Stoner Cats NFT sale rakes in over $8 million despite technical ‘cat-astrophes’

Quick Take

  • A token sale for the newly launched animated show Stoner Cats sold out its collection of non-fungible tokens for 3,647 ETH. 
  • However, due to technical issues, several users did not receive their NFTs despite paying the transaction fees. The Stoner Cats team says it will refund all failed transactions. 
  • The show, which was co-produced by Mila Kunis, is one of the first to be fully funded by NFTs, with cast members including Ashton Kutcher, Jane Fonda, Chris Rock, and even Vitalik Buterin. 

A recent token sale for Mila Kunis’ newly launched NFT animated show Stoner Cats sold out its collection of NFTs for 3,647 ETH (about $8.4 million). The sale finished in less than 40 minutes. 

Stoner Cats is one of the first television shows that will be fully funded by non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, which are digital collectibles that exist on the blockchain. The show follows a family of cats and the old woman they live with. The cats are voiced by several well-known names in the entertainment world and beyond, including Ashton Kutcher, Jane Fonda, Chris Rock, and even Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. 

The sale, which featured a collection of 10,420 NFTs of digital cats with unique traits, was created to fund and promote the show’s production. By shelling out 0.35 ETH (about $800) for a Stoner Cat NFT, users could unlock access to all episodes of the television show — in addition to owning the NFT itself. 

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. The sale encountered technical issues, which led to many users not receiving their tokens despite paying transaction fees. According to Dune Analytics, such affected users were set back by 344 ETH, worth $700,000.

Stoner Cats co-star Ashton Kutcher has stated that the Stoner Cats team will “personally gift” ETH to cover all failed transaction fees. 

The problem occurred largely because there were so many users trying to quickly buy the NFTs, causing Ethereum transaction fees to skyrocket and clogging up the Ethereum blockchain. And the way that Ethereum works is that, even if the transaction fails, users still end up having to pay for the transaction fees.

“We followed the industry standards and haven’t found any glitches. But, we believe we should hold ourselves to higher standards. We learned a lot and are going to write it all up and share it,” Kutcher tweeted this weekend. 

Since the sale, many of the Stoner Cat tokens have been put up for auction on NFT marketplace OpenSea, with minimum starting bids set as high as 59 ETH (about $153,000). 


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Why Stoner Cats is using NFTs

According to Lisa Sterbakov, partner at Orchid Farm Productions and a member of the team behind Stoner Cats, the team wanted to find a way to retain creative control and financial ownership of the show. 

After several weeks of planning and sitting on Zoom calls, what started as a traditional Hollywood-like show turned into an NFT project. 

“Unfortunately, the machine that creates content has all these hurdles in place, especially for a story that people haven’t seen before,” Sterbakov told The Block. “By funding the show through NFTs, we are giving artists the opportunity to get their work out and do it quickly.”

According to Sterbakov, the team also wanted to get immediate feedback from viewers and involve them in the production process somehow. 

“We have our arc and we know the big story we want to tell, but there are lots of smaller parts that we want to include with input from the community,” Sterbakov said. “For instance, in a scene with graffiti, we could put community members’ handles.”

Sterbakov said the team hasn’t yet decided how many seasons of Stoner Cats will be produced, but the first season, which is currently running, will have five six-minute episodes. Users that bought a Stoner Cat NFT will have access to all of the show’s episodes as well any new series the production team releases in the future.

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About Author

Saniya More (pronounced: Saan-ya Mo-ray) is a quadrilingual journalist at The Block. She got her master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and did her undergraduate degree at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University. Her work has appeared in CBS News, Bangkok Post, Thai Enquirer, Globalists, Byline Times and other publications. When she’s not chasing a story, you will most likely find her biking, tweeting, taking photos or creating Spotify playlists for every occasion.