Beloved painter Bob Ross died in 1995 from complications of lymphoma, but before he passed away he made it very clear to the world that he did not want his image used for profit. But recently, pop figure maker Funko got in on the hot new digital scam by turning Ross into an NFT that can be purchased on December 21st.
This scam is the antithesis of what Bob Ross wanted. Just before he passed away, he made significant changes to his will to prevent capitalists from profiting from him after his death. More specifically, he wanted his family, Steve, his son, and his half-brother, Jimmie Cox, to retain the rights to his name, image, and likeness (NIL). Things got complicated when Cox allegedly relinquished his rights to the company, and once all was said and done, Ross’s business partners Annette and Walt Kowalski took control of the entire estate. The Kowalskis wanted that all along, sending Ross a threatening fax just days before the final episode of Joy of Painting aired. From his deathbed and even beyond the grave, Ross sought to fight those who sought to profit.
And now, we have Bob Ross Pop digital NFTs, which you can buy directly from Funko’s digital website. There are two packages available, one for $10 and one for $30, although I don’t understand why anyone would do this. The standard pack comes with five digital Pop cards, while the more expensive premium pack contains 15, all viewable through platforms called Droppp and TokenHead, which host NFTs for buying via the blockchain.
We’ve reached out to Funko for comment and will update if we hear back.
As you can imagine, people online are very angry about this, and for good reason. This is not what Ross wanted, as evidenced by how hard he tried (and ultimately failed) to make it for the vultures that hovered around his fame. There’s a full Netflix documentary that dropped in August detailing the dangers of Bob Ross’s estate, with confessions from Steve about Ross’s last wishes.
However, the thing about capitalists is that they don’t care. If you make money, they will exploit you for all eternity. As such, Ross has since appeared in everything from movies like Deadpool 2 to shows like Family Guy. He even made an appearance as a playable champion in MOBA Smite, and now he’s a collectible NFT. The world is really going to shit.
A strain on the planet’s finite resources, NFTs are popping up everywhere. Celebrities sell them. The artists are digging them. Even game studios are getting into them despite not understanding how they work at all. And now we live in hell where Ghost Recon: Breakpoint features an NFT that you can get for free if you play more than 600 hours of the open world shooter.