Should You Buy Disney NFTs?

Disney has an IP portfolio and a media muscle rivaled by none, making a march into NFTs logical. Fortunately for NFT collectors and investors, Disney recognizes this and has collaborated with VeVe to launch their own legendary NFT collections. But are they worth buying?

Scott and Heather discuss the current standing of Disney NFTs, and more.

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Episode Highlights

Disney And VeVe Announce Mickey Mouse NFT Collectibles: “Recent Disney NFTs on VeVe have quickly sold out, with resales making a strong return on the recent Simpson NFTs, for example. The NFT community is widely expecting the upcoming Mickey Mouse release to exhibit similar results.” (Bitcoinist)

NFTs, the Metaverse, and Disney: See What Bob Iger Has to Say About the “Extraordinary” Possibilities and Dangers: “Iger noted that Disney has done some licensing in this area, but that he didn’t have all of the details since that happened near the end of his term. But he shared that when you think about all of the characters, copyrights, and trademarks Disney has, ‘and the NFT possibilities, they’re extraordinary.” (Disney Food Blog)

Disney’s Influence on U.S. Copyright Law: “Disney has amassed an expansive library of characters over the years as it takes on ownership of new and existing properties. The company’s sheer size makes it a power player when it comes to influencing intellectual property laws.” (Cardozo School of Law)

Disney: World’s Largest Media Company Becoming Even Stronger: “After the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Disney now dominates 28% of the market. But its market leadership extends beyond TV networks into movie theatres, theme parks and video streaming.” (Seeking Alpha)

The Disney NFT Collection

About The Show

NFT Investor Nation is the show for passionate NFT traders, collectors and investors. Listen in as host Scott talks with leading NFT artists and entrepreneurs.

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Scott: Hi, I’m Scott.

Heather: And I’m Heather.

Scott: And welcome to “NFT Investor Nation”. Today, we are talking about…

Heather: Disney.

Scott: And you’ll see our background is the Squishiverse, not a Disney background because we don’t own any Disney.

Heather: Not yet.

Scott: Not yet.

Heather: Not yet.

Scott: Who doesn’t love Disney?

Heather: I don’t know who doesn’t love Disney. And frankly, if you feel like you don’t love Disney, they own so much now, you probably do love something that is Disney.

Scott: Right. And if you love something that isn’t Disney now, the chances they’re going to buy it and then you will love Disney, because that’s been their strategy, acquire IP, farm it out, toys, movie franchises, games, amusement park rides, etc., etc.

Heather: All of it.

Scott: That’s been their playbook, and it’s worked for them quite well. And so I think that really is why we want to talk about Disney.

Heather: I mean, really, they’re one of the largest media companies in the world. So why are people excited about them branching out into NFTs?

Scott: Well, I think we already answered part one. They’re just huge. Because it’s Disney and it’s IP and there’s a tonne of potential value there, there’s collectability. I mean, who doesn’t like to collect things? You have crazy collectors collecting all kinds of Mickey and Minnie Mouse figurines and toys from over the years.

There’s a natural progression to NFTs there. And then you think further, you think of well, what does Disney do really well? Is they protect their copyright. And they are constantly rewriting the book on copyright law to keep Mickey Mouse.

Heather: They’ve been at the forefront of shifting copyright law in the United States throughout the history of it.

Scott: Literally, every time Mickey is up for the public domain, you can rest assured that Disney is going to get there and they’re going to circle up with Capitol Hill and we’re going to see some copyright changes because they want to protect it.

Heather Absolutely. I think Steamboat Willie is up for public domain in 2024. So we’re going to see some changes really soon.

Scott: Yeah. That’s not getting the public domain. That’s not a thing that’s going to happen.

Heather But it is going to become an NFT and it’s already in development right now, right?

Scott: Right. Well, they already are moving into NFTs because I think that’s one of those big questions, “Is this okay? I’m really excited about Disney. I want to own a piece of the mouse, whatever it might be. Where can I do that?” And Disney has done that.

Heather: So what exists already? I mean, I know I talked a little bit about the Steamboat Willie NFT development, but what else is in existence right now?

