Tintin is one of the world's most famous comic strips and now you can own a piece of art history, or at least, that's the pitch of this official The Blue Lotus NFT collection. As a Tintin fan from childhood the lure of owning an official, limited run collectible Tintin illustration is, well, a treasure.
NFTs are a way to digitally record a file on a blockchain, they can't be deleted or copied and so create a secure ownership and authenticity. We have a full explanation in our feature 'What are NFTs?'. For this Tintin collection NFTs are being used to record the sale of two variants of the famous The Blue Lotus cover illustration created by artist Hergé in 1936. The original sold at auction for 2.6 million euros in early 2021.
The Tintin NFT comes in two forms, the first is a limited edition print of the beautiful artwork. Only 777 are being printed, and to secure the authenticity each print will come with an NFT – so you receive the physical art and proof of ownership.
The second variant is the 1,777 purely digital NFT. This features some unique utility, such as geographic coordinates of Tintin's travel locations from the famous books, early access to new prints of the The Blue Lotus book and exclusive passes to the Herge museum.
We've been on a rollercoaster ride with NFTs over the last two years, from the highs of Beeple, the weirdness of Madonna's vagina tree (what am I writing?) and the NFT crash. But amidst all of this there have been two things many have predicted, that NFTs will not go away and those that succeed will have a use, a utility. Value comes from more than just 'collectibility', and this Tintin NFT offers a use fans will love.
Also, as with the recent Nike Our Force 1 digital collection, this Tintin NFT is being decoupled from the vagaries of cryptocurrencies; this means you can buy the digital art at a set price using a credit card via Crossmint's Web3 payment method.
"We are excited to announce the launch of the first NFT collection from the beloved Tintin comic series," says Farbod Sadeghian, CEO at arteQ in a statement to the press.
He adds: "With the help of Crossmint's cutting-edge technology, we are able to usher in the Web2 consumers and enable them to own a digital asset without the tumultuous onboarding of the traditional Web3 space. This partnership allows fans a unique opportunity to own a rare piece of Tintin history in the form of an NFT. Each NFT comes with its own 'utilities' and is a truly one-of-a-kind collectible. We cannot wait to see how fans will embrace this new addition to the Tintin universe."
Both the limited run physical prints with an NFT, and the digital-only NFT collection are available to buy now at the official Tintin website. It feels like non-fungible tokens are taking baby steps to gaining credibility beyond early adopters, and projects like this The Blue Lotus collection are proving there's life after the NFT crash. I could simply have my Tintin blinkers on, but this feels like a step forward for Web3.