Veefriends, the expansive illustrated NFT universe created by serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary Vee), was envisioned as a purely digital affair but, briefly, it entered the physical realm as part of upstart NFT-to-IRL imprint Zerocool's debut drop.

Zerocool is the latest digital-first effort of Fanatics, the sportswear conglomerate that bought Mitchell & Ness with JAY-Z. Through its Fanatics Collectibles arm, the company also issues physical trading cards.

Veefriends, meanwhile, was launched by Vaynerchuk in 2021 and features thousands of exclusively digital NFTs of "hand-sketched" quality ("quality" being subjective here).

The project's par for the course for Vaynerchuk, the perpetually online moneyhound who's preparing to launch Veecon, a conference on Web3, NFTs, and digital culture, in Summer 2022.

The relationship between NFTs and trading cards is clear: the ways that cards are minted, verified, and auctioned off, is a comparable device for explaining how NFTs function. Plus, just like NFTs, they often turn extraordinary profit due to perceived rarity and shocking demand.

Zerocool's Veefriends set comprises 268 unique physical trading cards, each printed with one of the NFT collection's characters. These cards, some of Vee's personal sketches, and a couple signed designs, were randomly packaged and sold as a limited edition of 250 cases (each case contains 40 cards).

"Juicy Jaguar" might be a tough sell for your significant other but it didn't stop the feverish bidding, which ended at $2,150 per case.

Sounds crazy but these are NFT collectors we're talking about here.

NFT-themed trading cards are basically just taking two highly covetable, monetizable assets and fusing them into one resellable package.

Art be damned, there's money to be made.

And Veefriends was only the beginning. Zerocool's already onto the next thing: limited edition trading cards that dropped alongside CLOT's Nike Dunk "Flux."

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