5 of the Most Valuable Physical Backed NFTs of All Time

By: Nila Lê, Senior Content Manager at Dibbs

Brands across industries are minting physical collectibles into NFTs. Here’s a look at some of the biggest head-turners

As excitement around NFTs (non-fungible tokens) moves from fevered buzz to matter-of-fact adoption, more companies are catching on to the market potential of physical backed NFTs. Sold-out campaigns, million-dollar earnings, a novel source of passive income, and an easy way to participate in the adoption of Web3 are just some of the reasons behind the trend.

And if these five collectibles are any indication, fans are delighted.

Why Brands and Their Fans Love Physical Backed NFTs

Physical backed NFTs are attached to a specific, real-life physical object. A brand can mint an NFT of an existing collectible or, like most brands in the examples below, create two versions of a new collectible item: a physical version and an NFT.

That means they get to put out two different products and reach two different markets at the same time. Partnering with a platform that specializes in physical backed NFTs also means they get to do so with relative ease. For example, the most comprehensive platforms facilitate the entire process: verifying the physical item, making sure it’s stored securely, minting the NFT, and placing it on our market, where it can be bought and resold by collectors.

Fans who buy a physical backed NFT can redeem it for the physical collectible or, more likely, resell that NFT on the secondary market. Brands that mint their collectibles earn a royalty fee for every sale of their NFT and reach a wider audience. In other words, it’s a win-win.

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5 of the Most Valuable Physical Backed NFTs of All Time

Collectors are not shy about spending serious cash on rare, coveted items. This passion extends to collectible physical backed NFTs. Let’s take a look at five of the most valuable (so far!), ranging from high fashion to skateboards.

1. Hennessy 8 Cognac ($226,450)

Coming in at $226,450 per bottle, an NFT of the historic Hennessy 8 is for those who enjoy the finer things in both physical and digital life.

The Hennessy brand (owned by LVMH) originally released Hennessy 8 in 2017. In January 2022, the company partnered with Block Bar, an NFT marketplace specializing in minting rare wines and liquors, to create an NFT of the coveted cognac — described as “rich, complex, and velvety on the tongue.” The NFT owner can redeem their token for a physical bottle (there are only 250 in existence), which comes with a wooden locking case and a full tasting set.

Aside from its monetary value, the physical backed NFT is another brand loyalty feather in Hennessey’s cap. Its cognacs are already treasured by collectors worldwide and the NFT is a fresh way to engage a new generation of spirit enthusiasts.

2. FEWOCiOUS Collection from RTFKT ($3.1 million) 

RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”), a digital fashion studio recently acquired by Nike, paired up with the rising digital artist FEWOCiOUS, to create three pairs of collectible NFT sneakers. The collection sold out in seven minutes, generating the equivalent of $3.1 million in sales. Token owners also have the option to redeem their virtual sneakers for a physical pair of kicks.

The sneaker world is eager to innovate in the digital space, where shoes are not constrained by physical realities — you can add animation, flashing lights, shoot flames — and sneakerheads rejoice.

3. Dolce & Gabbana’s “Collezione Genesi” ($5.7 million)

The fashion maison paired up with UNXD to mint NFTs for a bespoke nine-piece collection, reportedly designed by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana themselves. The collection sold out, netting a total of 1,885 ETH (or about $5.7 million).

In return, the NFT holders can receive a corresponding, custom-fit item within a one- to two-year period. High fashion is going full speed ahead on the NFT market and the success of this collection shows the industry’s potential as a venue for physical backed NFTs.

4. Azuki’s “Golden Skateboards” ($2.5 million)

Nine digital gold-plated skateboards created by NFT issuer Azuki netted a total of $2.5 million (in Ether) in 24 hours. The NFT owners can redeem their digital token for an actual, 45-pound, 24-karat gold-plated skateboard. Each of the skateboards features a unique emblem created by the Azuki brand, which makes the NFT holders “a part of Azuki mythology.”

The success of this campaign is proof of concept for other digital art creators who may want to tie an NFT with a physical collectible.

5. Tiffany’s CryptoPunk Pendants ($12.5 million)

CryptoPunks, a collection of 10,000 unique tokens inspired by the cyberpunk movement, took the NFT world by storm in 2017. Over the next few years, they became a collector’s item, with CryptoPunk  #5822 fetching an equivalent of $23.7 million. In the summer of 2022, in perhaps the most delightfully unlikely pairing ever, Tiffany & Co. minted NFTs (called “NFTiffs”) of jewel-encrusted CryptoPunk pendants at $50,000 each.

To add to the exclusivity, NFTiffs were only available to people who already owned a CryptoPunk NFT. The campaign raised an eye-watering total of $12.5 million, proving that legacy brands have a hand to play in the digital market.

Physical backed NFTs are changing how brands think about their products and their audience. Considering the wide range of applications (i.e., pretty much anything can be an NFT), we’re likely to see more digital wines, sneakers, jerseys, and vintage cars in the near future. And if the items on this list are any indication, this is an extremely lucrative market available to almost any kind of business.

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