Scott: Yeah. So Disney has made several deals or one large deal with VeVe collectibles, which they have done to… VeVe collectibles has an app, and you can download their app and you can purchase Disney NFTs. It started with Marvel…

Heather: Yep. Marvel Universe.

Scott: Obviously, the Marvel Universe. You’ve got Avengers, you’ve got those movies that made bajillions of dollars. And so you could own Marvel-specific character NFTs. And then just recently in January, Disney also released another collection, another NFT collection, through their partnership with VeVe collectibles where you can now own NFTs of your Daisy Duck, your Minnie Mouse, your Mickey, all kinds of the characters that we know and love, the characters that my daughter loves.

She’s all of two years old. Look at this. We’ve got… I spent five minutes walking around the house before heading to the office today. And here we go. We’ve got Minnie, they’re swimmable, we’ve got, of course, Dory and Nemo, which literally I say, “Charlotte, where’s Nemo?”

And she’ll, like, point. She knows that.

Heather: And she won’t go anywhere without Minnie.

Scott: Well, Minnie is, like, number one. So I know when my daughter is like eight or nine she’s going to tap me on the shoulder and be like, “Dad, can I have a Minnie NFT?”

Heather: Absolutely. And then she could put it on the background of her iPad or who knows what kind of technology she’ll have by the time she’s 8, 9, or 10?

Scott: Exactly. And because she’s my daughter, I’m going to be like, “Great. I think that’s a good investment. All right” – Start them young. Start them young.

Scott: What, a 529 plan? No, no, Disney NFT or both, really. That’s the idea. So that’s what exists right now in a limited way. But there’s also, of course, there are fake NFTs out there. There are always folks out there trying to say, “Oh, yeah, this is the latest, you know, Mickey Mouse NFT.

You can look on OpenSea,” which doesn’t… They don’t really control exactly what’s posted. It’s all happening so fast. And so there are a lot of fake options out there. And, in fact, the former Disney CEO, Bob Iger spoke about this as that’s one of the battles that Disney is also fighting because as you wade into the digital realm, and you do start, you know, minting NFTs and having all of this, there’s just a huge opportunity for scam artists and folks wanting to profit off that illegally to try to do that.

And with the Mouse, which is litigious and takes their copyrights so seriously, as we were talking earlier about, that’s a big, big battle there. So I always have that recommendation for folks. If you are super excited about Disney NFTs, check out the VeVe collectibles. Check out that because that is an official partnership that Disney has.

But be very wary of anything you see online. If it looks like, “Wait, I can own this piece of the Disney NFT universe?” Do your research. Is that actually issued by Disney?

Heather: So what does that mean, to do your research because I know… So I own some actual painted artwork that lives in my home that was licensed Disney artists. So it’s not artists who actually work for Disney. They aren’t animators. But they are artists who have applied through Disney to be able to represent their characters and then to profit off of them.

So this is like a particular gallery, art gallery filled with Disney characters, a tonne of different mixed media, but mostly painters were the ones who had created it. So do you imagine that’ll be the same thing with the NFTs that people are going to have licensing agreements with Disney in order to represent those characters?

Scott: Sure. So what you can see is you can see where it was minted, you should always be able to see that with an NFT, and if it was officially minted by Disney or through one of their partners. And then there are other things you can look at where just see what is this collection?

Who’s behind it? Are there real faces behind it? Are there people that you can see, oh, they have a LinkedIn, oh, they have a social presence? Are you seeing talk about it through other channels that Disney has? They have such a wide reach. And if you’re coming across a supposed Disney collection, and you haven’t seen a tweet, you haven’t seen a press release, you haven’t seen so much as a YouTube ad or anything about it, or anybody else…

Heather: It’s a fake, run.

Scott: …it’s a fake. If you’re not seeing anybody talking about this, close that pocketbook, do not proceed, do not pass go, keep your $100 or whatever it might be. I think that’s really the big piece is look into who’s behind it. And just because it’s a cute picture of Minnie doesn’t necessarily make it a official Disney NFT. And I think that’s really, really important to keep in mind.

