Steamboat Willie Tops NFT Trading on OpenSea

Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • An early Mickey Mouse Mascot, Steamboat Willie, has topped NFT trading on OpenSea shortly after the character’s copyright expired
  • NFT collections featuring the mascot have attracted a trading volume of over $2 million on the NFT marketplace
  • The collections share the top position with Bored Apes and Pudgy Penguins

Walt Disney’s early Mickey Mouse version known as Steamboat Willie has topped NFT trading on OpenSea, attracting a trading volume of over $2 million. The mascot entered the NFT space shortly after its copyright expired, opening it up for use by the public. Although Steamboat Willie’s meteoric rise puts it among other popular collectibles in the Bored Ape and Pudgy Penguin collections, it’s yet to gather similar popularity on other NFT exchanges.

$1.6 Million from Steamboat Willie Public Domain 2024

Disney’s claim to the mascot ended on January 1, 2024, after holding its copyright for 95 years. Steamboat Willie’s entry into the public domain saw NFT creators whip up four collections tied to the mascot. 

The four collections are dubbed “Steamboat Willie,” “Steamboat Willie Public Domain 2024,” “Steamboat Punks” and “Steamboat Willie’s Riverboat,” in the order of their trending status on OpenSea.

Steamboat Willie Public Domain 2024 has the highest total volume at $1.6 million followed by Steamboat Willie with $892,125. 

The remaining two collections have a trading volume of below $46,000 as of the time of writing. Each collection has between 1,000 and 2024 collectibles and a creator kickback of between 0 and 7%.

Copyright to Charlie Chaplin’s Works also Expires

Speaking to CNN, a Disney spokesperson disclosed that the copyright expiration applies only to the mascot, noting that other modern Mickey Mouse versions are still protected by copyright.

Apart from Disney’s early Mickey Mouse version, characters tied to Peter Pan, Charlie Chaplin and the Marx Brothers also saw their copyright expire, but they’re yet to be turned into popular collectibles.

Although Steamboat Willie is gaining popularity, it’s to be seen whether it’ll be able to maintain its new-found fame.