Bernie Sanders mitten memes immortalized in new NFT collection

by Jerry Bolton
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Topps Digital released their latest line of NFT collectibles today, featuring Senator Bernie Sanders and his winter mittens as the subject of the promotional series. 

The collectibles, dubbed “GPK Bernventures,” are digital packs containing two non-fungible tokens issued on the WAX blockchain. The card drawings are in the style of Topps’ long-running Garbage Pail Kids series, which was originally launched in 1985.

The series features 18 unique depictions of Senator Sanders’ now-famous Inauguration Day pose — masked up and bundled in winter weather apparel — capturing the meme for all eternity through the immutability of blockchain technology.

In the series, Sanders is cast in pose through a number of comical situations, such as living underwater, or surviving a Martian invasion.

After NFT packs are “opened” by executing a transaction on the WAX blockchain, the pack itself is replaced by two NFT cards that are randomly generated upon opening. Cards are assigned one of five levels of increasing rarity: Base B, Base A, Rare Artists Sketches, Epic Artist Raws, and Legendary Artist Signatures.

NFT holders have the opportunity to “bern” unwanted tokens through the official website — allowing users to destroy the NFT in exchange for points that can be exchanged for future releases in the series.

Previous releases of Garbage Pail Kids series on WAX have sold out in a few hours, and individual NFT cards sell for $1,000+ on secondary markets on a regular basis.

An American staple for trading cards and popular culture since the 1950s, Topps has made deals with the likes of Disney, Lucasfilm, Marvel and WWE over the years, as well as most major American sports leagues. It also owns a significant amount of intellectual property related to popular collectibles. According to management of the digital arm of the company, these qualities render Topps a prime candidate for growing NFT collectibles into the view of the mainstream.

After the success of Topps’ Garbage Pail Kid Series 1 release in May 2020 — during which 12,000 packs were sold in 28 hours — other companies and artists began to take note of what WAX had to offer NFT creators.

On Aug. 8 2020, Bad Crypto podcast co-hosts Joel Comm and Travis Wright launched their Blockchain Heroes collectibles series on WAX, consisting of NFTs loosely based on real life crypto industry personalities. Later that month, Star Trek captain William Shatner launched his own line of NFTs as a way to share memorabilia from his life and career as an actor, selling all 10,000 packs in nine minutes.

More recently, EDM superstar Deadmau5 released his own NFT collectibles on WAX in Dec. 2020, a line of digital artwork under the brand name RAREZ.

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