Heather: I’ll be curious about the accessibility of the NFTs, you know, price range-wise. There are folks who are casual Disney fans. There are other folks who go to Disney multiple times a year and have massive collections in their homes. I am a right there in between. I’m actually going to Disney this December. I’m really really excited about it, and it’ll be my second time in the last five years.

And I have no children, so this is an adult trip to Disney.

Scott: So you get to go, you get the hat.

Heather: To Disney. I’m having that name embroidered in those mouse ears. I am a fan but I’m not a super fan. A good friend of mine actually is a big Mickey collector and has an entire room in their house filled with representations of Mickey. So I’ll be curious to see also the way that Disney develops an accessibility from a price point standpoint to allow people to sort of have a range of options, investment options when it comes to NFT purchases so that somebody who is a middle of the road fan can also access the NFTs just like somebody who might be able to or be willing to mortgage their home to invest in something like that.

Scott: Which, you know, if you want to do that, hey, you know, you love Mickey, that’s great. But I think this is something, Heather, that Disney is very cognizant of. Bob Iger, a little while ago, gave a really wide-ranging interview and, of course, he’s no longer the CEO of Disney, but they were dipping their toe into the waters and exploring things even while he was there.

And, again, he doesn’t know specifically what they have in mind, but they are looking at all of it. They’re looking at all the different ways you could leverage NFTs and, you know, marry that with their IP. And you were talking about, you know, going to Disney, going to the theme park. We know how FastPass has sort of revolutionized, you know, the theme park industry. And then you see how Disney has really had to innovate and have creative ways of getting people in the door in the wake of COVID-19 and having crowd restrictions, and all the different packages that they have, an exclusive, hangouts with princesses.

Are you going to go do any Princess meals do you think?

Heather: Well, I don’t think we’ll do any princess deals, but I have the app and we’ve already selected which rides on which day and things have changed since the last time we were there. So we want to make sure that we go and experience all of it. And it is quite overwhelming how much the Disney experience can be. We’re not going till December, and we’re already preparing, planning the layout of our days.

Scott: Right. Exactly. And can NFTs be a part of that in the sense of well, I bought this Minnie Mouse NFT, and now as part of it, I get a free ride, you know, a FastPass front of the line ride to, you know, Magic Mountain or whatever it might be. So I think those kinds of things are all in play for Disney and they clearly have already kind of planted their flag and saying, “Hey, we’re selling NFTs, we’ve got this partnership, we’re going to keep doing that.”

And they’re really the perfect, huge company to push NFTs even more mainstream because they just have so much IP. They have so much they can draw from. So it’s going to be really interesting to see where it goes from here.

Heather: Well on top of all of that, I feel like they have a really good grasp on a holistic experience. So connecting all of the things that they have for sale and all of their characters, to things that you can sort of, like, touch, hold, smell, it’s all experiential, right? So I think even hearing you talk about, like, connecting your FastPass to…or purchase of an NFT to a FastPass to a specific ride, I think that’s incredibly powerful.

They’re masters of experience and fantasy. And I think that’s what draws a lot of people to get into the NFT community and invest in NFTs are those extra experiences and extra communal elements of it that make it that much more special.

It’s not just the digital art. It’s all the things that come along with it.

Scott: You know, Heather, to your point there, you were talking about your friend who’s got a Mickey room and is super into Mickey. Well, what if there’s exclusive NFTs for…you can get this exclusive Mickey NFT and then that gives you access to special, you know, Disney sponsored meetups for all the Mickey collectors to get together and hang out and, you know, discuss what their favorite Mickey lampshade is.

I don’t know but, like, I think those are the kinds of built-in community aspects that people love about NFTs and if folks are interested in investing in an NFT series that, you know, could go to the moon, well, keep an eye on Disney, I would say.

Heather: Absolutely. And especially because I think a lot of the skepticism around NFTs is that where is the resale market? You know, making sure that yes you own something but now where is the market to…

Scott: Where’s the value?

Heather: Where is the value in it and where’s the market to upsell? And I think that when you’re talking about specifically with Disney collectors, it has such a long history, rich history of collectible items that I think we will see value in Disney NFTs long-term.

Scott: Absolutely. Thanks for joining me, Heather.

Heather: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.


Scott is a writer Cryptogic as well as host of the several popular podcasts.