As a species, mankind evolved and thus what we collected evolved with it. It is thought that the need or desire to collect begins at a young age due to a need for love or attention and develops into a desire for ownership and control, which explains why children often collect soft toys or blankets from very early on. This desire follows us through our lives and the things we collect change. Collecting becomes a passion, sometimes a symbol of status and it is a way for us to support and display our love for a certain topic, item or fandom. From stamps, to cards, to coins to comic books, even as far as cars and watches and handbags. Collecting is in our nature but the world of traditional fungible items is being shaken up by a new world of digital collectibles. The idea of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) has been around for a while and is becoming more noticeable in mainstream media, with the likes of Soulja Boy and Paris Hilton jumping on the trend but why would you want a digital collectible over a traditional one? That’s what we’re here to answer.
1. They’re new and fun.
Seemingly an obvious reason but NFTs are becoming a new trend and early adopters of any trend tend to see the benefits most frequently. Be it from a social standing, being able to say to your friends “oh, you don’t know what an NFT is? I have like 20 now” to being able to announce on social media your new purchase. The social pull is always a tempting factor. Or from an investment standpoint, the earlier you buy something the longer it has to gain value and as the trend increases so does your profit (oftentimes). Plus, NFTs are endless, any fandom from any part of the globe can be transformed into an NFT. Movies, comics, art, music, designer fashion, the list goes on.
2. They take up less space.
NFTs, in the sense of digital collectibles, are online. The days of acrylic box frames and endless shelves filled to the rafters of figurines collecting dust are diminishing. You no longer have to have a dedicated room in your house for your passion because instead your huge collection can fit in the palm of your hand. Not only are digital collectibles saving space, but possibly also relationships, no more arguing with your significant other about the fact that you need to put up another shelf for your figurines!
3. You’re free to enjoy them.
What you can do with NFTs is ever evolving, from simply displaying and enjoying their aesthetic to interacting with them via VR and AR. Unlike traditional collectibles having to be kept hermetically sealed in their original packaging or having to have additional protection such as sleeves and cases, digital collectibles are items you can watch, interact with and enjoy but will still hold value. There’s no fear of creasing the pages, bending the packaging, keeping them away from sunlight so they retain their colour. The glory and brilliance of your digital collectible will remain, long after you and I cease to exist.
4. They’re friendlier to the environment.
This is perhaps an odd observation of a digital collectible but still an incredibly valid one. In a world consumed by single use plastics, over abundant packaging and non biodegradable materials, the idea of supporting the traditional collectible trend much further is, well, against a lot of what we as humans are working towards, a plastic free existence. With most figurines made of vinyl, their packaging made of plastic, plushies filled with nylon, at the point in which you no longer want your collection? If it ends up holding no value? It will eventually be disposed of. And where? Into landfill, leaking into the oceans. Just imagine for one moment the amount of beanie babies filled with plastic beads in landfill to this day. Digital collectibles are just that, digital, a mass of code which doesn’t harm the environment when you’re finished with it.
5. They’re here to stay.
NFTs are the future when it comes to collectibles. They are already being invested in, collected and enjoyed worldwide. The community around digital collectibles is already so huge, it’s going to be around for a lot longer. With digital collectibles, as with traditional ones you can still buy them, trade them and sell them. We see people turning their collectibles for a profit on the daily and long may it continue. The more adopters of digital collectibles there are, the more likely your fandom has of being able to create their own digital collectibles. NFTs are another way to support what you love and so many are doing it already.
So, what are you waiting for? Why are you still reading this article? Go and discover the future, it’s waiting for you.