We Created a Pack of NFT Trading Cards…And They’re FREE
Last week, one of my oldest friends and regular collaborators, David Dean hit me up about minting a series of NFTs. We wanted to learn the process and see if we could come up with a viable product and knock out the process in the space of about a week. David has been playing in the space and is a very forward thinking and conscientious entrepreneur and investor. I’m pretty good with creative work. So we decided to give it a shot.
The first thing we had to figure out was what to make. We could try our hands on the art market, but that sounded like an uphill climb, because we are not influencers and because art, in and of itself, is a tough sell. However, beyond the pure art use case that is (probably) most popular in the NFT world, there are a ton of other common art-based use cases that have varying levels of utility and engagement. Right now, you can open your laptop and buy everything from novelties and collectibles to redeemable coupons, to digital goods and IAPs that can travel with you around the metaverse. After spending some time exploring the space, the most fun and intuitive test for us seemed to be a card pack. Having grown up in a world of physical baseball cards (and comic books, pogs, action figures, hot wheels, Cabbage Patch Kids, Beanie Babies…) we felt that we would have a good idea of whether or not we were replicating the visceral feeling of waiting for a drop and opening a pack, getting the card you want, putting it in a screw case and poring over Beckett every month to see how it was doing. We decided to mint a very rare set of free trading cards. That decision was easy.
The creative challenge was a little tougher. Since we don’t own any popular IP, we would have to create something based on a high affinity subject matter that was engaging enough to stand on its own. It had to appeal to a large, devoted fanbase, but also be original and, of course, LEGAL. David and I are both mild football obsessives, and we were discussing some of the interesting sports fiction experiments of the late 80s and 90s…things like Space Jam, Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestling, and Pro Stars.
As a total horror nerd, I have always incorporated some aspect of horror into my art, and was really interested in paying homage to the mostly forgotten “Monsters of the Gridiron” campaign from the early 90s. If you’ve forgotten it, or aren’t old, “Monsters of the Gridiron” was a Coca Cola campaign that combined Halloween and football season. It was a fun campaign and they gave away some sweet prizes, but most memorable aspect of the campaign was the trading card set. The cards were released in sets of 30. They took pro bowl players, created horror personas for them, dressed them in costume, and took the best most kitsch-meets-cringe photos ever committed to wax packs. I mean. The sh*t was glorious.
So we had settled on a product that could be easily and prolifically serialized. We had a good, broadly applicable, but sufficiently niche theme to work with. Now we just needed an initial set of creative. So, over an extended weekend, I went to work on the drawing and writing portion of the exercise. We decided to start with the lat 4 NFL MVPs as our inspiration, and create two-sided cards. Obviously, we couldn’t call the collection “Monsters of the Gridiron”, so we coined the name: “Gridiron Goons”.
Here’s a sneak preview of our first set of cards. You might recognize a couple of the players :)
While I worked on art, David set up our collection on the Worldwide Asset eXchange. We chose to build on WAX for several reasons.
-A number of the most reputable brands in the collectible space (Topps, Funko, Capcom, Atari) and a number of really legit artists are using the platform. With regards to trading cards, they seem to be getting it right.
-The platform is incredibly user-friendly. We were able to learn the ropes, set up contracts, and mint our first series in a matter of days. There is also less cost associated with using WAX, as there are no minting fees/asset.
-A reduced carbon footprint was very important, and WAX boasts that its blockchain is carbon neutral (and 222,000x more energy efficient than Etherium).
All told, the creation was a much easier process than we had imagined. And now we face the next challenge: the drop. We’ll be releasing cards each day next week between Tuesday and Friday (the 13th!) There will only be 500 of each card, we will never issue these again, and they are going to be FREE! So if you are an active collector, or you are just NFT-curious, and you want to get your hands on one, follow our Twitter or IG for the exact times. Cards will be released in the following order:
UPDATE! Hot links to the drops for each card. Try to get in early. We don’t know how much demand there will be and we limited to one/person, but sometimes you just get cleaned out fast: