A wave of zombies is about to descend on the still-frothy world of NFT hype.
For its long-running flagship drama “The Walking Dead,” AMC Networks is taking a big swing at the ongoing mania for nonfungible tokens — with a multiyear NFT strategy aimed at keeping the undead franchise alive long after the show leaves TV.
AMC has teamed with NFT creative studio startup Orange Comet, which is serving as producer and marketplace for broad array of “TWD” NFT content.
The custom NFTs will be released in multiple drops, with the first taking place on Sunday, Feb. 20, at 1 p.m. ET to coincide with the premiere of Part 2 of 3 of “The Walking Dead’s” expanded final season, airing that evening at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.
The initial collection includes 10,000 generative art pieces, priced at $50 each, featuring iconic past and current characters from “The Walking Dead” (the Rick Grimes NFT is pictured above). The drop also includes 750 original animations inspired by “TWD” scenes for $250 each. The NFTs will be available for purchase using credit cards as well as cryptocurrency on Orange Comet’s marketplace.
In addition, Orange Comet will sell NFT “Walker Access Passes” — available to purchase for only 24 hours, priced at $311 (a nod to Season 11). Each of these is a unique one-to-one NFT that will grant access to exclusive future “The Walking Dead” NFT drops throughout the year. After the 24-hour window, the “Walker Access Pass” will not be available again for an entire year.
“As the ‘Walking Dead’ flagship series enters into its final stretch this year, we are excited to provide our hordes of passionate fans with a unique, new way to celebrate the series they’ve loved for the past 11 seasons,” said Kim Kelleher, president, commercial revenue and partnerships at AMC.
Kelleher added that the Orange Comet-designed NFTs “reflect the creativity and innovation the series has embodied since its premiere, and we’re thrilled to partner with them on this epic journey and pay tribute to the phenomenon that is ‘The Walking Dead.’”
NFTs provide a way to verify ownership of digital content — letting intellectual-property owners create and sell digital collectibles that are akin to baseball cards or physical artwork. The current NFT craze lit up in early 2021 and is still going strong across industries including entertainment, music and sports.
“In my opinion, this is a form of entertainment,” said veteran TV producer Dave Broome, who is co-founder and CEO of Orange Comet. “The game plan is, how do you reach the masses and get them to up their fandom — to get them to theme parks, get their butts into movie theaters and increase their digital collectibles.”
Beginning Feb. 20, “The Walking Dead” NFTs will be sold on the Orange Comet Marketplace powered by Eluvio’s blockchain technology. The NFT deal was brokered by licensing agent Striker Entertainment. Fans can sign up now at orangecomet.com to pre-register for the NFT drop; to buy “The Walking Dead” NFTs they will need to set up an Eluvio digital media wallet.
After the initial drop, subsequent “Walking Dead” NFTs will be available throughout the final season of the show — leading up to the launch of a virtual community geared around the series, where fans will be able to gather to buy, sell and trade their NFTs along with the chance to earn real world fan experiences related to the series, according to the companies. “The Walking Dead” community will also include NFTs surrounding characters and content from additional and upcoming series in the zombie-apocalypse franchise.
Orange Comet was co-founded by Broome, whose credits include “The Biggest Loser” and “Ultimate Beastmaster”; NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner; and Gloria and Emilio Estefan. The company has raised nearly $20 million to date.
“‘The Walking Dead’s’ stunning imagery, incredible array of characters and epic scope provides an inspiring and collaborative canvas for Orange Comet to continue its best-in-class, creative-first approach to the development of NFTs,” said Broome.
Orange Comet has about 40 employees, and all of the creative design and 3D animations are produced in-house, Broome said. “That’s the key to this stuff,” he said. “To me, [NFTs] are a game of providing the best content — the best creative wins.”
Previous NFT drops managed by Orange Comet include one in December for Stan Lee’s “Chakra the Invincible,” Lee’s first Indian superhero created with Sharad Devarajan. The 7,000 unique generative “Chakraverse” art pieces, along with animations and limited-editions of Lee’s first “Chakra The Invincible” graphic novel, sold out in less than a minute, according to Broome. In addition, Orange Comet inked a multiyear partnership with the NHL’s New York Islanders and UBS Arena to produce and sell NFTs.
Watch the teaser trailer for “The Walking Dead” NFT collection launch: