Does Web3 have the potential to reinvent character-based I.P.? Cuy Sheffield thinks so, and makes a thought provoking argument on a16z’s Tech Trends blog. Great character-based I.P.–e.g. Marvel, Star Wars, Harry Potter— succeeds at building gigantic, engaged fanbases. (It also succeeds in lining the pockets of a select few companies.) If Web2 enabled fans to easily invest in these characters (i.e. buy stock in Marvel Entertainment), why can’t Web3 enable fans to easily participate in—and profit from— their creation (i.e. through an ingenious DAO)?


  • The MV3 Universe, co-created by Stranger Things writer Jessie Nickson-Lopez, is a collection of 6,500 NFT characters populating a world that will be brought to life in comic books, video games, films, and more. Holders of an NFT get to participate directly in the upside of the IP.
  • Kevin Smith’s next film “Killroy Was Here” can only be seen by “unlocking” it with one of 5,555 NFTs he’s releasing. The NFT also enables collectors to become artistic collaborators in creating the sequel to the film.
  • Pop culture toy company Funko is expanding from physical toys to digital collectibles and opening up an entirely new revenue stream. They’re releasing a series of Transformers NFTs inspired by trading cards, and collectors can exchange rare cards for exclusive physical prizes.

Signal Flares is a series of microblog posts that cover compelling trends in Web3 and Food.