that could arguably simulate a child’s imagination. NFTs on the other hand feel like a money grab. We’ll have to see how things settle out once the sale for Cooke Monster NFTs goes live on March 19th.