Update: Fraggle NFTs Not Looking So Great

Published: February 1, 2023
Categories: Commentary, Feature

So here we are again. Over a year ago, we heard that the Henson Company was making Labyrinth NFTs. We here at ToughPigs said this was a very foolish idea: pointless, uncreative, harmful, and counter to the ideals that Henson had pioneered in his work.

Months later, we heard that Fraggle Rock NFTs were coming; we at ToughPigs thought this was an even worse idea.

Well, we’ve learned more about these Fraggle Rock NFTs, so let’s take a second to explore how they’re shaping up to be even worse than we imagined.

So, as you know, NFTs are digital collectibles that use the blockchain to create some kind of exclusivity. 

What do Fraggle NFTs look like? How do they work?

Well, we finally know, thanks to updates on the Tibles website.

Let’s make like Gobo and explore, shall we?

The first thing we see is that “Collecting is just the beginning.” We’re told that “When you peer through the baseboard of Doc’s workshop you enter a world of collecting and trading, of showing off and organizing, chatting, friending and gifting, a world of friendly competition and cool prizes.”

Well, I like those things. What are we collecting and organizing, exactly?

Well, we’re buying packs of “digital objects.” The website shows us a bunch of these digital objects: they seem to be rectangular images with pictures of Fraggles, Doozers, and Gorgs on them.

We’ve seen these images before. They’re mostly just the promotional images the Henson Company has been using for years. For instance, you can find them on Muppet Wiki, in extremely high resolution, and do whatever you want with them. For free! Scott and Danny and Shane and company already did the hard work for you!

If you’re as obsessive as me, you’re probably wondering about characters like Pa Gorg and Doc, who have never had promotional artwork. Well, as the image above shows us, they’ve simply photoshopped them out of existing screenshots. Take a look at Gerry Parkes and Sprocket up there, and you can clearly tell those are photos from different shoots, taken in different qualities, and even in different eras.

Heck, you can even find this exact image of Gerry Parkes on Muppet Wiki. It’s the first one on the page “Doc.” They just cut out the background and added in a too-recent image of Sprocket.

So, great. We’re spending money on digital rectangles that show images we can get in better quality on Muppet Wiki.

Well don’t worry, because the folks at Tibles really seem to understand the fun of collecting. We’re told, immediately after these images, that you can “get duplicates of some, none of others in Limited or Standard Editions.” Sure. My favorite part of collecting is spending money to get none.

Okay, sure. We can always trade.

This image assures us that we can trade, say, with Sprocket, if we need Gobo or Boober. This image also confirms that the folks at Tibles are working very meticulously, because up until some Twitter users posted about it, it misspelled Mokey as “Mockey.” You can see that image below.

So okay, we have some basic images of Fraggles, sometimes spelled correctly. Sometimes not. We are spending real money on these images, despite the fact that we can find them on Muppet Wiki.

Now, look, I’m a collector. I have a bunch of Muppet toys around my apartment. I collect cards, too, for what it’s worth, including Pokemon cards and Magic the Gathering cards. Also worth noting, I’m old enough to remember the Muppet trading cards that existed. You’d spend money and get packs of images of Muppets, and jokes, and stuff like that. It was fun to sort through them.

Isn’t this the same as that? Well, for one thing, those cards, and objects, are physical objects I own, and can look at whenever I want, and display in different places.

For another, those Muppet cards featured photos most fans hadn’t seen, from new or rare photoshoots. 

For a final thing, it was 1993, and Danny Horn hadn’t invented Muppet Wiki yet.

If I wanted to “collect” digital images of Fraggles that I just took from Muppet Wiki, I would save the images from Muppet Wiki and put them on my gallery app. Like this.

Aw man, I got duplicates of Red. Let me know if you want to trade.

So, okay, this is all very silly and kind of pointless. But what else does Tibles promise us? Well, they promise us this:

“What’s more, we have built a fun and thriving community of Fraggle Rock fans to hang with, trade, buy, sell, compete with and celebrate cool stuff with.”

Community! I love community! Isn’t that what Fraggle Rock is all about?

Let me just, uh, check out how big this community is.

On Twitter, Tibles has 1,785 followers. The Henson Company has partnered with a company that has only twice as many followers as me, a Muppet fan who mostly tweets pictures of Prairie Dawn that I’ve labeled “Mood.”

The ToughPigs account has 21.5K followers.

What I mean is, if you want a community of Fraggle lovers, maybe you’d be better off hanging with us? We don’t charge you and we love posting high-res images from Muppet Wiki. Here’s one!

Folks, I could keep writing forever, but I don’t want to put more effort into this than the folks at Tibles did.

Usually, I’d remind you that NFTs are incredibly bad for the environment, but I know Tibles will tell me that since they use Flow, they’re barely harming the environment at all. Me, I’d argue that harming the environment even a smidge more simply so I can look at a picture of Boober Fraggle that I could already see on Muppet Wiki is a little ridiculous, but whatever. I don’t have the energy to fight Tibles right now.

What I can tell you is that the money could not be less worth it. Fraggle Rock is a show about community. And the great thing is, we Muppet fans already built many, many communities, all on our own, without microtransactions and a complex barter system. Join us on ToughPigs. Help out on Muppet Wiki! Tweet at friends on MuppetsTwitter. Go to the Museum of the Moving Image. Read a book.

We don’t need these. I’m a silly creature: I know silly when I see it.

Thanks to Twitter user @ad_dmer for alerting us to these updates. Thanks Sopho!

Click here to trade your dupes on the ToughPigs forum!

by Becca Petunia

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