First Beeples, Then Apes and Now Even Barbie! What The NFT Is Up with That?

Andrew Steenkamp
6 min readFeb 14, 2022
Barbie x Balmain

The crypto market never stands still. New kinds of assets constantly emerge, such as Altcoins, Stablecoins, and other project tokens. But every few years, a new type of crypto asset makes a big splash in the market, triggering fast-rising valuations and the creation of several new use cases.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have spread across virtually every sector of the decentralized industry as a bridge between the digital and real worlds. As the name implies, NFTs are unique tokens that give their holders immutable ownership rights to specific assets.

As an asset class that can be attached to a work of art, a pair of sneakers, or a collectible in a video game — NFTs have become highly sought-after in the crypto market.

Factors that Drive an NFT’s Value

Determining the precise value of an NFT is difficult since the asset class is relatively new. While tangible artworks like the Mona Lisa or physical collectibles like NBA player cards have defined values, investors looking at NFTs may have a hard time deciding whether a given asset or collectible is worth their money and whether they really want or need it.

There are two types of NFT art currently in the market. First, you have one-off visuals that are sold as non-fungible tokens, just like paintings in real life. The most well-known example of this is the Beeple NFT.

Everydays -The First 5000 Days

Beeple’s “Everydays -The First 5000 Days” is a collage of digital art comprised of several years’ worth of daily sketches from the artist Mike Winkelmann, better known online as Beeple.

The digital artwork was auctioned by Christie’s (a 225-year-old auction house that previously only sold physical art) at a standalone online auction, which took place from February 25 to March 11, 2021. After all the bids were placed, it was finally sold for a whopping $69,346,250. Beeple’s Everydays currently holds the title the most expensive one-off NFT’s ever sold to date.


Then there are NFT collections, the most famous ones being CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). These are when artists and developers create many (usually around 10,000) NFTs that have the same template with different characteristics.

Launched in June of 2017 by product studio Larva Labs, CryptoPunks is one of the first NFT collections on the Ethereum blockchain, consisting of 10,000 unique 24×24-pixel art images depicting humans (male and female), apes, zombies and aliens.

Each Punk can exhibit a combination of 87 unique attributes, or, as most call them — traits. Some can even have 0 traits, but the max amount a single punk can have up to seven traits. The highest legitimate sale for a CryptoPunk is $11.7 million.

Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC)

The rise of popular generative avatar projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club can be traced directly back to the CryptoPunk mold. Bored Ape Yacht Club is undoubtedly one of the most influential NFT projects out there.

Arguably second only to CryptoPunks when it comes to profile picture projects, BAYC not only kicked off the 2021 NFT avatar craze but gave thousands of collectors an affordable alternative to Punks and a vibrant community to call home.

In the case of BAYC, there are 10,000 apes, each with different “properties”. These properties are displayed on OpenSea, the main platform where NFTs are traded. On any given NFT’s page, its properties will be listed as well as the percentage of NFTs in the collection that share the property. Usually, anything under 1% is considered rare. The rarer the properties, the more valuable the NFT.

In the case of Bored Apes, the “floor” price is $304,476.03 but rare ones sometimes sell for millions. Recently, similar to Cryptopunks, an auction of 101 went for $24 million.

NFT example

The world’s most famous doll is entering the world of NFTs, dressed in pink silk satin by luxury fashion house Balmain. This collaboration marks Barbie’s first incursion in the world of NFTs and one of their first collaboration with Balmain, which, thankfully, has put Proof of Concept models at the forefront of their marketing.

On their page, we can see some stylish avatars wearing pink pillow bags, sweater dresses, and of course, the Balmain x Barbie logo. Balmain’s creative director, Olivier Rousteing, has labelled this collaboration a dream come true, giving rise to a diversity of ready-to-wear pieces and accessories.

One of Balmains Outfits

As expected, almost all pieces feature varying degrees of the Barbie pink to some of Balmain’s signature outfits, including their famous sailor shirt. As many streetwear and luxury brands have been implementing their NFT digital strategy, they’ll be providing the highest bidders with the avatar and a physical Barbie-scaled version of the outfit their avatar is wearing.

The first clothing brand to dip its toes into the uncharted digital waters of the Metaverse and NFTs was Adidas, followed by Nike and Balenciaga. Like how Balmain partnered with Barbie, Gucci has partnered with Superplastic to create SUPERGUCCI (yes, all caps), a 3-part series of super exclusive NFTs designed by Gucci’s head of design. The collection will include ten exclusive NFTs and physical ceramic sculptures.

Closing Thoughts

Value is largely a matter of personal perception, but intrinsic value does obey several market rules. When it comes to NFTs, the rules are locked in three main factors, which in themselves depend on the NFT’s issuer. Basically, how valuable an NFT resides in their short- and long-term resale value.

The versatility of NFTs as an asset class clearly shines light on how they can carry endless possibilities, more than just being a collectible or a digital representation of an object. In the future, it seems like real luxury will be instead represented not by what someone wears but what their metaverse avatar does.

Did you like this article?

What do you think these three-super rare NFT’s Floor price should be? Should they be valued as a one-off visual due to the rarity of such a collaboration? Or should it be considered part of the collection? Leave your thoughts below in the comment section and tell me why you think so.

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Andrew Steenkamp

Metaverse Enthusiast and Online Entrepreneur! Builder of Millennials How To Guild (Although it is down for repairs)