Who Wants Candy? Explaining MLB NFTs on Candy Digital
by Justin Perri
For months, many NFT collectors have discussed NBA Top Shot and now NFL x Dapper, but Major League Baseball is also getting involved in the NFT scene. In June 2021, the MLB announced that it had struck a long term deal with Candy Digital — a company that creates next generation collectibles — to create MLB NFTs.
Candy was founded by a group with deep ties to the collectible industry, including executives from Fanatics and Galaxy Digital along with Gary Vaynerchuk. Securing the rights to create NFTs of real game highlights and other iconic professional baseball related memorabilia means an unlimited potential of what parts of baseball history Candy can offer to users.
Initial MLB NFT Drops on Candy
Candy kicked off its MLB series with a special edition Lou Gehrig NFT, auctioned off on July 4. The first ever MLB NFT on Candy was created to commemorate the first official Lou Gehrig day in June. The 1-of-1 copy of the speech was available for bidding and contained the full audio of the famed speech. There was also a 100 edition Gehrig bronze bust NFT released as well.
Along with the more prized Gehrig collectibles, Candy released an open edition 2020 Los Angeles Dodgers championship medal NFT.
As baseball’s 2021 season continued into the summer, Candy released a stadium series that gave collectors a chance to own three dimensional cards highlighting the unique features of their favorite ballparks. A collaboration with a well-known minimalist artist, S. Preston, the style on these stadium NFTs is sharp and clean, giving a unique NFT flare to the history and style of the parks across the league.
Play of the Day and the First MLB Packs
Once every ballpark had been given an NFT, the next release was the Play of the Day, which started in the midst of the MLB playoffs. After each day of games, the best play would be selected and tokenized. Collectors had a short period to mint the play as an NFT before the edition closed forever.
This fun way for fans to get their hands on the most exciting daily athletic feats across the league ran until the end of the World Series.
MLB NFT Packs on Candy
In October of 2021, Candy released its Icon Packs and opened the doors on its platform, with its first ever pack drop. The packs were sold through a queue method where users were given a random spot in line at the time of the drop. Early Adopters in the Discord were able to purchase five packs during a private sale, and the public was allowed to buy one pack after going through the queue.
25,000 packs dropped in total, each costing $50 and containing three MLB NFTs. The NFTs in the Candy MLB packs featured players of different rarities and serial numbers, similar to NBA Top Shot. From Aaron Judge to Shohei Ohtani, you could open a pack to receive a wide variety of players. Each player was either a core, uncommon, rare, epic or legendary, with the legendary rarity being a 1-of-1 NFT.
What’s very interesting about this platform is that it’s built using Ethereum blockchain technology on a Layer 2 side chain called Palm. It’s much more environmentally conscious (it claims to be 99 percent more efficient) and it doesn’t come with the gas fees that plague traditional Layer 1 Ethereum NFTs.
What’s Next for Candy MLB NFTs
At the time of writing, the biggest development on the horizon for Candy is the release of the marketplace, set for January 15, 2022 Currently, you can not buy, sell or trade your Icon NFTs — Candy will update in their Discord when this changes. However, the sentiment around the project remains high.
It is the offseason for MLB, which allows for Candy to build and prepare for next season. The goals for the platform are to enable transacting for both the individual NFTs as well as the unopened packs. The social media team has indicated that there will be an offer system, gifting and a bridge to allow for collectors to bring their items on or off the platform as needed.
Candy is certainly still in its infancy, the company had less than 15 employees when they launched in July and now has just finished offering official World Series collectibles for the champion Atlanta Braves. This is an exciting project to pay attention to both for the licensed IP and the sharp team of creators that is behind it. A
s we have seen from other officially partnered projects that combine professional sports and digital collectibles, there is potential for exciting fan experiences and activation — bringing the people and their favorite teams together. We’ll have to wait until the 2022 MLB season to see if Candy is able to do the same.