Simpsons NFT Spoof Sparks Sales Surge in Knockoff Collectibles

Simpsons NFT Spoof Sparks Sales Surge in Knockoff Collectibles

 Published: November 8th, 2023

A Simpson-eque NFT collection that blends elements of CryptoPunks’ with bits borrowed from ‘The Simpsons’ animated comedy has generated more than USD 2.3 million in sales in under 24 hours, leaping to OpenSea’s top trending spot. The popular long-running series had just aired a special episode devoted to NFTs, lampooning non-fungible token enthusiasts.

Called ‘Springfield Punks’ the unofficial collection arrived as a free mint on Sunday, 5th November. Traders rushed in to grab the 3,400 Ethereum NFTs, generating 1,311 ETH (worth ca. USD 2.3 million) in trading volume at time of writing. Springfield Punks NFTs can be purchased for about 0.11 ETH (ca. USD 200) on secondary markets.

The brainchild of self-described parody artist Rino Russo, the Springfield Punks collection went live shortly after The Simpsons episode aired on Sunday night. Stacked against NFT’s big names, the collection was second only to Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks in trading volume

It wasn’t the only NFT collection paying homage to The Simpsons. On Monday, collections like ‘SimpsPunks’ and ‘The Chimpsons Official’ also staked out a position on OpenSea’s front page.

Beehive hairdos, beer, and donuts are all emblems of the long-running satirical comedy, and those images have found their way into all these projects. Most of the NFT profile images on offer bolt Simpsons-themed imagery onto ape-ish creatures, for collections encompassing thousands of choices.

‘The Chimpsons Official’ collection earned a special spot in the aftermath of Sunday’s NFT episode. Launched in September 2023, it’s attracted around 600 new sales this week alone.

Spikes of interest

In July 2022, in a period when all of the big name Ethereum NFT collections saw their valuations crater amid a wider crypto market crash, CryptoPunks jumped back into prominence. Following two multi-million-dollar sales in rapid succession, the minimum or ‘floor’ price for one of the project’s NFTs rose substantially.

On Monday 18th July, the floor price for CryptoPunks on secondary marketplaces jumped to above USD 100,000 for the first time since the crypto bear market began in mid-May. Data from NFT Price Floor showed the floor price for CryptoPunks at 84.84 ETH, or about USD 113,000.

That represented a leap of more than 30 per cent in a week.

The rising value of Ethereum, up 27 per cent over the same period, was part of the story. However, when measured against ETH, the CryptoPunks floor beat Ether's rise by nearly 12 per cent and by nearly 26 per cent over the previous month.

It wasn't enough to herald a market-wide uptrend for high-value NFTs. Leader Bored Ape Yacht Club saw its ETH floor price fall by five per cent.

An NFT is a blockchain token that indicates proof of ownership for another asset, typically a digital product like a unique online profile picture, and sometimes an artwork, collectible, or video game item. The NFT market reached USD 25 billion in trading volume last year, adding roughly USD 20 billion more for the 2022 year-to-date.

A market leader continues to lead

Regardless of its ups and downs, CryptoPunks remains one of the most successful projects in the NFT space. Parent developer Larva Labs launched the collection in 2017, first giving away its NFTs for free to stoke interest.

Owning a CryptoPunks NFT has since become a status symbol for crypto enthusiasts and celebrities alike. To date, the collection has posted more than USD two billion in trading volume, including a record purchase worth USD 23 million recorded in March 2022.

The leap in floor price last July was triggered by a pair of multi-million-dollar sales. One NFT sold for USD 2.5 million (2,500 ETH) while another sold for USD 3.2 million (2,690 ETH) two days later. Both were hard-to-find ape avatars from the collection’s selection of 10,000 profile pictures.

As positive as the news was, the slumping NFT market had a lot of ground to regain before any one could call it a turnaround. Even at its rising 2022 floor price, CryptoPunks lost significant value over the course of 2022. On January 3rd it peaked at USD 260,000 and was still hovering around USD 240,000 in early April. But like the Bored Apes and other popular NFT collections, prices have cratered in tandem with the broader cryptocurrency market slump.

March Madness

In early March 2022, CryptoPunks valuations got a massive boost when Larva Labs announced it was selling the IP for the collection to Yuga Labs, the development house behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection. Once the news landed, sales of CryptoPunks skyrocketed.

Analysts said recent NFT buyers were looking to ‘flip’ their CryptoPunks purchases and gain a windfall on the secondary market. The thinking was that if Yuga Labs could make Bored Ape Yacht Club a sales phenomenon in under a year, perhaps they could achieve the same for CryptoPunks.

In a press release, Yuga Labs said that after the purchase from Larva it would handover IP rights for individual CryptoPunks images to their respective holders, mimicking its approach to Bored Ape IP. For CryptoPunks’ holders that was a crucial detail. Some had complained in the past that Larva Labs gave conflicting information about their freedom to trade their NFT images.

On top of surging sales volumes, the price of the least expensive NFT in the project rose by 12 per cent on the back of the announcement, reaching a floor price of more than 75 ETH or about USD 195,000.

Included in the deal was the IP for Larva Labs’ Meebits NFT project. Sales of Meebits NFTs also spiked at the time, rising to USD 19 million in trading volume for a whopping 500 per cent increase. The lowest-priced Meebits NFT increased in value by 30 per cent to 5.5 ETH or USD 14,500.

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