On Sunday, Mediapart went back over the NFT Plush collection, which was promoted last year by numerous influencers and other celebrities. While these NFTs were supposed to fund a community-driven film, everything seems to be in disarray today. Let’s go over these points in detail, which should have alerted investors
A look back at the disillusionment of the NFT Plush collection
On Sunday 23 March, Mediapart published an investigation into the Plush animated film project, an initiative that was intended to be financed by the community via the sale of non-fungible tokens (NFT), thus making investors the film’s co-producers.
Plush was brought to life by an entrepreneur named Fabien Tref, according to our colleagues. Many French personalities have been promoting the project for almost a year now, such as Kev Adams, Dadju, Gims, Camille Lellouche or Poqssi to name but a few :
Teddy bears and cryptocurrencies in Dubai: the bad movie of Kev Adams
Some 700 investors lost more than a million euros in the animated film project “Plush”, promoted by the star KevAdams Mediapart reveals the black spots of this project https://t.co/VSzgCvFeys pic.twitter.com/nhevqidQHq
– Mediapart (@Mediapart) April 23, 2023
The idea was to sell up to 50,000 NFTs representing teddy bears to be worn on screen, in order to raise “$60-80 million”. The NFT holders were to have a say in certain aspects of the script, and share up to 80% of any box office profits.
While it is not our place to accuse anyone, it is clear that while the promises were good, the results are not.
According to Mediapart, 770 investors have invested around 1.5 million euros and today, the project is at a standstill, which is reflected in a Twitter account that has been abandoned since September 2022. Thus, the film promised for Christmas 2023 seems to be compromised, to say the least.
So it’s an abject failure, and if the data from the NFT platform OpenSea is anything to go by, only 1,327 NFTs have been sold. With a starting price of €1,290, the floor price of the collection is now €0.21 ETH, or just €355 at the current asset price:
Thus, the said collection generated a volume of only 26 ETH. All these elements constitute a severe disillusionment for the investors who were promised a more than enviable return on their investment:
While there are no guarantees, on average you will make six to seven times what you put in in 24 months. Which is enormous, when you think about it, you go to the Savings Bank, a traditional bank, and you make less than 1% in a year. “
The warning signs were there
Apart from the questionable promotion of the people involved, the Plush website would have many signals that could have alerted the investor.
Firstly, Plush seemed to rely solely on funding from its community. While this was the intention of the project, it could also be interpreted as a lack of support from the film industry, which would raise questions about the viability of the project.
Moreover, everything seemed to be focused on the expectation of financial gain, with a “whitepaper” of barely 7 pages, which is more like an advertising brochure than anything else. For example, no real detailed budget analysis is presented on what the production of the animated film is supposed to cost.
An ambitious roadmap was announced, with a theatrical release announced for next Christmas, while less than a year ago, the script was not even finalised.
On the other hand, the experience of the production companies’ teams was put forward. Indeed, they would have worked on animated films such as Minions during their professional careers. Even so, it is not enough to have worked in some famous company for our future experiences to be a guarantee of success.
For example, the revenues of films produced by the former employers of the individuals mentioned are used for completely arbitrary calculations to suggest $468 million in potential profits and a profitability of 516% for $7,480 in earnings per NFT:
A negative image for the ecosystem
These are just some of the more salient elements that should have made investors extremely wary of Plush NFT.
The problem with such projects being taken up en masse by certain influencers and public figures is that it has a negative impact on several aspects. The first is obviously the financial loss they cause to their community, whether they were acting in good faith or not.
Secondly, it discredits an entire ecosystem in the eyes of the general public, and ill-informed people are more likely to associate NFTs with such failures than with the real revolution they bring.
Finally, this can lead to potentially inappropriate laws that penalise an entire industry, as could be the case with the current “influencer law” that is being drawn up. It should also be noted that the company created for Plush by Fabien Tref would be based in Dubai, which only makes possible legal proceedings more difficult.
Investors should therefore be wary when their favourite “star”, who has a priori no competence in the Web3 ecosystem, comes to promise them explosive returns without any concrete figures.