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‘Crypto Homies’ Will Turn Iconic 90s Toy Figurines Like ‘Mr. Raza,’ ‘Big Loco,’ and Friends Into NFTs. Estimated Value? $100 Million

11:20 AM PST on December 15, 2021

    Homies, the toy figurines famous for keeping it real, are joining the art market that’s all but virtual.

    David Gonzales, the artist who brought the world both the Homies comic strip in Lowrider Magazine and later the collectible toys, announced the launch of “Crypto Homies” on his Instagram, conveying characters both beloved and reviled into the futuristic world of NFTs. Short for non-fungible tokens, these are one-of-a-kind digital artworks allotted only to a specific buyer, trackable through the blockchain. And that's about all we got on that.

    Gonzalez is collaborating on a series of 13 NFTs with a new agency called “Non-Fungible Art,” which promises “white glove” service in bringing people and companies’ creative properties into the world of blockchain art. The Homies pieces will launch on the new Crypto Homies website in the first quarter of next year to celebrate the 25th birthday of the toys' release, promising 13 initial works featuring six first series Homies, including Droopy, Mr. Raza, Big Loco, and Eightball.

    When Homies figures were first released in 1998, they created a frenzy, embraced by some for a physical manifestation of barrio caricatures said to be inspired by the artists’ own circle of friends, while others, including the LAPD and the Imagen Foundation, derided them as portraying community-damaging Chicano stereotypes and/or toys that promote gang membership, leading to a ban on sales at major retailers like Walmart. Either way, the toys became a massive phenomenon, going from plastic figures you’d get in a plastic bubble from a candy machine to highly sought collectibles with sales of over 120 million figurines.

    Currently, the Crypto Homies website has a waiting list and has warned potential buyers that the site is so popular, it has experienced server issues. Which could just be the NFT equivalent to holding a long line outside of the club. Or a true reflection of how much digital art buyers want to get their hands on these slices of late 90s nostalgia.

    The Homies NFTs are said to be meeting a demand for digital art from Gonzales. The works will live as interactive 3D pieces on the ETH blockchain that belong to whoever is crazy enough to buy these things, and also viewable on a Homies AR App. The first releases will be released in original colorways, along with limited-edition versions in tones such as silver and gold. Purchases will come with potential surprises such as actual real-world art by Gonzales and conceivable entry to a Crypto Homies Lowrider Car Club and a chance to win an actual lowrider.

    So at least when you buy a Homies NFT, there’s some potential real-world benefit beyond just being the individual who spent their life savings on an arguably existent drawing of this foo.

    But if you thought trying to track wheelchair homie down proved difficult as a kid, the estimated $100 million value of the initial Homies NFTs puts the attainability of these original six characters into a new stratosphere.

    If you’re still down for this brave new world of Homies art, you can sign up for the waiting list right here.

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