3 - 5 minute read
William Shatner, the original Star Trek captain and longtime Twitter crypto enthusiast, has officially dropped his NFT release, Infinite Connections, at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2023 conference. The release comprises two collections: Cosmic Explorer and Timeless Voyager. Cosmic Explorer features 2,500 NFTs with a Shatner 3D avatar paired with artwork that explores scientific themes like quantum physics and sonic vibrations. Each one also includes a physical action figure of Captain James T. Kirk, the role Shatner is best known for, each hand-signed by Shatner with a quote from the character. The other collection, Timeless Voyager, includes 1,000 NFTs of 2D artwork of future tech and the cosmos. There’s no action figure included, but “select” holders will have access to unspecified IRL opportunities.
To create and release his collection, Shatner partnered with Orange Comet, a Web3 entertainment company that recently raised $7 million in a funding round. The company has also worked with former NBA star Scottie Pippen, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and the hit TV show The Walking Dead. Orange Comet CEO Dave Broome revealed how the deal with Shatner occurred, and how Shatner’s intellectual curiosity was a key component. “This is a man at 92 who is still inquiring, and still has an ability to learn and embrace technology and understanding what it could do,” Broome said. “What we’re interested in doing is taking someone like iconic legendary William Shatner and all of the millions and millions of fans that he has, and bring them over into web3.”
Shatner’s release comes at a transitional time for NFTs. Although the days of extreme hype in the mainstream and multimillion-dollar sales like Beeple’s are long gone, celebrity drops of NFTs have been surprisingly resilient. Last winter, former president Donald Trump released an NFT collection that sold out within a day. That led to a second release in April that sold out just as quickly – although prices for collectibles from the first drop had plummeted.
Shatner, a household name with a huge fan base, clearly sees a similar opportunity. If the release is successful, more releases from other crypto-native and -curious celebrities could follow — perhaps even from other Star Trek celebrities. Shatner’s collection went on sale Thursday at 3 p.m. Pacific Time at WilliamShatnerNFTs.com. Interested buyers can whip up Shatner-themed NFTs with either crypto or traditional credit-card payments.
NFTs are slowly becoming more artistic, Shatner said backstage at the conference. “These, developed by Orange Comet, are among the most artistic that I’ve ever seen.” Shatner’s collection features images of Shatner integrated in imagery that’s evocative of science and technology, such as where the contours of his face are filled in with illuminated strings that curve and overlap each other, or another where his head connected to high-tech machinery resembling a helmet from Halo. “What we’re trying to do with these images is show the connection — the mathematic, romantic, stars, quantum physics — the connection between it all, and we think buried in those images are those philosophies,” Shatner said.
The Bottom Line
William Shatner’s NFT release, Infinite Connections, is a significant event for the NFT market. The release could lead to more celebrity drops and provide new opportunities for traders. However, traders should be aware of the volatile nature of the market and carefully consider their investments.