Former President Donald Trump teased a “major announcement” on Wednesday night. It was a big production complete with a grainy animation of Trump, who is currently running to regain his old job, shooting lasers out of his eyes and ripping open a button-down shirt to reveal a Superman-style costume complete with a gleaming “T” on his muscled chest.
“America needs a superhero,” Trump intones to the camera, backed by a soaring score.
A day later, the announcement has arrived.
Trump is peddling an “NFT collection” for his supporters to buy. The NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are pieces of digital art featuring Trump in various Barbie-esque styles and occupations: there’s cowboy-soldier Trump with a gun aloft near his 10-gallon hatted head; there’s badly photoshopped fancy Trump in a tux on a red carpet; there’s boxer Trump with an electrified 45 emblazoned on his gloves; movie mogul Trump does a decisive point, wearing pink aviators before the Hollywood sign. They can be yours for $99 (each).
“Collect all of your favorite Trump Digital Trading Cards, very much like a baseball card, but hopefully much more exciting,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
“Don’t wait,” he added. “They will be gone, I believe, very quickly!”
The cards come with additional bonuses, Trump said in a video released today, including “amazing prizes” like chances to win a dinner with Trump — “I don’t know if that’s an amazing prize but it’s what we have,” he interjects — a golf day at one of his clubs, one-on-one meetings and signed memorabilia.
The former president is launching this initiative at the tail end of the boom in NFTs, which allow for limited and verifiable collections of digital art. At the height of the craze last year, some of these digital pieces went for millions.
This is not the first time the Trump camp has forayed into the land of NFTs: Melania Trump released her own series early this year. Melania’s initial auction did not go as planned, with reporters discovering that the collection’s disappointing $170,000 purchase was ultimately made by the person who set up the auction in the first place — potentially, Melania herself.
So far, this experiment is going over about as well as that one, even among stalwart Trump fans.
“Man…when all Patriots are looking for is hope for the future of our country and Trump hypes everybody up with a ‘BIG ANNOUNCEMENT,’” wrote right-wing comedians and Trump supporters “The Hodgetwins” wrote on Twitter, “then drops a low quality NFT collection video as the ‘announcement’, it just pushes people away…Damn.”
The facepalming extends beyond MAGA celebrities. Even Michael Biundo, a veteran New Hampshire strategist and former senior advisor to Trump’s 2016 campaign, expressed disappointment with the launch on Twitter.
“I know this will anger some in Trump world but come on!” Biundo wrote. “Can we all just admit this is not great for Donald Trump’s first major announcement since announcing he’s running again? I kinda of feel like we are being punked.”