Tokens on the Half Shell: Are TMNT NFT’s Notable Nostalgia or a Slimy Scam?

In a perfect of marriage of millennial pop culture and modern tech, the original 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) cartoon is said to be entering the NFT space this spring.

@TMNTNFT dropped the news in a Twitter clip which included an animation of toxic ooze, the origin of the ninja turtles in the series. However, there is some stirring controversy over the legitimacy of this Twitter account.

In 1984 TMNT debuted as an original comic book published by Mirage Studios. While TMNT was intended as a spoof of the then popular superhero genre, the wacky premise of genetically altered ninja turtles was a surprise hit.

Mirage licensed TMNT characters to Playmates Toys which sold about $1.1 billion USD of TMNT toys between 1988 and 1992. The franchise grew to include several cartoons, movies, and video games.

What’s curious is that the NFT Twitter account has no apparent affiliation with Viacom (owner of Nickelodeon/Paramount Pictures), which is believed to have bought the entirety of the TMNT franchise in 2009.

Instead @TMNTNFT asserts that they own the rights to the 1987 Original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, as if it is separate from Paramount Picture’s TMNT franchise.


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